A Walk in Cornwall - Part 2

by Phyllis E. Weston

Cornish roads, like many others in England, are lined with hedges. But the hedges of Cornwall are different. They are solidly built of stone and earth from which spring blackberry bushes, bracken, fern, holly, and a multitude of wild flowers. The loveliest of these when I was there was the bright pink campion.

Several times I saw the hedge-trimming machine at work. As I left Fowey I also saw road workers who greeted me with a cheery, "Good morning, Luv."

In the afternoon I reached Par and saw to booking bed-and-breakfast for the night. Then I went back to the Beach Café where I enjoyed egg, sausage, and chips. Other travellers had sought refreshments, too. The poodle couple were there on their way to St. Austell; also a Cockney lady, holidaying at St. Blazey. She was proud of her London origin, deplored the lack of "pictures", bingo, and dancing in this small seaside resort, but would settle for a good tan, quiet sleeps and crossing the road in safety.

My bed and breakfast was satisfactory. Instead of a hollow in the matress, there was a hump so that I slept on either edge of it with some risk of waking up on the floor. And baked beans were part of the breakfast fare to which I am neither accustomed nor addicted. However, remembering "When in Rome….", I ate everything, aided by an appetite augmented by the previous day’s 10 mile walk.

I have to confess that on this walk I cheated occasionally. After breakfast I took the bus to the outskirts of St. Austell. After all, I had already walked most of that route the previous day. I left the bus and walked over the town’s bypass to reach the road west.

Walking to London Apprentice (a hamlet, believe it or not), I caught up with a woman with violent red hair but a sweet nature who chatted knowledgeably about my route ahead. It did not seem long before I reached Pentewan; the valleys and hills along the way were so beautiful, a brilliant green against an azure sky with shining white cloudlets. Polly’s Café in the village provided me with morning coffee and, as my host was a genial, talkative man, also with some local gossip. The café and pub were a converted schoolhouse. The toilets were outdoors, but they did flush and boasted new-world toilet tissue and a basin with an ample roll of paper towels. When the host discovered I‘d come from Canada he had to tell me two success stories; one of an uncle who had made a fortune trucking in Calgary, and the other of an Irish nursemaid to the family of a New York publisher named Bacon.

Pentewan has a beach which accommodates some five thousand people in tents and trailers all at one time in the tourist season, now blessedly empty. It also has a pottery where I saw some attractive pieces.

The walk to the next town, Mevagissy, was pure delight; but I must save that for another time.


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(c)1997 - P. Weston
21st Century Adventures - Issue 3, Vol. 3