Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Holiday in South West Cornwall

I have been neglecting this blog; my previous posting was more than half a year ago. Not only that, but the broken basin that I described in my previous posting has still not been fixed!

I have just returned from a few weeks camping in South West Cornwall (the area known as West Penwith), which is an area that I enjoy visiting because it is like leaving your "baggage" at home and going away to "the edge of the world". Here is a small sample of some of the photographs that I took whilst I was there.

The West Penwith area is rather exposed to the Atlantic weather systems, so you have to pitch your tent away from bushes that look like this:

Much of the local granite is beautifully weathered. I wonder how long it takes for granite exposed to the elements to begun to look like this:

As usual, I tried to do a bit of maths to exercise my mind but I kept losing factors of π, so I ended up just banging the rocks together:

To satisfy my curiosity, I visited the famous tin mine engine houses at the Botallack Crowns Mine, which are much more precariously located than they seem in this photograph (someone needs to invent a simple photographic system that gives the viewer a full 3D spatial awareness, like a feel for the yawning chasm just in front of them):

I watched a bit of Cornish cricket at the Lafrowda Festival in St Just, which seems to be much more fun than the activity called "cricket" that I have seen on TV:

I did quite a bit of moorland walking, but I was never quite sure whether I was inside or outside the areas of open moorland, as this gate in the middle of nowhere illustrates:

There appears to be only a loose correspondence between the moorland paths marked on the Ordnance Survey map and the actual paths on the ground (I double checked my position using my GPS locator), so I sometimes found myself wading through a sea of gorse and heather that was up to waist high in places. This scenery was very pretty to look at, but it tore my legs to shreds.

There is a move to enclose the moors and to graze cattle, which has caused uproar amongst some of the local inhabitants who have started a Save Penwith Moors campaign. My preference is for open moorland scenery unspoilt by fencing and cattle, and I hope yours is too.

Update (21 December 2008): I have just noticed that the 9 Maidens Common has had a reprieve from the cattle grazing plans (see here). Excellent news!

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