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Published: July 31st 2017
It’s Thursday 27th
July and I am writing this first blog entry during a flight from London to Copenhagen.
We left Oz about four weeks ago.
After just one overnight stop in London, where we had dinner with my sisters and Ken, we hired a car the next day and drove to Cornwall via Guildford where we spent an evening with Michael and his girlfriend Amy.
We arrived at our Cornish cottage at Polruan after a long 5 hour drive the next day. You can imagine how exhausted Joyce and I were after all that travelling and still suffering from jet lag. After landing in London on the Thursday we were at our rented cottage Saturday evening.
We were blown away at how pretty the village was and the location with great views from our cottage. I need to explain that Polruan lies on the opposite bank to Fowey (pronounced “Foi”) which sits on a beautiful natural deep harbour .Until the rise of Falmouth and Portsmouth, Fowey was the main port for trade with the French and Spanish (but not when we were at war with them!). Even today large ships from afar enter the harbour and make
their way up river to collect China Clay from local quarries.
Unfortunately getting from Polruan to Fowey is not very convenient. The choices are:
A small boat ferrying passengers across the harbour. These leave every 20 mins or so and takes 2 mins to do the crossing.Take the car ferry (4 min crossing) But to get to the car ferry which is about 5oom from the village you have to do a 20 min drive along very very narrow country lanes.If you wanted to just drive to Fowey you had to do a 15 mile drive taking around 30 – 40 mins.
Polruan is built on the side of a very steep hill, the streets are so narrow and parking space so limited that we had to leave the car at a long term car park at the very top of the village. Our rented cottage was situated at the waters edge and, aptly named “Rock Bottom” and it was accessed from the nearest street by 67
steps, it was “painful” walking around the steep streets and to our car. However ,the locals, even the really elderly ones, carried their shopping bags seemingly without too much difficulty.
We did a walking tour ,with a local lady, of Fowey and learnt amongst other things that the Black Prince, father of King Richard II, had a castle a few miles away at Lostwithiel the capital of Cornwall during the Fourteenth century. The weather was particularly good the week we were there and so we took the opportunity for walks along the hills and cliffs surrounding the harbour.
For our second week we moved to Perranuthnoe ,a small village near Penzance and just a bay away from St Michael’s Mount. The view from the house was brilliant. Joyce and I took a long walk along the cliffs one day. But the walk was almost curtailed as we approached the first field we had to cross. There was a heard of cows and Joyce was as worried about walking through the herd as she was when we went for a stroll around Whistler in Canada a few years ago when there were Brown Bears nearby. But she
was brave, walking at a hasty pace until she was safe.
My elder sister Avril came down from London to join us for 3 days which was great as it had been years since we spent any decent amount of time together.
Penzance is where Michael’s girlfriend, Amy, comes from. She and Michael also came down to Cornwall that week. So we had time to spend with them and to to meet some of her 10 siblings and we also had dinner with her parents. They were all really lovely and it was obvious that they are a close knit family who love and support each other.
One of the highlights was attending a performance of “Nell Gwynn” at the Minack amphitheatre where the setting is spectacular as it is perched on the edge of a cliff and has the ocean as it’s background. If you are ever in Cornwall you must try and see a performance there.
The beaches and coves around Cornwall are fantastic, as are the walks, particularly if you get good weather.
On the way back to London we caught up with Tim and Shirley for a few hours, in Redruth,
and we swapped holiday tales as they had travelled from Australia and toured Italy and France.
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