25 Aug 2012

In photos: Cornwall

With 10 days of annual leave to use up before the end of August, I contemplated a journey to Helsinki Finland. It was not meant to be, however, so I booked in at a campground near Porkellis Cornwall, packed up the bike and made the 300 mile journey from London.

My route took me past Basingstoke, Andover, Yeovil, Exeter and Bodmin—a scenic route, but one with heavy traffic. There are no motorways going all the way to Cornwall and bottlenecks form where 4-lane routes merge into 2-lane roads. In theory, not a problem with a bike, but in practice with side panniers in place it was slow going at times.

On the way back the rain chucked it down—true to tradition whenever I leave London, it seems. The combination of rain, traffic and small roads meant the normally 6-hour journey ended up taking nearly 9 hours, with the rain finally subsiding 4 miles from home. I’m starting to feel like I’m jinxed—but the charms and gorgeous landscapes of Cornwall made it worth every wet moment.

Campground—Porkellis: The road in—the grass in the middle was treacherous in the wet as the heavy bike wanted to sink, and riding in the ruts meant about 4–5" clearance between the stone walls and panniers

Basecamp—Porkellis: Tent set up in a grassy field with a view almost to the ocean—it proved to be waterproof as advertised during a storm on the last night

Camp stove—Porkellis: Macro shot of my camp stove—it was the smallest/lightest stove I could find but a powerful little bugger

Campground—Porkellis: A disused antique soil roller

Daisies—Porkellis: Daisies in the garden at the campground

Progressive post-modernist dish scrubber holder—Porkellis: Yes it’s Barbie naked and bound in the campground wash house—she symbolises the eccentric charm found all over Cornwall, although she didn’t have much to say about it

The end of England—Sennen Cove: Well, not quite the end—Land’s End is technically 100m further west but has become trashy theme park charging admission for the privilege of setting foot on the most western point of the English mainland... what a disappointment that people will try to capitalise on anything

Bridge—Boscastle: In August 2004 a flash flood nearly 3m deep washed away the previous bridge at this spot, flooding all the surrounding buildings and washing out around 50 cars into the bay—unimaginable on such a serene sunny day

Boscastle: Another view towards the bay—following on from the devastating flood in 2004, the bay flooded again in June 2007 but on a much smaller scale

Witchcraft Museum—Boscastle: Cornwall is almost synonymous with witchcraft so the museum had to be on the must-see list—nice to see the witches playing their part with their environmentally friendly truck

Witchcraft Museum—Boscastle: An altar near the entrance of the museum

Witchcraft Museum—Boscastle: This charming crone was meditating with her puss while stroking her crystal ball

Witchcraft Museum—Boscastle: Jars of botanicals labelled with their properties relating to witchcraft

Witchcraft Museum—Boscastle: A petrified teddy bear used in witchcraft for its healing properties

Giew Mine boilerhouse—St Ives: Giew Mine was in operation from 1838–1922 and produced around 150 tonnes of tin during that time—the boilerhouse housed the steam engine used to pump water out of the shafts

Fields near St Ives: Typical stunning Cornish landscape—being one of the wettest parts of the UK it lush and green throughout the summer

Beach—St Ives: Don’t let the cloudy sky put you off—it was around 25°C, perfect for exploring by motorbike