Today was all about seeking out a good setting for the Heligan-esq home of Aida Helyer (Hellyer with the extra L derived from the Cornish language for either a slater, as in one who puts slates on a roof, or a hunter). I think I may have found it. But! I have to return tomorrow for better pictures to post, since we flew through the village.
I am tired, windburnt, tucked in at a convenient travelodge in St Austell – but most of all glad of another productive day, having determined that the battered Atlantic coast around Land’s End is not exactly the right place for Aida. She has more in kind with the more sheltered, greener, channel-facing coast, the rural villages and estates around the creek-cut peninsulas around Falmouth to St Austell.
Here are some of the inspiring sights of that sort of area that kept us going throughout a long day (yesterday and today) in the saddle.
Some views swept all stresses away by their beauty, while others, hidden in the nooks and coves, were little joys in their own way.
That’s a picture of a Cornish fisherman, not a pirate – although it can be hard to tell the difference as the stereotypical accent is more or less the same.
Throughout Cornwall, there are ancient Celtic Crosses (Cornwall being a part of the Celtic nations which includes Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany and sometimes Galicia and Asturias in Northern Spain) positioned along the ancient roads. Here was something a little more unusual – a full, Neolithic standing stone circle.
Handily, a local, possessing local insights, was out walking his slightly angry dog. He told me of the legend behind the name, that a group of women caught dancing and making merry on the Sabbath were turned to stone as punishment. Further along, two 10 feet high stones are called the Pipers – similarly afflicted because of their lack of respect of the day of rest. There was also a barrow, a burial mound covered in stones, right by the side of the road, though we couldn’t stop as the point at which we were at was on one of the (unfortunately common) single-track roads with hedgerows on either side, and blind turns not too far off. I will have to try to get a picture of one of the crosses too, all lichened and worn from age, though only if we can find a place where neither the car nor ourselves are in any danger.
And this last picture was taken above the village of St Mawes, the village I hope to place Aida, more or less. A taster, hopefully, of what tomorrow’s catch will be.