From: Boscastle to Crackington Haven
Distance: 8m / 12.8km
Cumulated distance: 121.2m / 195km
Percentage completed: 11.79
Tenth day. Into double figures! It’ll just be a short blog tonight as the wifi is not at its strongest .. and apologies for the quality of the photos this evening. Wrong setting on the iPhone.
I was joined by new walkers today .. all ‘locals’. Great to share the 8 miles of steep ascents and descents with them.
The harbour at Boscastle is tightly guarded. It’s a bit like Mousehole on the south coast of the county and pretty spectacular.
Thomas Hardy was a visitor to Boscastle back in the late 19th century. Before he became a novelist he was an architect. He stayed in the Old Rectory at Boscastle, while he was working on the restoration of the church tower. He also met his first wife Emma here. The heroine in his third novel, ‘A Pair of Blue Eyes’, is Emma. A lot of the surrounding area is woven throughout the book too, although Hardy took care to fuse various places together to avoid identification. The marriage turned sour apparently but when she died a few years later, Hardy, full of remorse, returned to Boscastle and had a local stone mason make a memorial table to her. You can see at the church. There’s a lot of ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’ in the air.
The day brought surprises of wild ponies ..
.. wild goats with splendid horns
and the sweetest, cutest black working cocker spaniel, Maisie ..
On the way to Crackington Haven, we passed many places with thrilling names, The Strangles and Samphire Rock among them. Strangles beach is located on a stretch of the coast known for its high cliffs. In fact nearby High Cliff is the highest cliff in Cornwall at over 700 feet (200 metres). It also meant the longest stretch of steps. V challenging, especially for someone with not such long legs! (No excuse really as Maisie with her petite little legs had no problem in climbing them at least three or four times more than me!)
Nearby was Samphire Rock, which will have become more topical in the culinary world, as samphire is the new rocket, found on the menu of every self-respecting Michelin chef. It’s only in season during July and August and Cornwall is where it grows in greatest abundance. Best of luck gathering it from that rock!
On a clear day from the cliff tops, the Island of Lundy can be seen, although locals believe this usually means rain is on its way. Go figure. Little St Genny’s church close by, in the hamlet of Rosecare, is dedicated to St Genesius. He was the sort of ghost that Nearly Headless Nick would have been most envious of .. he was completely decapitated for his faith and was thus able to carry his head proudly under his arm, when he entered the after-life. The churchyard is also the resting place of many shipwrecked mariners and smugglers.
Crackington Haven, like Boscastle also suffered terrible flooding in 2004 but somehow the media overlooked it and now you’d never know it had ever happened. The manor of the village was recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086. Associated with the manor was, ‘1 plough, 2 serfs, 6 smallholders, 4 acres of underwood, 20 acres of pasture, 4 cattle, 3 pigs and 25 sheep’. Great to see how humans would be listed in the same breath as agricultural tools and farmyard animals. The value of the manor was 10 shillings.
Black Dog Tails
Guide-dog Kannon has enabled her owner to do all sorts of things she wouldn’t otherwise have been able to do .. including running in 5k races.