After almost 30 years of variously living in, or regularly visiting Cornwall, until yesterday I'd not yet visited Porthleven. Matt and I were keen to do so, but the rest of the family felt that St Ives offered 'more for kids' (more cafes and shopping, certainly, but this is perhaps better phrased 'more', with no mention of kids). So after stopping in St Ives, we eventually made our way to Porthleven.
It was spectacular. On a particularly stormy day, the sea air was exhilarating, and as the town is built around a harbour, the waves were crashing from all sides.
The waves were enormous, some around 15', and we were surprised and concerned to see children playing on the beach, letting the waves chase them up the sand. We were more horrified when we found an elderly women alongside them, walking her dog in the shallow water, especially when she almost got dragged under. People do get claimed by the sea in this area, and we didn't fancy a rescue mission on such a blustery day.
We walked on along the coast, sea spray splashing our faces, until it was time to leave, and head home, back to Bristol.
It was great to see somewhere new, and somewhere less spoilt by tourism. St Ives is lovely, but Porthleven is wilder, and feels somehow more real.
29th December 2012
We parked in Newlyn and walked the easy coast path which follows the road to Mousehole. The houses along the road have an amazing view across Mounts Bay, and the expanse of sea and sky must provide a differing daily backdrop according to the weather. It was eery and grey today, with a stormy sea fit for seals playing.
We made it quickly to Mousehole before the shops shut, and meandered through the pretty fishing village, where every other shop is an art gallery. There was a lot of impressive art to take in, and once we'd had our fill we headed to the harbour for chips. Then the Christmas lights were switched on, and the harbour and hills around Mousehole were filled with luminous cats, Loch Ness monsters, starry gazey pie and other more traditional Christmas decorations, along with the lit buckets which line the streets. Just beautiful.
Lights twinkling, waves crashing, we left Mousehole behind, heading home with a mulled wine in hand.
28th December 2012
Wild, bleak, vast and incredibly beautiful. We walked the coast path from Botallack to Trewellard, at the end of the earth, and cut through fields back past Carnyorth, where I lived until I was 2.
There are endless disused mine shafts, incredible light, crashing waves and whipping wind. I am so happy to be back where I came from.
26th December 2012
Christmas Day had been so wet and wild in Somerset, that we hadn't been able to go for the usual Christmas walk, and by Boxing Day, were feeling really boxed in.
So despite the rain, we headed into the woods to trek to Holford, to test out my new boots.
Slipping and sliding over wet leaves and muddy puddles, down coombs and over branches, the new boots got me safely to Holford, with warm, cosy feet.
We arrived back at the house sodden, but refreshed.
I got a new job in Tetbury a few months ago, and start soon, so went back for an induction. Again I had to wait for a lift home, and whiled away some time in another lovely little cafe. Tetbury is so pretty. I don't think I'll mind spending more time here.
For a long time we have been meaning to walk in Lynmouth, and finally, last Sunday, we did it. Ignoring reports of rainstorms to come, we bundled friends in the car and drove South. We walked for 8 miles, up hills, across fields, through woodland. It was beautiful, mossy and bright, and the company was fab. Our optimism paid off and the drizzle only started at the end of the walk. Soon we were safely back in the town, filling our bellies with well earned Sunday lunch. Can't wait to go again, in the Spring, when the train is running from the coast up the hill. But for now we were all glad to be out and about in a month where far too much time is spent in darkness.