things start to pile up and get on top of you, it's time to take some time off
and go to Cornwall.
may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a
good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught
up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
Ives to Zennor on the Southwest Coast Path, 21 April 2006
that's a lovely car! A VW Golf with all kinds of electronic things all
over it, works perfectly, driving wheel on the wrong side but that's not uncommon
here. Lovely car! - resting idly here in the Backpackers'
Hostel parking lot in Zennor. That Norman church is pretty nice, too -- it's
dedicated to St Senara, but no one knows who St Senara
is, or was rather.
the Tinners Arms in Zennor. We've driven here to
take the bus into St Ives and walk back along the Southwest Coast Path.
D. H and Frieda Lawrence lived here during World War One, and D. H. wrote "Women
in Love" here. "The suspicions of the local populace that they were
signaling to German U Boats eventually drove the Lawrences away."
the famous medieval "mermaid chair" of the Zennor church, the mermaid
holding up the traditional comb and mirror, don't ask why. Another Cornish mermaid
can unfortunately be seen below.
Ives, thriving metropolis.
Founded in the 5th century by St Ia, an underage Irish princess who so wanted
to colonize other lands for Jeesus -- she was a virgin, by the way -- that she
signed on with a bunch of other Famous Saints to cross the sea to Cornwall. They
left without her, however, probably fearing the statutes about underage virgins,
so she got a really big ivy leaf from God and sailed herself across the sea, beating
all the others in fact, and founded this town. And to this day we all get to decide
for ourselves whether St Ives is named after St Ia or the Ivy Leaf.
look at St Ives, with its 600 year old church of Zennor granite, its veg-and-cheese
pasties, and its HIV "cluster".
St Ives street scene on a grey day
(orange) providing security for the pedestrian shopping street, scrutinizing the
passersby and if necessary making them remove their shoes, and waiting for bargains
in the shops.
giving Cuckoo Land a miss on this trip, but only for lack of time. Nephelokokkygia,
Cloud Cuckoo Land, was Aristophanes' coinage (in The Birds) for our promised
land of never-never, where nothing ever goes wrong, and when better than now?
It's about time.
relaxing all over the scenic landscape of St Ives, but not Kristin, who's increasingly
anxious to get out on the trail for Zennor. If we can just find the public WC
for a sendoff, we'll be on our way westward on the Coast Path.
The other side of St Ives, as we round the point and start out along the coast
Gallery, St Ives, on the way out of town to the west along the Coast Path. No
time for a look-round, but since there are no 17th century Dutch paintings here,
what's to stop for? "Performance Art"? We're doing it! On the Coast
"mermaid of Cornwall", presumably an escapee from the Tate. The part
about beautiful mermaids luring the sailors to their ruin seems to have been forgotten.
Well, modern art!!!
of the town, as fine a town as it may be, we're now loosed out upon the Coast
Path and bound for Zennor Head.
'The Carracks' out there, 200 meters offshore. Carracks
were big 15th century sailing ships from the Mediterranean, Europe's first real
ocean-going ships, which opened up the age of discovery thereafter, and these
rocky islands remind us so much of . . . well, no they don't. They look like offshore
So . . . "That's 'The Offshore Rocks' out there, 200
to somebody long ago, those rocks did look like carracks. Maybe a real carrack
sank here. Maybe the mayor's name was Archie Carrack. Anyway they've often got
Atlantic grey seals on them and are sometimes called Seal Island.
who fancies seals perhaps more than is prudent, is determined to see the
seals or wait here until they come back.
21 April 2006, and not an Atlantic grey seal in sight. An effect of Bush's global
warming, probably, they've gone to the Faroe Islands. We've waited as long as
we can for the damn things, it's almost Happy Hour.
continuing towards Zennor, is still looking for a better Atlantic grey seal-watching
by some other hikers that Atlantic grey seals were to be seen here, Kristin would
not budge till they'd been sighted. They were never sighted, and it took just
over four days to convince Kristin that it's time to move on to Zennor, and the
It's not painless, trying to convince someone that the seals are not coming back today. It tugs at you.
last, despondent, growing cynical, Kristin gives up on grey seals (Halichoerus
grypus) and begins thinking more positively in terms of "pub" (Tinnereus
Some hikers in the distance. Perhaps they've seen some seals!
at Tinners Arms in Zennor, seallessly, and really really sorry that D. H. and Frieda did not
find happiness here.