Thursday, 14 March 2013

Lanes, water, blues and yellows

Boots on again today for a walk with the local U3A Group.  Rather unusually the route did not feature Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor, the Coastal Footpath or any muddy tracks.  It started just a couple of miles from home in the village of Harrowbarrow and was a meander around country lanes.  We went through Bartlett's Mill, St Dominick, Cotehele Quay, Cotehele Mill and then back to where we began.  There were a few hills to negotiate as we went down one side of a valley and up the other (there were several of these) so it couldn't be classed as an easy walk.  About 7 miles would be a fairly accurate estimate of the distance.

We finished up in a friend's garden for a cup of tea as a pleasant finale.  It was a garden with a couple of rather unusual features - an arsenic calciner dating from around 1850 and a copper sulphate blue stream running through it (see photo below).

And the weather?  Absolutely glorious! Much warmer than the overnight frost had suggested, with clear, blue skies most of the way around so we had some stunning views of the Tamar Valley.  A day like this nourishes both mind and body.

Streams a plenty on the walk. This one has had a leat tapped off from it for hundreds of years to drive the water mill at Cotehele.  The mill is still in operation producing flour and the leat is also utilised to generate power through a small hydroelectricity scheme.
A stream with a difference! This one runs from some old workings of a copper mine. Hence the blue colour of the stones on the bed of the stream, although this photograph does not really show the hue as bright as it is in reality.

A sunken lane which was originally a medieval pack horse track taking produce to and from the river.
Daffodils in profusion in the hedgerows and woods. But not the only yellow flower around as there were plenty of primroses as well. A very floriferous time of the year!
Is there a better place to stop for lunch? On the quay at Cotehele with the river shimmering in the sun. 

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