Monday, 9 January 2017

Portscatho January 2017: Part 2

A few people have wondered why, as we live in Cornwall, we don't just travel to our walks each day. Today was one of the days that illustrate why. A leisurely breakfast, a five minute drive to the starting point, a walk, a short drive back to base and a relaxed evening. Why spend three hours travelling when it can be on our doorstep? And now the details of today's 8 miler.
Our walk started and ended just above the  harbour at Portscatho. No map is available as my GPS packed up about halfway around so a verbal description will have to do. We headed west along the coastal footpath, passing Towan and Porthbeor Beaches before we headed inland and crossed the St Anthony's peninsular to drop down to the other side to the River Percuil, one of the many creeks off the Fal Estuary. From there we walked through the woodland on the banks of the Percuil to the head of Porth Creek and then across country through the Rosteague Estate back to Portscatho.
Wayside Curiosity #1: on the front at Portscatho was a monument to the many soldiers killed in Burma during WW2 and who have no known grave. It's unique and was unveiled in 1998, following a campaign by just one old soldier who survived Burma and wanted his comrades remembered.. Another example of the power of  one determined person?
Seascape #1: just looking out to sea.
Seascape #2: looking west towards St Anthony's Head.
It's a Diver but which one? Great Northern, Red Throated or White Throated? Disappointingly, they were too far off to identify, a task made even more difficult by the fact that the winter plumage of all three is very similar.
Wayside Curiosity #2:Just by Towan Beach. A wooden pole about 15 foot high with regular hand/foot holds. A totem pole, perhaps? Installation art (not as far fetched as it may seem)?
No, of course, it's a wreck post but not any old wreck post. It's The Wreck Post. You can read what it is yourself. but, to me, it raises as many questions as it answers. How exactly was this done? From land? From a pretend wreck?
Behold a flock of Turnstones who were turning stones. Well, pebbles actually. But Turnpebble doesn't trip off the tongue so easily.
Seascape #3: with fishing boat.
Let sleeping seals lie - on an isolated cove between Towan and Porthbeor Beaches.

The tower of St Anthony's Church to the left and, in front of it, Place House. Built in 1840 on the site of a monastery,it's been described by Pevsner as 'symmetrical neo-Gothic at its least attractive'. I agree. It's hardly in the vernacular style, is it? At one time, the lawn to the right of the house was taken up by a pool for a tidal mill which served the monastery.
The local style of stone walling - herringbone because of the raw material to hand. It's rather attractive but must take an age to build.
Our first daffodils of the year. They are definitely running later than last year 'back home'.
Looking across to St Mawes from Place House. The commute for the Admirals Spry of Place House? A quick row across the Percuil River to their ships anchored in the Carrick Roads. A very popular place with holiday makers and the boating set, translating into many second and holiday homes and relatively few properties being occupied all year round. A common problem in Cornwall and, despite many suggestions as to how it can be regulated, no easy solution is imminent.

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