This was my last full day in Kernow – Cornwall in the Cornish language. I am sorry that it has come out a bit late – I am struggling with WordPress, which being web-based seems not to like the slightly flaky internet coverage that typifies Cornwall. I have actually written this blog 3 times now. If anyone has a better suggestion for software that is more reliable, let me know!
Anyway, yesterday was a day that I had not looked forward to due to the number of hills on my route – see below. These are sharp and brutish – I only found one sign indicating gradient and that was on one of the easier hills. I did a fair bit of pushing! Going downhill was not that easy either as I had to be gripping my brakes all the way, with a fair bit of squealing (the centre of most lanes is loose gravel on tarmac, anmd I was not keen to go there)
I am also getting a slight (unfair) dislike to bridges over rivers – mostly because they signify the start of a nasty hill going up….There are some pretty scenes though.
The route for the first part of the day was intertwined with the A30 – the main road artery into Cornwall. Being a Bank Holiday weekend it was rather busy – I think my quiet back roads were much nicer. Even though the A30 was often out of sight, it could usually still be heard.
One bit of the bike route was on the A30 though, but the old carriageway. This would have been the road on which we left Cornwall all those years ago. It passes through a rather fine bit of habitat, now a nature reserve and is slowly being overgrown from both sides. Only pedestrians and bicycles are allowed. A very fine place and I was pleased to hear a grasshopper warbler reeling away.
Another striking feature of Cornwall are the number of places named after Cornish saints. Many of these have obscure origins but date back to the 500 and 600s when Cornwall was one of the more prosperous places, trading metal with much of Europe. One church I particularly admired was at St Enoder – covered from top to bottom in lichen.
Cornwall’s industrial history is very evident – the metal mines tend to be further west (where I started today) and the china clay pits are more central. The hills tend to have squared off edges with the mining tails. My route took me north of those and I did not get any pictures.
So today, I cross into Devon and onwards…