Saturday, September 01, 2012

South West Coast Path: Day Zero

N.B. This is the first of four posts about my trip to Cornwall to walk a portion of the South West Coast Path.
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This year, too, the guys were otherwise occupied, so Sarah and I decided to undertake a three-day duo expedition along the South West Coast Path.  We were clearly not going to be able to travel the full 630  miles in three days (the official website states that a fast walker can finish in about 30 days, but recommends 7-8 weeks; a couple we met en route recommended 49 days). Sarah picked out a portion of the path that seemed (a) a bit more remote and less likely to be overrun with tourists and (b) accessible by public transportation.  This meant we were walking from Falmouth to Par, allegedly 36.5 miles -- although my pedometer suggests that we walked further than that, accounting for detours etc. (whether intended or otherwise).

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

After an uneventful overnight flight, I breezed through customs and took the Heathrow Express service into Paddington Station.  Since I had already purchased my tickets in advance online, I had a lot of free time before I could board my train.  So I went for a walk, a big random circuit of the neighborhood across from the station. 

This little park or sculpture garden was kind of cool.

Many shops in the area had signs in Arabic.  These included a few beauty salons (including some moderately fancy looking ones) as well as grocery and convenience stores and a travel agent.  There was also an Islamic Bank of Britain -- that one took me by surprise.  

Since I just read Winnie-the-Pooh for my Mythgard class, I was especially pleased to see this sign:

Warning: I cannot guarantee that they have
any connection whatsoever to A.A. Milne
Finally, it was time to board the 9:06 a.m. train to Falmouth!!!  Sarah joined me en route (through the miracles of the National Rail ticketing system, we managed to reserve seats next to each other even though we could not pick out specific seat numbers).  We were talking pretty much the whole way in the Quiet Carriage, but no one said anything to us about it.

In Falmouth, we went on a pre-Walk walk to see the sights.  We went up the hill and circled around the moat of Pendennis Castle :

View from moat-level.  The castle flies the English Heritage flag (as opposed to, for example, the National Trust one).

... and then looked out over the Half Moon Battery at the harbour:

We saw a few butterflies en route as well...

 ... and then reconnoitered the waterfront to verify where and when to catch the ferry tomorrow morning, and to personally sample the local beverages for quality control.  Well, someone has to do it.

Chief Navigator of the Expedition
Rewards of the climb
Thereafter, we climbed up again (this would prove to be a recurring theme over the course of the walk)...

Yay, Wodehouse!! snag prime viewing locations for the first Dr Who episode of the season.  It was a bit of a disappointment - way too much set-up for a not-very-interesting story line.  And the supposed emotional core of the story was sheer nonsense.  (Amy abruptly kicks Rory out based on some half-baked idea that her unilateral, unnecessary, undesired, and totally unexplained sabotage of their marriage will somehow free Rory to have kids with someone else.  I mean, really, has she paid any attention to the depth of Rory's commitment to her? Like, for instance, the fact that he has been known to wait 3,000 years for her?  For her part, she has been known to string Rory along, leaving him uncertain whether she would choose him or the Doctor.  And she has the nerve to claim that her love is just as strong as his?  Sheesh.)

Dinner required another descent down to harbour level and ascent back to the B&B, where we retired early to rest up for the beginning of our walk.

Some residences near the top of the hill on Wodehouse Terrace
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Doctor Who ???
Normally I would say you have to get out more, but maybe not this time.