Wednesday, 15th April 2015 (Day 3, week 15)
Aiming to walk 1000 miles in a year
Walked so far 295.9 miles (10.7 miles this week)
You do see the strangest sights sometimes. We saw some today – through the fog that shrouded the Carvannel Downs near Portreath.
This one’s from the iWalkCornwall website (www.iwalkcornwall.co.uk) again.
Circular walk from Tehidy Woods via Portreath (5.3 miles)
Strange sight number one, was on the road leading to the Tehidy North Cliffs car park.
Having left Porthleven in brilliant sunshine, a thick fog enveloped us as we approached Hayle and didnt go away. We weren’t entirely sure where the entrance to Tehidy was, so Mr RR was not going too fast, luckily. Suddenly in front of the car, in the middle of the road, were two partridges. They were just strolling along. Obviously we slowed down, we had no choice as they were completely unable to make a decision about which way to go. First they veered to the left, then they crossed to the right and then they decided to just keep walking down the middle of the road. I’m not sure if they were just completely disorientated by the fog – or if they maybe make a habit of jaywalking.
Anyway, a quick beep of the horn sent them into a frenzy of zigzags from side to side but didn’t solve the problem. Fortunately there was nothing behind us, or coming the other way. At last, another gentle beep reminded them that they did indeed possess wings and the ability to fly, albeit at a very low level. It was enough – they managed to find the roadside and disappeared over the wall. We think they were red-legged partridge although this variety is not normally found in Cornwall.
Here’s another curious thing – my RSPB book says, under the conservation section, “The red legged partridge is protected under the Game Acts, and may be shot outside the close season”. Any explanation of this? How much protection is that – if they can be shot at any time? Feel free to comment if you understand this!
Anyway onto walking and strange sight number two.
So we leave the car park and cross the road, its still very foggy don’t forget. We can hear the bleating of many sheep, presumably calling to locate each other as they wouldn’t be able to see much. As we walk down the lane I spot a field of white shapes through a gate. Aah, I say to Mr RR – there they all are……..or is that a field of white rock? No, says Mr RR thats a field of cauliflowers! Just as I’m tying to get my head around mistaking cauliflowers for sheep we turn a corner and the high grassy bank gives way to barbed wire fencing. And there, inside the field are indeed sheep………eating their way through a field of cauliflowers! Have you ever seen such a thing? It was quite a surreal sight. We had to stop for pictures despite the mist.
Eventually we have to move on along the coast path, noting the wool on the barbed wire fence, where some brave sheep have escaped onto the cliff top – presumably for a variation of the cauliflower diet!
Just think of all the jumpers that could be knitted from all this wool…..
The path now gets very hilly, with two or three deep, steep sided valleys to be traversed.
On the cliff tops, the land is covered with bright yellow gorse and white blossomed blackthorn. At one point we stop to watch small brown birds fluttering about in the bushes making a rapid twittering ‘chi, chi, chi’. They are Linnet – a Parcel of Linnet – to use the correct terminology. They’re very fast in flight and nervous as we approach, they may have nests in the low bushes.
Also on the side of the hill I spot this little beauty amongst the violets and primroses:
On one steep ascent we meet a group of ramblers coming the other way, there’s not much room to pass but, obviously hearing my usual uphill puffing and panting, they kindly hover on a precipice at the edge of the path to allow us to pass – a little embarrassing when I realise they are nearly all a good deal older than me!! Of course, I do have an excuse as I am Rickety! Onward…..
The final descent brings us to a little collection of modern architect designed houses which we admire as we saunter past before we find ourselves on the outskirts of Portreath. The path now follows the river through the town and up towards a Mining Trail, along which, in 1837 a branch line of the Hayle Railway connected Portreath to mines in Camborne and Redruth. The river is known as the Red River due to the minerals from the mines which drained into it, making it toxic to wildlife including fish.
We’re now walking through Illogan Woods where the paths are lined with celandines (the latin word for ‘swallow’) – so named because the flowers are said to bloom when the swallows come home in Spring and fade when they leave again in Autumn. It is also known as Pilewort as an ointment, for the treatment of piles, can be made from the plant! (You get all the best info here!!)
We stay on the Mining Trail until it eventually leads us uphill, alongside fields of unpicked and fading daffodils and out onto a road. Here we cross over and re-enter Tehidy Woods, purchased by Cornwall Councill in 1983 and the largest area of woodland in West Cornwall. The Tehidy Manor was owned by the Basset family from Norman times, a wealthy copper mining family in the 1700s.
Here we follow the pathways alongside the golf course. I’m delighted to see that the bluebells are just beginning to flower – the first I’ve seen this year (apart from in my garden!).
It’s here that I see the final strange sight, just look at the trunk of this massive tree – like something out of The Hobbit!
Isn’t that weird!
Anyway, enough of the strange and the weird for one day – we’re following the pathways back to the car – I have an appointment with The Sewing Studio in Redruth – yippee!!
Associated artwork for Ricketyrambler by Mr RR: