Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Never Leave The Path

With our leader out ahead, the little group first drove, and then hiked upward toward the moors of Cornwall. The sky was terrifically blue again, but there was a nip in the air that hinted we had increased our altitude. On almost any public footpath in the UK you will find other like-minded Ramblers putting one foot in front of the other. But today, nobody else was there.

We would have finished our last leg of the St Michael Way, but given how it had behaved toward us the day before, we abandoned it. The moors are fascinating, with their unexpected heights and stark beauty. Sprinkled around on clifftop and moor are the old tin mines so prevalent in this part of the world. If you have ever seen the series Poldark, you will know! When mining became so much cheaper in other countries, Cornwall lost virtually all its mining industry. But the mines remained, now empty, and began to crumble. 

And yet they are beautiful. There is a saying here, that "if there is a hole anywhere on this earth, you're sure to find a Cornishman at the bottom of it". This is because the Cornish miners followed the tin, and just started digging again. You can't stop them!

Every little while Tony would stop walking, and start talking. Since he was a professional archaeologist in London, and since he had actually been a teacher of that subject, we became the beneficiaries of all that knowledge. When he said we were going to see something called "Men-an-Tol", I couldn't think what he might have been talking about. Then we got there, and saw. 

Men-an-Tol is a formation of standing stones, one which may indicate something about fertility. One of them has an almost perfect hole in its middle. It has been speculated that this happened naturally, and was not made by man. I am personally not prepared to believe in this theory, but as I am no archaeologist and never will be, nothing I say matters. More about Men-an-Tol can be found, here: Men-an-Tol 

On our way back to St Ives, we stopped at the Geevor tin mine for what Tony said are the best Cornish pasties in the land. We tried them, and I think he is right! Simply delicious.

There is more to say here, but no energy to say it! It must be all this moor walking. That path was beautiful, and not at all scary. I's a good job it wasn't nighttime, though, because there is something to remember from An American Wereworlf In London: if you find yourself on a moor in the dark of night, you must NEVER EVER LEAVE THE PATH. 

See you along the way!
the SconeLady


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