Cornish Camping Weekend – 17th to 20th August 2012

We didn’t rush to leave Brighton on friday morning, the weather forecast promised heavy rain in Cornwall but a heatwave in Sussex.  No sense in running towards the wet, but we had booked our spaces in a muddy field high enough above the tiny town of Polperro to wake up in thick cloud on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  But it was dry when we erected the tents on friday afternoon, and Jerry had brought one of his bigger tents, so we had a space to sit on folding chairs and eat meusli in the dry.

Saturday I was on my own because Jerry went visiting family.  The rain stopped early in the afternoon.  It was probably the sudden silence when the rain stopped lashing down on the tent that woke me.  I made a plan.  In the six hours before meeting Jerry in the Blue Peter I would explore the cliffs immediately west of the town for a few hours and then try to have a beer in every bar in town.

See the small boat about to enter Polperro harbour, and the concrete block structure which houses the sewage treatment works of Polperro , though it could be the downstream end of the tunnel under the town that acts as a flood relief overflow for the river which used to flood the town

I found lots of insects on the cliff.  A huge network of paths running through the vegetation high above the sea.

Peacock Butterfly on direction post.

Managed to get my trouser legs soaked brushing through wet vegetation.

Cricket, a male I think, because I saw the female earlier – she has a pointed ovipositor at the back end of her body, unlike this beast.

But did spot some bugs

Only a tiny beetle, and such neat leaf eating.

Before heading back to town I stopped to watch a group of kids do some informal coasteering, and nearly squashed this weevil as I leant on a lichen covered rock.

Only about 7mm long, but kept tapping one of his back feet – obviously I couldn’t hear it, but I saw it, a steady tapping, about twice a second. As Jaerry observed, I know little of the habits of weevils, so can make no insightful observation here.

Started the pub crawl in the Crumplehorn where they had two beers from Tintagel Brewery – Black Knight, a sweet dark mild ale, and Cornish Gold, a slightly sweet bitter.  Then found the Old Millhouse Inn which had Sharps Atlantic IPA, a seasonal ale.  Nice hoppy beer.  The Ship was not my kind of bar, but a challenge is a challenge, so I had a half of Jail Ale (4.8%) from the Dartmoor Brewery – too sweet for me.  The Three Pilchards offered Sharpe’s Own (4.4%) which made no lasting impression on me, but the British Legion (open to visitors) had the best pint of Sharpes Tribute, and the cheapest at £2.70 a pint, so I had a pint (the others were all halves – no really).  Finally into the Blue Peter (‘Best bar in town’, said the Steward at the Legion, ‘but also the most expensive.’).  O’Hanlan’s Flagship IPA, pale and traditionally hopped (not the flowery hops), and delightful.  Used to be a London-based brewery, but moved to the SW a few years ago.  Also had St Maichaels Bitter from Cornish Crown Brewery (short on flavour), Penpont Brewery Shipwreck Coast (4.4%) – pale and hoppy and great.  Enjoyed the Penpont so much that I brought three Penponts home in bottles.

An Howl means The Sun in Cornish, and Arvor is Coast.

All of them great – have to say it was the flowery hops what did it for me.  Ten o’clock Sunday morning we started a 10 mile walk in the rain, but it stopped after 2 hours, and by 4pm I was dry.  We walked west down a valley to Polruaun by the sea, then east back alongthe cliffs to the car.  Where the upper tidal limit occurs we saw limekilns, probably had to import both limestone and coal to make the lime to sweeten the fields – or build the houses.

Limekilns on the right, near the upper limit of tidal navigation.

On the way back looked down onto the beaches at Lantic Bay.  A days play down there has to be paid for in the climb back to the road.

Lantic Bay – blue skies and sunshine – a big improvement on the morning.

In the evening we went back to the Blue Peter where we were entertained by a musician.  He was well known locally – he only had to start a song and the crowd took it up.  Can’t remember his name

Singing for his supper, and a sore throat, in the Blue Peter, Polperro

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