Treading familiar and new paths

Post 14/2023 Cornwall UK Sunday 23 April . . . Here’s an entry from yesterday: 3:30pm, home from walking in the rain to get groceries for company coming next week. Umbrellas drip-drying in the guest bathtub/shower. At one point we stopped to chat with Jimmy, a neighbor from last year, He wondered whether we had been back to the US since we last spoke. “Yes,” we said. “We’ve been gone for 11 months.” We laughed at how time flies.

Fal River area walk

Not all has been wet this week. Far from it. On Monday we returned to walk a path from Penryn to Flushing, After lunch at The Royal Standard (a favourite) in Flushing, instead of taking the ferry to Falmouth, we added a new circle stretch from Flushing to Mylor Churchtown, back to Flushing, then retracing our steps to Penryn and two changes of trains back to Carbis Bay.

Treading into unfamiliar territory can be a bit daunting. At the same time, using maps and being ready to ask passersby to confirm directions assuages any uncertainty that creeps underway. There’s a metaphor there: venturing beyond the familiar symbolizes crossing the threshold deeper into one’s inner and outer world.

If one were cutting up a varied landmass for creeks, rivers, lakes, bays, harbours, and channels the Truro to Falmouth area of Cornwall would well serve as a blueprint. How to get from one place to another can be mystifying and time consuming, but it can be done.

In Mylor Harbour we stopped at the Parish Church of St Mylor. The church has served the peninsula for more than 1600 years. From the printed church guide: “The story of the Church of St. Mylor takes us back to the earliest days of Christianity in the British Isles. There were Christians in Roman Britain, and it was probably then that the Christian faith was first preached in Cornwall. Later, Celtic missionaries arrived from Ireland and Wales.

“When the Roman Empire was breaking up under the various barbarian attacks Britons from Cornwall emigrated across the Channel, giving their name and their language to their new home–Brittany. Cornwall must have formed a trade-link crossroads between Brittany, Ireland and Wales. There followed a great movement back to Britian, and the estuary of the Fal was well situated for sea communication with Brittany, which is linked with most of the Saints of the Fal, including Budock, Feock and Mawes. Among them was Mylor, who, according to tradition, was martyred here in A.D. 411.”

We were tired when we got back to Penryn, glad to sit a spell waiting for our train. On the trip home we ate the supper we had taken with us–cheese sandwiches, crisps (potato chips), chocolate and an apple. This turned out to be our longest walk this year, 12 miles total. A satisfying part of the walk was venturing into a new area, glad that others had established and maintain the path. There’s a satisfying sense of anticipation and achievement in venturing into new territory.


On Wednesday we ventured further afield for two nights in Mevagissey, near St Austell. Mevagissey is one of Cornwall’s historic fishing villages, the whole village at one time deriving its livelihood from pilchard fisheries and boat building. Today it is home to a small fishing enterprise and a big investment in tourism. The villages narrow, winding streets are not for the faint of heart. I’m glad we could arrive by bus from St Austell and walk to our hotel, which accurately bills itself as “a haven of peace and tranquility, with the countryside of bright green fields and the calming of the beautiful blue sea surrounding us.”

Lost Gardens of Heligan

We spent Thursday walking the footpath to The Lost Gardens of Heligan. It’s a story worth looking up on line. We had a bowl of leek and potato soup and a roll for lunch–having had a marvelous breakfast at the Tremarne Hotel. The soup was good, but Marty said it did not compare to the Leek and Potato soup I make. Nice words from the real cook in our household.

Some 20 years ago we had walked on the South West Coast Path from Gorran Haven to Mevagissey. Good memories indeed.

We met a couple, Brian and Penny, at the hotel who told us years ago they had walked the entire 630 miles of the South West Coast Path. Brian is now walking it again, and Penny, no longer able to walk long distances, takes care of provisions and explores nearby sites. After covering the distance in two directions, they move on to another lodging and repeat the plan.

We exchanged walking stories and related experiences. Penny graciously offered us a ride to the train station in St Austell since she was going there to buy provisions for their next stay in a self-catering cottage fairly far removed from a grocery store.


Blackthorn along a farm track on our walk on Friday afternoon.

Home from our time away, we decided to have our Friday evening meal at Becks Fish and Chips. So good. And such a fine week, rain and shine.

A Celtic Benediction

From the St Mylor Church Guide

the peace of the running wave to you
the peace of the flowing air to you
the peace of the quiet earth to you
the peace of the shining stars to you
the peace of the son of peace to you


6 thoughts on “Treading familiar and new paths

  1. A history lesson in a cogitation! Enjoyed the part about Brittany. So many places to explore. There’s such beauty in the old world. I learned a lot!


  2. A history lesson in a cogitation! Enjoyed the part about Brittany. So many places to explore. There’s such beauty in the old world. I learned a lot!


    1. Yes, Brittany is one place I’d like to visit. So many places, so little time–or, so little money.


  3. What a full and wonderful week. I still have my compas received for not getting lost in the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Good memories. Stanley K


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