Day 29 & 30
Fowey to Polperro 8 miles
Polperro to Crafthole 14 miles
We had a half day off in Polperro to spend a bit of extra time in this small port village which many claim to be one of the most beautiful villages in England, and to visit the museum there on Fishing and Smuggling; themes that dominate much of this coastal region, and walk. It also marks what is close to the 2/3rd way-mark for this walk (400 miles), and our passage, as of tomorrow, out of Cornwall where we have been walking its entire 280 miles of coastline. We will also begin the last third (15 days) of our trip, moving back into the southern part of Devon’s coastline and finishing in Dorset. So, for us, we’re into a whole new phase of the walk which will play heavily into what we eventually hope to relate and relay to youth!
The trails out of Polperro were mini waterways due to the heavy downpours throughout the night so one can easily imagine the erosional power of the ocean upon these coastal regions. With that in mind, much of today’s walk took us inland as the coastal path has experienced a number of land slips along this part of its route. We were often on the older, and more original, coastal trackways dating back
over hundreds of years which have what Andrea calls “living walls”; rock walls sometimes over 10 feet tall on both sides of the track which are covered in moss, Ivy, and every sort of vegetation taking a fancy to them. In other spots the roads had significant detours due to housing development, most of which we could see and feel upon our approach toward Plymouth. I couldn’t stop my thoughts from drifting back into dark corners where judgement comes to the fore though, but tacking those down are part and parcel of the daily task of walking. While giving due blessings once again to the Ramblers, Right to Roam, and Open Space folks who fight to preserve these pathways (and god bless the National Trust who I forgot to send thanks to the other day!), I had to also consider the needs of people, in an increasing world population, who need places to live and call home.
Regular people who just need simple places that they can afford right? And then it became clear to me, once again, why travel itself becomes an education unparalleled compared to merely sitting in the same box all day. To experience is key to taking in the world of all other, without which we are left with little to transform. Sitting all day enclosed within the four walls of institutional halls of learning is a little bit like hoping that the advertisement for a Big Mac watched on a screen will provide the nourishment you need today. A malnourishment of mind though does have its effect upon the landscapes of everyday experience, and clearly visible during our walk today.