hiking the coastal path to Port Isaac, ferry from Rock to Padstow, Doom Bar beer in the village of Pityme — north Cornwall

1cornwalllandscapeThe rain blew away, the clouds drifted off, the sun shone and my God, north Cornwall! Glorious. After a superb breakfast prepared by our engaging hostess ( homemade muesli, eggs from the next door farm, bacon, sausage, homemade jam, fried tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms and, of course, baked beans). We walked through the gently rolling green pasture, seen out our window, toward the bright blue ocean and picked up the coastal path, walking a few strenuous often steep but spectacular miles into Port Isaac. We passed cows grazing in pastures above jagged cliffs with waves crashing onto the stones and slate, following a path lined with ancient stone walls covered with bramble and patches of shoulder-high grasses and purple flowered thistle. The path was muddy and treacherous at times, especially wending our way downhill but the scenery was well worth it!

1betsycornwallFRom the Port Isaac car park (where we left our car with help from our kind host Michael), we drove to the amusingly named village of Pityme to pick up some tshirts for the kids at the brewery that makes the popular local beer, Doom Bar (another great name…named after a treacherous sandbank in the local Camel estuary.) Then onto the town of Rock (where we were told the young royals vacation)  to take a sweet little ferry across the river, winding through several sandbars to the tourist town of Padstow. Quite a change — pretty place but far more touristy. We had excellent Fish and Chips from the town’s major food entrepreneur Rick Stein, plus ice cream at his deli.

1cornwallwater.JPGOur one misstep was trying to drive to the Lizard, way down in the south, which we realized was too far so we turned back and drove to tiny Port Quinn where we bumped into our host Michael drinking wine with two friends while sitting on a little rocky landing in front of the tiny undeveloped harbor where a few kayakers were finishing for the night. We ended up joining them for some wine and kibitzing. A perfect end to a perfect day.

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