Friday, 8 August 2008

Durgan and sun!

There has been precious little chance for long walks here as the weather has got progressively wetter over the holiday; even going out to feed the ducks has taken true determination and gritting of teeth, the short task meaning a change of clothes and fortifying hot drink will be necessary. Whenever the rain has let up we have raced out for a break to try to keep the cabin fever at bay. We returned to Coombe (the river walk I blogged about previously) and this time the tide was out allowing us to go slightly further along the river bank. The shore opposite has a collection of ramshackle houseboats nestled quietly under the overhanging trees miles from anywhere. I think they are beautifully romantic, but I guess it depends on your disposition - always prefer to see the romance in things. Click on the pic to enlarge and see what you think.

The path became more and more tunnel-like, the children scaring each other with tales of Dark Riders and impressions of that eerie shrieking they do in the films. Isabella just shrieked for the pleasure of doing so without being told to stop by her mum who loathes high-pitched screaming of any sort!

I just love this little shed in the middle of nowhere with its bench suggesting an owner who enjoys its presence as much as I do.

We managed to collect these Kea plums for jam making - there were more but I wasn't quick enough to stop the girls from scrumping when I wasn't looking.

On the way home we also managed to find a stash of yummy mushrooms just begging to be piled onto pasta for pasta al funghi...mmmm.

The following days were impossibly wet and windy; finally yesterday the clouds broke in the afternoon and we headed off for Durgan, a little beach tucked away at the bottom of a hill near the village of Mawnan Smith. As you walk down the hill from the car park via a woodland path, these wonderful views of the river slowly unfold through the trees:

Boats are dotted everywhere and tiny slipways plunge down the rocks to hidden beaches just perfect for evening barbecues and icy river swims. We carried on down the hill with the river opening out on one side toward the sea and the other wending its way into the various coves and inlets that so inspired writers such as du Maurier.

As we reached the bottom we entered the hamlet of Durgan with its pretty cottages and schoolhouse (no longer used sadly, but let instead). The sun broke through and washed us with that wonderful warmth that has been missing for us this summer and the children raced to swim in the sea in case it disappeared once more. Isabella and I trawled the rocks looking for shells and examining the pools for signs of life while Dave sat quietly soaking up the peaceful late afternoon air.

And it was at this point the camera batteries went flat! Probably not a bad thing as there is more than enough here and I can almost here the groans of those who have managed to get this far! Isabella has just informed me that a slug is drowning outside and wants me to kill it once and for all - she has a real fear of 'shlugs and nails' hence the murderous thoughts in one so young.

Have a great Friday and hope the weekend is DRY! xx


  1. Pipany, those pix of your wanderings are lovely. I particularly like the one with the leafy green tunnel. And the last one of the walkway to the village.

    Keep all your batteries charged, and your embroidery needles threaded. You have such talent at giving joy!

  2. Thank you so much for your lovely comment on my blog. What beautiful plums and mushrooms--talk about temptation! And such gorgeous scenery. Very much looking forward to reading more :) K x

  3. Durgan beach is one of my favourite places to be, it's very peaceful.

    After reading your previous blog about the plums, I then read about Kea plums in my new preserving book - River Cottage handbook 2 - it's a great little books and lovely pics too. Made me think of you!

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  5. Hi Pipany, more wonderful meanderings...and this time I can say, yes, I know that bit. Have been to Durgan. It's all so very pretty along the river, and so different from Penwith. I'm with Isabella on screaming as far as slugs are concerned. I found a 3 inch slug in my lettuce in the fridge. And I pathetic!!! It's sunny today, what a blessing. Only we know how dire the weather has been here... no-one else believes me!! Happy weekend.
    D x

    Ps was me who deleted above...too many mistakes which I didn't check!

  6. Wet or dry it is just beautiful and I for one would love to live there. Beautiful photographs and thanks for sharing them with us.

  7. Not much chance of a dry weekend here in Kent, can't remember the last time I saw a blue sky. More rain forecast for the weekend, so a bit of crafting is called for me thinks. Dev X

  8. This looks just perfect. I love all your walks. I am with you on the neverending rain, although the veg garden is looking quite good. We had a barbecue last night and, wonder of wonders, it was dry!
    Hope you have a great weekend.

  9. What a pretty part of the country..that was a little trip..I love rock pools and beach combing...I am happy wandering for hours looking for pretty shells and seaglass.
    Carol x

  10. Groans? No sirree....I for one love your pictures although I tend to mix the loving with a sort of fond loathing that you effortlessly seem to manage these gorgeous outings while ours always end in grumpiness, tears and rows. So are those plums wild??

  11. dismally wet weekend here, dry today, so at least got the washing out! Your travels sound fab, it makes me want to go for a day out, but we're stuck with little Miss Moss at the mo until she's had all her jags!

    L x

  12. Hi Pipany, what a weekend...a day of torrential rain, and then a wee respite! I've given you an award, so please drop by and collect it!
    Diana x

  13. Really lovely pictures. I'm always wary of mushrooms, wondering if they might be poisonous.

    Absolutely typical of the batteries. Always happens to me too!!

    CJ xx

  14. lord of the rings! i love it. thanks, it made my day.

  15. How's that book coming along?? Peers over reading glasses in school-mistress fashion (not like Mr Dave!). But this is just begging to printed!

    PS thanks for your comments, Pip, it's been tough time.

  16. Fabulous photos, great blog, wish l was there.
    Karon x

  17. Oh I want to be there, even in the rain! your pics are so atmospheric.

    BTW I've had a name change from BB.

  18. Dry or wet, you make Cornwall sound wonderful, Pip. You don't by chance work for the Tourist Board. If not then you should - or they should employ you as resident blogger to sing the praises of the county. You bring back so many memories of when my children were small and we undertook nature rambles in the coves and cwms beside the sea.

  19. Such a wonderful walk. Love the tunnel path! Thanks so much for taking us along!

  20. Hi there,
    I don't know how I found you, but it's wonderful. My husband Geoff, and I left Penryn 5 years ago on our boat. I lived there for 20 odd years and my children loved it, in fact I think they would call themselves Cornish.... they still visit friends there whenever they can. Children no more, they are in their late twenties and early thirties.
    I look forward to seeing more photos of the country side and hearing of your life and adventures. Enjoy, we did!!