We have seen a surprisingly large number of people, who judging by their appearance in dress, hair style, body ornaments, etc., that the English would no doubt see benignly as eccentrics, but that Australians would simply regard as weirdos. We’ve had no interactions with such people so we can’t say one way or the other.
We have also encountered an unexpectedly large number of people on crutches, walking sticks, wheelchairs, etc. Either the English are more determinedly mobile, or Australia hides such people from sight. Very odd.
Okay, on to business. Today was our last full day in Cornwall, and it did not let us down. Probably our most anticipated destination was Port Isaac, the real world setting of Port Wenn in the Doc Martin TV series. The scenery leading down to this fishing village on the coast was spectacular. In fact most of the area we drove through today featured stunning expansive vistas – hugely to my liking.
While we were able to recognise the general configuration of the village, and could easily identify Doc Martin’s (quite tiny – no room for a surgery) house, but we were unable to find Mrs Titchell’s pharmacy, or the Large restaurant. We did identify the prettier harbour in the adjacent Port Gaverne village as that used for some scenes in the series. We walked up onto the hills above the town for splendid views of the village and the coast.
Joan had wanted to “do” the trifecta of moors (Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor and Exmoor) so we headed back to Bodmin in order to take the road over that moor on our way to Tintagel. This moor is much less wild than Dartmoor, but still very pretty. At one point we came onto a large, almost flat plateau with sheep grazing and lambs frolicking everywhere, even right by the road. We surmised that this area had once been a wartime airfield. We were so pleased that the road ran over the hill tops and ridges, affording us the best views we have had in Cornwall. It’s a spectacular area.
In the middle of nowhere on Bodmin Moor we stopped to see Jamaica Inn, featured in the novel of the same name by Daphne Dumaurier. We had a beer in this very pleasant pub, sitting near a hearty fire and a floor plaque commemorating someone who had been murdered on that spot. [Postscript: once back in Sydney I had an eye operation to fix a detached retina. One of the post-op requirements was to be face down for most of the day. To make the time pass more bearably Joan had gotten me a number of audio books. One of these was Jamaica Inn.]
We went to Tintagel (the alleged birthplace of King Arthur) mainly to see the ruins of the Norman castle, and not many ruins at that. The setting however is what it was all about – I’m running out of superlatives. The steep steps leading up to the ruins on the hills gave our knees a hell of a workout.
We also visited the Old Post Office, an NT property, built as a yeoman’s cottage 600 years ago mainly of slate. We got an informative history lesson about the sort of people who built it and the times they lived in.