Wednesday, September 28, 2011

St Ives- Day One (from Yesterday)

St Nicolas Church in St. Ives

Some people are born to love the water. Others could spend their entire lives without stepping foot in the stuff (luckily for the rest of us personal hygiene wins out enough for a shower).

Me? I realized I was the former when I first stepped into the warm waters of the Pacific. From then I was hooked. Something about its organized chaos (we already know the next 300 years of tides), its raw power, its enveloping embrace. It's addicting.

So I swapped the warm waters of the Pacific for the (much) colder waters of England. However, the water still leaves me in awe, and England's varying coastline leaves no one wanting.

I rolled into St. Ives by train. St. Ives is a town in Western Cornwall, which got its start in fishing and mining. It was because of mining that the famous Cornish Pasty was born. Basically the miner needed some way to eat hearty meals without worrying about getting soot and other nasty stuff on their food. The answer was to nestle meat and veg in a thick savoury pasty crust. This was the miners could easily grasp the food (and not worry about food rolling away of falling off a plate) and keep the innards away from soot. I know I have to get the real thing on my trip!

I am staying at The Queens Hotel, and for a mere 60GBP a night a get an ensuite room, wifi (questionable, I am writing this offline as we speak), and breakfast. The best part? Sub 5 minute stroll to the coastline.

Tropical Paradise? No, England!
The waters of St. Ive's do not disappoint. When the sun hits I am rewarded with azure and turquoise colours, undulating in an endless dance. The water is surprisingly clear... a very far cry from the Thames. It reminds me of Poole/Sandbanks in Dorset on the Jurassic coast. Who says England is dreary?

Anyways, I checked in and immediately (well after cursing at the wifi) went for a jog. I am now a firm believer in jogging to get to know a town better and see the sights. I jogged around the harbour, watching people soaking up the last rays of sunlight before it dipped over the town. The Harbour is lined with fish and chip shops and pasty shops-- I make mental notes as I jog by.

I suppose the downside of coast line is the, hmmm... varying elevation? I hug the coastline and start huffing uphill to the National Coastwatch Institution. These guys got one of the best views in St. Ives but for good reason. They are on the lookout for ships/boats/surfers/kayakers in distress in the coastal waters.

The NCI shares this amazing view with St Nicolas Church, which arguably may have one of the best views as far as churches go. Perched overlooking Porthmeor Beach, even I would not mind attending a sermon here. Luckily there was none going on, so on I went.

After literally running thru sand in Porthmeor Beach, I caught up again with the South West Coastal Path. This is a National Trust trail which, as the name suggests, hugs the Cornwall Coastline, amassing an impressive 600+ miles. I did not feel up to that daunting task, however went for a few miles on it, stopping every few minutes to snap some photos and simply soak up the coastline. I thought of my Coast to Coast walk, and wondered if I would ever muster the courage to try a walk 300% longer.

Halloumi Burger
Maybe another trip.

Food: Blas Burgerworks – Man up try the vegan burger. Made with halloumi cheese, roasted red peppers, and mushrooms, it is a behemoth to behold and eat. 

Drink: Skinners SkinDog – a great light accompaniment to the burger. Would be great on the beach watching a sunset.

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