21 May – St Michael’s Mount

A funny little five kilometre walk today. Not scenic.

Marianne and I started our day by walking into Penzance to pick up a few supplies. I’d left my English adapter plug behind a couple of places ago… dumb rocky move. First store I walked in had exactly what I needed. Next stop “Boots,” a major pharmacy chain here. More sunscreen (me) and ibuprofen (Marianne) acquired, we were ready to walk along the shore to Marazion.

Not an inspired path. First we walked between the railway track and the harbour. Eventually we made it down to the beach. Along the way we stoped a wonderful beach side cafe. The young man who owns this enterprise serves coffees and teas in an eclectic mix of china cups. He also rents surf boards, and invites people to partake in yoga and gymnastics. Something for all age groups and a variety of interests. His little tables sit along the sea wall and command an excellent view of St Michael’s Mount. We were in Marazion at our hotel by shortly after eleven. Too early to check in so we dropped our packs and headed over to the island.

As the tide was still too high for the causeway to be dry, we took one of the little passenger ferries across. Lunch for me was a cream tea. Much better than the one at Tintagel but I still couldn’t get through it all. Very rich dish.

Marianne and I have now explored the church, castle and gardens of the Mount and are kicking back on a sunny grassy meadow until the causeway is fully above the water line. ….. and it is.

So where is Pat? She has hurt her Achilles and is taking a couple of days off walking. She missed nothing today. When we meet up with her in a while I’m hoping to discover that the day off will have eased her considerable pain. The plan at the moment is for Pat to not walk until we start the Ridgeway. Our fingers are crossed that by then she’ll be able to do so. Needless to say she, and we, are concerned.

St Michael’s Mount has an interesting and long history. A tidal island, it has always been a good defensive and trade position. In the first century BC Cornish tin was exported from here for onward shipping to the Mediterranean. In the 12th century it was a Priory until Henry VIII’s dissolutions in 1548. A castle was built around and incorporating the Priory. It was a Royalist stronghold but surrendered to Cromwell after a lengthy siege during he civil war in 1645. It is now inhabited by the St Aubyn family.

Pat update: She was at our very nice hotel when Marianne and I returned from our bout of tourism on the Mount. She had some positive news. Before she caught the bus from Penzance to here she noticed a Chinese medical clinic. Acupuncture being one of the treatments advertised, she went in. She’s been properly stuck with needles, had some other treatment and will return tomorrow for another session. As Pat says, there’s good evidence that acupuncture works for pain control so she’s hopeful that this and the upcoming days of rest will see her able to continue on the Ridgway.

We are now engaged in our usual early evening pursuits of cleaning selves, hand washing laundry – our socks were truly in need – journaling (Marianne) blogging (me) researching bus schedules (Pat). Then a pub dinner and another ridiculously early evening.

Good night from Marazion.

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