After nearly 8 hours of driving south we are in beautiful Cornwall, just on the edge of Devon and the Dartmoor National Park. We left the tiny narrow roads up north for the M6 roadway with pouring rain nearly to Exeter. There were signs all along the roads, “Tiredness can kill. Take a break.” Rest stops with facilities, restaurants and stores were available and welcome.
We arrived at the tiny village of Peter Tavy near Hawkshead. Our home for the week is a charming 15th century stone cottage owned by a lovely couple. Part of it is from the old village abbey. Apparently the villagers were encouraged to take pieces of it when Henry VIII ordered all the churches destroyed. Being here makes me realize just how young our country is. This is a working farm with horses and sheep in the pasture right across the street. The sun was out, and I was able to paint looking over the fence. (I know some of you will be surprised that I didn’t go over the fence to paint, but the sheep were close enough….)
Sunday was a beautiful day which we began at the tiny 15th century church. The vicar was somewhat surprised to find that our Episcopal service was nearly word for word like their Church of England service. They added the “Hail Mary” which surprised me until he explained that it was because it was the Church of St. Mary. After church we found a flea market at the Tavistock Town Hall, and I bought a lovely teapot for and 3 used books to rebind – all for 5 pounds, less than $9.
Monday morning bright and early we left for the southern coast to see St. Michael’s Mount. Similar but not quite as spectacular as Mont St. Michel in France, it was built after the Norman invasion in the 12th century. The path up is a steep climb across cobblestones and rocks, much of the time without railings – Gary called it the “misery path.” But we made it. (Julie, I thought of our trek up Mt. St. Michel and the old lady running past us….) I think this is the end for (of) us.
However….tomorrow we’re off to Port Isaac, the little fishing town on the north coast of Cornwall where the BBC TV series, Doc Martin, is filmed. This is what I came for.