Friday June 14: Day 3 Marazion to Porthcurno

Miles Today 16.1, Cumulative 42.8

The first 7 miles were easy, flat ground around Mounts Bay to Mousehole; first over low sand dunes, then along the beach and finally a very long promenade.

Marazion is best known for the causeway linking it with St Michael’s Mount, gifted by Edward the Confessor to the Benedictine monks of Mont St Michel in Brittany. Henry V seized it back during the wars with France. I didn’t have time to visit the island this trip

At high tide a boat ferries you across

As I approached Penzance the path runs next to the railway line and main road. Guess who is funding the improvements to the coastal defences

No doubt Boris will continue the funding despite his tax cuts (typed in sarcastic font)

Penzance has one of the few remaining lidos in the UK, closed for repair at the moment

Penzance merges into Newlyn which is still an active fishing port. I liked this statue dedicated to fisherman lost at sea

The path then follows the road to Mousehole.

It passes the old Pendeen lifeboat station which is now a memorial commemorating the disaster in 1981. The “Solomon Browne” was launched in hurricane conditions to go to the rescue of the “Union Star” . Both vessels were wrecked with the loss of all hands.

It is hard to believe looking at the sea on a calm June day how dangerous it is in severe weather. This was brought home to me by the number of memorials to lost ships and sailors that I have walked past over the last 2 days.

It is sobering to think that the crewed lifeboats (and most of the shore support) are unpaid volunteers and that the RNLI rely almost entirely on donations and legacies for their funding (a small amount is raised from merchandising). Since 1824, 600 lifeboat crew have lost their lives trying to save others.

I arrived in Mousehole in brilliant sunshine. I passed the house where the last Cornish person to speak Cornish as her first language lived. No one knows where the name comes from but it is a beautiful village

The path then took to the cliffs, passing the point where the Spanish invaded west Cornwall in 1595. 400 houses in Mousehole, Newlyn and Penzance were set on fire before the Spanish retreated back to their boats.

Fantastic views back across Mounts Bay. I could see back to Lizard Point but it looked just like a smudge when I tried to photograph it. I arrived in Lamorna cove for lunch.

It then became much more rugged passing through a lovely wood before crossing a boulder field on the beach. Just before arriving in Porthcurno I looked for the Logan Stone. I couldn’t find it but it used to rock if you stood on it, at least until some Royal Navy seamen toppled it in 1824. They were forced to restore it at their expense.

the Logan stone is midway along the ridge.

I eventually arrived in Porthcurno just in time to go to the open air Minack theatre to see a show about the life of Cole Porter, based on Around his songs.

Conceived by Rowena Cade and built initially by her and her gardener it it set in steep cliffs below the house where she used to live. As you can see, it overlooks the sea. The person sitting next to me told a story that once the attention of the audience was taken by a pod of dolphins cavorting in the sea below the theatre.

It was cold! The female actors were in cocktail dresses, they must have been freezing. The piano player had a hot water bottle to keep his hands warm between songs. A very enjoyable evening and I would recommend this as a thing to do if you visit Cornwall. I was pleased to snuggle under my duvet though.