|A mini mega meet was held in West Penwith on Sunday when Mr Hamhead, Ocifant, Scubi63 and Rex the Dog met up for a walk and chinwag.
Meeting at the Men an Tol 'car park' we were greeted by signs of the cloud cover that had hidden several of Cornwalls finest hills as Mr Hamhead had driven down from the east dispersing and a slim hope that we might see some sunshine.
Introductions over-with, the three intrepid explorers (and Rex) headed up the track towards the Men an Tol, swapping stories of injuries to foot bones. Considering how prone to self harm they appeared to be they reached the stones with no problems. Gray skies still lingered over-head making photography difficult (and Rex didn't help, wanting to get into every shot).
The usual discussions about why and what if and how over, the trio uncovered the top of a bottle embedded in the soil beside the eastern stone. It was decided to leave it where it was but Ocifant would report it to those who look after the site.
The next stop was to be at Men Scryfa but the field was full of cattle and both Scubi and Ocifant decided to give a close up view a miss. Mr Hamhead braved the bovine infested field and was greeted with a good light to catch the inscription on this most famous of Cornish inscribed stones.
Blue sky had appeared by the time the trio set off east once again along the track. Ocifant had a reference for a well hidden somewhere in amongst the bracken at the head of the shallow valley. Despite much plunging about in the undergrowth the well remained elusive and so the journey continued towards Nine Stones.
Climbing the hill opened up views over the surrounding countryside. By now Carn Galva to the north was lit by sunlight that was slowly creeping south. As the trio reached the first cairn on the ridge it began to feel like a summers day and Mr Hamhead used the stop to discard jumper and revel in the wind on his bare arms. Poor old Rex had by this point decided he was not too keen on Cornish gorse and heather, not a problem for 6ft tall humans with boots on, but to soft townie dogs with nothing but paws and a bit of hair, it hurt! Scubi decided that a lift was what was needed and so Rex was ceremoniously carried into the cairn.
Like Nine Stones, this cairn has been cleared in the last year or so. The stones now stand proud of the gorse that once hid its glory, a smallish stone in the centre of the cairn with a vein of quartz running right through it. With the sun now shining much taking of photos took place.
From here to the Nine Stones is only a short walk and a diversion to find a menhir was suggested but ignored. With the sun in their eyes the trio reached the circle now in its full glory, after clearance and re-erection. More photos, with Rex and without, before heading off towards Ding Dong mine, an ever present landmark on this walk.
On the way Mr Hamhead drew the groups' attention to another cairn hidden away to the left of the path. He had discovered it several years ago whilst undertaking one of his usual wayward walks which do their best to avoid footpaths. Since then it to has been cleared of undergrowth and now the full circle of stones can be clearly seen.
With talk of photo editing filling the air and how to stitch two pictures together taking centre stage the trio left the ridge and stepped forward in time to view some of Cornwalls more recent history. Ding Dong mine engine house stands like a centennial over the west Penwith moors. All around it is evidence of how much work was done underground and it was discussed as to how much ancient history has been lost amongst the workings.
Thankfully, things do remain amongst the tips and shafts that litter the landscape. After leaving the mine, Ocifant led the trio to Bosiliack entrance grave, hidden away amongst the bracken and requiring Mr Hamhead to fight his way to the top of a waste tip to find it. All agreed it is one of the most special sites in the area and there was much talk of having similar constructions designed in gardens at home.
Re tracing steps a path was reached that took the trio to the road where it was decided to return to the cars before driving to Lanyon Quoit. Ocifants back was beginning to play up and Mr Hamheads little toe had had enough and was starting to throb.
After having all of the previous sites to themselves they would find Lanyon busy with children sitting on top and others wanting to get photos without human encroachment. Once again it was time to have a good yap and wait for others to disperse, the problem then was how to get an original shot…or at least make the most of the weather conditions.
It was then time for Ocifant to say goodbye and head back to Mikki in Penzance. Mr Hamhead and Scubi (plus Rex) went to the pub for a pint and to plan the afternoons visit to Tregaseal circle and Carn Kenidjack.
A good walk had been had, and one that no visitor to West Penwith should miss.
Posted by Mr Hamhead
17th October 2007ce
Edited 17th October 2007ce