|April was not a good month for me. My 80 year old grandmother had a severe fall at the end of March, leaving her in need of pretty much full time care (which was left to me). As well as this my sister-in-laws hip dislocated again, which isn't that unusal as she has EDS, however, she also has a 2 month old baby boy, making life a bit tougher on all of us. Then Mart (my lovely other half) came down with a mystery bug which attacks him at roughtly the same time each year during which time he can't even keep water down which wouldn't be so bad, only it usually last 2 weeks and he only weighs about 9 stone after a full meal and really can't afford to lose anymore weight.
So I'm stressed. AND because of it I havn't had 5 minutes to myself, let alone visited any stones. So when the chance for a night in a caravan in Cornwall pops up I jump with both feet and grab it with both hands! I get cover for granny (a family member helps but doesn't seem too pleased about it) and I prop Mart up in the car with a sick bag and OFF WE GO!
Leave nice and early on the morning of the 29th and arrive at the caravan site by 2pm. Plenty of time to refill the car and drive to The Pipers which are huge but almost impossible to photograph! Mart doing well so far and I suddenly feel more alive than I have felt for weeks. Wonderful. Then onward to The Merry Maidens which is beautiful in the spring sunshine and we have the site to ourselves! I was surprised at the how small the stones were, so maybe I should have started there instead of at The Pipers. Next to Tregiffian who some muppet built a road through. Which is nice. Whos idea was that?? I have a small strop but recover quickly when I notice that it has a space man on that carved stone. He has a jet-pack and everything (Von Daniken was right!)
We stretch and consult the map. It might be dark soon so we have to make some decisions. We think Men-an-Tol for sunset is the best plan, with a visit to Lanyon Quoit on the way. And what a decision it is! Lanyon is beautiful and well worth the drive by itself. We spend about an hour there watching the sun drop in the sky and then head to Men-an-Tol. Now I have been forewarned, this site is a bit of a let-down because its much smaller than it looks in the photos. I had also been told that its a hell of a trek from the car park so I was a bit worried about the invalid I was towing along. We start the walk nice and slow, noticing the HUGE stones built into the wall on the left. They dont look like typical drystone wall type stones. Then we turn right and its right there. Not far. Less than 10 minutes even with a guy who hasn't eaten in 12 days. AND its beautiful. Yes its small, but so am I! Its lovely and the perfect place to spend sunset and forget the stress at home. I finally let out all that tension and feel like I could sit there all night.
Suddenly Mart thinks he might be able to eat something! We jump in the car and head back to town so Mart can stare at all the places to eat and decide what he wants. All in all, a bloomin' good day!
Thanks to the wonderful amount of seagulls on the roof of the caravan, we are up before 7am and ready for more stones. I had already written down directions to Stannon Moor so we head off in that direction. Now I KNOW there are loads more things to see in Cornwall but we have limited time and we usually travel with friends who like to see these things too. So we opted for this reasonably obscure site knowing we would be back to see some of the other "better known" sites another time. So Stannon it is. And dificult to find it is. We ended up at the end of the track where there is a small cairn like circle where someone has had a fire recently. "Well thats not it, its bigger than that". Its just then that I notice something higer up on the left and what a beast it is! The stones may not be big but there seems to be hundreds of them! Wondering around on the moor we can see bits and pieces that look like other old structures; walls and avenues and perhaps a cairn. Its a good site and we celebrate by going to a Japanese Garden for the afternoon (My other obsession is Bonzai Trees and we keep Koi so it makes sense!) We have managed to bag ourselves another night in the caravan so I cook pizza and we have a peaceful night in.
So now we have the journey home and wake up early (again) to choose some places to visit. We decide on Spinsters Rock and I remember there is one in a pub on the way so we head towards Dartmoor in the rain! Now whats the name of the pub... Its meaty... 2 meats... I remember thinking "urgh, meaty"... We start driving around the little towns at a snails pace peering at every pub and up every side street. Then there it is, the Oxenham Arms! I knew it was meaty! What a lovely pub! Stone floors and a very nice bar man who let us wonder around the pub (mistaking the Victorian folly for the real thing before being redirected to the correct room!) and even though I usually really hate this "borrowing" of ancient sites, I actually quite liked it here.
Next to Spinsters, which is a lovely little "magic mushroom" shape but unlike most quoits I couldn't bring myself to walk under this one. Looked far to precarious for my liking. We decide we can squeeze in Grimspound if we get a shuffle on so probably only spend 40 minutes with Spinsters, which is a shame because it really is nice apart from the angry farm dog. I say my usual "Thank You" to the stones under the confused gaze of the owner of the pissed-off dog. I guess these folk don't speak to the stones often...
Anyway, Grimspound. Well. Its horrid isn't it? Maybe the rain didnt help but its horrid. Felt like a grave yard. We walked around to the entrance and I could hardly bring myself to go in there. Stood there for a little while before having words with myself and pushing on. Those little enclosures don't "feel" like homes (and besides, surely they are too small!) they just don't feel right and we didn't stay long at all. Got back to the car just as the heavens opened to start the drive back.
What a holiday! But its back to being the family nurse for a few weeks...
Posted by faerygirl
12th July 2010ce
Edited 12th July 2010ce
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