Last day with our golf cart so we are heading to the southern part of St. Mary’s today. There looks to be a lighthouse on the small peninsula that way out of Old Town and I do like a good lighthouse. We figure to park in the same area by the beach and the path looks fairly straight forward around the end of the island to the lighthouse. Our Scilly Cart map has a couple of local features marked on it that we will pass as well.
As today is Monday, we figure we can head back to the pottery place as well and go to another craft store that is close to the golf cart place. I love looking at crafts and such even if I don’t buy anything. Gives me inspiration for trying to do some things.
So we left our BnB and walked to pick up our cart once more
. We took the long way around to get to Old Town and that way we were able to go by the pottery place. He had some wonderful pots there. What we liked the most were his glazes. Really would have loved to get this very tall thin vase but just wasn’t sure at all how to get it home and while he probably would have shipped it, we just don’t need a tall thin vase. It would have to be stored as one of the cats in our house is rather clumsy and very inquisitive so many of my breakable items have been put into boxes for later enjoyment. We did get a small vase and a candle holder with the glazes that we liked.
Now we’ve got a package in our cart and while the Isles seem very calm and trustworthy, we still decide to take it back to our room before continuing. No sense leaving it in the cart for temptation. Then we head to the parking at Old Town and start down the path to the end of the island and the lighthouse.
On the way is an old church and a cemetery. As there is a fence in front of us, we guess that the path must go through the cemetery somehow. The church is very small but it is open so we walk in to see the small stained glass windows
Standing stones on the moors
. Only has about 5 pews on either side but it appears to still be a working church. The cemetery is rather extensive and while overgrown some, not totally and has a beloved but faded English garden feel. A man is working on the yucca plants and trimming the trees and pulling weeds. We stop to talk to him. He asks my hubby if he wants to help. Ever the gentleman and helpful person, my hubby says of course and asks what he would have him do. Luckily, the guy was kidding and was more than happy to stop work and talk to us for awhile.
He told us some of the history of the area and of the cemetery. He’s retired now but he used to work there taking care of the gardens all the time. Now he only does it a couple of days a week for pay but says he seems like he’s there much more. Takes a lot of maintenance with all the trees and trimming between gravestones. Finally we get around to asking about the path. He tells us that we go back to the fence and there is a stile over the fence. He recommends that we take that path until we get to the second stile then we go uphill and away from the coastal path because it is narrow and muddy today and probably slippery. Sounds like good advice.
As we climb over the stile, a family comes along behind us heading the same way and since I’m rather slow, we step aside to let them pass
Old Town Harbor
. We are walking along the Old Town Harbour and the tide is almost all out so not a lot of boats in the harbour but lots of exposed rocks and seaweed. As we go around the corner there is a rock beach where people have done the stacking stones ritual. We come across this phenomenon in many places around the world where people have stacked stones just cuz. Originally stones were stacked as cairns and then later as directions. now there are many different stores and histories of stacking stones, too many for this small short blog but you can look it up in Wikipedia but just typing in stacking stones and get all kinds of info. Often when we come across a lot of stacked stones, we will make our own stack as well or if it is one big stack, we will add to it, such as the cairns we have come across in Nepal. But today we stopped for some photos and then went on our way.
We are moving away from the seashore as we climb higher. There is a path that is still running along the edge of the shore but we think that’s where the churchman meant that it got wet and muddy. There are people still taking this path but I’m all for keeping it safe and slow these days. As we get higher, we can see the lighthouse across the small plateau. doesn’t look like much of a lighthouse but hey, the views are great and we can see off both sides of the island from here
End of St. Mary’s Isle
There are several points where you can meander down on the rocks and even get down to the water’s edge in many spots but that’s a lot of up and down and clambering around on rocks so we’re just going to do the ole folks meander across what looks like a moor with the short lavender and other ground plants. We get to the lighthouse and sit down to watch the boats and the sea. There are some bird rocks offshore (lots of birds sitting on the rocks). Ought to be some seal rocks too but we can’t find any. Some of the rocks are named in our map like Pulpit Rock. Not quite sure which one it is but there are some that look rather like a pulpit – with a good imagination.
We have some fruit and a drink and enjoy the scenery and the wind and the sun. We’re not alone up here as there are a few families wandering around and some couples on the rocks. But it’s still a lovely place and feels very solitary. The lighthouse itself has a small building with it but it’s not a house that would have ever had people living in it or working in it. just an automatic short tower on a high spot.
After a bit, we head back via almost the same path. There are some stones that could be Standing Stones or they could have been part of a fence at one time. We are choosing to believe that they were Standing Stones in the manner of Stonehenge or Avebury. When you have nothing to go on, why not make it match your desires!
Back at our cart, we head for Hugh Town and stop in the industrial park to find the craft center. It is a center and a workshop and people are inside doing stained glass, my favorite. There are some paintings and jewellery as well but nothing much that we liked. Some of the stained and fused glass was excellent though as it gave a real feeling of waves. I must figure out how to do that!
get some sandwiches to eat on the beach where we can see the quay and watch boats coming and going. A small sailboat comes into the harbor and we watch the sailor tie up to a buoy and take down the sails. We are watching to see how the sailor gets from the boat to show. The person disappears and then comes around the back of the boat in a small dingy
bear butt rock
. Don’t know where it came from because it wasn’t tied to the buoy before the sailboat arrived and it wasn’t being hauled behind the sailboat. As the person is rowing into shore, for the first time,we can see that it is a woman. Yea, go girl! She’s probably about late 50’s from her looks or else she’s much younger but has spent a lot of time in the wind on the water. She did really handle that sailboat expertly.
Tonight is our night to eat on the beach on the opposite side of Hugh Town, at the take away trailer of fish and chips so we don’t need to make a booking. By now we have walked about 5 miles every day – for me – with my hubby adding the extra miles on golf cart days to return the cart and walk home to the BnB. That’s probably about 4 miles more than my knees have been happy with each day so we’re done for today too. One nice thing a day is all I’ve been able to manage but at least I got here and saw stuff which is much better than a lot of the Brits we know (yes, I know, you never go visit what is in your backyard!). So I get dropped off again at our BnB and hubby takes back the cart for the last time.
Some more relaxing with the feet up and then we walk down to the beach to get our fish and chips
rocks at the end of the isle
. The mobile food truck is quite busy and popular and we are told it will be 45 minutes before we get our meal. wow. Hardly ever will we walk into a restaurant and stay if the wait is that long but this is the thing to do tonight so we find a seat and sit and watch the beach and the waves and the seagulls while we wait.
On the beach is a very unusual sailboat. It has been pulled up on the beach and is sitting about 5 or 6 feet off the beach on “feet”. Probably not the technical term and I was also informed that a sailboat of that size (probably at least 35 feet long) is now a yacht!. This boat is from France and comes over here every year about this time. the “feet” are two extensions off the bow that have flat platforms on the bottom so the boat can rest on it. The boat has also a double rudder in the stern that it is resting on as well. My hubby goes down to walk around it. really interesting boat but I’d really love to see how they get it up on the beach like that.
As the sun is going down, it is getting chilly and windy so I move over to some built in indentations in the wall with seats for people. The seagulls are very interested in what everyone is doing on the beach. As there have been a lot of seagull attack information in the news lately, we are being very careful to watch them as well. Think it is Brighton that the gulls will swoop down on people and steal their chips. It’s so bad that it has been compared to Tippi Hendron in The Birds. We don’t want that.!
Our fish and chips are finally done and hubby brings them down for us to eat. There is a crepe truck there as well but by the time we were done with our dinner, all the trucks had already cleared out and left so no dessert. Good meal and we only had a couple of seagulls try to walk up to us and were quickly shooed away.
Ah foo – only one day left in the lovely Isles of Scilly.