At last, the pilgrimage has started for real! I set off from Land’s End at a little past 8:15 this morning. It has been a beautiful day here; very hot, but a little breeze blowing from the sea which was very welcome.
The first part of my route today was inland to St Buryan. I took a couple of detours; one to avoid a couple of dozen cows who wouldn’t get out of the way of the still that I need to cross – the resulting detour took me through a patch of bog and waste high nettles 🙁 – The second detour was to go and take a look at Alsia Well. There is a lot of active witchcraft in this part of Cornwall, and it was evident in the various items hanging from trees here.
There were 16 stiles to cross in this first 5 miles of the route. Most of them were stone, although many of them were much higher than this one in the picture.
St Buryan is an interesting church, with an even more interesting history. The parish was for some time a ‘Royal Peculiar’ and it also had ‘Extended Sanctuary’ which provided protection beyond the church. The limit of the sanctuary was marked by a large number of stone cross, many of which are still in place.
In the thirteen hundreds the church was excommunicated because of a row about control of religious matters!
Beyond St Buryan I headed back to the coast, picking up the South West Coast Path in Lamorna Cove. On the way I past the Merry Maidens – a group of standing stones that legend says were a group of local girls who broke the rules about dancing on the Sabbath!
Walking it to Lamorna was not difficult – climbing out was a different thing altogether!
Climbing and descending, climbing and descending, I worked my way around the coast, through Mousehole and Newlyn and finally to Penzance.
Tomorrow is another day of climbs and descents on my way to Porthlevan.
Some photos from today can be seen at my facebook page www.facebook.com/2BAPilgrim/