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ENGLAND     DIARY 3   2016   

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 Diary 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10


From the Devon I'm now entering the Cornwall....

17/5 A relatively early start to reach The Eden Project early enough to avoid the crowds. On the way, I get to enjoy even more narrow roads, cut into the landscape, and lined with colourful flowers and hedges.
The Eden area use to be a china-clay dig, but a huge garden and two biomes have been build. They are called the biggest greenhouses of the world, and if you count air volume in a single room, I guess they are. The entrance is a steep 25 pound, but then I can return within a year. I guess that will be cooler, if you live around here...  It is a greyish day, and I skip the outside garden at first.
I had hoped for a bit more of a botanical garden, but it is either crop or just easy-to-grow plants in huge amounts. That said, the sheer size of the bobble constructions is amassing. One half is for Mediterranean plants, meaning that climate, but from around the world. A few cacti, a lot of crops like vine and olive. Some areas are nicely laid out, others seem to be dominated by the toughest plants: Controlled by Darwinism...

The Rainforest Biome is warmer and larger. I still have it almost to my self, and do some loops. It is a dense vegetation with huge trees and quite a good impression of a clearing in the rainforest. Their collection of Amorphophallus titanum is impressive: Except from a plant flowering today, they have all stages from small buds to fruits on a plant. Again, it is mainly about crops like rubber, yam and alike.
After I have seen most, I talk with a gardener for more than an hour. It is really a joke: They are only five gardeners in this huge tropical biomer, while the administration, guides, cafe staff and others must count hundreds. Despite their entrance fee, they relay on funding, and several area are neglected. Others are, after years of neglecting, tried to be saved.
They have other issues. The biome should be a perfect controlled environment, but they suffer a lot from fungus, when they have cold or wet periods. My guess it the total lack of wind, and I'm told that they are only able open the top-windows. Those along the button have never been opened, due to computer problems. Controlled environment my foot. No wonder the older leaves all are black from fungus.
I would have thought their pest-control would have been easy in a huge area like this, but apparently, they keep it a bit too cold during the winter for the good insects. And the administration rather spray than use organic control. A few years ago, they rather have a theme-park than the garden. Even today, a real loud balloon artist entertains in the Mediterranean section starts, after I left it, and can be heard everywhere. All these things sounds way too familiar.
Then I talk with his boss, who is eager to show me some of their more interesting plants. Along them the Fruit de Meer, which have the world's largest fruits - in 35 years time or so.
I end the tour up in the viewing platform, way up under the roof. It is an astonishing construction, and it could be used for some fantastic. Like a botanical garden...

It is still a sunless day, but I do some loops in the rather large garden. More crops from around the world and areas that lack attention from the absent gardeners. Their fern areas are scattered with treeferns, and some areas are well kept, but with a rather strange mix. Never the less, I'm sure most will find the garden beautiful. I finish up with a mug of tea and a sandwich, and just as I'm about to leave, the sun finds a crack in the clouds. Never the less, I head on to the Lost Garden of Heligan.
I take the narrow costal road, leading me through a few small villages and a lot of narrow roads, winding their way through farmland and hedges and overgrown stonewalls. The amount of flowering plants are astonishing, but I keep failing to capture it on a photo.
From time to time, I get a short glimpse of the the coast or some huge green hills with sheep and cows through the hedges. The sun find small holes, but refuses to play along all the time.
I do a stop in one village with a tiny harbour and a perfect beach. Strangely enough without any tourists.

I reach the Lost Garden of Heligan a bit before three, and go straight in. It covers 81 hectares, and is the remain of a estates garden, which were keep pristine for 400 years. Then neglected in 100, and now restored in the last 25 years.
This means here are an abundance of enormous Rhododendrons and other flowering trees. Some over fifteen metres high and with a stem over half a meter in diameter. The garden consist of many areas, some with crops outside, some in glasshouses. One area is called the jungle, and it truly is. Here are also a small Italian garden, melon house, flower garden, a New Zealand area with even more tree ferns, and a Sikkim enclosure, some emus!, pigeons, a Himalayan hanging bridge, a cave and much more. The outer areas are more or less undisturbed forest with lakes and pathways.
I do  most of the paths, and try to capture the impressions. I can't put a name on this type of garden. Some are romantic, some kitchen garden, some collections, some just there, but everything is well kept. And restoration continues, and new features are installed. Impressive, considering the entrance is only 13,50 pound. I guess the owners just love the place, and pay quite some them self. Thanks to John Nelson and Tim Smit!

At five, I have seen plants enough for one day. I recon that if I have had company, it would have taken considerably longer time in both places. I head further down the coast, but this time a bit into the huge hills. Despite the lack of sun, it is so beautiful. I do a few stops, one to make a photo of the ancient road signs. Some in cast iron, some are wooden plates. All nicely painted.
The first campsite I find, want nineteen pound. A bit too steep for a parking lot and a hot shower, I think. The next can do with 13,50. Alternately, I could park next to the Falmouth castle for free, like many other campers. Exactly why I didn't, remains a mystery. I get the most remote lot, real uneven and right next to the road. Around a mile to the toilets, and no common room or internet. To add to the insult, it start to drizzle, when I prepare my dinner at a bench in the open.
I make the gadget for the stow, but due to the wind, the shelter I provided for it tilts it twice, and the third time, it is fare from warm. Back to the drawing board: A tube in metal, small holes in the button, reaching half way up the mug ought to do it. Just for excitement, I try it within the car, and in four minutes, I have a nice mug of hot tea. The Dutch UHT milk remains fresh, although soon used up. Then again, it is keeps cold as recommended after opening, during most of the night.
It seems like the rain might continue the coming days, but weather forecast here is questionable at best. With a bit of luck, it should be good at one side of the peninsula. I try to plan it in a way, that I avoid the Islands of Scilly in the weekend.
I work on the diary and photos the entire evening, sitting in the car with the steering wheel off. Works perfect, but a bit cold. The rain stopped, but the sun alludes me. I hope for a heat wave in Wales, when I get there!

18/5 Real early in the morning, a harsh shower hit the car. I close the window, role over and sleep some more. When I finally give up on the sun, the lead-grey clouds look like all-day rain, when I hit my personal shower. On my way back to the car, it is a glorious sunshine, with only a few clouds in the horizon. And my shower was not that long.
Glendurgan Garden is close bye, and I reach it a hour before it opens. Twice on the way here, I got showers, and that is apparently how the day is going to be. And the next days, they say.
I grab the umbrella, and walk to the nearby Trebah Garden. They are already open, and I hurry into it, before the rain reach it. The private owned garden dates back to 1838, and many of the giant Rhododendrons are 140 years old. It is laid out in a giant ravine, leading all the way out to the sea. Both gardens are subtropical, and many plants have found their way here, through the years. The numerous tree-ferns was brought to England as ballast in the old days, and I guess England have more, than New Zealand these days. At least this tall.
Despite the sun refuses to play along, the garden is a magnificent sight.  Small lawns surrounded by palms, tree-ferns, flowering bushes like Rhododendrons and Magnolias along with trees and bushes with different colours of their leaves. Along the creek, numerous flowering plants lighten up, even this greyish day.
In the more rough areas along the creek, the Mammoth Leaf dominates.
I follow the creak to the sea, and find another path back. The sun do peak through a few times, but I would love to get some more pictures of the garden, with sun on. When a specially black and big cloud appears, I go for a cup of tea and a scone.
As the sun returns, I desperately try to capture the better parts of the garden. This is one of the prettiest gardens I ever seen, and it even have some real interesting plants from around the world, like the Aloe polyphylla from Lesotho. As the rain returns, I head back to my car and Glendurgan Garden. My umbrella disintegrates the first time I try to shake off the water, and I get real wet shoos, walking on the footpath back between the gardens.

Glendurgan Garden is owned by the National Trust. I have seen their sign many times, but only now, I realises a membership not only give you free entrance at all their 500 sights, but also free parking. And considering the entrance for gardens is around 9-12 pound and the parking 3-4, the 63 pound should be paid back quite fast. Until now, I could have saved at least 45 pound.
The garden is roughly the same layout, but with two ravines. It is fare from the same detailed design, but the large lines and huge trees are fantastic. Again, the Rhododendrons are for most of them in full flower. Some of the huge trees have epiphytes on the branches, mainly ferns and Bromeliads, but also a few orchids.
Along the creek, a hedge labyrinth make up another ingredient to the garden. At the seaside, a tiny village clings to the rocks, which seem to be sledge. On the way up, I find a few terrestrial orchids, and even more flowering bushes. The sun is a bit more helpful here, and I don't unfold the raincoat a single time. 

This include the gardens for the day, and I head further south to England's most southern part; The Lizard. While I drive through one of the tiny villages on the costal back-road, I spot a Free Internet sign in a cafe. It is, but the sandwich with cheese and chutney and a pot of tea cost eight pound.
I find a bigger road, leading to Helston. Here, a huge Tesco have an ATM and dinner for later. Then I find the peninsular The Lizard, and start walking to Bass Point on a gravel road. It is windy, and despite I can see the water on both sides, the road seems to run on the top for ever.
The next little trail leads to Church Cove, where a tiny church and a few huts make up a tiny community. The ancient gravestones on the churchyard is overgrown with real long lichens, which make a fantastic motive.
The land ends in a abrupt fall, and the cliffs are marvellous. I walk quite some to both sides of the ravine, which leads to a tiny harbour. The entire area is either bare rocks or grass, covered in flowers. The rocks them self covered in many forms of lichens.
When some dark clouds pulls in, I head to the most southern part of both the peninsular and England; Lizard Point. The sun is here, and the temperature raises to some comfortable, despite the wind. The cliffs are even more breathtaking, the flowers more numerous and the entire sight fantastic. Tiny shops and cafes in tiny sheds on the rim, a lighthouse on the top, and many small trails around the area.
I do some long walks on the edges of the cliffs, down to the harbour and even into a teahouses, just to  make a photo of someone having Cornish Cream Tea.

It is getting kind of late, but a sign showing to Kynance Cove lures me in. It is on the opposite side as Church Cove, and offers a completely other biotope. It is more heather, and fare from as lush and green. The cliffs, on the other hand, are just as magnificent. While I climb down to catch some motives of the sea cliffs, I discover some orchids. It is a parasite, and don't bother to make photosynthesise it self. 
I spend a bit too much time here, but the drastic landscape fascinates me, and the sun and warmth have to be enjoyed.
I head further west on, and look for a campsite. The first sign show to a camper AND tent site, but after several kilometres driveway, I told they only accept campers. The next one is on a farmers field, the toilets have seen better, the reception closed, but the sign say 15 pound. I'm not that desperate - yet. The next is on a real nice location, the reception closed and the sign say 18 pound. Now, I'm that desperate.
As soon as the sun descents, it is getting cold. I freeze a bit while I work in the car during the evening, and I am so glad I found the huge duvet!

19/5 It seems to be dry, but the sun is fare away, behind the lead-greyish clouds. I find someone at the office, and are aloud to pay. She recommend me a walk along the southern coast, despite the weather. Considering the time and lack of sun anyway, I give it a go. A bit down the trail, I meet one of the locals. She is out to find four renegade sheep, and we have a longer talk.
Then I find the narrow path to the cliffs and eventually the beach. A bit further up the coast, a big house is found. The grey weather, the crows murky call, and the entire atmosphere make me think of Tintin and the Black Island. The flora is interesting from the flowering apples to the many herbs. When I reach the big house, it turns out to be rather posh after all - Cornish style.
The many, tall and low walls in the area is made from huge granite boulders, nicely cut, to small sledge stones, nicely put into patterns. I try to reach the old smuggler's caves, but the waves are against me. It is real windy, and I realises; I have left with both umbrella (which have been fixed) and raincoat, and the black clouds make me return

A bit further down the coast, I was recommended St. Michaels Mount. Both the castle, but especially the subtropical garden should be worth a visit. And as they are owned by the National Trust, I get free access with my new membership. Parking on the mainland, on the other hand, is a effective operation with many employed.
It is now low tide, and I can walk out there, and now I remember both umbrella and raincoat. If I had been smart, I would have brought my knitted hat as well. A cobblestone path leads to the tall island, topped with a 11th century monastery. It have later been reformed to castle and was restored in 1878.  A small village clings to the rocks at the harbour, but despite the cafes, I head straight for the garden, considering it is kind of dry at the moment.
It is fare from a large garden, but it is real special and well maintained. It sits on the steep, nearly vertical southern cliffs, and have a wide variety of flowering plants and succulents. I just wished it also had sun....
I try to get some good pictures despite the lack of sun, but getting fare enough away from the beds, causes a problem at the steep cliffs. It have originally been laidout somewhere around 1730, and many of the steps and walls seem original. Despite I'm cold to the bone, I do several tours up and down it.

Hoping for a bit of shelter, I then seek out the castle. The ancient stairs up to it, is the Pilgrims Steps, but inside, no humbleness can be found. The interior from the 1700 to 1900 seems intact, and the large hall even have a fireplace. The stained glass windows are fantastic, especially in the church. In some of the hallways, portraits of present inhabitants way back to the 16. century can be seen. Only the urge for a sandwich draws me out in the drizzle. And then it turns out I'm too early, I can only get cakes for now. Well, that have to do. I find a old and deep sofa, and try to warm up.
When I'm heading back to the car, the tide have gone in, and I have to take the ferry. Well, it is just a little boat, but it does the trick.

I go back through the rather big town of Penzance, which would be a nice visit - a sunny day. Instead, I head for the significantly smaller village of Mousehole. Here, the rain is lighter, and soon stops. I wished the wind would do so too. It is a little fishing village, which seems to have been adopted tourism well.
The narrow streets and passages, the old houses, the hilly environment and the harbour make is a real nice place to wander around. I want to return one sunny day.

My next sight was supposed to be The Scilly Islands, but the weather is even worse there. Instead, I turn in to Trengwainton Garden. It is a bit rough, but have some excellent areas. Especially the Walled Garden, with both vegetables and flowering herbs and trees are a real treat. Again, the tree-ferns and Rhododendrons create a great frame for the rest of the plants, along with a few creeks and the hilly landscape in general.
At the top, just below the mansion, a vide terrace provides a magnificent view all the way out to the sea - a clear day. The ancient brick-stone walls are overgrown with thick layers of mosses, just as the stems from the huge trees.

It is getting late, and I start looking for a place to park for the night. I think I might find it on my route to the next site, but that fails. Instead, I get to drive a fantastic, narrow, winding and real interesting road - through thick fog. I will do this west-cost road a clear day. I return to a larger road, a campsite turns up, and I call it a day. I sit and working in the gaming-room, but it is real cold, and I feel so much like going back to the car and start it, just to get some heat. Considering this is as fare south as I go, I really fear the northern Wales by now!
Despite the risk of loosing some fingers to frost, I make some slideshows with the day's impressions. Then I finish up the recent day's general photos in this slideshow.

It is time to start a new page, but I remain in the very south, and will explore the Cornwall more on page 4

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