15 July 2012
New Forest to St Martin by Looe
After a lovely English Breakfast, not a complete one, because I can't eat that much food at one meal, I left for Cornwall, with a few detours along the way! I wanted to get an early start as it was a good distance to travel, and also because the Olympic Torch was coming through Lyndhurst that morning and the entire area was turning out in force to see it! Because I was smitten with New Forest, my B&B hostess suggested I take a drive to see the Knightwood Tree on my way and that it would take me well away from all the hubbub.
I stopped several times to take a short walk in the woods. The amazing verdure of it filled my senses and I couldn't get enough of it! Coming from hot and dry Colorado and Arizona, the green and moist (actually it was so wet it was like walking on a sponge!) were a balm to my soul ~ I've been craving real green ever since I left Iowa six years ago!
So as I was walking a long, taking photos and drinking it all in, I stopped to take a photo of this lovely blossom (blackberry I think) and this bee came and landed just as I snapped the shutter. I was able to get several lovely portraits of him. And then, in an amazing moment, he flew up, landed briefly on my forehead, and I swear that he gave me a kiss! Just like that, and then he was gone ~ just the lightest of touches. One of those moments that surprises and overwhelms. I stood there in the woods, heart full and running over!
Just after stopping at Bodmin Moor to take a photo of these beautiful wild (wild!!!) foxgloves, I met up with the nicest couple who gave me better instructions on how to get to the Knightwood Tree. I'd gotten lost and miles off course following the instructions that I had! But yet another kind soul helped me find the right direction!
At long last, I ended up at the Knightwood Tree! Oldest tree in New Forest, about 600 years old! Pretty good for a forest where the trees were regularly cut for use in shipbuilding! It had been pollarded at some point, which accounts for the large branches that end somewhat oddly. All around were young trees, planted within the past decade or so, all with plaques. One was "The Queen's Tree" planted to commemorate an anniversary of New Forest, if my memory serves me correctly.
By late morning, I was on my way towards Cornwall and feeling very ready for lunch. I stopped at a roadside cafe and ordered a child's portion of fish and chips. This is what I got! A HUGE plate of food! I could only eat a small amount of it, but it was delicious! I'm developing a fondness for mushy peas and orange squash!
When I headed for Cornwall, feeling short on time, I simply programmed my destination into the Sat Nav (aka GPS) and asked for the shortest route. Lucky me that the shortest route went right by Lyme Regins, one of the places I really wanted to see as well as Dartmoor! Walking along the sea wall was one of those dream come true moments! It was pretty crowded with people, but with patience, I was able to take some great photos with no one in them.
I spent quite a while sitting on the rocky beach doing some little watercolor sketches. Loved listening to the sound of the rocks rolling in the surf, the feel of the chalky flinty stones, the cry of the gulls and the salty, sea-weedy smells of the oceanside!
I asked a fellow to take my photo for me and he made me laugh just as he took it! I felt like I should have been dressed in a Jane Austin era dress with a shawl wrapped around me rather than my jacket and jeans!
Especially when I got to the leaning stair ways on the bay side of the wall! All those years of wear on the steps, the tilt of them does make them a bit awkward! I thought of the history of people walking up and down them and all the movies I've seen them in ~ what a moment to stand there in person!
They were bowling at the Lyme Regis Bowling Club! Had to stop and watch for a bit! Love that they still have wardrobe guidelines for things like this!
Back on the road again, I drove through Dorchester just as a newly married couple walked out the doors of the church! Church bells pealing wildly! Was so glad I was stopped at a light so I could snap a photo of their car with the flowers in the back window!
Soon I was up on Dartmoor with lovely views and some clear sky finally!
Another rain shower and then the evening sun shown through lighting up the landscape and the beautiful foxgloves! Oh, how I wished I had more time to stop and drink it all in!
A little further down the road I came across this kneeling sheep by the side of the road. He looked up just as I took the photo!
Further on their were huge herds of sheep roaming freely, each flock marked with bright colors, some hot pink, bright blue and even green!
And at long last, I made it to St. Martin by Looe, to my bed and breakfast. I had a welcoming pot of tea in the conservatory and headed to bed! It felt as though I'd lived a lifetime on this beautiful day ~ so much to see and do and experience. My heart is full and I'm so grateful to have this opportunity to travel here!