Cornwall - the land of pasties, mines and amazing roads

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by #philsmith, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. #philsmith

    #philsmith Desktop Adventurer

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    My stop on the return journey was one I desperately wanted to make.

    Anyone who quickly searches the internet for Cornwall will come across an image of this location at one point.

    I needed to explore properly

    Botallack Mine was a group of mines but the image of the Crown Engine Houses below is the most photographed Engine Houses in Cornwall and you can see why.

    Clinging to the side of the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the larger building on the left was built in 1835 and weighs approximately 1200 tons, all brought down the side of a cliff. The second building was built in 1860.

    These for me are a photographic representation of the Cornish spirit and of the human pioneering spirit.

    In our modern times with our technological advances and machinery it would be doubtful these would be built nor the mines themselves which stretched 2.5 kms out to sea would be deemed safe or viable but without hesitation these were and made an industry that supported a community.

    Proof that no problem is impossible to overcome.

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    #21
  2. bruno twip

    bruno twip On Island Time

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    Great pictures, :D
    #22
  3. #philsmith

    #philsmith Desktop Adventurer

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    Thanks so much.

    So a bit closer investigation of the area I found this small headland and rather ropey looking path. It definately required me to be sat on it

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    Once on the path my view to the left

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    And to the right

    no time for a fear of heights

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    But when I got there what a view

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    I sat for while taking in this view, the waves crashing into the cliffs below. With every wave another worry or problem washed away with it into insignificance.

    I've always considered riding as fuel for the soul, the ability to get away from everything and free your mind. If ever there was a moment that cemented in your mind your reason for doing something it was now.

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    #23
  4. #philsmith

    #philsmith Desktop Adventurer

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    After a short time of contemplation and relaxation I decided I had to explore the Engine Houses I could see down on the side of the cliff

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    It was fantastic

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    That said to get behind them for these shots you quite literally stood on a 12 inch wide path of slippery mud with a 100ft drop.

    You can climb all around these safely, just not in motorbike boots, if you go (I highly recommend you do) take a pair of walking boots or similar to change into and you can get the most out of this fantastic location.

    Having lunch on the wall on the engine house is highly recommended.

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    #24
  5. #philsmith

    #philsmith Desktop Adventurer

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    Back to the bike for a blast back into St.Ives as the sun breaks through

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    The perfect view ahead

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    #25
  6. buzzardco1

    buzzardco1 Adventurer

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    Very cool pics of the motherland, living in Colorado where most the mines are Gold/Silver I was wondering what the main minerals they were after?
    #26
  7. IslandMonkey

    IslandMonkey Been here awhile

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    Great pics, love Cornwall. I'll start saving for a pasty now for next time I'm down there. :D
    #27
  8. the darth peach

    the darth peach eats crackers in bed

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    Nice!
    #28
  9. ginslung

    ginslung It'll take.

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    Well done!
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  10. RUOK

    RUOK no, no I guess not

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    I was thinking it was tin, but I'm not positive about that.

    Great pics, and history, another part of the world I'd really like to see. Amazing how they lived and mined back then, a lot of mining innovation came from Cornwall. Thanks for posting your ride.
    #30
  11. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    I was prompted to look up the history of Cornish mining today because of this great RR. The Cornishmen mined tin, lead, arsenic (those guys didn't live long), some precious metals, and now are mining for clay used in making ceramics. It's inspiring and sad at the same time, as the pits in England are becoming a footnote. The history of mining in Cornwall is almost as old as the history of Britain. The developments in mine technology fueled much of Britian's supremacy throughout the industrial age.

    I was in upper Minnesota some years ago. One could buy a pasty almost anywhere there. When the mines played out in the UK, the hard-rock Cornishmen moved on to the Iron Range or just about anywhere their skills were needed. They were a brave and hardy breed of men. Now that the iron mines in Minnesota are finished, I suppose we should all buy IPhones and forget the struggle our ancestors endured.

    I hope not to.

    Thanks again.
    #31
  12. RUOK

    RUOK no, no I guess not

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    Some Cornishmen must have ended up in Butte MT
    Used to be able to buy pasty's at the grocery stores there back in the 80's when we were doing road construction, "letters from home" some of the old timers called them.
    #32
  13. #philsmith

    #philsmith Desktop Adventurer

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    When the mining industry in Cornwall collapsed the miners went all over the world and took their knowledge with them.

    It's always said if there's a hole in the ground a Cornishman's been in it :lol3
    #33
  14. #philsmith

    #philsmith Desktop Adventurer

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    Amazingly enough buying Iphones/Ipods/LCD TV's etc helps mining.

    South Crofty mine was the last working Tin mine in Cornwall (and Europe) and closed in 1998. Having been bought with the intent to reopen following the vast rise in tin prices, an inspection found commercial levels of 'Indium Ore' which is an essential component of LCD's and touch screens.

    This is mined all over the world but the necessity for this ore may well kick start the mining industry in Cornwall again.

    Every time you use your touch screen phone or watch your flat screen TV be happy that you are keeping the mines alive and where there is a mine, there will have been a Cornishman.:d
    #34
  15. janner

    janner Been here awhile

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    In the late 19th Century, its estimated some 250,000 Cornishmen emigrated, a lot found their way to the northern states.
    My great grandfather was one of them, stayed 19 years but then returned Cornwall.
    #35
  16. #philsmith

    #philsmith Desktop Adventurer

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    So after a blast back to St.Ives a quick look around was in order

    Always loved these places, waking up every morning with that view must be amazing

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    The harbour

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    #36
  17. Limey 1

    Limey 1 Been here awhile

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    Thanks so much for sharing your journey to the end of the world! My reflections of the west country was indeed snarled traffic during the summer season. We were at St Ives, Helston and Porthleven visiting for a short time...but that was many many years ago...Beautiful scenery....
    #37
  18. #philsmith

    #philsmith Desktop Adventurer

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    Around the back of the harbour looking out at the lighthouse

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    #38
  19. #philsmith

    #philsmith Desktop Adventurer

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    The next morning I take a ride into St Ives to say my goodbyes to my hometown.

    A quick look at the coastguard lookout

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    A view of the coastguard hut from the chapel looking out at St.Ives bay with Godrevy lighthouse in the distance

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    The Chapel

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    #39
  20. #philsmith

    #philsmith Desktop Adventurer

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    Porthmeor beach with the Chapel in the distance.


    This image epitomises my childhood for me and my summer holidays. Clear skies, sun sea and beaches. Whenever I jump on the bike without a definitive destination it's always this image I have in my mind of where I want to end up.

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    One last look at the harbour where my working days were spent before the lights of London called

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    #40