Monday, April 10, 2017

Cornwall 2017 - Praa Sands and Kynance Cove

Day 3. 
Praa Sands, Kynance Cove

But first, some fresh, free range eggs and chickens!

Our sweet hostess, Claire, sells fresh-as-they-come chicken eggs and mentioned to us a couple times that she could show the hens to our little girls. I had actually never actually tried a fresh, home grown chicken egg! So I had to buy some and scramble them up for Sunday morning breakfast, and they were really really tasty. Rich and creamy and yellow and just so beautiful, I mean look at that carton! She told us that they used to have a chicken who laid blue eggs! But, unfortunately, the fox got her. 

So Sunday morning, right before we checked out of our (best most favorite ever) Airbnb, our hostess Claire took us out to the chicken coop and showed us her beautiful hens. She let the girls hold them and pet them and toss out handfuls of corn and grain for them to peck at. Alice was immediately on-board. Claire was immediately thrilled. Jane took a second to enjoy herself. But after a good, solid, 10 minutes she warmed up and decided it was ok to be in the pen with the hens, and to even touch and feed them. (Like most things in life for Jane, she just takes a while to soak everything in, understand what's going on, stare everything down with her dark, somber, silent eyes, before she eventually decides everything is ok and she can smile again).

 Hello chickens!!

 Look at Jane's tentative hand, finally deciding to give the little hen's head a pat.

Right before we left the pen Claire had us come peek inside the roost where the hens lay to see if any of them had laid eggs since she'd collected earlier that morning. And, sure enough, she held up the hinged roof while we all looked inside and right then, one little red hen stood up from her nesting place and a warm, brown, speckled egg sat on underneath her. It was so perfect! The girls were delighted to witness it! Claire chuckled as she picked it up and said, "They don't get any fresher than that!" And she had the girls feel the egg to see how warm it was. That was so fun! I'm telling you, this family is the best and their place is the best. We loved our time there.

After finally pulled ourselves away from the hens and the pleasant conversation with Claire we got ourselves in the car and I drove everyone along my running route so they could see all the neat things I'd come across. We'd spent all our time going elsewhere for our day trips and so hadn't explored much of the area where we were actually staying. We drove down to the local beach, Praa Sands, which is where I had run the day before, and walked around for just a little bit.

While there we saw this sign and had to photograph it in honor of our pals, the Skinners! 

Cornish Pirates!


It was fun to see the local haunt, and it was nice and pleasant, but ultimately, there's a reason it's not on the top 10 list of things to see and do in Cornwall haha. And, in hindsight, I wish we'd just skipped it and gone straight to our final destination, Kynance Cove. All in all, with parking, figuring out how to pay for our spot, walking down there, tooling around, and hiking back to the car it took at least an hour to get on the road again. And that was precious time we could have spent at the much more spectacular Kynance Cove. We had limited time on Sunday because we still had to make the 5+ hour drive back to Oxford, and we didn't want to return too late in the evening since Max had an international flight to San Francisco early the next morning! So we drove over to Kynance and were able to spend about an hour there before needing to head out and begin the journey home. 

Like everywhere else in Cornwall, we had to drive through rolling, green, stone fence partitioned fields on windy windy, narrow, hedge-bordered roads to get there. At one point, really close to our destination, we rounded a corner and the panorama before us literally took my breath away. It was our first view of the coast in that area and it left me with a tight throat and speechless. The bright green field suddenly dropped and there at its edge, in its place, was the brilliant, turquoise ocean stretching on infinitely. And the sky was nearly the same color as the water, clear and sunny and dazzlingly blue. It could not have been a more perfect day. Well, maybe if it'd been warm enough for shorts, t-shirts and flip flops, then it really would have been perfection. But I don't think the scenery could have improved much at all. After parking we took to the trail to get closer to the cove and beach.

 These colors are real!
I haven't done any editing to the photos. That's how brilliant the sunshine was and how vibrant it made everything.

I loved listening to the crashing, boiling water down in those rocks.

 She's so proud of her little rock.

Jane was having fun tossing rocks down the hillside into the ocean. At one point she picked up what she thought was an awesome big rock and showed it to Alice. As soon as I glanced over I knew that it was not a rock.
"Jane that's cow poop!"

Haha she immediately dropped it and stood silent for a second before joining in our laughter.



 Crazy hair, don't care.

There's another little rock.

 Unfortunately the tide was not in our favor this time. This is as close to the beach as we got, partly because there wasn't really much of a beach to go down to. It was all underwater. Oh how I wish we could have hung around there aaaaaalllllll day and listened to the crashing waves and looked out at the infinite sky and sea and waited for the water to recede and play in the sand and rocks and explore all around that incredible cove. How I wish it.
But we just didn't have time. And some in our party (not naming names) didn't think the walk down to water's level and the steep hike back up were worth the effort and time commitment.
We'll just have to go back another day when we have more time.
This is when I was feeling serious regret for wasting that precious hour over at Praa Sands. If I had a month of time to explore the crannies of Cornwall then yes, it would have been totally worth it. But how much would I have preferred to spend that hour here. Instead of climbing down the cliff we sat on a nice stone bench with something like this for our view while the children ate Cheddars biscuits and fruit leather and I looked and listened and looked and soaked it all in.

 The following sequence is in honor of all the many many stone steps and cliff faces we climbed up and down that weekend.  Lots and lots and lots.

Jumping off stuff on the way back to the car.

Still jumping off stuff...

 ...jumping off every single rock.
The evolution of a Smile:

Perfect colors.
Perfect lighting.
 Perfect Jane-girl.
 Perfect day.

It was so hard for me to leave this place. I literally dragged my feet as we hiked back to the car, going as slow as I could so I could prolong the beauty of the moment as much as possible.  Maybe my feelings were compounded by the fact that we weren't just leaving Kynance but were leaving Cornwall for good. And I hope to go back, and would in a heartbeat, but don't positively know if we will make it back.
It had just been such a beautiful, relaxing, magnificent weekend, the thought of it all ending was really really sad. I am so so grateful for the opportunity we had last weekend, and many other times, to see such amazing places and enjoy the work of God on this beautiful earth.

Go to Cornwall.
You won't regret it.