we transferred from Penzance to the Headlands Hotel at Newquay.
On the way we had two stopovers. First we stopped briefly at the
historic harbor village at Charlestown.
This was developed in Georgian times as a port for the export of
tin and import of coal, but was also used for export of china clay.
For such a small port it has quite elaborate facilities including
a lock and dry-dock. There was a sailing training ship in port when
we were there.
a short talk by Andrew we just walked around the town and down on
the beach. Then we headed on to Wheal
Martyn, a working china clay pit with an associated museum.
China clay, or kaolin, is a constituent part of granite. It is widely
used, not only for making porcelain, but as an ingredient in many
industrial processes. The
residue from extracting the kaolin is substantial and the mounds
of waste are seen throughout the countryside in this part of Cornwall.
had time for a quick visit to a very good museum and then had lunch
in the restaurant. A plate of Cornwall cheeses, bread, and salad,
it was very good. Then a retired worker from the plant took us on
an extended tour of the site, showing how, in the past, the kaoplin
was separated by use of high pressure water nozzles and then purified
and collected. The whole operation was done with water power.
we walked up to the edge of the working pit. It was immense as can
be seen by the apparent size of the earth moving equipment now in
use. Quite impressive.
that we went on to Newquay. Actually, although we drove through
that town often in the next five days we never visited there. Instead
the Headlands Hotel is
on a headland just outside town and nexts to Fistral Beach which
was de=scribed as Cornwall's best surfing beach. Not very impressive
by Hawaiian standards but it had surfers there late into the day.
(A group of Royal Marine Commandos, there for a local coutry fair
in the area, was staying at the hotel. Very fit.)
hotel is very elegant, although we were not able to have rooms with
an outside view. Still the rooms were very comfortable. Dinner each
night was an elaborate affair with a three
course menu to choose from and excellent food. A piano player
accompanied dinner which usually lasted from 7 to 9 PM. We were
able to stay there because the season had not yet really started
and the hotel was only sparsely occupied.