Friday 7 August 2009

Truro to St Mawes by boat - giant ships to Victorian stained glass (Cornwall by Public Transport IV)

Thursday, we tried out the Enterprise Ferry to St Mawes as a mode of public transport. The river at Truro is tidal. As it was low tide and there was not enough water to board a ferry, we were bussed (unusually by Taxi) to Malpas and boarded there.

The trip to St Mawes was particularly interesting as the river was sufficiently deep further downstream with a depth of at least 70 feet (20meters), to allow sea going ships to moor there, either whilst mothballed or awaiting new cargo. Examples were container ships and two major car transporters – enormous vessels!

Britain's first Mussel farm was also on the river and at Trelissig, there was the chain driven car ferry providing a convenient river crossing.

St Mawes is an idyllic, pittoresque town, with a small castle, that survives on tourism. The small church of St Mawes was built in its present form in 1882 and has beautiful stained glass windows that are shown in detail in the slideshow see link above).

We did travel across to Falmouth afterwards, using another ferry company but included in our return ticket. We were not impressed and pitied the cruise ship passengers disembarking there from the Aida.

However, we did find a haven for a cup of tea and an excellent courgette and lime cake. The Vegetarian Cafe “Pea Souk” is owned, managed, cooked and baked for by “Cordon Vert Trained and Qualified” Nicola Willis. Once lured out of her shell, it transpired that she came from Cambridge originally!

The return trip to Truro by Enterprise ferry took us right to the town on the high tide, arriving in a gentle evening light.

During the day, our B&B hosts at the Haven had laid the foundation for their future greenhouse in cement – a full day's work! Lorna, often seen gardening in the evenings, turns out to be a champion cement mixer & preparer, based on the years of past experience in professional home improvement.

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