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Today's walkitcornwall quote

  "Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity. I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail"- Henry David Thoreau

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Of course Paul’s deep knowledge of the region, its flora and its beauties – and not to forget his patience and his humor – have made me feel like it all was too short.  As a result, my eyes and my brain are full of new images and new knowledge.

– Jean-Claude B, Switzerland.

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Walking blog: The philosophy of walking

Scrambling on the Lizard Peninsula

Lizard skin?striated serpentine in Spernic covemartin-in-a-fissure

Perception. How does each person interpret a part of the physical and metaphysical world utilising ones innate senses? Each individual’s perception is different and invites a much closer inspection.  If you say that the grass is green and I say it is yellow then we talk about it and discover what shade it is close to.

We scrambled over house size boulders, into caves, through two storey high fissures and arches viewing the surfaces that millenia of scouring debris had sculptured, where the coastline had been formed and reformed with an unfathomable power, an onslaught of wind, wave and attrition.

Sharing a nature walk with someone can increase ones understanding of the surrounding landscape. Well that is my take on it after a close up encounter on a very low tide with our coastline where normally one can’t walk. Carrick Luz is a small headland between Kennack Sands and Coverack on the Lizard peninsula. It sticks out precisely because it is a gabbro intrusion in the predominant surrounding serpentine.

Normally, unaware of any difference in the immediate geology, we look down at Carrick Luz from the coast path 60 metres above most of the unique rock formations that on this day we could walk amongst. The sheer, utter beauty of a panoply of colour, striations and shapes exists at a lower level than the very same rock face that we have walked on so many times. Yet today at a lower level these familiar rocks are experienced as an alien landscape. Truly remarkable Lizard geology.

There are various stories as to how the Lizard got its name. If we are to believe that the serpentine rocks have a resemblance to a Lizards skin then the geology bears this out and doesn’t disappoint. I’d wager that the story evolved from Carrick Luz.

I would heartily recommend this trip into Spernic Cove from Carrick Luz to Powldorian but with the usual caution. Be aware of the tide times and be prepared for a scramble up and down. Tell someone where you are going if alone and take a camera.   

one serpentine rock looking around Carrick Luz