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Camel Trail or Camel Trial?

June 4, 2013

“I will be with you drekkly” said the barmaid at The Borough Arms in Dunmere on the Camel Trail, a walkers and cyclists delight, following as it does, the disused railway cutting. Drekkly is a curious Cornish expression with a wide range of meanings. It this instance it meant that she would be dealing with my request in due course, but it could be used to mean to “go way immediately”. I think its genus is from the English word directly, but it is far less precise than that when uttered with a Cornish accent.

Regular readers will know that whilst I have a very high regard for the beauty of this far-flung county, that regard does not necessarily extend to some of the local culinary delights. Cornish Pasties, for instance, are usually made out of material that resemble damp cardboard, bits of beak, gristle and camel toe nail clippings, but are less tasty than the ingredients suggest . I realise that renowned chef, Rick Stein, has several restaurants in Padstow and surrounds, but Rick was not cooking at The Borough Arms yesterday. We had walked around 5 miles in the morning up to the top of the Camel Trail and back again to Blisland, and then cycled 7 miles to the Borough for lunch and were so hungry we would have considered eating anything. I am sorry to have to inform you dear reader that it was not very good. In fact a Cornish Pasty may have had more to recommend it than my choice of the roast lamb and That Nice Lady Decorators Tuna steak ( I told her they would overcook it and it would be grey and unappetising, because pubs that offer a carvery option and chips with everything they serve, always do). However, the local Tribute was a decent pint, the sun was out, exercise was taken and other than a disappointing meal, everything was rosy in my garden. Well, Pete and Julie’s garden that is.

Camel trail

Camel River

The quintessential beauty of the place cannot be undermined and so it was that we set off to cycle back. Now it is a fact that we were following the Camel River down to the sea, which means that logically, on the return journey, we had to cycle up hill. This argument was not accepted by That Nice Cycling Person, who considered that I should have found a route that was gently downhill there and back. Thus, clearly, it was my fault that we had to cycle back up inclines that must have reached 1 in 1000 on the steeper slopes, clearly too steep for anyone of 37 with two pints of beer and a dodgy tuna steak on board. Yes, I accept responsibility. I must have been holding the map upside down, or failed to point it at magnetic north or whatever. I am to blame and that’s an end to it.

As I am on holiday, I refused to allow the usual good thoughts about the benefits of having a foreign exchange account with Currencies Direct to crowd into my mind and instead concentrated on an itinerary for today. Unaccustomed cycling tends to play havoc with ones rear end, in the nicest possible way, so I think the bikes may be allowed to remain at rest for the next few days. Bodmin Moor is close at hand but also the town of Padstow, and the wonderful Cornish coast are just a few miles away and I fancy a bit of sea-side today. We may also go to Rock, where no doubt a lesser writer than I would make a joke out of Seaside Rock, as in those sticky glutinous sticks of concentrated sugar which plays havoc with your fillings, but by now you will know my stance on this, it will not happen.

Chris France

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 10, 2013 11:29 am

    Thanks for finally talking about >Camel Trail or Camel Trial?
    | Chris France’s Blog <Liked it!


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