Walk completed August 28, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 1, June 1, 2011 -- Pirates in Penzance

My flight to London arrived 7:45 am. After clearing immigration and customs I took the Heathrow Express train to London’s Paddington Station, where I bought a one-way train ticket to Penzance. I arrived in Penzance mid-afternoon. My B&B was a mile from the train station. Since time wasn’t an issue, I opted to take the walk rather than take a bus or taxi. The weather was cool, breezy and dry.

After checking into my B&B, I decided to look for Penzance’s famous pirates. These aren’t the same as the so-called pirates of Somalia, who are nothing more than terrorist thugs. No, Penzance’s pirates are the real thing, the fabled swashbucklers of yore, of Errol Flynn and Robert Louis Stevenson.

I’m not one to suffer from romantic delusions, so I anticipated that modern medical techniques had probably relieved pirates from peg legs and hooks. But I still expected to find rugged men with sabers, wearing 3-cornered hats sporting big feathers. And an eye patch wasn’t totally out of the question. Aargh.

Pirate's Inn
 Alas, I couldn’t find a pirate anywhere in Penzance, until I spotted the Pirate’s Inn.  Where better to find a real pirate than at their own inn?  I know that some of my detractors would assume that I was more attracted by the “real ales” sign than the prospect of meeting actual pirates, but some people always look for the worst.

Maria, Becky, and Richard
 So to prove them wrong, I went to the beer garden, where I met Richard, Becky and Maria. They denied being pirates, of course, but they were drinking beer just like real pirates. Then they happened to mention that – get this, Danielle F. – they mentioned that they learned to roll their own cigarettes on Mauritius. It doesn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to know that the Indian Ocean is a hotbed of pirate activity. And pirates always roll their own cigarettes.

In her defense, Maria said she was starting to design and sew clothes. I knew better; being a trained lawyer, I interrogated her until she let it slip that she’s actually using purples and pinks – which we all know to be colors fancied by pirates. Richard and Becky have their own car-parking business, catering to “people who sail to the Scilly Islands” off the coast of Penzance. Now I ask you, who do you think is sailing off the coast of Penzance, if not pirates.

So, bolstered by my success in finding actual pirates in Penzance, I’m looking forward to starting my walk tomorrow. Coincidently, I’ll be staying in St. Ives on June 3. I wonder what my detractors will make of that.

© 2011 Ken Klug


  1. Ken, not sure where my Comment went, but I just wrote as follows:

    I can see yours is going to be an entertaining blog! Let's see . . . sued for libel by three innocent people you branded as pirates all over the Internet . . . and arrested for a drunken brawl in a St. Ives pub . . . all this only two days into the hike. Better walk fast, my friend!

    Daryl May

  2. Very Best Of Good Luck.

    (Avid LEJOG blog reader)

  3. Oooups!...Guess I forgot to tell you that my great grand father was indeed a pirate....That's how he got to Mauritius. Anyone can see that you are going to have the summer of your life, so go get them sailor!


  4. Well, Ken it's about time you got started! All that lollygagging around in Utah just doesn't cut it, you know.

    I look forward to following a very entertaining blog - and it will be a lot easier on my knees than trying such foolhardy expedition my self!

    (By the way, the pirates are all in the gift shops now. Anyway, despite the operetta, the Cornish were more wreckers than pirates - you can trust that as it comes from a totally unbiased Devonian. We weren't pirates either. Privateers, that's the word.)