Mevagissey – Par (10.5 miles)
Distance from Minehead – 371.6 miles / Distance to Poole– 260.8 miles
Today I went through the famous and historic port of Charlestown. The last time I visited here it was to watch them film the Disney version of The Three Musketeers in 1993! They of course were pretending that Charlestown was in fact Calais. It turns out that this tiny little harbour is the home port for a famous collection of old ships, many of which are used in films all around the world. Disappointingly none of these ships were in harbour today, and instead the place looked empty and a little bit ‘normal’ instead of the usual grandeur which often surrounds Charlestown. This grandeur and old fashioned charm means that it is an unsurprisingly popular place with visitors and film buffs alike.
In fact on my journey so far I have visited a number of film locations. There is of course Port Isaac where Doc Martin is (and was as I walked through) filmed, Port Loe which saw host Dawn French’s sitcom The Wild West, Sense & Sensibility used various locations around the coast of Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, and I am sure many more films come to use this wonderful coastline. But they are often pretending to be somewhere that they are not.
One of the people walking with me today had never been to Charlestown before and I was a bit upset that I couldn’t show her the harbour in all its old world glory. But that is the reality of the place. It is a working harbour and it isn’t always going to look pretty and it certainly isn’t going to look like it does in the films. As I looked around at my walking companion and at the other tourists who had come to flock here, I wondered what their reactions were deep down, because at face value they all seemed to be enjoying being in this historic place. Perhaps I was being too quick to judge the worth of the place by the absence of the old ships, and I didn’t bother to acknowledge the other aspects which bring charm and value to the village.
I know that there are many times when I find myself, like Charlestown, Port Isaac and the other film locations, pretending to be someone I am not. I put on a brave face to prevent people realising how much pain I am really in, I laugh and joke when all I really want to do is curl into a ball and cry, I come across as confident and in control when I am a quivering mess inside. Sometimes I think that my deceit is to protect myself and sometimes I think it is to protect others. But there are also times when I think that people will not appreciate and enjoy the real me – I am not confident that who I really am is someone worth knowing, and so I put up a façade and show people another version of who I am. Don’t get me wrong, this is not something that I do all the time – it would be far too tiring for a start! But on occasions I hide my real self and give people the edited highlights, and I don’t think I am alone in this. Perhaps, like the reactions to the real Charlestown, we may be surprised at how people respond to the real us. Perhaps we should all step out in faith and celebrate being the people we were made to be and not the flimsy film set fakes we think people prefer.