Monday, 29 August 2016

Cornwall 2016 (Part 3)

Saturday 27 August

It is sunny when we wake up. but rather windy.  We tend to be going out late and staying out late these last few days ,,,,, mainly due to waiting for TF to get ready.

We had also intended top do a bit of fishing on our way back from Mevagissey last night but daylight and tide times robbed us of the opportunity, so that was to be put right as soon as we'd polished off a full breakfast.

Roids had told Herself about my exploits in the car park yesterday and she didn't trust me enough to go off without her today, so she gave us a lift down into Sennen Cove to do a spot of casting.  i hesitate to call it fishing as you have to actually catch fish to do that.

We make our way out onto the sea wall and settle down in the stiff wind for a few hours.  We didn't catch anything, but the young lads either side of us did.  They were float fishing though and not spinning like us!

I consider the outing a success though as we only lost 2 lots of tackle between us today.

Herself picks us up and we stop at the caravan long enough to part break camp. Roids and TF are leaving us in the morning so we take down their sleeping annex and clear away a load of clutter, loading up Roid's car ready for their departure.

We take a spin over to Cape Cornwall.  Herself had asked if she needed a change of footwear but not wanting to delay our departure further I said she'd be OK in sandals as we'd only go for a stroll along the path that overlooks Priest's Cove.

All was fine as we strolled past the holiday lets and around the headland, pausing for photo opportunities as we went.  the next piece of land in a straight line behind us is the southern tip of Greenland.

We now have a choice. either go back the way we came or go straight up and over the cliff. stopping to look at the Coast watch station half way up.  Herself looks at me. looks at the ascent and then down at her feet and her footwear.

I didn't wait for any words and just started climbing.  It was steep and the lactic acid was pumping into my calves by the gallon.  It is no coincidence that they have sited a defibrillator and a bench half way up!

All three of them make it to the top before me while I took a rest with the mountain goats doing likewise.  Well worth the climb though.

The decent was just as tortuous and Herself cussed and cursed at me for the duration.

We stopped off in St Just to grab a bite to eat before making a dash towards Penzance and the arcade once more.  We have tickets to cash in!

Back on site it's an early night as Roids and TF are leaving us at 5am.

Sunday 28 August

We are up before the sparrows have started farting to wave off Roids and TF in the darkness.  They head home today, but not directly, they are detouring to Hampshire to visit Beaulieu and the National Motor Museum - a 150 mile detour!

Climbing back into bed the sleep was not coming easily, however I did doze off again by 7am for an hour or so.  After the hectic last week I fancied a day of doing nothing and settled about sitting at a table in the awning tapping some keys while the Cornish mizzle enveloped the site.

My concentration is broken by sizzling bacon at 11am and over bacon butties we discuss plans for the day.  Herself wants to do a market, and there is only one in these parts so we gear ourselves up for another dash up country.

At 2pm we are pulling up at Cornish Market World just outside Saint Austell and I brace myself for my wallet to be assaulted.

The place is as big as we remembered and Herself groans as we happen across a stall selling fishing stuff.  In no time at all I am relieved of £20 for a fist full of stuff that I've no idea what so ever how to use!

The rest is a bit of a blur, but I seem to recall Herself holding her hand out frequently and stuffing stuff into my day sack. We sense that the sun has made an appearance so start to have concerns about Tali and Gwawr, even though we are parked up under a tree.

We move Vera around to the other side of the building where we know there is a public dog walking area where they can stretch their legs and I get to play with Tali's tennis ball gun.

We try out Tali's new Nerf ball blaster, but he's not really that interested.  It's not powerful enough!

Stopping briefly at Tesco for provisions we start to make our way back west with the intention of stopping off for a meal. We passed establishments in St Austell, Perranporth and Hayle that were all either too busy, full of kids, just serving a carvery or just too scruffy for Herself's liking.

I think I'm doing well in holding my tongue and we make it all the way back to Penzance, where on the outskirts the Lamb and Flag is deemed acceptable.  We both have fish, which was very good, before making our way back to site via the scenic coastal road through Newlyn and Mousehole.

We get back to site and my first job is to link up our Smart TV to some wifi so Herself can catch up on Casualty on iplayer.

I sit in the awning tapping some keys and making my way through a slab of Healey's cider while darkness descends.

It's very quiet here now that Ronnie. Roids and TF have all left us.

Monday 29 August

The forecast last night was looking superb for today and for once @DerekTheWeather is promising good weather for a Bank Holiday Monday.  With it set to be glorious we had no plans other that to get out our loungers. smother ourselves with used chip fat and catch some rays.

That was until we went to bed just before midnight.  I was just dozing off and Herself had a brainwave.  When she has these at bed time I'm usually informed of the occurrence by a sharp dig in the ribs to get my attention.  You see. we've been on the lookout for a new mat for Vera.s boot. the last one having been binned for smelling too doggy. and we've been unable to source a replacement.

Herself remembered where we got hold of the last jumbo sized one. so that is our mission for today.

First though I make my way over to the headland overlooking Sennen with the dogs. I take in the view while they run around and Gwawr starts a bit of landscape gardening.

Back at the van Herself has been busying herself and a pile of bacon is waiting to be thrown between half a loaf of bread for breakfast.

With full bellies we fast track over to Praa Sands before it gets too hot. park up in a shaded spot and run into the discount store that sells everything - including jumbo sized dog beds.  With that mission ticked off we make our way back west towards site and set out the loungers in readiness for a day of doing bugger all.

I'm just settling down and Herself says "Didn't you need to do some washing today?"  She's right. as I'm fast running out of clean shreddies. so up I get and drag out our camping twin tub. feeding hot water via the shower hose through the window for the task.

With shreddies washed and on the line drying I settle down in the recliner.  Herself then pipes up "Didn't you want to re level the caravan today?"  She is of course right as the van is sloping to the rear and stopping the drains working properly.

With that task ticked off I'm just about to sit down and blow the froth off a cold one when she piped up again " and you were going to sort out the lights in the awning."

I do that while she takes the dogs off for a few laps of the field and am in my recliner pretending to be asleep when she gets back.  I  must have nodded off at some point as when she woke me to ask what time we were eating I had Niagra Falls cascading down me tee shirt front.

A few steaks are thrown on the Weber while Herself sorted out stuff to go with them.  I stayed outside admiring them cook while guzzling Corona and lime.

Our evening meal was superb, and even if I do say so myself, I nailed the steaks bang on.

With tea out of the way thought turned to how to spend the evening.  If we stay in I'll be snoring by 9pm so Herself suggests Lands End.  It's a wonderful time of the day to visit as all the crowds have gone home.

We take a table out on the terrace overlooking Longships.  We can see up towards St Ives and down towards The Lizard. as the light fades we can also see the lighthouse flashing on The Scilly Isles some 28 miles off shore.

What a superb place to spend time to finish off a glorious day.

Till Part 4 ............

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Cornwall 2016 (Part 2)

Tuesday 23 August

I'm up quite early and away to my favourite cliff top spot to wipe the sleep from my eyes and let the dogs have a run. By the time I'm back at the van Herself has got a full breakfast on the go.

We've plans for a trip up to the north coast today as Ronnie wants to do some shopping.  That usually means surfie shops, and what better place than Newquay?

We find a spot to park in Mount's car park with little difficulty, sometimes you are lucky with the timing and sometimes you are not as people circle the car park hunting spaces!

We get out of the car and hit a wall of heat.  The dogs are leaded and we make our way to East St walking in the general direction of the harbour.  We stop at numerous surf shacks, each time Ronnie emerging empty handed.

Herself treats Roids to a new pair of sunnies and they taunt me by showing me a label from another far more expensive pair.  I did laugh ....... once I'd been let in on the truth and recovered.  I get a peaked cap so I can protect my personal solar panel from over heating.

We take drinks on the terrace of Walkabout in the sweltering heat, and to be honest with you we could have done without the perspex windscreen.

We the head up towards the green, stopping to pick up some pasties for lunch, Relaxing on a bench with a view to munch down on the heartburn inducing packages before returning to Vera.

We head over to Holywell Bay and the fun park.  Ronnie, Roids and TF have a game of crazy golf, while Herself and I take a table to relax with a cold drink.  A family sir next to us with a border collie pup that Herself is quite taken with.  She even tried playing the "You swore at me a few days ago" card as well, but she's not having one!

Ronnie still hasn't seen anything he likes, despite looking in about 20 surf shacks so we make our way to Perranporth.  It's very busy, but we walk the length of the main street while he looks around another 5 or 6.  He still didn't spot anything!

Healey's cider farm is the next port of call, where is would appear that they've invested heavily in the infrastructure since our last visit 2 years ago. Ronnie bumps into a mate from back home in the foyer (small world) before we make our way down to the shop.

It would appear that they are trying their best to recoup their investment as the slabs of cider are a few quid more expensive that what Tesco in Penzance are currently selling them on for.

Never the less, we are here now so take the opportunity to stock up on some essentials.

Some chicken is thrown onto the Weber to go with some orzo for tea before we head off down to Lands End at dusk.  Tonight is "Magic in the skies" and whilst our dogs are no fans of fireworks, we can hear them at our van, so we just as well see them too.

There is a queue to get in as we stump up another £6 to park up.  the bloke in the gatehouse cheerfully tells us that the ticket is valid for 7 days, so hang onto it.  Wish he'd said that to me when I paid yesterday, as I wouldn't have thrown that ticket out this morning!

The vast car park is full to bursting and we have to travel half way back to Sennen to get a space.  We lead the dogs and make our way over to the visitor's centre.  It's hard going weaving between the cars but we can't believe our luck when we are able to take our pick of tables overlooking the firing range.

We've not has time to settle when a yellow vest approaches and asks if we were hoping to see the fireworks.  If so we may like to go to the other side of the complex as they are setting them off over at Greeb Farm this year.  We could have watched them from the car!

Back on site I make a start on my Rattler stash before turning in after another hectic day.

Wednesday 24 August

Ronnie wakes up early with me as we are on a mission.  the fishing set I'd purchased on Sunday afternoon broke without being used once.  Fortunately for Jim he was not there so one of his able (nay miserable) assistants sorted me out with a replacement.  I left the shop with the words "If you break it again you'll have to bring the rod back with it for a refund!"  It was like she knew something that I didn't.

They've refreshed some of the attractions at Lands End, so after a late breakfast we head on over, using our free parking ticket to park up we settle Herself down at a picnic table with a view and a pint of cider for company while she dog sat.  Ronnie, Roids, TF and I made our way to the 4D cinema experience which this year is a Jurassic World sort of experience.

I was prepared this year, or so I thought.  I still got thrown around as the seat jolted with the 4x4 hurtling through the forestry being chased by prehistoric something or others and the same as the plane being flown by a novice weaved through the mountains being chased by a flying prehistoric something or other.  Creatures also belched in my face and branched and vines got tangled around my feet.

I didn't swear though, which is an achievement.  I went to join Herself at the bench while the others went to visit Shaun the Sheep.

With the attractions done and dusted we made tracks to Porthleven further along the coast.  It's a lovely little fishing village, but the tide is out, so any thoughts we had of using the Kayak are out of the window.  We have a good mooch around before finding a Quayside table to rehydrate.

Back at the van tea is a simple affair of burgers off the Weber before we head off out again to do a spot of fishing at Lamorna Cove.  A local fisher man had recommended that we fish off the sea wall - whats left of it, using some tinsel lures.  He assured us that he'd caught a freezer full using them at that spot.

With high hopes we assembled the rod and loaded the end with tackle.  I picked my spot and nervously set about casting out.  All the fishermen around me must have guessed I was a novice - maybe it had something to do with mt £22 sparkling outfit and tackle in a carrier bag - and turned to watch me cast out.  I've not cast in well over 30 years but was relieved to see the weight making a plop some 30m out and started to reel it in.

I didn't get far.  The tackle had snagged on the rocks and would not free itself.  Fearing snapping the rod I cut the tackle free and set up another lot.  I didn't manage to catch any fish but if anyone fancied Lavabread for supper, then  I was their man.

Roids had a few goes, him too losing a few lots of tackle before the reel gave up the ghost under the strain of trying to free trapped casting weights from the reef.  I vow to punch Jim in the chops when I return this reel to the shop again!

With darkness setting and Herself returning to the comfort of Vera announcing "Right, I've done my bit, I've watched you fishing." we decide to call it a day - we'd run out of tackle anyway - so made our way around the coast to Penzance Sea Front to frequent the Grand Casino Amusements for an hour or so. I take the dogs for a stretch along the front for a while but am horrified when I return and Herself has abandoned the 2p falls in favour of the 10p falls!!

Back on site by 10.30pm and I refuse TF's offer of a cuppa and once again go about sinking a few swift Rattlers before turning in.

Thursday 25 August

An upshot of me being diagnosed T2 and then getting it under control is that night time visits to the toilet are somewhat less frequent, now just the once instead of every 2 hours, and as a result I am sleeping like a log down here.

I woke gently from my slumber at 4am with something nagging away at me - actually I was woken by Herself's elbow in my ribs and a message that the toilet was full.  In fairness she didn't ask me to empty it and traipsed over to the toilet block.  I tried to turn over and settle back down, but it was playing on my mind that I might need it urgently in the morning myself!

So, up out of bed, PJ bottoms pulled up around my chest (old man stylee), head torch on and with a set of flip flops I set off out into the darkness.

With the cassette emptied I peeked into the flush compartment, that it nearly empty so I think that I may as well top that up as well.  Now the next paragraph will be somewhat familiar to regular readers, and I swore the last time it happened that it wouldn't again, and I can only put my error of judgement down to me still being half asleep.

I unplugged the hose from the aquaroll, dragged it the length of the van and put it in through the filling hole, once full I then dragged it (still in full flow) back to the aquaroll and attempted to reconnect it. Have you ever tried to connect the end to a hozelock fitting while the water is flowing? Before I know it I've a face full of cold water spray, it still didn't register with me and I continued to wrestle with the fitting, getting wetter and wetter and wetter.  My PJ bottoms are now holding so much water that they're starting to hang down so with one hand still trying to connect to the aquaroll I use the other to try and hold up my trousers!

All this done with my super bright LED head torch ensuring that my escapades are fully illuminated.  My commotion must have caused a bit of noise as it disturbed the young girls in the adjacent tent, who having a superb view of my lit up silhouette started to giggle uncontrollably.

Dripping wet, I stripped in the awning before climbing back into bed, now fully awake and kicking myself.

We have a lazy morning sat around the van before heading off just before 12 towards the Cornwall Seal Sanctuary at Gweek.  TF wants to see the seals!  We park up and scramble down the hill towards reception. I take a look at the entrance fee and start to panic, I'd been expecting about £7 a head to get in, but the robbing gits want £13 each!  It's too late though as Herself has control of my wallet while I hold the dogs.  We are turning away while the young girl cheerfully announces that there are no seals in the hospital at the moment - I had to be physically restrained!

Down the hill we walked, past the empty hospital wing towards the pools.  We spent the next few hours watching the seals, sea lions, otters and penguins in very pleasant surroundings.

A spot of lunch was taken in the on site cafe before climbing the hill back up to Vera.

We are now heading for the north coast and the pretty sea side town of St Ives.  Arriving at 5pm means that we bag a parking spot with relative ease and we head off over to the harbour and shopping area.

We mainly window shop, which is my favourite type of shopping, before grabbing a bench and settling down to devour some ice creams

Ronnie leaves us this evening.  He was going home tomorrow anyway, but one of my cousins has recently passed away and it is the funeral tomorrow morning in Abergavenny.  Ronnie was going to leave at 5am tomorrow to get there in time, but thought better of it and a Travelodge on the Welsh border came to the rescue for him tonight.

We wave him off at 8pm before settling down to make my way through my stash of Rattler.

Friday 26 August

We wake to blue skies and the picture below is one that only caravanners will appreciate fully.

View from bog is also quite pleasant this morning so I'll share it with you.

My mind is elsewhere though, so I take myself off for some time to think.  They are saying a final farewell to my cousin this morning and my thoughts are very firmly back in Abergavenny wanting to be there to support my family, I'm sure Ronnie will do us proud though and I spend a half hour just looking out over the waves towards home.

Next up, Roids accompanies me back to Penzance to have a word with Jim, and return the reel for the second time. I wouldn't mind, but it's a 20 mile round trip every time!

Jim is busy unloading his van when we arrive, but I collar him to voice my displeasure.  His answer has me stumped .... "At that price you're not supposed to use it!"

I reluctantly accept that if I want something to last more than 10 mins I am going to have to spend a little more that £21 for a complete rod and reel set! I get a credit for the mickey mouse outfit and Roids also decides he wants to go fishing and buys a similar outfit to me.

We get back to site and waste no time in loading the reels up with line before heading down to Sennen to catch our tea.  The good weather has brought out visitors in their droves and parking is at a premium.  We join about 6 vehicles and start to circle the car park waiting for an empty space. People are getting tetchy and then one party decides to cheat.  A space comes free and the passenger gets out, runs over to the space top reserve it while the driver barges her way past other cars to park!

I was not a happy bunny.  A few more laps and a space becomes free as I approach.  With that a short dumpy woman weaves her way though the cars and stands on guard.  I approach the space put on my indicators and then  she puts her hands on her hips.

"This is our space."
"Really? I don't see your name on it!"
"It is, we've been waiting here and circling for 15 mins."
"So have I, I was in front of you entering the car park."
"Well, that's the way it is.  The space is ours."
"Is it now?"

It was then that I stopped being reasonable. I edged forward and then engaged reverse.  It wasn't too long before Vera's reversing sensors started to beep, but they continued to beep faster and faster as I edged back into the space.  She held her ground for a while but lost her bottle before Vera's sensors progressed to a solid tone!

She trudged past my open window muttering "Thank you very much." to which I replied "You are most welcome, anything else I can do for you?"

I made my way to the pay machine and on my return her hubby was still doing circuits and slowed down to have a go at me.  The insults flowed, but he was not brave enough to actually stop and get out.

We spend a few hours on the sea wall casting out and reeling in.  We didn't catch anything, but I still consider the trip a success.  We lost less tackle on the rocks and our reels held out for the duration.

Returning to site without any lunch caught we resort to warming up some chicken from the fridge to satisfy the hunger pangs before lounging around the van in the sunshine.  Well, Herself lounged, I was instructed to do this, do that ...... including erecting the UV shelter for the dogs.  I resisted as I knew they don't like going in there and much prefer to lie down under the van, but to keep the peace......

We decide we've had enough on doing nothing so make our way cross country to spend the evening in Mevagissey.  On arrival we get a cheery Sut Mae! from the car park attendant before parking up next to a rather nifty 4x4 pick up truck.

With the dogs on a lead we head down towards the harbour.  Herself gets attracted by a witches shop.  I am quite content to sit outside with the dogs.

We meander round the narrow streets and along the road to the outer harbour before turning around and settling down for a fish supper sat overlooking the harbour as the tide comes in.

We take the scenic route back along the coast until it becomes dark and there's little point in doing so.  Back at the I set about putting a further dent in my Rattler stash before turning in absolutely knackered after a rather full on day.

Till part 3 .........