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 .........

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