Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Cornwall 2016 (Part 5 of 5)

Friday 2 September

This morning didn't exactly dawn, it sort of arrived in being less dark outside.  The view from the skylight isn't encouraging and when up I can't see the field behind from the bog window.

I load the dogs in Vera and take them off to chase a ball.  No view this morning though and it's feeling decidedly chilly and damp.

@DerekTheWeather is promising that it will brighten up later on, so I'm counting on him being right.

We have guests arriving to stay with us this morning.  My cousin, who is Abergavenny's answer to Bear Grylls is coming down with his wife Sabrina.  They've left early but I fear that their timing will have them stuck in traffic, so it was with some surprise that I get a text from Sabrina at 11am saying that they're not far away.

Bear and Sabrina rock up in their new motor and we sit in the awning catching up on recent events for an hour or so giving the kettle a good workout at the same time.  She immediately spooks me by saying that she saw a dead man by the side of the road back in Crows-en-Wra on the way down here.  Apparently he'd been in a fatal RTA. After some quizzing it transpires that it was at the same spot that we witness a fatal RTA when we were down here 3 years ago!

By early afternoon it's brightening up nicely and we make tracks for Penzance.  bear picks up some fishing tackle from Jim and Herself and Sabrina make straight for the witches shop at the top end of St Clares St.  I sit outside while Sabrina out witches the witch running the joint!

We walk back down the street and take a table outside The White Lion.  Herself and Sabrina taking a break from their chinwag only to pause for breath and gasp at the state of an old woman who was going for the "clown" look with her makeup!

With tea time approaching we head over to St Just for food in The Kings Arms (where Sabrina appeared to be nodding to customers that we couldn't see) before adjourning to Cape Cornwall to watch the sun setting on the day.

From there we made our way over to Lands End.  Bear thanks his lucky stars that it's my round as we take a table out on the terrace looking over to Longships as the last of the light disappears for the day.

Back at the van we spend the rest of the evening guzzling cider and gin. Herself and Sabrina continue their talkathon and Bear and myself try and get a word in edge ways.  Time flies and it's gone 1am before we realise it and turn in for the night.

Saturday 3 September

The forecast isn't good today, not good at all.  Much wet stuff is due to be deposited on us.  I consult the BBC work of fiction and note that there is little point in travelling elsewhere as it's the same all over the country.

We breakfast on bacon and sausage rolls before piling into Vera and taking the scenic B3306 that hugs the coast to St Ives.

Though we'll have to take the word of others that it's scenic as we travelled the length of it shrouded in mist.  We have to be thankful though as the fore casted rain has not arrived.

St Ives is busy and we struggle to find a parking spot with the beaches full of holiday makers.  we do eventually find a spot and Bear takes himself off to feed some coins in the meter.

He's just fished the ticket out from the slot and it starts to rain. And it rained a lot.  we sit it out for 20 mins admiring the pointing on a wall while we waited for it to ease.

But ease it did not and we gave up.

Rolling into the car park of County skittles I have a good feeling.  When we were here last week Ronnie, Roids and TF took great delight in thrashing me at everything, and I'm sure that Bear will not do the same.

We find a table, order some lunch and leave Herself and Sabrina continue their talkathon while we head off into the pool room.  Bear beats me 2 frames to 1 before we eat.

After food we book a skittle lane for 30 mins.  Herself and Sabrina don't want to play and continue their talkathon while Bear beats me by 10 points.

We retreat back to the tables and a last throw of the dice sees me taking on Bear on the Shuffle Board.  He beats me at that too!

It's still hammering down as we guide Vera through the lanes toward Mariazon, but it eases as we pull into the car park that looks over to St Michaels Mount.  The place is a hive of activity with many anoraks with very expensive looking cameras and telescope things in the dunes and on the beach.

It turns out that they are all looking at a Sand Martin that has come over from America.  Now two things puzzle me about this.  Firstly, how did they all know it was here? and secondly, how do they know it's come from America?

Herself didn't even bother getting out of Vera to witness this momentous event!
Bear has promised to go fishing with me this evening so once back at site we stop long enough to pick up his rod and we head down to Sennen.  The sea is too rough though and waves are crashing over the harbour wall so we about turn and head to Lamorna Cove on the south coast.

This place has a fearsome reputation for giving out parking tickets and we are warned as such by a local as we park up.  We'd not had chance to put our rods together and the warden was down checking our windscreen!

My confidence in hooking a few with Bear in my company was somewhat misplaced and he seemed to spend more time untangling a birds nest from his reel than actually fishing.

We've a table booked in The First and Last this evening so time was of the essence and we are unable to spend as long as we would have liked down at the cove.

We get back to site and the wimmin are foot tapping

Stopping long enough only to put on a clean pair of shreddies we make the short journey to the pub.  This place has bags of history though, and Sabrina wastes no time in making acquaintances with the regulars that we can't see.

The food was superb and the evening very entertaining.

Sunday 4 September

After yesterday's washout we are happy to wake and the rain has stopped.  We breakfast again on bacon and sausages before piling into Vera and heading on a road trip up country,

We drop down the hill  into Perranporth and hit a road closed sign and it appears that the main drag is closed off for the finish of a Triathlon event.  Myself and Bear fancy a go at it and are dismayed to find out that the event is just closing as we arrive.

We walk to the end of the street and pause for liquid refreshments in "The Watering Hole" watching some very fit looking people pack away their kit and push their bike out of town.

We happen across a witches shop and Sabrina goes about sussing the "witch" out.  is she a real one of just some conning git with dyed hair selling witches tat?

It would appear that this one is the real deal as Sabrina is tempted to start spending money.  Bear starts to look worried.  Unfortunately for me Herself was a little more than tempted and by wallet is relieved of too much folding for my liking.

We get back into Vera for the short trip over to Newquay and I'm not looking forward to the next few hours one bit,

The fist shop we hit sees Herself paying more for a pair of shorts for Ronnie that I would pay for a suit for work!

Bear has been gagging for a pastie since we've been down here and Herself grasps the opportunity to lighten my mood suggesting a pastie stop.  We grab a few of the calorie laden parcels and take a bench overlooking the sea to devour them while a brass band entertains us blasting out "Those magnificent men in their flying machines."

We now have a thirst on, so the next port of call is Walkabout for liquid refreshments, where we spend an hour or so on the terrace overlooking the beach putting the world to rights while Sabrina waves to spooks stood on the top of the stairs!

I'm put in charge of Roid's present and go about buying him a knife.  I settle on one that's a replica of the knife that Stallone used in Rambo II and Herself is less than impressed.

Back up through the high street and I have a bit of a scare as Herself takes a shine to some jewellery in a window.  Bear is a little too keen on offering his assistance in holding the dogs just so that I can go into the shop with Herself for my liking and I promise to have "words" later.

Luckily Herself has a change of heart and my wallet remains intact for the duration.

We've been lucky with the weather today, and we've not seen any rain.  I drop Herself off at the dogs walk entrance when we get back assuring her that it's going to remain dry and she does not need to put on a coat.

Back at the van I'm sat in the toilet and I hear the start of the rain hitting the roof.  My thoughts swiftly turn to Herself and I open the blind to look out over the field that they use for dog walking at this time of year.  Herself is still only half way round and is hunched up against the driving rain with her face into the still SW wind.

I watch on helplessly, but still nice and warm and dry, as Herself struggles to get the dogs back on a lead, Herself now soaked through to the skin and no doubt freezing cold.

I get it with both barrels when she gets back.

Not going out this evening, instead opting for fish and chips from Sennen.  Any thought Bear and myself were harbouring of going fishing were soon set aside as we clocked the breakers crashing over the harbour wall.

It rained, and it rained, and it rained.  Trips over to teh toilet block were decidedly moist and I was half expecting to see Morgan Freeman come floating through the site in his Avon inflatable at any time.

The rest of teh evening is spent in the awning having a good old chat while guzzling cider, with Sabrina enjoying putting the eebbygeebies up me regailing tales of spooks and things!

Monday 5 September

My word, did it rain overnight or what?  Though we appear to have got off lighter than many parts of the country and my Facebook feed is filled with pictures of flooding.

Herself is a bit slow off the mark as her night was disturbed regularly as our awning LED lights kept turning themselves on.  I give Sabrina a look and she exclaims "Wasn't me!"

Bear has already walked the dogs again by the time the rest of us rise and Herself wastes no time in getting a loaf of eggy bread cooked to put on the table for breakfast. With that lot wolfed Bear loads up their car and we wave them off at 11am as they set off for home via Port Issac hoping to do some Doc Martin spotting.

Today is a sad day as we have to break camp and leave west Cornwall.  I was dreading it as I listened to the rain hammer on the canvas yesterday, but luckily it stopped at around 5am and the wind picked up,  the result was a dry awning to drop, and only a caravanner can appreciate the joy that that brings!

We've broken camp and had a shower by 3pm as we pile into Vera on a mission to get some essentials to take home with us.

Philps in Hayle is our first port of call where Herself throws a few purple ones at the assistants for a sack full of pasties, a few bagged cream teas, some shortbread and some clotted cream.

It turned out that Philps was our first and last shop as they had all that we needed.  Our thoughts now turned to stopping our bellies rumbling so some fats food was grabbed from McDs in Penzance before topping up Vera's tank with fuel and heading over to Sennen Cove to run the legs off the dogs and take in the view for one last time.

We return to site to complete breaking camp and are hitched up and pulling out onto the A30 by 6pm.  We don't usually leave down here until a little later, but the Trunk Road Agency are closing the A30 around Penzance at 7pm and we don't really fancy the diversion.

The tow over Bodmin is effortless and the light fades the roads are empty making towing with the cruise control set to just north of 60 mph a doddle.

We don't hit any traffic until Exeter and the M5, and even then it's pretty light.  Vera is eating up the miles and the journey is stress free until we get over the bridge and into Wales.  Still grumbling about having to stump up £6.50 to cross the bridge we hit a wall of signs advising that a section of the M4 ahead is closed.

Bear had been telling us that they close the tunnels at Newport overnight every 6 weeks for maintenance, and typical of our luck tonight is the night!  After the irritating diversion to Cwmbran (I'm no fan of Cwmbranistan anyway, but at 10pm and just over 2/3 the way through a long tow it did little to change my opinion) we hit a wall of rain that stayed with us all the way home until we pulled up outside Travels in our Caravan Towers at just after 11.30pm.

Absolutely shattered I go straight to bed, leaving the van hitched up to Vera out on the road until I have the energy to put her away in the morning.

It's been a fantastic beak once again in West Cornwall, we really love the area, and Trevedra is probably our favourite site of all.  Don't know why and can't put my finger on it, but it is.

Until next time folks ............

Friday, 2 September 2016

Cornwall 2016 (Part 4)

Tuesday 30 August

Another superb night's kip for me, Herself not so superb as mine was so good I was shaking the windows from their housings.

I stir gently as the sun fights its way past our black out blinds and turn over to kiss my beloved lightly on her forehead .......... nah, that was in mt dreams.  I wake at 8.50am to a dig in the ribs, I open one eye and have a face full of Herself saying something to me.  I didn't hear a word of it so just guessed and got up out of bed, threw a pair of shorts and tee shirt on and loaded the dogs up into Vera's boot to make the short hop over to our favourite spot.

The ocean is like a mill pond this morning and I sit on the tailgate watching a tanker make its way up to the refinery at Pembroke. I love this spot, I really do.

Back in the car we make tracks back up the road.  When I get to the mini roundabout I see a sign for the farmer's market in Sennen.  It was then that I realised my mistake.  When she woke me earlier Herself had asked if we were going to the market this morning! Oops!

I pull up outside the van where Herself is sat in the awning fully dressed and waiting.

I'm in trouble, I know this so there is no point trying to argue my case.

We pull up in the field at the community centre and there is no sign of the usual yellow vest, so we start another row of parked cars. Just after I've bleeped Vera locked the vest appears from behing a transit.

"Where have you parked?"
I point vaguely in the direction of Vera.
"Oh OK you'll be alright there."
"Good job, cos I'm not moving it!"

 We scoot round the market, avoiding the conning git who caught me for £6 last week for some ginger cordial, and go straight to the 4 stalls that we need.  Woman selling Asian food, Mcfadden butcher, a hippy selling organic dog treats (dogs eat meat and the irony is lost on Herself) and someone selling fresh eggs.

Back at the van the fresh eggs are thrown in a pan and we have them scrambled over toast for breakfast before Herself announces that she needs a pair of PJs and some trousers from Evans in Penzance.

I jump in the shower to freshen up.  Now we are on a fully serviced pitch. so there should be no water issues. that is unless when you disconnected the hose the day before to fill up the flush tank and forgot to reconnect it.  I lathered up and the shower head started to spit at me.  Herself was taking the dogs for a few laps of the field so was of little use to me.  Have you ever seen a fat Welsh bloke covered in soap suds running around the side of a caravan, desperate trying to connect a hose to the aquaroll while holding s towel around his substantial girth trying to retain some dignity?


Our new neighbours have now. I don't tell Herself.

On arrival in Penzance we drive through the car park to some very handy 20 min bays that are free.  Herself questions the wisdom of using these bays and I reply "We have 20 mins, get moving."

We dash to the High St.  I am instructed to go next door to a mat shop and pick up a bathroom set to replace the ones that I peed over the other night. while Herself went on into Evans.  With my purchase complete I went next door to join Herself.

I walked the aisles but could not find Herself anywhere so assumed she was in the fitting rooms so loitered outside those.

5 mins passed and still no sign. The assistants are starting to look a bit funny at me so I play with my phone.  10 mins passed and still no sign, I wonder how many items Herself is trying on.  The assistants now start talking to each other and looking in my direction.  I try peeking round the corner to see if I can spot Herself's feet under the curtains and one of the assistants comes over to speak to me.

It transpires that the only woman in the changing rooms was of Asian origin, and her husband was stood next to me.  I look round the shop and start to notice that there are no Evans signs up anywhere, I grab a price tag and my colour starts to drain.

I say "Thanks anyway. but you've got nothing in my size anyway!" and make for the exit with two assistants in pursuit.  I get to daylight and clock Herself stood outside the shop two doors down. hand on hip and foot tapping.

We pick up a few pasties and go down to the sea front.  Once those are demolished on a bench we set off for a stroll along the promenade.

The return leg is broken for a pint sat outside The Luggers Arms.  It was not good.  So bad in fact that I couldn't finish it!

Before we left the van I'd been checking out a fishing web site.  The tides were right as well as atmospheric pressure, so we stopped off at Newlyn for me to cast some dead dried fish on a hook out to sea.

I didn't catch anything, but consider the effort a roaring success as I didn't lose a single piece  of tackle.  Herself was less than impressed with my efforts.

We stop on site long enough for me to scrape a few days growth off my chops before making our way over to The Kings Arms in St Just for an evening meal.  The food was superb but we didn't stop for dessert, instead opting to pick up some cheesecake and Prossecco from the Co-op over the road and going down to the National Trust car park at Cape Cornwall.

Dessert was taken while sitting on Vera's tailgate looking out over the Atlantic as the sun set on another great day.!

Wednesday 31 August

I wake this morning and @DerekTheWeather has it spot on for once.  I open the bog blind and cannot see the field behind.  We are shrouded in mizzle.

I check my smart phone and realise that I've missed the high tide by a few hours but fancy a bit of fishing anyway, so inform Herself that I'm off down into the cove.

There aren't many people about, but that's hardly surprising given the miserable morning. I make my way out onto the sea wall just as the real fishermen are returning to harbour in their boats.  I look on enviously as they sort their catch into different buckets.

I spend an hour or so watching my float bob up and down with a piece of dead fish hanging off it some 5ft below and dream that once, just once it'd be nice to reel it in with something other that a lump of sea weed hanging off the hooks.

Time is getting on ( that and the fact that a few lively waves rolled in sending spray everywhere ) and my mind turns to sizzling bacon so I start packing up to leave.  As I,m getting up the breeze catches my cap and blows it off my head and into the drink!

I curse and resign myself to having lost it.  I climb down of the wall onto the harbour beach and notice that the current has swept it in from the open water into the confines of the sheltered water.  It has my attention now as I make my way the the water's edge.

There is bobs agonisingly close at about 20m out as I wait for it to move in closer.  It didn't, so I take off my shoes and start to wade in, going in as far as my nether regions and using my 12ft rod to try and reach it.  I failed miserably and to complete my humiliation as I turn to exit the water I look up the slipway to see that the fishermen have stopped what they are doing to watch my antics!

I left my cap for the fish and made a retreat to site.  I have Herself well trained this holiday and when I get back the awning had a welcoming aroma of sizzling bacon.  Herself does her best to massage my ego while at the same time my Facebook acquaintances - they are demoted to that status now from friends - rip into me with no mercy.

I go to have a shower before we go out for the day, and what do you know, halfway through the shower head starts to spit at me.  I throw on a pair of shorts and go outside to check.  The tap has once again been turned off.  Now I'm convinced that I had not forgotten yesterday either, someone is playing games with me, but I fear the teenage lad next door has underestimated who he's dealing with here.

Tonight, revenge will be sweet.  A plan is hatched and under the cover of darkness I will be wrapping some fishing line around one of our rear steadies and the other end into the hedge.  I will also be wrapping some twine around the tap, but also there will be a few fishing hooks tied in for good measure.

For the meanwhile though I make do with emptying their two freshly brimmed Aquarolls just as soon as they head off out for the day.

I cook a curry ready for tea this evening and leave it on the cooker to fester all day.

By 11.30am it is starting to clear up, more so up country, so we intend to travel a bit further east to Falmouth.

My sandals are soaked through and I get into trouble with Herself for cable tying them to Vera's roof rails so they can dry out on the 35 mile trip over there.

Again we find a parking spot with relative ease and head off up into town, bypassing Rick Stein's rip off establishment.  We spend a pleasant hour or so browsing and I managed to get a replacement cap in Mountain Warehouse to stop my solar panel over heating.

Once at the other end of town we stop for a while and watch pleasure craft come and go taking coffin dodgers on trips up the River Fal.

Thought turn to liquid refreshment and we retrace our tracks as far as our usual pub when down here to have a pint on the terrace overlooking the port, only when we get there a sign tells us it's closed until further notice.

Onward we traipse in the blistering heat until we happen across The Quayside Inn, which as the name suggests is on the quayside - well nearly as there is another pub that has tables between those belong to it and the actual quayside!

Herself asks for a cider and I ask if she is eating.  I get the affirmative and go inside to order, only the bar on the lower ground floor - where we are - is closed with a sign pointing towards stairs and telling you to use the other bar.

Up three flights of stairs I go, place my order for drinks and browse the menu.  I don't fancy taking a menu all the way back down so take a guess at what Herself would want.  Down the three flights I go, managing to spill not a drop before dumping the glasses on the table.  Herself says the dogs need water, so back in I go and back up the three flights to fetch a dog bowl of water from the bar before going back down the creaky 3 flights.

With the dogs lapping away Herself asks where the menu is.  She was not happy when I told her I'd guessed and the look said it all.  Apparently, even though she's had fish every time we've eaten out daytime down here, today she doesn't fancy it.  My suggesting that she climbs the three flights of stairs herself to cancel her order didn't really go down too well and we spend a frosty 10 mins ignoring each other.

We watch a seagull attack a table that's recently been vacated until out food arrives.  The fish is superb and Herself starts to mellow, apparently the fish was a good choice as it's the best we've had since we've been down here.  She's not that hungry though so her chips and mushy peas are passed over to me! Double bonus.

After spending a very pleasant 3 hours here it's time to make tracks back west.  We take the scenic route first through the lanes and taking in the fantastic beaches at Swanpool and Maenporth with a mahoosive cruise liner anchored off shore.

We hit the A391 and make tracks for home, stopping briefly at Morrisons for some odds and ends and then at the cliff top in Sennen so the dogs can run off some steam.

Tea is taken in the awning and even if I do say so myself, it was superb.

Been on the go for most of the day today so not planning on going out this evening.

Thursday 1 September

Another great night's kip and we are woken by the van heating up.  It's 9.30am and I peel myself off the sheets to open the van door to let some air in.  It's like opening an over door as the awning is hotter than the van!

I take 5 to sort myself out and admire the view from the throne this morning, you just wouldn't get this from hotels.

Next up is to load the dogs into Vera and go over to the clifftop car park to throw a ball for them to chase and ease themselves into the day.

The view up towards Cape Cornwall is particularly stunning this morning.

I get back to the van and Herself upsets me by announcing that she didn't fancy bacon this morning.  How can anyone not fancy bacon in the morning?  She then presents me with a cream tea.  For breakfast?

It was quite nice actually and went down remarkably well.

I check our tap and it's been turned off again.  I'd had second thoughts about the trip wire and fishing hooks last night, or at least Herself had and forbid me from setting my snares.  I do however take comfort is watching the culprits not being able to drink their cuppas this morning though as the water tastes salty!

We spend the morning around the van doing some chores before getting out the recliners for an hour or so of personal contemplation.  The dogs are getting restless and park themselves in Vera's boot looking round the corner at us hinting, so we decided to up sticks and make the short journey over to the car park at Sennen where I try out my new portable BBQ to prepare lunch in the superb setting.

We spend a few hours in our recliners looking out to see spotting cruise ships making  their way back to Southampton and also watching families loading themselves up with cool bags, surf boards, deckchairs and wind breaks.  Most got to the top of the steep and long decent down to the beach before thinking better of it and packing it all away again and driving off.

Herself is fancying a spag bol for tea but we have no ingredients back at the van.  We also need dog toys and tennis balls for Tali as he destroys a tennis ball in each fetch session.

I get conned into entering Sainsbuys and Herself takes over paying duties in order to avoid any sort of scene at the tills.

Back on site there are new arrivals in our row, and one van is occupied by 2 adults and 6 dogs. 6 mind! The van must stink!

With tea demolished and cleared away we chill for an hour or so before taking the dogs our for a run over looking the cove. It's border collie city over there with 7 running around the field chasing either balls or a Frisbee.  We can't stay too long though as Magic in the Skies is about to kick off at Lands End, so we load the dogs in the boot and drive around the peninsular until the bangs have finished and the skies are no longer lit up.

Absolutely shattered tonight, don't know why as we've done very ;little today, but are tucked up in bed early  by 10.30pm.

Till part 5 .......