Monday, 9 November 2009

South-South-West - the adventure begins...

In the morning we parked Jules down in Sennan Cove harbour, not quite the end of the world but the closest it could get to Lands End and a lovely spot for a little campervan nonetheless.

The sunday morning sunshine walk to Land's End was simply glorious - bright sunshine, blue skies, bracing wind, crashing waves and epic views.  Land's End the tourist attraction is as remembered (if not worse) full of tacky arcades and a shopping centre but the actual end of the world was stunning and a fine place for us to agree we had actually officially started our adventure. 

Back to the van and we headed on to Lizard in the hope of cream teas at the southernmost cafe in England, stopping en route for me to buy daisy paint - I haven't yet got any further with making Jules blue again - although most of one side is smooth spotty grey and ready for top coat - but I don't want to get behind on the daisy painting project! 

Again, the Lizard is somewhere we went years ago and we had delicious memories of scones the size of cricket balls and mountains of jam and cream in a little cafe perched on the edge of the cliff in the sunshine and we were delighted to find that the place was both open and unchanged.

When every last drop of tea had been drunk and jam and cream scraped out of bowls and licked off knives, we set off on a short cliff walk on the advice of a local lady in the cafe who had herself dropped out of the rat race 20 years ago to move to Cornwall from Slough and who couldn't recommend it enough as a life plan. 

The cliff top was beautiful but at the point where we could see both ends of the rainbow, we decided that heading for back the van in case of imminent rain was probably the way forward.

Fortunately the rain never materialised and a happy couple of hours was passed painting my first daisy - after protracted discussions on the appropriate shape and number of petals for daisies, I had envisaged the bubbly, rounded fried egg type whereas Will was advocating many pointy petals, this was the approach finally agreed on after several sketches and contemplation of paint consumption - and a very good job I think we made too! 

The sunset was pretty majestic and, uplifted by the view, we pointed our noses north and decided to round off our day of english-ness with fish and chips which we bought in St Austell and ate in a deserted carpark down a long narrow dead end road at Trevarren.

There was a scary moment when pulling into the carpark, the front of the van disappeared form underneath us and Jules found itself stuck nose down in a swampy muddy puddle.  Fortunately it is rear wheel drive and it valiantly struggled its way out so crisis was averted. 

It was such a nice quiet spot that after a short road trip to Mevagissey - which is a lovely place for a day visit and still pretty even on a dark, deserted November night - we decided to return there and settle in for the night.

This morning we again awoke to glorious sunshine and found that we were in a leafy carpark for the Coast Walk and that a few steps up the hill there were fabulous views over St Austell bay round to Gribben Head.  

This morning we again awoke to glorious sunshine and found that we were in a leafy carpark for the Coast Walk and that a few steps up the hill there were fabulous views over St Austell bay round to Gribben Head.
This is our last full day in England (we leave tomorrow on an evening ferry from Plymouth) and as we are still probably not as fuel efficient as we would like, Will has a plan to make something which will re-map a sensor and change the fuel flow - he will no doubt update the world with details of his technical genius once such a solution is in place, for those that care, it involves programming an ARM chip - so we set off in search of a scrap yard for bits.  After a false start in St Austell, our quest lead us to Bodmin in search of a library for a telephoe directory and some free internet which we turned out not to need as we instead met the most helpful librarian ever (and we have met many helpful librarians on this trip so far) who could not only tell us where the nearest scrap yard was but had also been there before several times and could recommend it as being huge with loads of cars and lots of trucks spotted all over the county laden with cars.  By this point it was also lunchtime and with an unfulfilled need for cornish pasty we headed for the bakery.  Whilst we waited for the next batch of pasties to come out the oven we passed 20 mins in Bodmin Shire Hall which has a good exhibition about 18th & 19th century crime and punishment and what is probably a fascinating courtroom re-enactment of a famous murder trial.

Unfortunately we didn't have time for this as pasties were wating and clutching lunch we headed up the hill to the Bodmin Beacon which is a big spire on top of a hill.  For those of you who haven't spotted a theme yet, I like tops of things and edges of things and high up or far away places, just cos they're there :)

Full of pasty and general good will towards the world, we set of in search of the scrap yard.  After one wrong turn, we spotted one of the aforementioned  scrap yard lorries and were able to follow it all the way home.  It is apparently the cleanest scrap yard Will has ever been in - well he came back quite clean so I can dispute the fact! - and within minutes he had indeed been able to find the thing he wanted.  "Combellack Vehicle Recyclers Ltd - your parts could be in no better hands" can't say fairer than that!

Aremd with parts and BBQ food and with a couple of hours daylight left, we decided to head back to Mena Caravan Park, sure of a warm welcome and again, we were not disappointed.  We have had some great suggestions of places to go (France) and places to avoid (Turkey and Romania) from Ian's varied globe trotting experience in both the army and caravans.

Ian was even happy for me to start on some paint work so a quarter of the van (passenger door and slidey door) is now blue!  [I wrote the earlier part of this post in the passenger seat en route to the scrappy when Jules was still spotty and looking to remain that way]  woohoo!  I finished the painting in the dark so I don't know quite how good or otherwise the finish is but I am pretty happy :)

I also have two more daisies so i am up to date daisy-wise.

We now have wine, barbequed chicken legs (barbequing in britian in November!), boiled new potatoes and broccoli to eat in front of our fire and the sun has so far shone of everyday of our adventure, life is, once again, good!

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