Wow! At long last, against the odds, the Dean household, including the mad pup, went on a long-overdue holiday. Every year we go to Cornwall to chill out and have fun with the pup, saving our foreign travels for pup-free time. She has her staycation in a canine hotel… the kennels are too nice to be called kennels. The likelihood of foreign travel is uncertain so time to make the most of what we have here in the UK.
Anyway, back to the holiday. We hedged our bets at the beginning of Lockdown 3.0 and booked our usual cottage for our usual week away. Fortunately dear Boris, here in the UK, came up with an exit plan that meant we’d not only be able to travel, we’d also be able to enjoy some pub time. What we didn’t know was he’d planned a little get-together (G7 Summit) in the same county and at the same time. Rude!
It’s a heck of a long way from Yorkshire to Cornwall and we didn’t fancy being stuck in rush hour traffic so we left home at 2.30am!! I can’t remember the last time I saw this hour. I think it was on New Year’s Eve/Day… from the right side of the clock, instead of getting up after 4 hours in bed! On the plus side, as it’s nearly the Summer Solstice, so it doesn’t get completely dark, more of a midnight blue velvety dark. Owls and bats wheeled overhead as we made our way from the countryside to the motorway network.
The traffic gods smiled on us the entire journey. No traffic jams. No accidents. Overnight motorway maintenance closures opened on time. Hooray! We arrived at our breakfast destination an hour early. For those of you who love English literature, we stopped in Jamaica Inn! No pirates or smugglers, but a number of like-minded early morning travellers all ready for a full English breakfast. To ensure decent behaviour from the pup, she had her breakfast outside in a nearby field… a chance to stretch her legs and attend to morning business. When you plan a beach visit later in the day, it’s wise to try to empty the pup tanks as much as possible to avoid embarrassing incidents!
Our first stop after breakfast gave us the heads-up that dear Boris and his friends might be joining us later in the week… there would be road closures all round the nearby airport. Oh well, for now, the roads were open and most of the UK’s police forces were enjoying a lovely sunny posting to Cornwall. My first glimpse of the sea was so exciting I missed my turnoff. The SatNav rerouted us and off I went.
If any of you have experienced the joy of Cornish roads you will be laughing already at my decision to follow the new route. For those of you not in the know… Cornish roads are notoriously narrow. This one was one of the narrowest I’ve ever been along… both wing mirrors touched the recently-trimmed greenery on each side of the road… and I met an oncoming car! I always take a note of the last passing place and knew I had quite a long trek backwards. Lucky I have a reversing camera… it made me look like a professional.
Finally we emerged from the narrow road, back onto something with white lines down the middle and all I had to do was release the tightened butt cheeks and restart my breathing. Finding a parking spot was far easier. Friday is a big change-over day so the car park was empty… I had my choice of spot close to the route to the beach, our favourite is Watergate Bay. Aaaaaand relax.
Within minutes of arriving we were on the beach, pup racing around (now emptied) like the proverbial headless chicken, shoes off and sand between my toes. The tide was still reasonably far out making it possible to walk to the far end and investigate the caves and rock pools.
The final icing on the cake was finding a free table in the beer garden near the cottage and sipping the first Tarquin’s (local gin) and tonic in the blazing sunshine.
In part two I’ll let you know how Mr D and I faired against our kidults in an epic sea voyage in kayaks and whether we made it through Merlin’s Cave safely. Till then, stay safe and healthy.
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