Part 1 finished with us chilling out in a beer garden in Charlestown after a very early start, a long drive from Yorkshire and a day on the beach. Unusually for us, we’ve had to pre-plan the whole week, book the appropriate tickets and evening meals. We prefer to make it up on the hoof depending on the weather. With COVID restriction still in place, you can’t visit anything without a time slot and corresponding bar code! We would have to take potluck with the weather.
So far, the forecast for the week looked favourable. Maybe not the spectacular temperatures we normally enjoy in June, but at least it would be dry. Wouldn’t it? Hmmm… this is the UK and we are on the coast. It might change! Of course it will.
We had planned to spend the day on the beach, recovering from the journey, reading, boogie boarding etc., but alas, the drizzle said Nope! So, land-based activities it was. I had the foresight to check the tide times so we could time it perfectly to explore Marlins cave (on the map)… and the smaller but feisty Morgana’s cave (named by the Dean household) on the shoreline in Tintagel.
I think I underestimated how quickly the tide comes in as the boys got soggy coming out of Morgana’s cave. Usually I stay behind, sitting on a rock meditating while the family scramble through Merlin’s Cave, but this year I decided I was coming too. Like a true Girl Guide, I came prepared with shoes designed for walking in water and headed off into the cave. The rest of the Dean family were somewhat surprised as they usually have to wait for me to catch up when we walk/explore. Not this time. I was blazing a trail through the cave as the tide rose to my knees. I let out a small squeak of triumph and headed back to safety. I’m glad I did it. It was a much-needed confidence booster for a wee scaredy-cat!
The walk back from the castle and shore to the village is a test of strength. It’s exceptionally steep. The reward for getting to the top without stopping is a trip to the local bakers for a proper pasty from one of the best pasty shops in Cornwall. Mr D and I love a traditional pasty but the cost centers (our kidults) prefer cheese twists etc. Yuck!
After lunch and a beer sampling session in King Arthur’s Pub our next destination was Boscastle, site of devastating floods back in 2004. It’s a beautiful seaside village with wonderful boutiques, steep narrow streets, and a museum of Witchcraft and Magic. In non-COVID times you may be lucky enough to encounter the resident witch in her garden, but it’s closed except for pre-booked appointments. Cost Center 1 and I have visited in previous years. It’s a fascinating museum. This time we contented ourselves with a walk around the harbour and a visit to one or two shops.
Needless to say, after all that fresh air and exercise, everyone was hungry, footsore, and ready for an early night… except the Pup! She wanted walkies at 10pm!!
Sunday dawned bright and early, signaled by gulls squawking overhead. This woke Pup, who immediately demanded out for morning business. At least the weather seemed to be warmer and drier that yesterday. This would mean a hot walk through the biomes of the Eden Project, especially the Rainforest biome. You definitely need to dress in layers, removable as you walk higher up this biome, and good trainers!
If you’re ever in this part of the UK I can highly recommend a visit. You can keep your tickets for a whole year and rebook visits as many times as you like. The vibe is so chilled and relaxing, ideal after the year we’ve had.
Onto the bit you’ve been waiting for… kidults versus adults in kayaks. Our Monday activity was a guided sea safari in kayaks along the St Agnes Head area, famous for wildlife and ruined Tin Mines like Wheal Coates.
Our young guide has been doing these tours for a number of years and is like a human encyclopedia of the area. After the usual safety talks, we were presented with a choice: paddle offshore and then left into quieter waters with a blow hole, or paddle offshore and right, into choppy waters with chances to spot seals. The Cost Centers were all for turning left, but the purchaser of the tickets (me) was up for more challenging seas. We weren’t disappointed. Atlantic seals and Common seals (which aren’t all that common) popped up to watch us as we took a short break to admire features in the cliff faces left by the mining industry.
The choppy seas were tough to paddle through and thrilling when timing a wave just right to pass through narrow clefts. Every time we prepared for a maneuver, we’d find our kidults lagging behind or complaining that they were tired! So much for the strength of youth. Mr D and I have a combined age of more that their combined ages, yet we lasted the pace without tiredness or mishap! I will gloss over how we felt the following day. Suffice to say, we were still in better shape than the offspring.
As this has turned into a much longer post than I’d planned, I’ll leave it there for this week. Next week will feature a visit to the Lost Gardens of Heligan and the nearby town of Mevagissey. Until then, stay safe and well.