Blog Posts, Menopausal Mutterings

Staycation pt. 4 The last hooray!

Peaceful morning dog walk by the shore

Following last week’s episode in which Pup and Mr D behaved reasonably well in the Lost Gardens of Heligan (more by accident than design), the end of the holiday is almost upon us. I will miss the morning stroll around the harbour but not the early morning alarm gulls! Enough of the depressing talk. We’re still on holiday!

Luckily I hold the membership cards needed for Mr D and I to gain free entry to St Michael’s Mount. Only our kidults would need paid tickets. I was kind to them. Knowing how long it takes to drive from the cottage to Marazion (about 1hr 30mins with traffic), I booked entry for 11am for the non-members and 11.30 for us. No need to get up early, gulls permitting. The last time we were there we had to take it in turns to visit the castle as dogs were only allowed in the grounds. Pup was passed from one half of the party to the other.

The long queue for St Michael’s Mount

But that was the last visit. This time, while standing in the long queue, stretching all the way from the castle walls back along the causeway, we discovered that dogs were banned from the island! So much for forward planning. As we neared the top of the queue, we waved bye bye to the kidults, and set off along the beach towards Penzance, pup racing around us. The tide was far out so Pup had plenty of room to chase gulls, other dogs, and bark at lumps of seaweed left by the previous tide.

A phone call from the CCs let us know that the whole castle visit was a shambles. They’d sold too many tickets for each time slot. Those on the island had to queue again to get into the castle… and keep queuing to enter each room. They worried we’d be bored. We told them to enjoy their time, not to rush, and we’d meet up at the land end of the causeway and head for lunch.

St Michael’s Mount looking mysterious

It took them so long to get round the island and castle that we’d almost reached Penzance, 4 miles away! It was no wonder Pup was quiet by the time we met up again. Lunch in our favourite spot was off the cards too. With so many people flocking to Marazion, the pub gardens were full to the brim, no spaces inside either. We gave up, got in the car and started to head back to the cottage.

Just outside Marazion we spotted a signpost for a seaside village we’d never visited. The chances of finding lunch were greater. So, ignoring the SatNav’s instruction, we turned off the route, headed towards to the coast again, and were pleasantly surprised to find a lovely harbour town and a parking space… a free parking space. Those are like hen’s teeth!

It may have been cold and windy outside but at least we got a seat, hot drinks and sticky cakes! They would keep us going until the evening.

The return journey was quite exciting as our SatNav rerouted us due to traffic congestion on the main routes. This meant only one thing… ultra narrow roads with intermittent passing spaces. Mind you, the upside was we found some gorgeous little undiscovered (by us) villages and arrived back earlier than anticipated. I’ll keep that route in mind for future use.

Sadly, we’re now at the end of our far-too-short holiday. The sun is shining – typical! It’s been absent for most of the week. Still, it means that a day on the beach will be pleasant. If only we can get there. The G7 summit has caused traffic chaos with road closures around Newquay airport. Our main route to the beach was closed. We resigned ourselves to not getting there, or getting there but not being able to park. It’s a scorcher of a Saturday and the beach would be calling everyone to come and enjoy themselves.

Never underestimate the power of a SatNav. It knew about the closures and found a route open… and yes, you’ve guessed, more narrow roads. I’m getting used to them now, and used to reversing into tiny passing spaces! Passing numerous armed police patrols, we finally arrived at Watergate Bay. It seemed the road closures were working in our favour. Most people had abandoned the idea of visiting the area which freed up the car park… we had our choice of spaces, and the beach was virtually deserted. The only downside was lack of waves for boogie boarding.

Pup being entertained

We made the most of the low tide and walked the length of the bay one last time, making sure Pup was well exercised. She’d likely snooze all the way back to East Yorkshire. Meanwhile, she could be seen exploring rock pools, beached jelly fish, chasing gulls and balls, and generally making a nuisance of herself.

Time flew by. All too soon it was time to pack the car and head home. Mr D was taking the first shift, which was just as well. I was feeling a tad emotional at leaving my wee corner of bliss. Tears slid silently down my cheeks as we finally lost signal for the local radio station, Pirate FM. Going home is normally a sad affair, but this year it seemed more intensely sad. Thankfully the traffic played nice and the journey was soon over. It only took a week of being back before we booked next year’s return trip… hopefully minus restrictions and masks!

I’m taking a wee break over the following two weeks. Between visiting family we haven’t seen since lockdown 1.0 and having time away with Mr D on our own, I’m going to be otherwise occupied or off the grid.

Until next time, stay safe and well.