We are down in Cornwall to celebrate my 65th and Jude’s retirement from Bagshaws. The VW camper we are renting is a 1965 split screen model called Barbarossa. Very very cool - but does require some organisational skills as living space is limited!
We picked it up in Oakhampton on Friday lunchtime and Jude drove us down to Padstow which was our base for the first 3 nights. Very smart campsite within walking distance of the harbour. Had a real bonus the first night as a mobile wood fired pizza trailer visit s every Friday. So pizza for supper with our salad.
Saturday we had a lazy start getting ourselves a bit organised then walked into Padstow to go grockling. Bank holiday weekend was very busy so after a brief wander around - Jude got her fringe cut for a bargain £2.50! we caught the estuary ferry across to the village of Rock. Very nice lunch in a bar overlooking the estuary and Padstow then more grockling. We were quite worn out!
Back to the camper for dinner and a spectacular thunderstorm which lasted much of the night
Sunday we did a round walk on the coastal path south of Padstow. (Map to follow.) Spectacular views in fabulous weather. We were intending to have fish and chips in Padstow and get the bus back to the campsite but with 2 hours til the next one we walked the mile back as we thought that a mobile fish and chip vac was at the site on Sunday. Turned out that was Mondays so we ended up with sausage sarnies.
Monday. Got up bright and early and packed the van as our stay in Padstow was at an end. Didn’t go far as we drove down to town to get parked before the crowds and then biked the Camel Trail along the estuary to Wadebridge and after a cuppa onwards to Bodmin. As we were early the bank holiday traffic was ok but the trail was much busier on the return. Bikes securely fastened on the back of the van we set off for Gorran Haven just south of St. Austell. Nice campsite and we spent a couple of lazy hours enjoying the very hot afternoon / evening sunshine.
Tuesday. Today was going to be a beach day. However we woke up to a misty murky overcast sky. So after bimbling around most of the morning with no real change we set off for Gorran Haven armed with a packed lunch and bathers with a few drops of drizzle in the air. Nice beach with a harbour walk along one side and a few small boats tied up. We ate lunch perched on some rocks and then tested the water temperature. A brief paddle confirmed it was still wet suit weather so we left the cossies firmly at the bottom of the rucksack. Jude found a much better plan. We could walk west round the coast path round Dodman Point to Hemmick beach and back to the campsite from there. So we had a great couple of hours on the coast path again.
Tomorrow we are meeting up with Maggie and going round the Lost gardens of Heligan.
Wednesday We’ll we didn’t get to Heligan today. We awoke to torrential rain which continued until about 4:30pm. We spoke to Maggie and agreed it was not quite the weather for it. So we had a reading day - I just about finished the new John le Carre novel.
Despite being expertly put up the stand alone awning (tent) we were collecting water on the roof. We had the bikes and other stuff in the tent so I was regularly out in the rain to sort it out. Once the weather cleared we went for a short walk to the pub about a mile away for a pint
Thursday. As we were really close to the Lost gardens and Jude was very keen to go we decided that as the weather was fine to do them. So packed up camp and off we went. Surprisingly I too enjoyed it. Not at all what I had expected and spent most of the day there.
Once done we set off for Dartmoor for our last night in the van. We needed to be quite close to Oakhampton as we had to give it back by 10:00am.
So we had a lovely meal and a couple of pints in the local pub near the campsite we had booked.
Friday Up reasonably early to get all our stuff packed away and we set off with plenty of time in hand. We found a quiet lane and Jude hopped out to video me driving past.
Eventually we ran out of time for mucking about and reluctantly gave him back to his owners. They are a great bunch of people so if anyone feels like doing the same head over to http://oconnorscampers.co.uk/
Once we had got sorted out we set off for Maggie’s back in a modern car. Had a slow but interesting journey as the A30 was a a complete standstill so we cut across Dartmoor navigating using a map of the UK checking various junctions on google.
More to follow...