Part 5 – Tide Pools (13/8)
As we didn’t have anything particular planned I decided to throw out a random destination in the vicinity. Given that we had stayed in the area previously there were a number of placed that we had driven past but not stopped to visit. I thought that today would be a good day to do just that. So without further ado we set off in the direction of the Lizard and one mile away followed a sign for Cadgwith. On our arrival in the public car park it was hard to see what the appeal of this place was. Descending the long pathway into the village reveals one of Cornwall’s “hidden gems”, venturing down the narrow path you begin to see snippets of what’s to come, thatched cottages built out of stone, a colourful display of flowers on the sides and then as you make the final descent into the village you come across a secluded harbour and beach which would not be out of place on a postcard. The rest of the village flanks the harbour along the slopes of the surrounding hills. What really struck me was the tranquil nature of the place. The harbour was a working one with several people working on their boats, making repairs etc and having a laugh and a joke just like any ordinary workday. While there are a few shops serving visiting tourists, there were also a fishmongers as well as a restaurant and an inn nearby. We spent quite some time sitting at “Old Todder” which overlooks both the harbour and the small beach. Time just seemed to pass by when you’re admiring the view as well as enjoying your pasty. There were a number of great photo opportunities around so I made my way uphill (again) and followed a couple of walkers on the coastal path which rose over the harbour and at its summit gave spectacular views of the cove and the village. It was certainly a day I wouldn’t forget in a hurry.
Part 6 – Sitting At The Dock of the Bay (14/8)
The day began with overcast skies and rain beating against the window. I though to myself “we won’t be going far today”. We decided that we were going to stay in the Cove for most of the day because of the weather. After stocking up on supplies and more beer I might add we spent part of the afternoon around the harbour. It was surprising how much damage January’s storms had caused to one of the breakwaters. It was also strange to see the absence of any sand on that side. Trying to walk on shingle just meant that your foot would immediately sink in whatever direction it felt like without offering a moment to reconsider. A short while later I was beckoned by Alex & Heather who said “you’ve got to come and see this!” I followed them both into a small cavern which was quite uneven and dark, in a short time I could see daylight at the other end and emerged onto another beach which was only accessible at low tide. This was the first time I have see the cove from the outside of the harbour breakwaters it was quite a sight. That is one of the beauties of Cornwall, just when you think you’ve seen it all you take a few steps and another view is revealed. While I was watching Alex & Heather experimenting with making sand castles I noticed a young boy with a clear bucket and he had some very small crabs inside he had found in a tide pool. There were also a Mother & Daughter with their Labrador which was frolicking in the sea among the incoming waves. After seeing how Susan was sitting at the harbour above the kids came back and we made our slow climb back home. Later that evening I said I was going out to the Lizard to try and get some more pictures from the coastal path and that I’d be a couple of hours. I looked outside and thought that the light was quite nice so off I went on the short (6 miles) drive to Lizard Village and from there follow the public footpath that leads you onto the coastal path. Returning to the same spot, this time armed with my SLR and tripod I setup my gear and then had to wait for a cloud which was obscuring the low hanging sun to move. The view was well worth the wait and I snapped of few pictures before moving on to another vantage point further down the path. Eventually I had moved several times down the path, each time further away until I could see Kynance Cove clearly in view along the coastline. By this time (8.30pm) the sun was beginning to set. As you probably know I don’t have the greatest of luck during the “golden hour” of actually catching a sunset due to low clouds near the horizon and the distant land blocking the final phase of the setting sun. However today was better than most, I could see the change in the quality of light reflected of the lighthouse buildings and of the grass around me, time to grab a few more pictures as the light was particularly pleasing to the eye. Before long the sun had finally disappeared behind the land in the distance. With darkness rapidly approaching I had to decide whether to go back to the car the way I came or head on towards the nearby lighthouse. The lighthouse won but the path back was not as straightforward as I had hoped. After a steep descent down some rough steps and avoiding another set of steps leading towards the lifeboat launch I came across a small clearing and a signpost for the village. Following the path upwards I saw another sign saying “gold trail” so decided to follow that instead. By this time it was starting to get dark and the path was very narrow with bushes on either side of it and I was out of breath almost wheezing because of all the extra weight I was carrying. Finally I saw an end in sight as the path led onto a nearby house, only then did I realise that I had actually walked on a bridleway. The last thing was to get my bearings and find the car so I continued walking until I saw more houses and finally spotted a familiar building which led me past the “Lilac House” and into the centre of the village. Now bear in mind that I left around 6.30pm and said I would be gone for a few hours, I did try to call but as is typical in these parts mobile reception is patchy at best usually low signal to no signal. The drive home was great as I got to practice flicking from full beam to dipped when other cars approached. I finally arrived at 9.30pm at the bungalow and was greeted with my daughter saying “and what time do you call this!”. Sometimes I think it would have been easier to go to the pub!
Part 7 – Everybody’s Surfin’ (15/8)
Today we decided to visit the nearby Poldhu Cove for a lazy day on the beach. Beaches in Cornwall can vary from pebbles, shingle and fine sand depending on whereabouts on the coast you are. Poldhu is only a mile away from Mullion making for an easy drive. When we arrived to find a pay and display car park we struck gold again in that the only machine there was currently out of order. On the advice of some other visitors I took a photo of the offending machine complete with its site code and also left a note in the windscreen stating that the machine was out of order. While there was a notice offering a pay via your mobile this does depend somewhat on who your mobile network provider is. What good is being able to pay by phone if you can’t get a signal? In this modern day and age it still tickles my funny bone that in the very place on the 12th December 1901 Italian engineer Guglielmo Marconi sent the very first radio transmission which was received in Newfoundland that you cannot get a reliable mobile signal standing here!!! I bet he’s cursing the English for their short sightedness! Poldhu Cove is mainly comprised of fine sand and lots of pebbles! It took me a while to get to our spot as I was a bit wobbly on my feet. It was at this moment that my daughter said she wished she had brought her wetsuit and board with her. As this was out first visit to this beach we were not aware of what we would find, she managed to occupy her time playing in the sand instead while my son was climbing anything he could. After a minor disagreement we returned home to grab a drink. While talking my daughter got into her wetsuit and we ended heading back to the same cove again! Sadly this time I saw a van from Cornwall Council and I was correct in assuming that he had fixed the ticket machine. As a point of interest Cornwall Council has one of the highest revenues generated from parking fees in the UK. Armed with my camera I made my way to the waters edge in my flip flops and saw a group of people taking surfing lessons. Poised with my camera I quickly grabbed a few shots of some of the more accomplished students as well as some great shots of my daughter riding the waves for the first time!
Part 8 – Ch..Ch..Changes… (16/8)
Saturday is most commonly associated with “changeover” days in holiday lets. We saw several guests leaving this morning heading for home. One was a couple where the husband drove a Jaguar (the new one), it turned out they were from London and had stayed for a week with their two daughters. I overheard a comment from one of the other guests while he was packing about how the car designers gave no thought to fitting roof bars on a Jaguar. We decided to continue our exploration of the Lizard by visiting Coverack which was on the other side of the peninsula (approx 10 miles). It’s true what they say about parking spaces in Coverack, they are limited in number. I saw people parked on double yellow lines all along the road. We managed to find a spot once we negotiated some crafty parallel parking to squeeze in. The signs said that between 10am-6pm parking was maximum of 30 mins and no return within that time. I couldn’t see any wardens so decided to take a chance and leave the car there. Right behind our car was another one where the owner had left their two dogs inside with the window ajar. It was hardly surprising that they were in the car as all we could see were bared teeth and snarling. Coverack is a beautiful wide open harbour which opens out to the sea with only one breakwater in the small harbour. There were a number of small boats as well as larger sailing boats including a catamaran which just seemed to be left adrift. It was was easy to see why it was so popular as the seas are quite shallow and are ideal for kayakers and windsurfers. While walking around we came across a group of men which my daughter thought had dressed “funny”, I explained that they were wearing kilts and that it was most likely a wedding. Sure enough, after a few minutes I noticed the photographer (Khalil Siddique) turning up to meet the party and take some shots for the prospective wedding album. Susan said to one of them “you won’t be like this after 18 years of marriage!”, quite true I may add you get less for murder! Marriage would make a great deterrent to criminals! While we were walking around we stopped for some lunch and spotted one of the guests who had left earlier this morning. Susan got chatting as she does and found out that they were from Rugby and were going to spend the day in Coverack before heading back home. It just goes to show that just because you have to vacate your place you can still carry on the holiday just a little while longer. This was a slightly “weird” day in that it marked the start of the second week of our holiday. Returning to our bungalow we observed the arrival of some new guests. On of which brought his trailer right into the courtyard laden with all manner of things. Turned out he had not only a infant but also a baby and appeared to bring everything including the kitchen sink with him. The poor guy had to make several trips to unload. I can’t image what packing up would look like!