Monday, 21 September 2015

We Arrive At Newquay

Saturday 12 September 2015. After leaving Boscastle we meandered down through Cornwall's west coast and through towns like Wadebridge and Camelford, exclaiming every now and then at widened roads or new by-passes. The last time we were down there was in 2001 and things have changed a little!

We were staying at a small B&B on Godolphin Way: The Blue Haven. Owned by John and Kay who were extremely good hosts and I enjoyed the hearty breakfast every day, to the extent that on occasion we skipped lunch! (Not too many occasions, but we didn't eat much during the day for sure!)

We had, in fact, stayed here before in 1996 when a massive family group went down in three cars. Shown is my Dad's Skoda. We were in a Ford Fiesta and I think my brother at the time had a large Renault estate.

By the time we had been shown to our room and had unpacked and generally littered the place with our stuff, it was approaching five o'clock and we were starting to feel peckish. We walked down into Newquay along the coast road which includes walking over a huge green sward known as the Barrowfields due to the remains of several ancient barrows and and earthworks. I love such stuff and can't usually get enough of it, but we were on a food mission and didn't stop to take photos until I couldn't resist the view over the beach.

Newquay is a series of beaches, segregated by cliffs that both create delightful little intimate bays and create aching joints and creaky bones as you have to climb down and then back up after you've spent time on the beach overcoming your pain... I was 15 the first time we went to Newquay for a holiday and was in my twenties or early thirties for most other times. Now in my sixties I started to become aware that not only are my hips, knees and calf/thigh muscles not what they once were, but my bladder is not as nonchalant these days about a 20 or 30 minute gap between me starting to feel the urge and finally finding a place to relieve it! I reckon when people talk about the Good Old Days it's as much about their own ability to function properly in their younger days than it is about a simpler, kinder, less aggressive lifestyle...

Although the weather is windy and not too warm there are still enthusiasts on the beach, surfing under the watchful eyes of the beach lifeguards. In fact the lifeguards will soon go off duty but the surfers will still be there, good fortune, the vagaries of tides and the disinterest shown by Cornwall's mythical sea beast Morgawr all being granted...

We made our way reluctantly (no, sorry, that should have been "really expectantly") into a hostelry called The Griffin (whilst I'm in a mythical creatures sort of mood...) and there to my surprise a pint of Worthingtons shot down my neck even before I'd had time to peruse the menu... It had a nice bar and a separate dining room that didn't open until 6:00pm but the same menu could be enjoyed at your table in the bar from 5:30 so we ordered early. John at the Blue Haven had recommended the Griffin's steak in ale pie as a thing of beauty and so I followed his recommendation and can honestly say I was not disappointed. Slightly over-faced, yes, but not disappointed! Try it if you find yourself in Newquay. Just don't be stuffing yourself with burgers during the afternoon though...

By the time we came out, the sun was thinking about going off to illuminate Australia and New Zealand. We had the long haul back up the hill to the Barrowfields and beyond - our B&B was roughly halfway between Newquay itself and Porth, the village to the north.

It was a pleasant walk, made all the more pleasing with the need to wheeze and puff and pant and we did break the journey up by making use of a bench to watch the more reticent surfers limping up from the beach. I remember from my own attempts at surfing in those days long ago, that the way to tell a real surfer from a poser is the number of scars, limping and bruising that are sustained. You don't really get that from just running in to get wet and then standing on the beach, hugging your surfboard and ogling the girls...

Anyway, here we are. The weather forecast for the week is ... atrocious... what? But we've come for sunshine and relaxation...! Ah well... we'll just have to see. We already did see - you'll just have to wait until I write a bit more... Until next time then!

Cornwall Holiday Index

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