Weeks ago, I reserved a pitch on the most expensive campsite ever: roughly 83,- EUR. Per night. For 1 Hector and 1 Lady. This being set, the overwhelming decoration with thousands of flags is the minimum I could expect. Only in the improbable case that the queen comes by for her platinum jubilee, she might claim it all for her. With her Majesty staying in London, I only have to share honour and glory with my van, which is fair enough for our first UK campground.
I have chosen Newquay for beaches and surfing, but come to think that it is moreover famous for being busy and crowded.
The beach right in front is for families and stand-up-paddlers only, thanks to its natural bay.
Time to bring my surf-van on the next level: With a sophisticated surfboard-mount, I am good to go towards Watergate Bay for appropriate waves.
I check out the options and make it my preferred spot for the next days.
Hector surveys my ongoing attempts from the cliff-parking position. Good to know that even in early morning, I am not entirely alone in the bay.
Meanwhile, I practice wave by wave, improving my skills. Take-off, whitewash and greenwater, topped with some washing-machines every now and then. I ride some waves and some waves ride me. Afterwards, I have my board washed by the kind and handsome men of wavehunters.co.uk, chatting a bit about life, surfing and all the rest.
The coastal path is worth some hours of walking, showing lovely facets of the cliffs and bays. Wildflowers, rocks, sand and different perspectives depending upon the tides come together in the most enchanting way.
Danger for tourists is always part of the game: vain selfie-spotters might fall off the cliffs, tides and current are underestimated easily and the sunburn-risk is continuously high. Still, wandering the coastline is all worth it.
Newquay downtown is full of tourist, shops and cars. Better again: focus on the landscape around.
Of course, the beaches need to be checked out thoroughly. First: Fistral beach, famous for surfing and attracting the majority of people.
Thanks to the shortage of service staff in most places, I drop in the Headland Hotel for some afternoon Cornish Cream Tea with the most wonderful gluten-free scones I never dared to dream of.
The next beach is a more relaxed one. Might be due to the umpteen stairs you need to climb down…
Third in a row is the one close to my exclusive campsite. During low tide, there even is a bit of a shore with miniature waves.
Following the coast further North shows another bay that is fully eaten up by the ocean during high tide. Other times offer endless sands and stones.
After sneaking in The Mermaid Inn, I stroll around in the evening sun, now with high tide and the water filling in most of the bay.
A couple of days if enough for this place. New places to see and friends to meet make us move on to further destinations.