The Tour 2022 (U): Facets of Dorset

Bereits am ersten vollen Urlaubstag mit Melly geht uns einiges ab: Es fehlen hübsche Bilder vom „Forgotten Orchard“, dramatische Bildsequenzen von entgegenkommenden Bussen (und planlosen Kleinwagen) auf engen Sträßchen sowie ausreichend Bildmaterial von einem Küstenort mit überschaubarem Charme.

Und doch tanzen wir am späten Nachmittag vor Freude auf dem Parkplatz von Lulworth Cove, als wir die verschollene Kreditkarte wieder in den Händen halten. Aber von Anfang an…

A couple of things are missing on behalf of Melly’s first full Hector-holi-day: pictures of the charming “Forgotten Orchard”, snapshots from coach-encounters on narrow roads, or sceneries of the two camper ladies riding folded bikes in Swanage.

Still, we dance and celebrate this afternoon, holding the lost credit card safe in our hands. The story right from the beginning will follow below…

“Applause” would be more adequate – but still…

Nach dem entspannten Morgenspaziergang in Lulworth Cove nehmen wir Kurs auf Corfe Castle. Der etwas abgelegene Parkplatz ist von der Straße aus gut beschildert, danach kann man auf gut Glück verschlungene Pfade entlang der Bahngleise suchen. Schon von weitem erblicken wir die idyllische Burgruine, kurz darauf findet sich auch der Fußweg dorthin.

From the starting point  at Lulworth Cove, we head on to Corfe Castle. Finding the tourist parking is easy – finding the right pathway to the castle ruins is another pair of shoes. After some back and forth, we spot the silhouette in a distance and, finally, get there.

#corfecastle
Corfe Castle

Wir haben uns im Vorfeld natürlich informiert und gelernt, dass Corfe Castle die Mutter aller idyllischen Ruinen ist. Völlig überrascht sind wir von dem charmanten alten Ort, der die eigentliche Burg umgibt.

Having read about the leftovers and their appearance as typical and charming as ruins can be, nothing prepared us for the beautiful ancient village that surrounds the castle.

Oldest Pub ever, most wanted castle, tourist dreams coming true

In einem ruhigen Hinterhof genießen wir wundervolle, glutenfreie Scones und kannenweise Tee. In den letzten Jahren ist – dank der nachlässigen Ernährungsgewohnheiten der Engländer – der Bedarf nach glutenfreier Ernährung sprunghaft gestiegen. Selbst in den letzten Winkeln finden wir ein erfreulich umfangreiches Angebot und schlemmen uns durch alle Spezialitäten.

Around noon, we drop into a nice courtyard for gluten-free cream tea – another point on Melly’s list we can happily cross-off.

Eine freundliche, jedoch ergebnislose Diskussion des stolzen Burg-Eintrittspreises bringt uns zu der Überzeugung, dass die Ruine auf Distanz besser wirkt. Dank der English Heritage Ladies haben wir jedoch ein Ziel für die nächste Übernachtung: Swanage soll sehr hübsch sein…

Discussing significant entrance fees for the castle convinces us that a bit of a distance is most appropriate. Still, the lovely ladies of the English Heritage foundation come with a recommendation for our next stop: Swanage might be a nice location for another Hector-night.

Expected in Cornwall, found in Dorset

Auf dem Weg Richtung Küste folgen wir spontan dem Hinweisschild zur Dorset Cider Farm „Forgotten Orchard“. Melly opfert sich und probiert die angebotenen Cider-Varianten, während ich mich trüb dem Apfelsaft hingebe. Fazit: Super Zeug!

On our way, we pass by a signpost towards Dorset Cider Fram – immediately, Hector turns left and we examine their variety in cider (Melly) and in apple juice (me). Conclusion: great stuff!

Brave Girl!

Als wir zahlen wollen, kommt Unruhe auf: es fehlt ein blaues Stück Plastik mit Bank-Logo und Bezahlfunktion. Anstelle des sonnigen Plantagen-Spaziergangs stellen wir den Inhalt von Taschen und Schränken auf den Kopf – keine Kreditkarte!

Paying our shopping excess becomes challenging when we start searching for a piece of plastic with a bank logo. Instead of a sunny walk around the orchard, we turn inside-out a couple of bags and closets – no credit card!

Die absolut letzte Strecke, die ich an einem sonnigen Sonntag Nachmittag fahren will, ist die zurück zum überlaufenen Lulworth Cove. Dennoch bin ich überzeugt davon, dass Menschen gut sind und Fundstücke einsammeln bzw. abgeben. Leicht angespannt fahren wir also zurück zu dem Parkplatz, an dem wir die Karte zuletzt benutzt haben.

The least road I yearn to take is the one towards overcrowded Lulworth Cove on a Sunday afternoon. However, I am so convinced of honest people in general, that we turn around and – with slight tension – get back to where we used the card earlier today.

Keeping calm in stress situations!

Alle helfen mit: Hector macht sich schlank, Melly dirigiert Kleinwägen aus dem Weg, und die Fahrer der großen Reisebusse sind allesamt auf unserer Seite. Keine 45 Minuten später tanzen wir umeinander und feiern den Rückerhalt der verlorenen Karte – Danke an Unbekannt, Danke an die Tourist Information, ihr seid wunderbar!

Seems like we have everyone on our side: Hector playing slim, Melly conducting compact cars out of the way, and the drivers of huge coaches love us anyway. A mere 45 minutes later, we dance joyful around the Lulworth parking, celebrating the lost-and-found credit card. Heartful thanks go to unknown visitors and to the staff of the local tourist information!

In Swanage warten neue Herausforderungen: Ein „Holiday Park“ entpuppt sich als sterile Mobilheim-Wohnanlage, der nächste Campingplatz existiert nur im Internet (nicht im echten Leben) und der dritte Versuch ist auch eher eigen. Dennoch entscheiden wir uns zu bleiben, nutzen die Räder für einen Abstecher zum Zentrum (nix los), zum Strand (naja) und zum Hafen. Schließlich haben wir doch noch einen schönen Blick auf weiße Kreidefelsten, blaues Wasser und alles, was es hier zu sehen gibt.

With some trial-and-error, we finally detect an okay and existing (!) campsite, ignore the slightly worn-out atmosphere and use the bikes for a quick side trip to the center of Swanage. The town turns out rather mid/low charming, yet we eventually get dinner with a view. Seeing (again) white cliffs and blue sea, we agree that there is no use walking the Seven Siters path – the scenery might be similar to the Dorset coast, so why invest in hundreds of kilometres.

View from Dinner in Swanage / Harbour

Für heute sind wir in Swanage gut aufgehoben – und morgen erkunden wir den New Forest!

Today, we are fine at Swanage – tomorrow, we will go and explore the New Forest!

The Tour 2022 (T): Jurassic Coast, Dorset

Jurassic Coast

Sensationell schön. Und irgendwie unerwartet – wer ahnt schon, dass Reisezeitschriften-Bilder der Realität entsprechen. Dank des überfüllten Tintagel-Campingplatzes landen wir an einer Bucht in Dorset. Der Kiesstrand ist einladend und dann ist da noch das “Durdle Door” Felstor, das ein Barock-Künstler nicht schöner hätte malen können.

When reality exceeds the pictures from a magazine, then it is really, really cool. We are grateful that the campsite close to Tintagel had no free pitches. Consequence is the detection of Dorset in general and the Jurassic Coast in particular. With the Durdle Door being the needle pinned to this wonderful piece of UK.

Durdle Door

Drei Stunden Fahrt, zunächst hochkonzentriert über typische Cornwall-Sträßchen, dann etwas entspannter. Als wir am Durdle Door Holiday Park ankommen, ist es bereits Viertel vor Wein. Mit routiniertem Teamgeist beziehen wir den Platz, stellen Hector so gerade wie es gerade geht und lassen uns in die Liegestühle fallen.

It took three hours of driving to get here and about 10 minutes to make ourselves at home. Andy takes care of adequate energy-refill, placing our chairs in golden rays of the evening sun and checking out the distance to the beach.

Wonderful last Evening with Andy

Ausnahmsweise liegt der Campingplatz direkt hinter dem Strand, so dass der Weg bis zur Bucht nur rd. 20 Minuten beträgt. So schön die Steilküste ist, sie macht Arbeit!

It turns out that we have found one of the rare campsites located directly at the shore. 20 minutes on steep paths are as close to the sea as we can get, with positive sidekicks to our fitness.

Seit ich „Photograph“ auf der Ukulele spiele, warte ich auf diese Gelegenheit: Ich spiele eines meiner berühmten Sundown-Konzerte am Strand, Ed Sheeran kommt vorbei, hört es, fällt vor mir in den Sand Kies und sagt, dass der Song immer schon so klingen sollte. Wochen später werde ich erfahren, dass Ed Sheeran zu diesem Zeitpunkt in Manchester ein Konzert gibt – er weiß gar nicht, was er verpasst!

This is the perfect setting for another one of my famous sundown concerts: Me, my ukulele and “Photograph”, until Ed Sheeran falls on his knees, admitting that this is exactly how he ever wanted it to sound. Weeks later it turns out that Ed performs in Manchester this evening – bad timing for the poor one.

Sunset Beach Concert (Waiting for Ed)

Natürlich gibt es am nächsten Morgen auch Frühstück am Strand, nur: welche Bucht darf es heute sein? Die geschützte zur Linken, die wir kaum mit anderen teilen müssten? Oder die große vor dem Felsentor, die Samstag Vormittags mehr und mehr Selfie-Wahnsinnige anlockt…

For beach breakfast, we need to choose: first bay to the left, all calm and peaceful – or the main bay straight on, where we can witness selfie-maniacs rushing in?

Calm Bay to the left…

Wir genießen Kaffee und Kekse in der Morgensonne, bestens unterhalten von Selbstdarstellungs-Ambitionen um uns herum.

We go for the main beach where we can enjoy coffee & cookies, surrounded by an increasing crowd of staging instagram-freaks.

With or without cameras: Beauty and the Beach

Die Jurassic Coast ist ein Glücksfall in unserer spontanen Reise-Entwicklung. Weiße Steilküsten, grüne Wiesen, blaues Meer. Im Gegensatz zu Cornwall, wo jede Ortschaft in Küstennähe ziemlich verbaut ist, gibt es in Dorset hübsche historische Dörfer, garniert mit Küstenwanderwegen.

The Jurassic Coast is a stroke of luck in our travel development. White cliffs, green meadows, blue sea – it combines the Dover/Seven Sisters expectation with tiny villages. Overall, it is more impressive than Cornwall.

Appealing Dorset

Samstag ist Bettenwechsel. Wie in jeder gut gebuchten Pension wird das Gästezimmer aufgefrischt und der Durdle Door Stellplatz für eine weitere Nacht gebucht. Dann setze ich Andy um 12:40h am Bahnhof Southampton ab und düse weiter zum Busbahnhof. Um 12:55h klettert Melly auf den Beifahrersitz und Hector schaukelt uns zurück zur Jurassic Coast.

Around noon, it is time for a change. Andy goes back to London and I drop her at the Southampton train station at 12:40h. Then I hurry on to the central bus station, where at 12:55h, Melly hops on Hector’s passenger seat.

Celebrating the next Holiday Week

Am nächsten Morgen erkunden wir die Nachbarbucht Lulworth Cove mitsamt verschlafener kleiner Ortschaft.

Melly brings in a bucket list for our common week: White cliffs and coastal paths, charming restaurants, fish & chips, gin & tonic and delicate cider, accompanied by the New Forest and Stonehenge. Now, Lulworth Bay turns out to be a wonderful start.

Lulworth Cove

Während ich die Fallhöhe von den Klippen abschätze, bemerkt keine von uns das Herausfallen einer unscheinbaren Kreditkarte. Als mehr und mehr Sommertouristen den Parkplatz und den kleinen Ort entern machen wir uns auf zu neuen Zielen. Noch ahnen wir nicht, dass uns nur wenige Stunden später ein kleines blaues Stück Plastik hoffen und bangen lässt…

I look down the rocks at the edge of the bay, thinking about height and depth and a possible career in cliff diving. By this time, none of us considers a spontaneous return this afternoon, desperately seeking a tiny piece of plastic with a credit card symbol on it’s top...

Looking for…

The Tour 2022 (S): Energetic Spots / Tintagel

Cornwall Coast
Powerful

Reisezeit ist wie Akku-Aufladen: Ich sauge mich voll mit Eindrücken von Landschaften, von Menschen und von allem, was sich unterwegs entwickelt. In England mischen sich unter dieses Grundrauschen zusätzlich wahre Energie-Spots: kraftvolle Orte, denen von jeher oder im Nachhinein Geschichte zugeschrieben wird. Cape Cornwall war bereits so ein Fleck, auf dem wir einfach verweilen und schauen wollten, ohne Ziel, nur sein.

Heute steht uns Ähnliches bevor – trotz touristischer Rundum-Verwertung.

Travelling recharges my energy stocks. Soaking in manifold impressions of landscape, people and anything in between. The South of England brings in another quality: energetic spots such as Cape Cornwall or today’s destination.

Tintagel Castle (Leftovers)

Was nach lustigem Tingel-Tangel klingt, wird britisch zu Tintagel = “Tinntäidschel”. Ruinen einer wehrhaften Burg trotzten vor Jahrhunderten dem Meer von drei Seiten und Eindringlingen von der Landbrücke. Die Zuschreibung als König Artus‘ Geburtsschloss kam jedoch erst rückwirkend. Findige Mitarbeiter der lokalen Tourismusbehörden suchten nach einem unbelasteten Ort und – Zack! – , schon war die Artus-Sage dieser Burgruine in Cornwall zugeordnet.

Jetzt hat es der English Heritage Verbund unter seinen Fittichen, und für den ordentlichen Eintrittspreis haben sie sich nicht lumpen lassen: Es gibt Senioren-Fahrdienste, Eis- und Souvenirbuden und eine wunderschöne Brücke.

Clever members of the English Heritage community allocated the legend of King Arthur to some ruins in Northern Cornwall. As soon as Google maps puts the flag “birthplace of King Arthur” to it, everyone takes it as irrefutable history. So here we are, another pair of visitors at Tintagel. Still, we are more up for architecture than for the legend – until the place enfolds a certain atmosphere for nothing less than the overall setting.

A Beauty of a Bridge

Von oben ist sie hübsch, aber (für Menschen ohne Höhenangst) erstaunlich unspektakulär. Von schräg unten ist die Brücke ein wahres Kunstwerk.

First impression of the bridge is: nice, but less spectacular than expected. Yet, when looking at it from another angle, the perspective reveals all the beauty of connecting steel among rocks.

Wonderful Setting

Star des Ausflugs ist einmal mehr die Küste: rau und sanft, blau und grün.

However, nothing is as impressive as the coast itself. Rough sea meets green meadows, torn apart by the cliffs.

Cornwall Coast
Just Great

Zwischen Artus-Sage und windumtosten Cliff werde ich zum Krieger. Eins mit dem Fels, den Blick in die Ferne gerichtet und voller Hoffnung, dass sich keine der Möwen auf mich stürzt.

The mystic setting lures me into another warrior pose. The hardest part is to remain focused when a flock of seagulls rushes down, probably looking for another historic statue to sit on.

Even without Excalibur: Warrior

Ich bin hingerissen davon, dass Andy mich hierher gelotst hat. Entgegen der verhaltenen Begeisterung des Michael-Müller-Reiseführers finde ich die Ruinen bezaubernd, das Meer beeindruckend und die Brücke wunderschön.

I am more than happy that Andy has joined my UK trip and suggested this wonderful spot!

Decorating the Bridge

Unterhalb der Burg wirken überwucherte Mauerreste wir überdimensionierte Runen, die auf das Plateau gesetzt wurden. Vielleicht eine Warnung “Vorsicht, Touristen!”, die aus dem Weltall lesbar ist…

Gegen Mittag sind wir so voller sagenhafter Energie, dass wir schnurstracks auf eine riesige Portion English Breakfast zusteuern. Genau die richtige Grundlage, um am nächstgelegenen Campsite keinen Platz mehr zu bekommen und kurzerhand von Nord-Cornwall zum südlichen Dorset zu fahren…

When we turn our backs to Tintagel castle, we are full of energy. Adding a full English Breakfast to this, we are well prepared to look for a suitable campsite. With the one right around the corner being full of (other) tourists, we have to re-schedule our plans and will hit the road for quite some hours…

Full of Energy

The Tour 2022 (R): Sharing the Hippie Camp at Lizard Point

This journey is about sharing. Luckily, it turns out that Andy and me share the fascination for cliffs and impressive coastlines. With my camera being low on battery, we even share the pictures and, later on, drinks and dinner.

Sunset Colours

Most of all, we share the 11,2 m² of Hector. As a matter of fact, this works pretty well. Sorting out where to go, enjoying coffee and scrabble on the couch, preparing dinner or getting on the yoga mats for common exercises – all easy. Henry’s Hippie-like campsite enforces this spirit with its colourful style and all kinds of animals.

Henrys Camp Lizard Point
Henry’s Campsite, Lizard Point

Hector and the surf board fit in perfectly. I just wonder who smuggled in the business-style of the hard-shell case…

…when business elements appear on hippie ground…

Lizard Point is the furthest South you can go without leaving UK mainland. We use the sunny evening for a walk to the cliffs (what else).

Lizard Point: Anywhere further South you will get wet feet

With Hector’s spacious interior of 33,6 m³ (5,60m x 2m x 3m), even some drizzling rain does not prevent us from laundry service, work station and well-being on the lounge sofa.

spacious

After two days, we are well prepared for next destinations. Having seen a lot of nice Cornish landscape, we will look for some place of mystery and legends, some brand new architecture among ancient ruins and some more of Northern Cornwall. No need to run around like crazy sheep, though.

The fantastic part of van-travelling is that we will take all the comfort with us: the couch, the kitchen, the whole 2-bedroom-apartment. Only the exterior setting will change – we will see where we will end up the following evening…

The Tour 2022 (Q): Cape Cornwall

Be The Moment

Weeks later, I will feel exactly like this: as powerful as the waves, strong as rock, and focused as anything.

Today, we make it to the edge. To Cape Cornwall, to be more precise. We pass through St. Just with umpteen cafés and nice breakfast along the way, until we receive the most welcoming hello on the parking of the National Trust.

Almost there

Right from the start, this edgy part of the world enfolds a particular charm. Few, but old houses, stony walls and open skies. There is plenty of a view and not more than a handful of people.

Along the Way

The chimney on top of the headland comes from former mine activities, had then been supportive to marine navigation, is now just a leftover and proudly presented as “Heinz Monument”.

Heinz Monument on top of the Headland

If you look for typical Cornish coast line with a bit of a history, yet without touristic overflow, then Cape Cornwall is the place to be. If you are more into big names and bus loads of visitors, then you might be better off at Land’s End.

Andy and me like the slightly abandoned scenery. Smooth green meets the ocean, decorated with fragments of stone and rocks.

It is rough and beautiful, with the meadows almost falling down into the sea.

In the Background: The Brisons (looking like Charle de Gaulle lying on his back)

A peaceful (private) garden contrasts the coastal environment, like a refuge of civilization.

My secret garden is not so secret anymore…

We spend quite some time on the furthest point of the headland, watching the waves gnaw at the cliffs.

We might have filled our one-hour-parking period with 120 minutes, fascinated by this particular spot. Now that we have been to the almost-most-Western point of Cornwall, it is time to continue further down and walk on the Southern edge of UK.

Time to move on…

Hector is all up for it – following the sun is just his natural habit.

The Brisons, The Van and the Heinz Monument – We might Sell Picture Postcards of this Tryptichon!

The Tour 2022 (P): St. Ives, Cornwall

Cornwall Coast

The best way to approach St. Ives is via the coastal path. Unless you dislike grey stones, green plants or blue sea. Wonderful weather might be even more of a cliché (never seen one of those “Rosamunde Pilcher TV movies” on German TV, but might look just like this), still, with Andy joining, we decide to endure it all.

On our Way

Outlooks are fantastic and we enjoy every step and the bright colours around.

Coastal Path
blue – grey – green and shades in between

In fact, I could show about a dozen pictures just from the coastal path, each of it looking splendid.

…adding flowers to the picture postcard

However, sooner or later we should look at St. Ives. Beaches, narrow roads, shops and museums – just the quantity of restaurants does not meet the requirements, anything else is just fine.

Getting there: St. Ives

Surfing would be one of the classical activities, if only they had some waves. First days of June, the sea is quiet and flat. Even without the black-white flag (indicates the surfing area), nobody would be run over by a full-speed-surfer.

…und wenn die Erde nun doch eine Scheibe ist?

With my surf board parked in a half-hour walking distance from the beach, I can easily smile at the untroubled surface of the sea.

One thing hardly ever mentioned is the typical Cornish village style: Wherever houses meat the coastline, all is built with the utmost effectiveness and no regard to proportions or beauty.

Better to ignore houses and villages on touristic pictures

When walking through St. Ives, I cannot confirm that the town is attractive. Still, with a good angle, pictures tend to show the best parts of it.

Idyllic low tide image
Headland and picturesque chapel
Idyllic high tide image (same same, but different)

The beach close to the train station is the calmest one, luring us into a cup of coffee with the feet in the sand. However, the ultimate, perfect image comes when passing by crystal-clear water decorated with a bulk of seagulls.

sic!

Just behind, we detect a small church with the most inviting garden café. We manage to defend our cup of tea and gluten-free cheesecake against the gulls before we continue our way through the village.

Outdoor Café

Next on our list is: art. Sculptures of Barbara Hepworth, shown in her former house and in the charming garden.

Barbara Hepworth Sculptures

Between Hepworth and Tate Gallery, we enjoy the re-usage of historic farm buildings on Hellesveor Campsite. It is a clear recommendation for St. Ives due to wonderful owners and the nice overall setting.

Hellesveor Holiday Park, St. Ives

Another day brings us down to the Tate St. Ives, located in a former gasometer. The building competes with neatly curated exhibitions, and the café on the 3rd floor is also worth a visit.

Tate St. Ives

Inner views are colourful, especially with the current exhibition of Ad Minoliti.

Ad Minoliti Art

Still, in the end I spend endless time looking out of the building onto the main beach. It is framed artfully by the rotunda of the building.

Tate St. Ives, Inside-Out

Compared to my French West coast experience, St. Ives main beach is on an OK-level only. Yet, with today’s light and weather, it turns out like the most wonderful image of a Cornwall beach.

Pastel shaded Beach Today

Especially, when (again) taking the picture inside-out from the Tate.

Finally, we have seen it all and it is time to move on. Having had one rainy day out of three makes us re-design our next steps: South will be the direction of choice. Let’s see if we can soak in some sun when going as South as UK can be.

…btw: Guess who’s taking pictures…

The Picture Lady

The Tour 2022 (O): London with Friends

One of the ultimate highlights of The Tour 2022: Seeing friends and family in London!

So excited!

Hector remains in St. Ives while I pay impressing prices for the Great Western Railway. All worth it when arriving in London, hopping on the brand-new Elisabeth line, contrasted by the old Northern line and arriving in Finchley.

Leaving Cornwall (and Hector) behind…

Hampstead Heath is the first destination, having a little walk and wide views all around.

London

Ute leads us in the most colourful parts of the London subway, all following Anthony’s “Classic London” tour of the day.

Brilliant & Colourful

Just around the corner of King’s Cross, we detect upcoming quarters of the city. Lucky me that I am totally resistant when it comes to shopping in fantastic boutiques or when lured into design furniture shops. At least until I hold just the right piece for my living room in my hands, hearing myself ask if I can pay in cash…

Looking back at unexpected shopping excess

Andy is busy taking pictures: architecture, urban development, modern make-overs of historical buildings, new usage in old ruins and all that. Frozen in thousands of pictures, making her smartphone steam and sweat.

Our fantastic guide leads us through the most beautiful train stations, through tiny alleys and down the music street, sneaking into China town and crossing Soho.

Artful Guidance

Still, the most wonderful event is seeing quite some faces: Only 25 years ago, some had longer hair, some have not been born and some had just started to figure out what life is about. And look at us now!

Great being together

Vivid conversations over three generations make us forget about tired feet or stressful jobs. We add drinks at one of their favourite pubs, stroll around the town some more and enjoy the weekend together. Then it is time to get back to brave little Hector and a splendid time in Cornwall.

On our Way…
Thank You for this Wonderful Weekend!!

The Tour 2022 (N): Newquay

Warm Welcome in UK

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.

Porth Beach, Newquay

I have chosen Newquay for beaches and surfing, but come to think that it is moreover famous for being busy and crowded.

Fistral Beach (busy)

The beach right in front is for families and stand-up-paddlers only, thanks to its natural bay.

Such a Surf-Van

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.

…then at Watergate Bay…

I check out the options and make it my preferred spot for the next days.

Supervising Hector on the Cliff

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.

Thick Wetsuit, Slim Surfboard

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.

Relaxed little waves at Watergate Bay

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.

Coastal Path Perspectives

Newquay downtown is full of tourist, shops and cars. Better again: focus on the landscape around.

…more of the Coastal Path…

Of course, the beaches need to be checked out thoroughly. First: Fistral beach, famous for surfing and attracting the majority of people.

Fistral Beach again

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.

Wonderful Tea-Time at The Headland

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.

Rough and Lovely

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.

Sunset and Broken Cliffs

A couple of days if enough for this place. New places to see and friends to meet make us move on to further destinations.

The Tour 2022 (M): The Eden Project

My inner clock is still set on continental time; hence I am up and gone early enough. After the first half hour on the road, I start to relax and develop steady routine on left-driving. Just then, I face a car accident ahead with a blocked road. Without hesitation, I follow the recommendation of the courteous officer: follow that car!, meaning another motorhome, heading West. My inner racing queen sort of enjoys chasing after the other, on tiniest field roads until ending up at another blocked junction. Helpless charm of a certain blonde-violet lady takes over and seconds later, the other RV guy and me make our way.

Detour of the Day

Along the way, I notice signs towards the Eden Project and I vaguely remember to have it on my list. Spontaneously, I exit the main road and make my way to the world’s biggest greenhouses. Rather: green-bubbles, to be more precise…

Welcome to the Eden Project

The general idea is something about saving the planet by ecologic education and I certainly take over my part when paying the 38,50 £ entrance fee. Hard to decide whether this is like a green-washed Disneyland for kids, pedagogical paradise for school classes or a nice garden area – probably, all of it.

Artificial Nature

I stroll through the rain forest biome with palm trees, waterfalls and rope bridges. It is easy to wander on the prepared paths and welcome all the nature-impressions and the general spirit of this place.

On Top of the Jungle

My personal highlight is the platform held by steel ropes, gently sliding and with a 50m view down.

Looking Down

Around noon, more and more families and masses of kids take over the place. Some lunch, a last picture of the greenhouse-bubble-structure, and then I hop on Hector for the next destination.

The Tour 2022 (L): Roscoff – Plymouth

Last night I have dreamed of driving on the left side of the road, meaning that my mindset is ready for today’s adventure. With all the “Left!” signs pinned to my cockpit, it is hard to focus on right-side-driving when approaching the port of Roscoff.

Hector Onboating

Hector’s head lamps got some stickers that shall prevent dazzling of other cars. It looks strange and almost certainly, I got it all wrong – but in case of anyone controlling it, I can proof that I tried my very best. It is a pity that nobody bothers, all they check at the ferry is whether I hide illegal persons under my couch. As usual, it would have worked out with the bathroom as hiding place, but that should be kept a secret.

“Es faustdick hinter den Ohren haben” = Hiding imaginary friends in tiny bathrooms

Once on the boat…

…no, really: once on the boat, I get lost between restaurant hours and continental versus UK time. In the end, Hector’s tyres touch British ground around 8:30 p.m. and we hurry up to find an appropriate parking place for the night.

Brit Stops = Home for the Night at the Seven Stars Inn

All along the 10 km towards the “Seven Stars Inn”, I tell myself to keep left, no matter what the tomtom says.

When Left is the Right Way

At 9:00 p.m. sharp, we reach the parking of Plymouth’s oldest pub. Other places might be more charming, but everyone inside welcomes me with a warm hello (owners and guests) and a fart (the dog) and I am relieved to have reached my first milestone in the UK.

Plymouth’s Oldest Pub

Tomorrow morning, I will try to lead Hector further towards Cornwall. Fortunately, I do not know anything about blocked roads, accidental junctions and other difficulties, I just fall asleep and hope for the best.