We woke up to a gentle breeze and glorious sunshine. A decent nights sleep which didn't involve us having to sleep fully clothed. I wasn't too comfortable in the night, partly due to needing more air in my air-bed, and partly due to my sunburn. Sally caught the sun a bit more than she had realised too. I look like a lobster though - a "special forces" lobster, but a lobster never-the-less. I decided to wear my red t-shirt today in the hope that it will match my head so well that no one will notice, and will think that it is just the red of the shirt being reflected on my face.
Started the day with a shopping trip to Penzance, which proved to be a success - i got the Crocs i wanted in my size!! Just when it seemed that i would have to get some black or green ones, in a small shop down a side street we found some dark blue ones that fitted me - happy chappy.
Penzance actually turned out to be a good town i thought. It suffers from the usual Cornish lack of signage to a degree, but we managed - especially once i had found the toilets! Very odd they were too - they had a slot to put used syringes into!! How very strange.
We got a couple of baguettes from Warrens the bakers and ate them on the harbour front while being watched by the seagulls. Sally is convinced that one of them is following us. It is possible i suppose - there can't be that many of them around here and one of them does look suspiciously like one we've seen wherever we go.....
Moved onto Porthcurno which involved driving down some VERY narrow, winding and steep roads. Ended up at the Minac Theatre which neither of us had been that fussed about going to, but it was only £3.50 each including the parking, so we gave it a go. It was actually very good - an interesting short film explained how it came into being, and the lady who started it came from Spondon in Derby! She moved to Cornwall in her mid-20's, and who can blame her. Can you imagine putting up with the smell of Spondon for THAT long????!!!
The theatre itself is amazing, hewn from the cliff face basically. It took a lot of people many years to create it, but it was worth their effort. I took lots more photos. It was just a shame that they were preparing for a performance so you couldn't get right down to the stage area and see it all. It was also a shame that it was so hot and sunny with no shade anywhere. My sunburn was hurting and i really didn't want to sit in the sun anymore, so we didn't stay too long. It would have been great to have been able to sit and read or just take in the breath taking view.
We didn't go to the Telegraph Museum in the end - maybe next time eh? Porthcurno is a tiny village, but you could spend a whole day there easily as there is so much to see with the theatre and the museum and the lovely little beach it has. I was also called upon by two couples to take their photos using their cameras - they must have spotted my SLR around my neck and assumed that i knew what i was doing - looks can be very deceiving eh!!!
Took the "scenic" route back to base camp along the ridiculously narrow and winding roads that follow the coast back to St Ives. They claim to be "B" roads, but some of them were only just about single track in places. I was navigating, doing it "pace notes" style, trying to give Sally advance warning of the sharp bends, steep bits, etc. It was hard at times as i was also trying to take in the scenery too and did lose my place on the map a few times. It also helped if i looked as we went around right hand corners as i would see any oncoming cars/buses/lorries/tractors before Sally would. We had a few close calls, but she handled it just like Colin McRea to my Nicky Grist - if only i could have perfected my Welsh accent we would have nailed it.
At one point we were only half a mile from Lands End, but decided to give it a miss. We really couldn't face yet another lecture from a National Trust car park attendant, as pleasant as they are. They are like the Mafia - always wanting money from you and twisting your arm to join up. It seems that we really should have taken advantage of the special offer we saw in the car park in Falmouth - it would have saved us a fortune.
We stopped in St Just for provisions for tonight. It seemed like a lovely little village, with more than just a general store, but, the fact that it had a FREE car park should have warned us. Chav alert!!!! Yes, once off the main road (if you can call a narrow B road a main road) and into the car park, we discovered the council estate and a load of kids playing football and on bikes. It reminded me of the village in the film Hot Fuzz - on the face of it all very pleasant, but with a hidden underbelly of criminal youth and a nasty streak. We bought what we needed at the Co-Op and got out of the place before the wheels were stolen from the car and the straight hair & curly teeth people got us!
The rest of the journey was more of the same (medium right 4, tight left 2, hairpin left - don't cut) and finally arrived back safe and sound. The site is filling up, and there are more and more pesky kids around. We already know quite a few of their names, thereby proving, once again, that Vickie's theory is sound.
We were able to open the front of the tent up - what a novelty. Before i could do this i had to untie the "safety clasps" on all the zips that i had done the other night. Luxury! We sat out in the shade of the canopy and drank tea. I also smoked my pipe - yeah! and wrote up the journal. The wind is only gentle, but despite the sun, it is still a little chilly. But, it is dry and there isn't a force ten gale, so i count myself a lucky man.
Dinner was the Polmanter special - fish fingers smothered with baked beans, served in a bowl with a side plate of buttered rolls. Smashing - a holiday favourite. Afterwards we had a walk around the whole site again. It is 99% full now. I wanted to have a look at other tents to see if i could find the "perfect" one for us. No such luck - mostly full of darn caravans and massive camper vans. Even with the odd tent here and there i didn't see any that left me green with envy. I did take a shine to a good old fashioned VW camper van though.
We saw one car brought in on the back of a breakdown truck - not a great start to someone's holiday. There is a family with 2 teenage lads across from us. All they seem to do is bicker and shout at one another. Glad we have left our "kids" at home!
Initially we were disappointed with our pitch and the fact that we hadn't been able to have any of our first choices. In hindsight, now we are glad. Yes it is warmer and more sheltered further down the hill, and the view is even better, but where we are the ground dries out quicker. Some of the spots we would have chosen to begin with are still very wet. If anything, we would prefer to be further up in our field at the highest point, the snag being that they don't have electrical hook-ups there.
I finished reading my book last night, and was a bit disappointed by the ending, but at least it wasn't totally predictable. Started another one tonight, which i quite like so far - am enjoying the way it is written, and am looking forward to getting into it.
It's 8pm now, the sun has started to go down, and it's getting chillier. We are still sitting outside though, and enjoying it while we can. Had my 2nd pipe of the day - got to try to make up for lost time after all. Having spent the first few evenings in bed trying to keep warm and sane, this is a real luxury. Have put the kettle on again, and will probably retreat inside soon. My sunburn is starting to sting a bit again now. I'm trying to keep myself more covered up, but it's not always easy and you don't always realise that it is getting to you.