Wednesday, July 23, 2014

6/27/14 Day 162 Southwest Coast Drive

Kevin, Nick and I woke up early as the beach we slept on is definitely not supposed to be wild camped on, we packed up and cooked our eggs in the parking lot, (like the homeless wanderers we are). The weather was supposed to be awful today, but all I see are blue skies and beaches for miles and miles. Driving along and we pass the first sign for B'fastleigh, just as I was thinking what a strange and long name: Nick starts to explain that it is where the abbey that produces Buckfast is located, and we pass another sign for Buckfastleigh in that moment the decision to visit the abbey is made, to buy some Buckfast from the Monks! Buckfast is the 15% alcohol tonic wine loaded with caffeine that we discovered in Scotland, clearly a good choice to stop and check out the abbey, and purchase three bottles for ourselves. Further down the road we pulled off to explore Berry Head where Nick managed to catch us 4 mackerel to fry up for lunch. While gutting the fish a hungry and confident seal came up to play catch for a few easy mackerel heads. He literally dove to catch them and bobbed right back up ready for another, just like a domesticated dog! Adventure complete we turned the car back to Bournemouth after one last put stop at Chesil Beach. The result a relaxing and Buckfast filled evening, and ultimately, me watching the sunrise because I was now too caffeinated to sleep. 


Clearly meant to be Buckfast models

More old quarries



Berry Head Lookout

Chesil Beach from the other end

6/26/14 Day 161 Cornwall

The rain began battering the tent at 4:00 this morning and continued heavily until about 10:00 at which point we hastily packed up our beautiful ridge-top campsite at Mullion Cove and drove the rest of the way past the lizard peninsula and towards the very Southwestern tip. Driving by Marazion, it is low tide and with a sharp left turn we are heading to St. Michael's Mount to walk across the causeway that is only available for a few hours during low tide before being swallowed up along with the tide flats. Walking back across at 13:00 we have roughly thirty minutes before the stones will be under water and we head for the car after first finding ourselves some specialty Cornish pasties for lunch. They are traditionally a diet of poor miners who would hold it by the crust, eat the rest and then toss away the crust that their soiled hands had held. Ours was made with steak potatoes and onions. Next up a drive through Mousehole, this adorable little fishing village with the most ridiculously narrow, fast, hairpin turns and only a few incidents where we had to stop for opposing traffic to decide who shall pass and who shall wait. We passed by roadside farm stands with honesty boxes and the most in season delights. We continued on towards Land's End, where we were momentarily disappointed by the required fee before reversing out and we continued onward to the beautiful beach of Sennen Cove where we watched the clouds float on by for a few hours. One of our last stops of the evening is to the beautiful Minack Theatre, an amphitheater carved into the rock and still hosting shows multiple times a week. 

Beautiful St. Michael's Mount at low tide

The castle above and beyond

Tide creeping in

Higher and higher until slowly the causeway begins to disappear
Our first Cornish Pasty
Blind, winding, single lane roads
Roadside fruit and veggies

The Minack Theatre

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

6/25/14 Day 160 Cornwall Roadtrip

After walking Alison to the bus station yesterday and collapsing on the couch with a week of nothing planned ahead of us, we decided to drive to Cornwall with Nick, our host, who also had the whole weekend off. We packed up the car with inflatable kayaks, tents and of course cider and away we go! While we were driving along we passed a sign pointing to the valley of Eden. Moments later Nick began to explain about the biome project that I was planning on visiting in London (apparently my geography memory is less than stellar in this case) we talked about how expensive the biome project is, a staggering 23.50£ or 40USD$. We as a group decided that we are right there, none of us have ever seen it and we should at least check it out from the outside. After parking and winding our way through the parking lot the gift shop and entrance become visible, Nick suggests we head through the open back door of the gift shop, sure why not? We continued through the open doors until we found ourselves in the humid core of the first biome, no payment necessary. Granted it is the end of the day and they are setting up for a Skrillex show in a few hours, but nonetheless, no one ever asked us for money and we just saved 80$ on ticket fees that we would have reluctantly forked over. The beauty of open doors! Even better yet we quickly were drawn to a chair that our WorkAway Wales program had constructed and delivered to the peak of Cader Idris, which we climbed just a few weeks ago! After being removed by the Wales forestry team the chair was re-gifted to the Eden Project, and here a few short years later it stands proudly. After our free satisfying visit to the biomes we continued our journey to Mullion Cove where we prepared some amazing burgers and enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the cliffs. 

Nick and our first glimpse of the Eden Project

The stage for Eden Project nights

Storytelling chair from Taran Eco Designs

Amazing biodiversity and productivity
And a cool room for when the rainforest is just too hot to handle

Indoor waterfall, obviously

Some quality environmental education

Amazing <3
Dinner above Mullion Cove