Day 4 – Shipwrecks, Cider & Seals………..

So where do you take 3 teenage boys and 1 almost teenage girl on a rainy day in Cornwall that costs next to nowt?  I scoured the tourist info brochures concentrating purely on the price, not looking at what the actual attraction was, which is why we nearly ended up at Billy Bears Fun House and Ball Pool! Sadly indoor play area days are long gone but I was attracted to the Shipwreck museum in Charlestown, surely that would capture a little interest in a teenage soul?  With the rain still beating down we arrived at the Museum, it cost a little over £20 for all 6 of us using a combination of discount vouchers, student union card and a small white lie.  Ollie and Bets posed on a lifeboat with as much enthusiasm as they could muster and we walked through the underground tunnels to the main museum.  Bruce and I found it fascinating and could have wandered round looking at the displays for a good few hours but the teenage mutant lot whizzed round and hung out by the exit, although I couldn’t see them I knew they were there, I could feel their “I’m bored” hormones permeating the thick stone walls between us and them.  I blame myself, I’d promised them a visit to a Cider Farm and the prospect of an illicit drink of Cornwalls best scrumpy was a far more attractive proposition to them.

On to Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm for a taste of their finest.  To be honest there isn’t a lot to see here unless you take the distillery tour which is about £5.00 per adult but it does have a nice cafe, shop and some big shire horses.  Despite it being free admission we spent a small fortune having a pasty in the cafe (8/10 better than yesterday was the verdict) and buying scrumpy.  George bought some mustard (don’t ask) with his spending money and declared he’d very much enjoyed the cyder farm.  Just being in an alcoholic environment was enough to lift the spirits of even the most disinterested teen but they could only stand and watch as Bruce and I sampled the delights of Healey’s finest at the tasting table (I had to stop after 3 tasters as I was driving and I’m a lightweight when it comes to drinking).  We hiccupped our way back to Fugly The Car and set off for Newquay.

I have never been to Newquay before so when we stumbled upon the Harbour pictured above, with the sun now shining and blue sky starting to dominate the sky, I knew I had found a favourite place.  We entered the harbour a slightly unconventional way by steep stone steps and across rocks, whereupon the kids found a cave and we suggested they go and explore it whilst we explored the prospects of a coffee overlooking the harbour.  We found The Boathouse, a restaurant right on the harbour beach, and with the vain hope that it may be a couple of hours before we needed to call Cave Rescue we settled down to a peaceful, relaxing cup of coffee at a reasonable price in the sunshine watching the boats a bobbing.  It wasn’t long before the peace was shattered, cave explored, the teen tribe had decided to dig holes in the sand (fast becoming a favourite past-time on this holiday) right below where we were drinking coffee, they had a whole beach but no, they needed an audience for their hole digging and we were the chosen two.  We tried to ignore them, refused to “look after” jumpers, cameras, phones, mustard and a pair of socks but eventually we were surrounded by a jumble sale of belongings.  I tried not to look or engage with them but I was soon laughing at their exploits and clicking away with the camera.  They are a totally bizarre bunch but I do love em all. And as for the seal referred to in the title, we met him on our wander around the harbour walls following a boat in hoping for a fish.

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Day 3- On the trail of Doc Martin……….

I admit I’m a big fan of Doc Martin and couldn’t resist the temptation.  After a pastie (pastie was rated 7/10 by Bruce) in Rock we headed for Port Issac where the series is partly filmed.  As advised we parked at the top of the hill and were greeted by a parking attendant who I’m sure is straight from the series, you know the type, fingers in lots of pies, little earners going on here and there.  You could almost see the pound signs ring up in his eyes as he took our £3.00 and in true Cornish style, with few words, pointed to a stretch of overgrown grass and hedge where we were to park. We then began the hike down the hill and realised we could have parked anywhere for free on the side roads but hey ho!

Port Issacc is nestled on a steep hill going down to a small working harbour and is everything you’d expect of a small Cornish fishing village; nets and baskets, boats and cottages, crab sandwiches, ice-creams and lots of tourists!  I got out the camera and started to exercise my creative side, the best of which are below.  Left to my own devices I could have stayed for hours, people watching, taking pics and drinking coffee or even a few beers.  But I was not left to my own devices, 4 teens moodily stomped around said quaint village, decided it was “alright” then were ready to move on to the next.  They did agree to pose for photo on the steps which I think clearly illustrates their disinterest levels.  I didn’t even get as far as seeing Doc Martins house.

Test driving the Canoe

Olli - all round action man, ace photographer and canoe puffer upperer.

While I was at work today my lovely younger brother dropped off his 2 man inflatable canoe for us to borrow and take to France.  My 3 boys were all at home, as it’s now the school holidays, and Bruce and I were at work………cue Operation Test Drive Canoe without parental permission.  They didn’t let a lack of foot pump stop them, oh no, Olli (14) just blew it up with his breath, I would have expired, but 15 minutes later it was fully inflated.  They then carried it across 2 fields and on to the Grand Union Canal where they proceeded to row 4 miles towards Wistow, Wigston& Leicester.  The first I heard of this endeavour was a phone call from Olli asking if I was back from work because they were thirsty, I was in the hairdressers so no chance of me delivering drinks and every chance of me delivering a lecture on Waterway Safety and general anti-accidental drowning measures.  The canoe is now drying out ready to be packed for France, I will leave you with these pictures.

Watch out for the Crocs Ohm - they're behind you!