A Walking Disaster.

 

Elland Bridge

On Saturday we decided to through caution to the winds, cock a snook at the constant rain and risk going on a walk along the canal.  Suitably armed with umbrellas and raincoats and optimism that the rain would hold off just for one morning, we set off to catch the E8 bus and alighted at Elland bridge for the beginning of the walk.  We have done this particular walk many times, its a pleasant enough walk along the canal towpath just as long as you don’t happen to be deaf.  If so, you are in constant danger of being run down by the numerous cyclists who seem to consider these canal towpaths as their domain.  They are requested to ring their bells twice in order to alert walkers to their impending presence, but this rule takes for granted that walkers are not hard of hearing and are able to move swiftly aside to let the bikers through.

As we began our walk, I felt quite optimistic, there was actually some blue sky to be seen and it was reasonably warm into the bargain, a good day for a walk I thought. Then we reached the canal towpath and my heart sank.  Despite the fact that the towpath along this stretch of canal is tarmacked, it was covered in a layer of thick slimy mud. It looked like someone had tried to cover the path with thick brown chocolate.  It stretched along the towpath in front of us for at least 4 or 5 metres or so.

Thick oozing mud Now anyone in their right mind would have turned around at this point and beat a hasty retreat back to the mud free road and called it a day.  Any sane mother with an ounce of brain who can recall how her daughter is none too happy walking on anything but a flat surface, and who has endured previous slides and falls in just a tiny patch of mud would have turned back at the sight of it all.  But readers, you all know me by now!  Never one to be beaten by an insurmountable quest such as thick sticky mud, I simply took hold of her hand and we both gingerly plodded our way through the first mud patch.  In my defence, I was reasoning that it was only this patch, after all (I reasoned) this path was tarmacked so it was surely just this area, and we would soon be walking on a nice dry tarmacked surface as we continued our way onward back to town.

We ploughed our way through the next patch, even deeper and stickier and harder to get through than the last one.  I couldn’t understand it!  What had caused this mud to appear on the canal path? As we struggled on, both of our shoes began to become covered up to the laces with slimy gooey mud, and we made some vain attempts to get it off with grass, puddles anything bar dangling our feet into the canal, and at one point I have to confess that I did even consider doing just that.  By now, we had reached a sort of en passé.  In front was yet another huge patch of thick mud, but behind us were all those patches that we had just struggled through.  A vivid illustration of being between a rock and a hard place I thought to myself, as I looked guiltily at my daughter clutching grimly to the fence at the side of the mud covered path.  What sort of mother was I?  Dragging her Down’s Syndrome daughter on one perilous venture after another, and for one horrible moment I remembered the nightmare incident where I foolishly took her up the 275 spiral staircase steps in the York Minster tower and how that incident had left me with nightmares!

The lesser of two evils was to negotiate this last patch as there was a canal lock where we could hopefully get back onto the main road. As I stood there contemplating which was the best way forward, two cyclists rode past us, churning through the mud with their bikes as if it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Ah hah!  Now it all fell into place!  This stretch of the canal is a very well used route by cyclists, so maybe they were the reason why the mud was all over the path!  They were covered in it, all the way up their legs, but the bikes went through it like a knife through butter.  Meanwhile, we squelched our way through the remaining patch of mud, walked across the lock gates and out onto the main road. 

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We must have both looked a sight, with mud covered shoes on! Luckily there was a pipe gushing water out further up the road, so we both stuck our shoes under it to hopefully remove most of the mud. I had some tissues on me and we did manage to get quite a lot of the mud from each shoe, before continuing our walk along the road which is not a easy task in itself.  Elland Road is a very busy road, lined with trees on either side and snaking continuously as it does from left to right, and yet for some strange reason,  everyone seems to drive like lunatics on this particular stretch of road despite the poor visibility around corners.  It has always been a notorious road for accidents, and I was more than a little apprehensive as we both walked along. The pavement isn’t all that wide either, so eventually I rang our local taxi service to come and collect us to take us the rest of the way back into town. 

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We decided to have our lunch in Wetherspoons for a change, and as we sat waiting for our meal, mud stained shoes tucked under the table in the vain hope that no one else would notice them, I went over in my mind the whole mornings adventures.  Instead of being thwarted by the weather as we had expected, we had ended up being stopped in our tracks by mud, thick mud of the kind that I had never seen before in my entire life, probably churned up by all the cyclists who were probably revelling in it.  And for me a stark and valuable lesson. Stop being such an idiot and admit defeat when its staring you in the face, and stop dragging your daughter through impossible tasks!  I rewarded her for her all her endeavours with a luscious chocolate sundae! 

Not a lot of photos I’m afraid, as I was far too busy helping Kerri and myself stay upright to take many pics.

TG Confused smile

A damp and dismal day out at NYMR.

On Thursday, my brother and my sister in law kindly took Kerri and myself for a days experience on the North Yorkshire Moors railway. Like me, he too is a big steam train fan and has been since being a boy when my Mum and Dad bought him an electric train set. Of course, I used to play with it as much as he did!  It was a quite a journey to our destination and most of the way, we had to contend with lot’s of spray from the other vehicles because of the constant rain.

Eventually we arrived at Pickering where my brother parked the car and we waited to board the train. It was being pulled by the Cock O’ the North today, and there was a lot of engine shunting, reversing etc. to watch prior to climbing onto the train. My brother and sister in law had brought their dog Willam and it was his first taste of journeying on a train. To say that it was all new to him, the whistles, the creaks and groans from the carriage we were sitting in, and movement, clatters and bumps, he behaved really well and didn’t seem fazed at all by any of it.

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I was also very pleased that we were travelling in the old ‘corridor down the side’ type carriages featured in the Harry Potter films. Whenever we go on our train excursions, their carriages tend to be the seats down either side with a central aisle type. It brought back memories of our holidays at Skegness where we used to journey from Leeds in these type of carriages.

Our first leg was from Pickering to Goathland where we disembarked and spent some time visiting the shops and areas where ‘Heartbeat’ is filmed. I couldn’t get over how sheep were just wandering around the village!  Willam just ignored them. It was pouring down with rain, and it was a very welcome but short respite to enter some of the gift shops. I found the obligatory fridge magnet and Kerri bought a pen as her souvenir. We made our way back to the station and enjoyed a coffee and hot chocolate (in Kerri’s case) in the station cafe as we waited for our train. Unfortunately for some strange reason, the station cafe did not allow dogs inside, so my brother had to wait outside in the pouring rain with Willam, who by now, was beginning to look very bedraggled. He couldn’t have been any wetter if he had been swimming for an hour in a river.

Sir Nige Gresley

We had time to go and have a quick look at the engine sheds before our train was due to depart, where I was quite surprised to see Sir Nigel Gresley was in for some kind of overhaul. I was also pleased to note there were plenty of young men working on maintaining the engines there. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a really good shot of Sir Nigel as from the observation platform you could only spot the top of him as another engine was blocking the view.  We quickly made our way back to the station platform to board our train to Pickering. You may remember that on our visit to Railfest recently, we actually boarded Sir Nigel who was in steam for a close peek at the workings on the footplate.

On this next leg of our journey, we were sat in the familiar carriages that tend to be used on our day excursions that we often go on. We were now travelling to Grosmont for the last leg of our journey.  It would have been so enjoyable had the weather been kinder, as the views on either side of the track was stunning.  Arriving at Grosmont, and in a vain hope that we might get chance to dry out somewhat, we paid a visit to the Station Tavern for an very enjoyable lunch.  Here Willam was made quite a fuss of by the other people enjoying a meal there, and he enjoyed all of the attention he was getting. From there, we retraced our steps back to Grosmont railway station in order to make our return journey back to Pickering.

This time, we were lucky to get a carriage all to ourselves, and one without a square wheel into the bargain! In fact during our return journey, both Willam and Kerri had a sleep so that proves how confortable the ride was. It was just a shame that the weather let us down, it doesn’t matter how outstanding the scenery is, or how interesting the venues visited, if you are soaking wet through it puts a damper on the enjoyment. Nevertheless, I was in my element and enjoyed seeing so many steam engines actually running and doing a job, being used to ferry tourists and passengers up and down a very interesting line from Pickering to Whitby that probably would otherwise have been closed, and kudos to all those volunteers and hard working people who work so hard to make it all a going concern.

Enjoy the many rather damp shots I took of the whole proceedings in my photo album and also enjoy the NYMR video and If you ever find yourself in Yorkshire, do take the time to visit the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, its an experience to remember.  

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

 

TG

The Journey Home.

I had kept the card for the taxi firm who had brought us to the Holiday park from Hayle, and so we rang them to come and pick us up to take us to the railway station because it was such a steep hill up to the station and would have been an effort for me to make with the suitcase.  As it turned out, we were there with plenty of time to kill before our train was due to arrive.  I was quite amused by the fact that you had to actually walk across the lines to get to our platform, a little discerning when you realise that most of the trains using this stretch tend to be express trains!

Hayle railway station.

I wiled away the time taking photos of the abundant flora that grew alongside our platform and also had a jog up and down from end to end. Eventually our train arrived and we made our way to our reserved seats for the journey to Birmingham New Street.  On arrival there, I was pleased that our train to Leeds was actually due in on the same platform so we didn’t have any changing of platforms to do, always a worry for me when you have suitcase and Kerri in tow and your in an unfamiliar station.

Our next train arrived on time and again, we made our way to our reserved seats. It was the train to Glasgow Central. Sigh.  I love Cross Country trains, they are always clean and tidy, and the staff are always friendly.

Soon we were seeing the familiar sight of Leeds station, and we caught our train home, where I rang for our usual taxi firm to collect us for the last leg.  What a wonderful holiday! Okay, the weather could have been kinder, but it turned out to be exactly as I had always imagined it would be, and I am so glad that I have had the chance to stay in Cornwall.  Enjoy my last shots taken of Hayle Station and our train etc.

TG

A ride on the Cornish Explorer.

 

Penzance Harbour stitch


Western Greyhound 960 WK59CWXFollowing much discussion and careful scrutinizing of bus timetables, we both decided that Thursday was to be a day of trying to see as much of the rest of Cornwall as we could possibly fit in seeing as it was our last day there.  After some careful planning on my part, we decided a course of action which entailed catching the 515 bus from outside the park to Penzance, spending a few hours there and then catching the Cornish Explorer for a ride that would travel through Treen, Porthcumo, Sennen Cove, St Just, Lands End, and then make its way to St Ives, where we would be able to then catch a bus back to the park.

Our Greyhound bus to Penzance, the 515 turned out to be one of those buses that goes all around the estates and back again, and a journey that had we been going straight to Penzance would have probably taken us a quarter of the time ended up taking over two hours or more. Eventually we arrived in Penzance. The weather was overcast and grey again, and in a similar vein to St Ives I ended up feeling a little bit disappointed.  We walked around the harbour and then journeyed up to the shopping area.  Despite eyeing up some interesting sounding pub venues for our lunch, we were to finally end up in Wetherspoons of all places.  I was not feeling very well, I felt cold and tired and was ready for the journey back to be honest, but I forced myself to troop around the shops and front for Kerri’s sake.  We eventually returned to the bus station in time to catch the 14.35pm 300 Cornwall Explorer.

First 300 Cornwall Explorer

This is an open topped double decker run by First bus, but we didn’t dare brave travelling on the top!  One of the other passengers insisted on having a window wide open and I just couldn’t seem to get warm at all.  Finally they got off the bus and the open window could be closed. The weather had definitely cooled drastically from how it had been the rest of the week.

However, it was an enjoyable ride along the small winding roads of Cornwall. Every time that another vehicle was travelling in the other direction and met up with us, they had to reverse back until they could find a wider area so that our bus could get past. All of the roads that we travelled along were lined with wild flowers of every description, bluebells, foxgloves, poppies, lupins, it was all so beautiful, and had the weather been kinder and had I not felt so cold and unwell, I would have absolutely adored the whole journey and we would have definitely travelled on top! Eventually we arrived in St Ives where we caught the 547 back to our park.

We had our case to pack on our return to the van, and following that we enjoyed a restful last night watching TV and relaxing  ready for the journey home tomorrow. Enjoy the photos we took whilst in Penzance, they show how dismal the weather was but strangely enough, Kerri managed to take one of me looking as if I’m having a whale of a time standing on the rocky front.

TG

A Stroll along the beach.

The weather forecast for Wednesday didn’t hold much promise. Rain was forecast and so we decided that we wouldn’t set off further afield but instead enjoy a cooked breakfast in the Bluff Inn and take it from there as to what we would do next.  After breakfast, we decided to walk along the cliff top path and down to the beach, where we continued walking towards Hayle.  It wasn’t easy going for either of us, the sand was very dry to walk on and we made slow progress.

St Ives Bay

As far as the weather was concerned, it was overcast but we did keep spying glimpses of some blue sky as you can plainly see from my panoramic shot above. It was beginning to look as if the weather forecasters had got it wrong. Note How far Kerri is on the left, I had walked back along the beach to get this shot.

We did end up having to do some sand dune climbing, no easy task when accompanied by Kerri, as you have to help her over every obstacle which meant that we made slow progress, but eventually we arrived at Hayle.  The only glimpse we had had previously of Hayle was when we arrived at the railway station, and from our bus rides to St Ives previously. We had spied some interesting looking caves from across the estuary as we approached Hayle from the sands, but I wasn’t sure how you reached the other side from the town.  We set off up the road, not quite sure of where we were heading and came across an archway and a board that announced the Millpond Trail. It looked very interesting and so we entered and began a walk that I consider to be one of the most enjoyable I have ever done.

On our walk in Mullion Gardens.

Old ruins littered the walk, covered with ivy and climbing plants, there was what appeared to be an old amphitheatre amongst all the greenery and plant life, and I have since discovered that there is a rope walkway there, though we never saw it as we ventured along. It did say that we would see numerous bird life and a Heron, but all that we saw during our walk was a family of ducks and some swans.  Nevertheless, I do recommend that if you find yourself ever in Hayle, you take a walk past the White Hart Hotel and find the beginning of the Millpond Trail, its well worth it.

Wish I was riding.

Kerri was rewarded at the end of the walk by a lady who was just setting off for a ride on her horse. She had just brought the horse out of the gate where he was stabled and was busy mounting him from a set of steps. We stopped for a chat and then she disappeared down the path whilst we went off in the other direction to make our way back to town.

By the time we reached the town again, it was not far off lunch time, and so we decided that as we were near the White Hart Hotel, we might as well try there.  The only occupants apart from the young person behind the bar, were two old salts who looked for all the world like your typical Cornish fishermen, weathered faces full of wrinkles, caps placed atop heads all asunder, beards etc, discussing the time of day at a table near the window.

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We parked ourselves at a table and I enquired of the girl behind the bar about lunch. We had chosen our food, I intended to have the ‘roast of the day’ but as I seem to be easily overfaced these days, I asked her if I could have a ‘children’s portion’ and she said yes.  When it came it was a huge plateful  but quite delicious. Roast beef with all the trimmings, I really enjoyed it and Kerri enjoyed hers as well. If ever you are in Hayle, do try the White Hart for a meal, I thoroughly recommend it.

After our delicious lunch it was time to make our way to the bus stop for our bus back to the holiday park. The rain had kept away and we had enjoyed a wonderful day out.  Enjoy the many photos we took of our day.

TG

A day in Newquay.

 

Panoramic view of Newquay beach

As the weather forecast for Tuesday was more favourable than the previous day, we decided to set off on the bus in the opposite direction to the one that we took the day before, and spend a day in Newquay. This route on the 547 bus was quite a ride. The bus set off outside the park at 09.52am and we didn’t arrive in Newquay until 11.16am. As the last bus back would be leaving at 16.30pm, it meant that we only had about five hours to spend in Newquay.

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First port of call was of course the Blue Reef Aquarium so that Kerri could see her beloved sharks up close. We did attempt to take photos whilst in there, but the majority were blurred and not very clear. Trying to take one of the sharks as they swam past you or above you when stood in the observation tunnel was a daunting task in itself, as they swim by so fast that all I managed to capture was a tail end!  Despite this, it was all very interesting and well worth our visit. The highlight for me was a particularly nasty looking fish that tried to get you if you tapped on the glass. He had a look on his face that was pure Victor Meldrew!

Mr Nasty.

By the time that we emerged from the Aquarium, the sun was beating down and the temperature was a very enjoyable 21%. We decided to saunter along the top of the beach taking photos.

Newquay beach pan

You can tell what a gorgeous day it was from these two panoramic views I took as we walked along above the beach.

Newquay beach stitch

It was now lunch time so we strolled along the main street in order to find somewhere to eat.

Now she's happy!

Eventually we ended our search in the Newquay Arms where I had Hunters Chicken and Kerri enjoyed a Chicken Caesar wrap. By the time we emerged from there, it had heated up considerably but that didn’t deter Kerri who was on a hunt for a shark t-shirt to add to the many thousands she already owns. This turned out to take quite a while but finally she decided to have a shark stencilled onto a plain blue t-shirt, which looks quite nice. She also bought a pair of black pumps from the Newquay branch of ShoeZone to add to her white pair. I bought nothing although I was on the lookout for some sandals to replace my old ones.

It was quite hot by now so we treat ourselves to a cooling ice cream and sat down on a bench to eat it whilst admiring the fantastic view. I could have gladly wiled away my time all day sat on that bench, but soon it was time to make our way back up to the bus station. We did have time whilst waiting for the bus to enjoy a decaff cappuccino and her usual hot chocolate which was topped with marshmallows and cream.  For Kerri it had turned out to be a very enjoyable day, she saw her beloved sharks up close, got the t-shirt and some new pumps, and topped it all off with some calorific hot chocolate topped with everything but the kitchen sink!  The bus ride home was very enjoyable as we rode through the beautiful Cornish countryside. In parts of the journey, the trees met each other above the road to form a tunnel of lush green, and the side of the road was lined with all manner of wild flowers, lupins, foxgloves and the like.

Enjoy the photo album of our day in Newquay. As always just click on top of it to view them in a larger version, or as a slideshow. Some were taken by me and others by Kerri.

TG

Cornwall, a day in St Ives.

As planned, we were up nice and early the following morning in order to catch the bus to St Ives. Whenever I think of Cornwall, I see St Ives in my mind, fishing boats inside a harbour surrounded by small buildings displayed haphazardly at the sides, and in a way it didn’t disappoint, but on the day that we visited, the weather was far from kind. Unfortunately I am someone who seems to be ruled by the weather as I have aged, my disposition and general mood can hinge completely on whether its sun shining or dull. To add to that, I was also beginning to experience some griping tummy pains, probably due to the change of water. By the time we embarked from the bus, it was dull and overcast, and kept trying to rain during the time that we were there.

St Ives Bay stitch

Nevertheless, determined to explore as much as possible, we ventured along the jetty and the far pier, and also journeyed up and down some of the many narrow streets that make up St Ives. I took as many photos as I could of anything that grabbed my interest and that I felt summed up what St Ives was all about.

Walking up the cobbled street.

I loved the narrow streets with the small shops on either side, it all reminded me of York. However, although this shot displays a ‘no entry’ sign, most streets did allow traffic and we found ourselves constantly having to squash against the sides of walls whilst some vehicle came past. After a while it did become tedious. Kerri might be spying the sign on the left of this shot, although she doesn’t look too happy about it.

St Ives harbour

This shot shows St Ives from the north side from the jetty. I presume that its from here that they launch the rescue boat. You can see the pier that we strolled along later.

Now which one will we have?

Some more cornish temptation.

I honestly don’t know how the residents of Cornwall keep slim when all you can see are goodies like this everywhere you look! Fantastic Cornish Ice creams of every type imaginable, cream teas are the norm and to top that you have every flavour of fudge known to man. Of course we both had to try some out.

Do you hobble in I wonder?

I couldn’t resist taking a photo of this place! Kerri thought it was for Hobbits, whilst I wondered if you had to have a poorly foot in order to get served……

Anchor in St Ives

As we braved the weather and took a stroll along the pier, I spied this ships anchor embedded in the cobbles. I also took a photo of these lobster pots awaiting their next trip out to sea and an old rusty bollard also caught my eye.

Lobster pots on the pier.

St Ives from the pier.

What struck me was despite the dull grey sky up above, just how wonderful the colour of the sea was in the harbour.  It was an absolutely beautiful turquoise colour and I tried to capture it with my camera.

The turqoise sea 

I didn’t see such a gorgeous colour of sea anywhere else in Cornwall. The walk along the pier, although quite cold and dismal, was worth the effort and I think that I captured its beauty in this shot where I managed to get two seagulls, most of the fishing boats, the harbour and the town behind, plus that gorgeous turquoise water.

St Ives from the pier.

I think that had the weather been kinder, then the visit to St Ives would have definitely been one of my all time favourite days of our holiday. As it is, I do hope that I have managed to capture some of its beauty in these shots.

As usual, I’m enclosing a Photo Album containing all of the photos that I took during our day in St Ives, just click on it to see the photos full size or view in a slideshow. Next post, we enjoy a day in  Newquay.

TG

Over the hump.

As planned by my daughter the day before, we set off after breakfast towards the entertainment centre where the four wheeled bikes were kept. She kept insisting that some of them were go-karts, which she has recently been apparently excelling at whilst with Day Care.  I kept trying to explain that some were actually four seater bikes which had two pedal powered seats at the rear for adults, and two smaller seats on the front for children. Because these sort of bikes had steering wheels rather than handle bars, she considered they were not bikes but go karts.

Pedal pushers.

The bike that we hired had only one wheel at the front so it was actually a trike of sorts. As the first leg of our journey was to be downhill, I insisted that I took charge of the steering (these bikes can really shift downhill!) but once we arrived on the flat, making any progress   took on a different perspective entirely.

Speed ‘bumps’ or humps were placed strategically along the path to stop any foolish car driver from exceeding the speed limit of 10 mile per hour and running over unsuspecting campers as they sauntered along it, or even worse, colliding with foolish  novice peddlers out for a spin on one of the parks bikes.  Once we reached the flat, we ground to a halt at the first speed hump we encountered, and I then spent most of my time pushing and shoving at the back of the bike whilst Kerri made some vain attempts to steer and keep us on the path. She does tend to suffer from a certain amount of delusion where being able to drive is concerned.  She insists that she could jump into any vehicle tomorrow and drive away safely, easily able to handle steering, changing gear, the car itself, mirrors etc. It’s all a piece of cake in her mind, whereas in reality, as I discovered as I very nearly did myself an injury at the rear, she happily steered us into the grass and between the vans, colliding with refuse bins and so on in the process.

As I began to recall from my younger days spent as children at Wallis’s holiday camp at Cayton Bay Scarborough, these vehicles are fine when you are travelling downhill but sadly come to a grinding halt on any other type of surface, where even if you are lucky enough to be accompanied by someone who has very powerful pedalling legs, they are really hard to move. They seem to become virtual tanks, weighing tons with no means to enable any motion from the pedals at all.  Nor did it help that the one in charge of steering whilst I battled to get the bike to move forward, couldn’t even keep it on the relatively smooth path.  My legs were aching, my back was aching and so before I fell to the floor with exhaustion I threw in the towel in defeat and we limped back (well, I limped, she rode) to the hire area and parked up the bike.

By now I was about ready to pass out, so we had a welcome cup of coffee in the small cafe nearby so that I could get my strength back. For lunch we decided to take the reverse walk down the cliff path down to the Bluff Inn. As you can see from this photo that Kerri took, I’m still managing to remain upright and smiling despite my ordeal earlier.

A sunny smile from Mum.

We had our lunch in the Bluff Inn and on our return up the road back to camp, we met a lady who was obviously staying in one of the holiday villas that line the road up from the Inn to the Park. She was about to take a gorgeous long haired white Alsatian dog out for his walk. Kerri and I stopped to admire him and in our usual fashion we asked her about him. He was only eight months old and already quite large. I made her laugh by saying that if he was mine, I would have called him Ghost after the white wolf owned by Jon Snow in the Game of Thrones series.  Kerri took some photos of him as did I.  As with all young dogs, he was very skittish and didn’t know what to look at next!

So far, we hadn’t really ventured from the holiday park, but as the bus service from the park left a lot to be desired, we were somewhat handicapped as to venturing any distance. They didn’t arrive outside the park until 8.45am at the earliest (to Penzance) and the last bus was about 18.00pm! Not a lot of time to enjoy a day out further afield.  We went for another swim in the pool later that afternoon, and then made plans to visit St Ives the following day.

I’m enclosing  some more photos of our day which you can view as a slideshow by clicking on them.

TG

Exploring the holiday park.

We were both up bright and early the next morning as we had some shopping to do. The breeze from yesterday had calmed down somewhat but it was hazy and overcast as well. Shopping done and sided, we then set off to explore our surroundings. Riviere Sands is one of the smaller Haven camps and it is situated at Hayle Towans and affords a stunning view of the whole of St Ives Bay. There is a club available for family entertainment, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool (the outdoor one has a chute) a cafe for snacks, a small arcade and outside a children’s play area including archery lessons, bungee jumping and crazy golf. There was also some four wheeled bikes available to hire, more of which later.

Cheers Kerri!

Across the road from the entrance was the Spar shop, which was fairly small compared to other parks we have stayed at previously, and then following a brief walk of about 100 yards or so, you reached the parks restaurant, the Bluff Inn. This venue was well worth a visit if only to take in the fabulous views from either the dining area or the outside terrace area. Not only that, but the meals available were quite reasonable, £2.99 for a cooked 5 item breakfast to give one example, and on Sundays they were offering a lunchtime carvery for a very reasonable price.

Of course Kerri had to sample the hospitality on offer and so we had our lunch there.  Following lunch we took the opportunity to walk along part of the cliff top path to our caravan, as the path and steps up to the park are not far from where our van was. As we walked along the path, I couldn’t help noticing the holiday homes perched along the top of the slope, and despite the fact that they would afford their residents some breathtaking views of the whole of St Ives Bay, I think it would take a very brave family to stay in one if the weather was windy!  The word Towans actually means ‘sand dune’ in Cornish, and this particular stretch of coastline contains about five different ‘Towans’ including Riviere, Hayle etc. Had Kerri and I had our walking boots with us, I think that we would probably have tackled more of this walk along this particular coastal path as it affords some absolutely stunning views. As it turned out, we did eventually meet two ladies who were in Cornwall doing just that, on a walking holiday but based at our park.

Vans with a view.

The weather had changed, the blustery wind from yesterday had died down but I was astounded to see via my weather app that tomorrow (Sunday) it was forecast to be warmer at Brighouse than it was in Hayle! After returning to the caravan, we changed into our cossies and paid the swimming pool a visit. Unfortunately its not a big size and also they don’t have ‘adults only’ swimming times, so we had to compromise and just swim back and forth as best we could, weaving our way around families and children as we went.  Kerri had wanted to go down the outdoor slide but by the time we arrived it was closed. Hmm.  At least I didn’t have to sit there on the sidelines watching her swim up and down as I was forced to do last year. Back to the van, costumes and towels  hung out to dry and following a quick shower, we were soon in our jammies and relaxing watching some TV.  Here are some of the photos I took as we explored. Click on the Album to see them all.

Tomorrow Kerri was insisting we hired out one of the four wheeled bikes for an hour and she was also insisting that she would be pedalling AND steering. As I fell asleep that night, I wondered whether I would survive it all…..

TG

A holiday of a lifetime, on our way.

I’ve always wanted to go to Cornwall, and during my battle with cancer last year I vowed that this year we would go there for a holiday. At last we set off on Friday the 25th May for a week in a holiday home at Riviere Sands near Hayle, travelling via my favourite mode of transport the train. After catching a train from our local station to Leeds we arrived early, in fact we could have caught the earlier train to Plymouth at 09.10am and as it turned out we might have been better to have done just that.

Our train arrives.

Wiling the time away whilst we waited for our train, we had a drink from the Pumpkin cafe on the station platform, Kerri having her usual hot chocolate whilst I had a decaf cappuccino. After what seemed like an age, our train finally pulled into platform 12 and we settled down into our seats for the long journey to Plymouth. Despite the fact that it was quite warm outside, we were nice and cool thanks to the air conditioning in the coach. I’d also been helped to get my suitcase onto the train and in the luggage rack by a nice young man and in fact our journey down to Cornwall has helped restore my faith in human kindness, as we received help every time we had to get the suitcase off or on the train. Either that, or I looked so feeble and old that they took pity on me!

As we neared Plymouth, we were held up by approximately half an hour due to signalling problems and we missed our connection with the Great Western train to Hayle. They did contact the station at Plymouth and ask if the train could be held up until ours arrived, but they wouldn’t wait, so once we all embarked at Plymouth with now another hour nearly to wait, we were all compensated with a ticket for free drinks for our trouble, and handed a compensation claim to make to Cross Country trains. However, this was actually not fair in my view, as it wasn’t the fault of Cross Country trains, it was a Network Rail problem.

At least we had plenty of time for a toilet break whilst we waited. Trouble was, we were not going to be arriving at Hayle station until roughly 20.00pm or thereabouts. I just hoped that someone would be available to give us our van keys at the holiday camp once we finally arrived. Just in case, I rang the office ( I had the booking papers with me which contained their phone number) and warned them that it would probably be after 20.00pm before we arrived, and I was assured that someone would be manning the desk to give out the keys.

First Great Western HST

At last the Great Western train arrived and we all piled on with our luggage. Again I received help with our suitcase and we settled down for the remainder of our journey. The coach that we had chosen happened to not have its air conditioner working, so again all passengers in the coach were given free drinks. Hmm. Good job we have had a toilet break I thought as we journeyed along. Eventually we arrived at Hayle station. It was a steep walk down to the town itself from the station, and from there I rang for a taxi after getting the number from a passer-by.  It was about a 10 to 15 minute drive from the station to the holiday park. Sure enough a member of staff was manning the office and handed us our keys after marking down on the map of the park where our particular van was.

The kitchen.

By now, both of us were just about managing to keep upright. I was tired and so was Kerri, but we mustered forth all of our remaining resources and found our new home for the week.  First job, cup of refreshing tea!  It was just a good job that I had had the foresight to bring some teabags with me and the man in the office kindly lent us some milk, as the park Spar shop was closed. After that we emptied the suitcase and put everything in its allotted place. Whoever had cleaned the van had forgotten the sheets and pillowcases for Kerri’s single bed, so I had to return to the office to get some for her before we could make her bed up. Hmm.

Before you could say ‘Jack Robinson’ we were both attired in our jimjams and ready for bed! What a day! I do know this, there is no way would I ever contemplate driving all the way to Cornwall from Leeds even if I could drive, and it makes you realise just how big our country is. It was bed at 10.00 and as soon as my head hit the pillow I was fast asleep. We would have to go exploring the park and our surroundings tomorrow.

TG