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 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

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