Day six, 8th August 2013
Quite a long day planned for today, with visits to Tintagel (of King Arthur and Camelot fame), Port Isaac (the home of Doc Martin) and Padstow (the home of Rick Stein). Well that was the plan when we set off that morning.
I had been up during the night as usual but didn't need to go for a walk, as we were all going to have a look in one of the shops in town. Unfortunately it was not open when we got there but the shop opposite selling beer was, I picked up several bottles of new beer but more about that in a separate, Cornwall Beer blog.
Here's the thing, continuing on from yesterday, Tintagel was not what I expected either, I had been confusing it with the Minack Theatre, or I had assumed in my fuzzy head they were the same place.
Once parked in Tintagel, it is a long walk down a very steep path, to get the the Visitor Centre, where you pay, and then start to climb back up to where the ruins are. I would not recommend this to anyone with a bad back and or bad knee, you can pay to take a Land Rover up and down to the Visitor Centre though.
After paying (and using the toilets), we set off back up hill to the ruins, it is steep and narrow and I think that if I was not "out of it" on painkillers, I would not have made it. As I have got older I have started to suffer from vertigo (not confirmed medically), brought on by heights and would have been too dizzy to do parts of the this path.
First we crossed the bridge (this would have freaked me out normally) and climbed to the top of the section called the island. The views are spectacular, so well worth the climb, on the other hand there is not much left of the ruins to see but enough to keep you occupied.
We visited all of the places on the map we were given, yo can find them all on the English Heritage interactive map.
We then headed to the castle, or mainland courtyards, which meant going back down the way we came (a very congested path), only to climb back up the other side(also very congested but a wider path).
Back down as far as the bridge, the others went down to the beach to Merlin's cave while we continued up the other side to the castle. Just as we got to the top and stopped to look over the wall back down the path (for a rest and to get our breath back), we were surprised to see the others not far behind us.
The path/steps down to the beach were closed as they were in a dangerous condition but we could see plenty of people down there. What had really happened was (I think), they had just commenced some repair work on the steps and just closed them while the work was done.
The was actually not much to see at the castle (the views are good) so after a short visit, Dot Emily and me set off back to the town, while Nicole, Tim and Georgia made a detour back down to the visitor centre first, to get something Georgia had spotted earlier. The walk back up seemed to be even steeper than it do when we walked down.
As Dot and Emily looked in the shops while we waited for the others, I popped into a pub for a small beer, a new one to me (previews to follow soon). After I got caught out drinking, the girls were pleased to use the toilets in the pub, before we left there for ice creams.
We were hungry by now, so decided to give Port Isaac a miss and head straight to Padstow, to get fish and chips from Rick Stein's chippy.
Tim drove straight to the harbour, knowing the was little chance of a parking space but as we turned through a car park that said full, to head back to a further out car park, someone pulled out, what a lucky break.
Now here is another one of my misconceptions, I always thought Padstow was a small quiet fishing village but it isn't its a huge tourist attractions. I am not daft, I knew it would be busy but I didn't expect the town to be so big, Rick Stein (who mentions Padstow in every TV program he has ever made), always makes it sound like a small fishing village. It isn't.
We were hungry and as we walked it was not obvious where Rick Stein's chippy was, so we just bought from the first one that looked nice. We then found a bench on the harbour wall to sit and eat, luckily some very nice people let us in.
As we were eating I became concerned for some very young children who were very exited about crabbing and looked like they were going to fall into the harbour at any time. The parents did not seem concerned at all, even when the aforementioned exited children were pushing past us and getting in our way. I had to move away.
We all mover away from the crowds in to end and had an ice cream on the sun overlooking the beach. A beach that was either a very long walk away or an even longer drive away. So we decided to drive back to Looe to do some more grabbing where we knew a good spot.
First though we had a walk around the shops, we found Rick Stein's Patisserie, cafe and shop but not the restaurant or chippy. There were a couple of Rick Stein's beers in the shop but I didn't bother getting them but Nicole and the girls got them for me.
In Looe we parked in the same place and went straight to our grabbing position, the tide was just coming in so it was just about time to start.
It was getting late before we arrived back home, so we just had a family supper, cheese, crackers, crisps (chips), toast & pate etc.
Day Five or Day Seven