If you know me or of me, you will know I like beer. Over the last few years I have been collecting photos of every new beer I have.
I now have over 2,000 individual beers photographed and have realised that many beers that I assumed I have photos of, I haven't.

This blog will be therefore be an account of my quest for new beers to photo and how I enjoyed them (or not).
My email is ralphgant@sky.com.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Cornwall Trip Day Six

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.

Ice Cream

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.

Family Supper

Day Five or Day Seven

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Cornwall Trip Day Five

Day five, 7th August 2013

Nicole's birthday

Usual morning routine for me and the pain is not getting any better.

I think we had bacon sandwiches for breakfast as it was Nicole's birthday but I could be wrong, I know we did one morning.

I had a much longer walk as the others got ready for our day out, I say much longer but it was still only relatively a short walk. I did the same walk as yesterday then continued over the level crossing and part of the way up the hill on the opposite side of the track (not the wrong side of the track). I found another pub up there that I had not realised was there. I also sat on the station platform, watched two or three trains pass through and took several photos.

We had to go out over the level crossing to get to Polperro and just our luck the crossing gates came down just as we got there. I got out of the car to take some more train photos.

On arrival at Polperro, we parked up in the large car park on the outskirts of the village and set off down this hill towards the harbour. Everyone has to do this but there are little electric buses you can take if you want (for a small charge).

Most of Polperro was just how I remembered it, well most of it was.

You know how yesterday I said I had never been to Mevagissey before, well I must have been, because lots of things I though existed in Polperro where not there and were actually in Mevagissey.  It would seem that besides the walk down to the harbour, all my memories of Polperro were actualy of Mevagissey. Around 1980 we must have visited both places in one day and I had just got it all muddled together in my head. I have checked the photo evidence from our trips to Devon around that time and we only did one venture into Cornwall. Strange how time plays trick with your memory.

The waterwheel at the top near the car park and the walk down were just how I remembered Polperro though.

We walked round both sides of the harbour (much smaller than Mevagissey) and even climbed on the rocks, where the boat trips leave.   As yesterday the twins were itching to get into the sea but also as yesterday we had plans to do that later in the afternoon.

It was great to just sit in the sun for a change this year.

Dot wanted to find the shell house that she remembered from our visit years ago, a house decorated with sea shells but when we found it it wasn't as impressive as we remembered.

On the way back out of the village while shopping and exploring, we came across a small cafe with a seating area out in the sun and stopped for a drink and a pasty. We were rewarded with the most miserable waitress I have had the displeasure to meet in a very long time. The pasties were nice but the service wasn't and most of the others eating there were visitors from our European neighbours, she was not setting a very good example.

As we headed back up the hill towards the car park the girls got ice creams and then decided they would take the bus ride. The man operating the bus said it was ok to take their ice creams on board so Dot, Georgia and Emily went that way. Nicole, Tim and me walked back.

Next we drove to Looe, another place that looked completely different to my memory.  I wonder where the place is that I always remembered as Looe.

Poole River

We could not get parked in the centre of town so headed back out and parked in the large car park by the West Looe River, near the confluence with the East Looe River. The girls wanted to go crabbing and had all the gear required with them, including bate, but the tide was out, although some were grabbing in the pool there.   We walk walked along the river were we could then crossed the bridge into town and passed all the shops to the beach.  We got some money from a bank and I got a cup of tea from a small cafe.

As soon as we got the the sea the girls were straight in,Nicole and Tim sat on the pier close to where they were playing,

Dot and I, sat on the end of the short pier where we could see the girls playing in the water and it was nice and warm, shaded from the cool breeze.   But we had to move when a couple of groups of teenagers  assembled at the end.  Why do youngsters have to shout everything, they do not seem to know how to talk or read come to it.   As they started jumping of the pier, right next to he sign forbidding jumping off the pier.    Also amongst the shouting every other word was a swear word, showing their total disregard for others, mainly other families walking the pier. 

After the messing in the sea we had a quick look into the shops then sat outside a cafe, the Court Yard, for a warm drink and some cake. Very different from the last place, here they were very friendly.

So now it was time to go crabbing, there were a few people trying to get crabs from the river in town but we made our way back to the West Looe River closer to the car, where we knew there where grabs. The tide was well in by the time we got there and plenty of people were catching plenty of crabs.  Once we got the hang of it we caught plenty too.

When it got too cold (for the grown ups) we packed up set the crabs free and headed back for Nicole's birthday meal.

Nicole had picked out an Italian restaurant for her birthday meal but when she phoned to book it was already fully booked. We had read good reviews for the pub I had found on the morning in the accommodation visitors book, so I got dropped off there as we passed, to check it out while the others got ready.

I had a beer and took a photo of the menu with my phone, I also booked a table provisionally for 20:30 and set off back to the others.

After deciding we would go to Earl Of Chatham (the pub), I rang to confirm and we set off to walk in plenty of time to be early. Unfortunately the level crossing caught us out again, so I rang again to say we would be late.

We had very good food and service, plus I had a couple of new beers.

Later back at the room, We had chocolate cake for Nicole's birthday.

Happy Birthday

Day Four or DaySix