The weather today was a season away from yesterday. We dropped back into winter.
After a really good breakfast at 7:30 – hostel staff aren’t so finicky as pub and B&B staff when it comes to getting going in the morning – we set off under a low hung dreary grey sky into a cold wind whipping in off the ocean.
The scenery continues stark and wild, although the cliffs are less lofty along this part of the coast. We walked past the earthworks of an Iron Age fort without noticing. Just some slightly more lumpy than the normal lumps in the grass and gorse. We came to a tiny shop in Porthcothan owned by an enterprising young couple who were doing a thriving business before 9am! First place we’ve come to in the past three weeks that has been open for coffee at that sensible hour!
We’ve seen many shops, cafes and pubs with funny signs outside saying “open all day” then, in smaller print, beside big signs saying “closed,” the hours are given: “noon til five” or “two til eight” and what have you. The concept of “all day” seems to be loosely interpreted in England.
Having enjoyed our break beside the beach, we continued on into the wind. Eventually we came to an area known as Bedruthan Steps. If you are a Poldark fan, you will have seen this scenery on the TV series. There was a dejected bus load of tourists wandering around, bundled up against the wind. Many had walked down the many steps to the beach far below. We did not do this as rain was threatening. Rain, in the wind we were facing, would be sideways. It would have been most unpleasant.
As we approached Mawgan Porth (“porth” means beach in Cornish) a chilling sideways rain began. We popped into a pub just in time. As it was not yet eleven we just had tea. We asked about the bus to Newquay, our destination for today. After a rather long cold wait on a windy corner, it finally showed up and we were soon six miles further along the coast and walking the couple of blocks to our hostel.
This place is an odd collection of rooms carved out of two houses. Advertised as a surfers hostel, there is a whole room given to surfboard storage and various instructions in the showers about not letting sand go down the drain. Sandy people must shower in the surfers shower room. There are several people wandering around who look like they are permanently in the surf. The dreadlock hair dos, worn shaggy clothes, bare feet. We do not fit the demographic. However young Patrick, our Australian host has gone out of his way to make us comfortable. As a result, we have one house all to ourselves. We’re in a cheery top floor room. Toilets and showers for un-sandy down a steep flight of stairs. Breakfast in a vaulted dining room next door is included and the cost is £15.00 each per night. The ceiling of the dining room is painted in a colourful underwater motif.
We’ve been to the local pub (the Red Lion) for an excellent middle of the afternoon meal and are now preparing to indulge in a bottle of wine and snacks bought at the grocery store just down the block.
After a tremendous downpour while we were in the pub, the sun is now shining from a clear blue sky! What could be better?