Landed back in Southwest England for only a short stay, until the start of the next travel Chapter…catching the ferry to Cherbourg (France) and driving to Italy; again.
The weather, food, quietness of roads, cleanliness, and orderliness of the English lifestyle is so opposing to Thai life. And such a stark contrast to SE Asia, which you’ll notice even if just travelling through briefly.
The plan is to get my paperwork together for Italian Citizenship and return to Italy as fast as possible but also waiting to hear if we’re going to Glastonbury festival.
Meanwhile, back in the UK
A few sight-seeing drives around the gorgeous Somerset area, with another visit to the Bovington Tank Museum; a couple of trips to Taunton (check out Mr Miles tea Rooms at 3-4 High Street for excellent real tea and homemade cakes in quaint surrounds); watching cricket on Saturdays; and a couple of trips motor homing in Reg, before deciding how to approach the next travel Chapter…make it up as we go along.
Getting away in Reg again
Stored away for 3 months just like unwanted chattel, it feels great to be back in Reg again, even if it is just for a short break. A long-needed and welcomed respite. Any excuse for a road trip. Call it my drug…I’m sure you understand.
After Reg’s MOT clearance and new insurance at a much cheaper price than the last DUInsure, off we set in Reg, and headed to Bude (Cornwall), a favourite destination, but a different campsite this time.
This easy drive from Street (Somerset) along motorways only takes about 2.5 hours to Bude and the site is easy to find.
Distance: 175 kilometres
Diesel: £1.10/litre (Sainsbury)
Roads: M5, A361, A39
Campsite: £19/night+ £1.50/night for an awning
Lovely site with clean showers/toilets. Friendly lady at reception. From the campsite, there are several lovely walks. The walk across the cliffs and down to the canal in Bude is about 1.5 kilometres from the campsite and takes you across beautiful oceanfront scenery, especially on a glorious sunny day.
Coastal walks around Bude
Having taken Reg to Bude many times, you may like to read more motor homing details in my Captivating Cornwall post. There are loads of walks, treks, hikes, trails or just strolls, around this rugged stunning coastline.
The coastal walk to Widemouth Bay is a favourite, albeit a long walk but well-worth the dramatic scenery whilst stretching your legs.
Stop by the Widemouth Bay Café for a break. Overlooking the beach with the tide out as far as the eye can see…well almost. Good coffee (£2.10), teas (£1.80), yummy homemade snacks, burgers (£4.85+), light meals (£5.50+), homemade cakes (£1.80+), and ice creams.
Or from the campsite, walk to Bude and roam around the peaceful canal. A stop at the Café Limelight in the castle is a must for its Cornish Teas, coffees, homemade cakes, and famous Clotted Cream – a favourite Bude haunt.
The first 5 days in Bude were glorious – England is gorgeous when it’s sunny.
Returned to Street for a week before coming back for a stop-over in Bude and this campsite, and heading further into Cornwall.
After a quick overnighter at the Upper Lynstone campsite, drove to Angarrack to catch up with a good friend Ges in her new lovely abode, directly beneath the Angarrack Railway Viaduct.
The original viaduct was nearly 240m long and 30m high and built “wholly of timber on stone footings”. This was replaced with the present-day viaduct in 1885, which consists of eleven granite arches, each with a span of about 17.2 metres. Still in use today, the Viaduct is majestic, especially when you stand directly beneath this amazing structure.
Ges, our wonderful host, made sure we were kept busy during our quick stay with trips to surrounding areas and several activities to attend.
A neighbouring town of Penzance and a gorgeous seaside town, Newlyn is also an active fishing port.
Newlyn Filmhouse – This beautiful cinema is a converted old smoker and fish cellar; and hosts a small café/bar: Filmhouse, with Mains: £8.50; wine: £2.70+ per glass; delicious Vegetarian and Vegan options also available.
Took in Brown Willy at this independent cinema. If you can catch this film, by all means do, it’s excellent! Falmouth University part-funded the film’s total budget of £12,000 and made in 10 days. The cinematography is brilliant. Hope you like B&W films!
Red Wing Gallery – Stopped by for a Friends of the Earth free talk on Over Population: Population Growth and Global Sustainability, which provided interesting but alarming facts, unless global leaders don’t encourage a slowdown in population growth.
The Red Wing also has a smallish café serving light meals, homemade cakes, and cheap hot drinks, if you need something before an event.
A quick drive from Angarrack to Mousehole and we are off for a long coastal walk with Ges and Poppy (beautiful pooch) to Lamorna Cove.
I first visited Mousehole in 1985 and can honestly say that apart from more cars and a few more tourists, it’s as if time stopped here, in this fishing village.
One of my favourite spots in Cornwall and wonderful for taking photos, I never tire of this picturesque seaside village, which dates back to the 11th Century and absorbed in history.
Some of the coastal path was blocked off due to erosion along this almost 4-kilometre walk, so couldn’t walk along all of this beautiful coastline. Nevertheless, still a gorgeous walk to Lamorna Cove along the nature reserve’s woods and around Carn Du’s headland.
A pretty cove etched into Englands coastline, first recorded in the 1300’s and renown in the past for surrounding tin mines and granite quarries. The tiny village was originally known as Nantewas.
Sadly, much of the land here is privately owned and the seafront is in need of desperate repair. With each passing year, more of the man-made historic harbour built in the 1850’s to ship granite, slowly slumps into the sea. The owner will not spend the money and there is much controversy for such a tiny village.
The small Cafe is owned by the same owner and it is quite expensive to have a coffee and cake here, but you can overlook the harbour so it’s a welcomed rest after the long walk.
The walk back was much quicker as Ges took us over farms and crossing fields as we were running out of time. Always wonderful to have a local showing you the way…
Returning to Bude
As we were meeting The Kids (Lorraine and Bob) with their caravan in Bude for more fun and frivolity, pre-booked and paid for 5 nights back at Upper Lynstone. Only stayed 4 nights, as the last couple of days hammered with rain and a howling wind. With no evidence of a let-up in the dark ominous clouds, a cold and wet few summer days, everything was sodden underfoot! Nasty weather for coastal walks and a shame as the last stay here was such great weather to explore this beautiful area.
Still managed a few coastal walks during the early days, dinners, games, and fun; it’s always great to get away.
Need to stock your van up whilst in Bude? No problem as Sainsbury, Liddl, and Morrison’s are all within 5 minutes from the campsite, so it’s easy to buy everything; essentials are sold at varying prices.
Storing Reg and buying a car for Italy
Italy is an unknown. Not sure if I can stay longer than the 90-day Schengen visa with the Citizenship process started. Not sure of the type of accommodation and whether there’s any parking for a motorhome; and more unknowns, decided to store Reg at Bramble Hill Camping, Walton once more. Storage at £350 per year for a safe site isn’t too expensive for peace of mind.
The hunt for a cheap car was on and after scouring a few websites, settled on Lola (2006 Peugeot) from a Dealer near Bridgewater.
Tip: Although it may be obvious to some, a word of advice, don’t buy a car, drive it for a couple of weeks before heading out on a 2,500+ kilometre road trip…as we did.
Poole Ferry Port
After the drive from Street to the Port of Poole on the A37, A35, which took about 1.45 hours in the early hours of the morning, arrived at Brittany Ferries. As usual, an efficient and professional company.
On entering the port, you go through the boarding gates and pickup your vehicle pass, which you must leave on your rear vision mirror until you exit the port in Cherbourg. Also provided is a safety brochure, vehicle card, boarding cards, Duty Free magazine, before going for a vehicle inspection by Border Force. I had a quick frisk back and front by a female Border Force officer, then it was off towards the ferry…painless enough.
Cars started loading early so we sailed on time on the smaller 5-deck ferry than our last ferry from Portsmouth. This fare cost £165 for Lola, another £10 for 2 reserved seats, and £3 credit card charges for an online booking. I was surprised that cars were not strapped down this time – perhaps as this is a short crossing.
Food and beverage prices are quite expensive on the ferry. If you’re on Australian dollars, it works out much better to pay in Euros; learnt this on the first trip with Brittany Ferries.
Bringing our own food and drink this time, only bought a coffee (€3.30) at the café – many yummy pastries also available. You can pick up hot meals at the restaurant onboard, including a full breakfast.
The reserved seats are very comfortable but there are so many other seating areas around the boat that if you didn’t want to buy a seat, I doubt you would have any problems finding somewhere to camp. Hardly any people occupied the reserved seating area and strangely quiet for a summer crossing.
Leaving the UK
The Channel was calm and the sea kind to us today so no need for a spew bag or sea sick tablets! Great to be on the water again, even if it’s only for several hours.
Arriving at Cherbourg
Love seeing another country come into view from the water; always looks so special and exciting.
After landing in the Port of Cherbourg (Normandy) and passports stamped, we were off to Caen, some 125 kilometres away. Back to driving on the wrong side of the road and wild roundabout rules! The fun begins…