We started the day by heading to Roskilly’s, a working dairy farm and cafe! Before we got as far as the ice cream we had a look around the farm. The first piece of entertainment occurred almost as soon as we got out of the car, as a goat we were looking at casually jumped the fence keeping it in. It stood happily grazing just outside its enclosure as if to say “because I can”. We went into the cafe to let someone know, and upon reporting the goat’s antics were told that it was a regular occurrence and someone would come around and stick it back behind its fence soon. We were also asked if we would like a goat.
We moved on to the chickens and other fowl, and clearly inspired similar thoughts of escape. These fancy chickens lined up along the fence to pose for us.
We went back down to the cafe and had some delicious ice cream outside in the sunshine. There weren’t many people around, but it was nice that the place was open given it’s November. After we’d finished, it was back in the car.
I snapped a quick picture of Goonhilly as we went by. The huge satellite dishes just appear over the brow of a hill – very impressive.
The next stop was Perranporth. Perranporth is named for the patron saint of Cornwall, St Piran, who apparently arrived here from Ireland. It’s a popular seaside holiday destination because of it’s beautiful beach. Something about the place rung a bell for me…
There was another reason for visiting Perranporth, as if you needed one. Pieces of Lego have been washing up on Cornish beaches for a long time, and I had read about this recently in a BBC news article. It would be interesting to find some Lego washed up here.
We walked along the beach for a while and had a quick hunt around the more stony areas but to no avail. But what a gorgeous beach! It was when I saw these pools that I was certain – I came on holiday here when I was about eight.
By this stage I’m really starting to think that Jon’s stories of Cornish bad weather are purely a fabrication.
We left the beach to go on a hunt for fish and chips – an ultimately fruitless search! Lots of cafes and chippies about, but none of them open when we were hungry. Happily, we managed to get our hands on some when we got to Truro, and they disappeared very quickly when we got back to Jon’s.
I was lucky enough to receive some invitations from some friends to go and spend some time in the far and distant (and opposite from the North East in every way) South West of England. First stop – Cornwall!
I almost missed the train because of a silly fault with the Metro, but happily I’d set off far too early and made it! The train took around nine hours (no changes until Plymouth when the train withdrew itself from service…)
After a warm welcome from Jon and his family and a good sleep, the next day we headed off out. First stop, St Ives.
Now as someone who has always had the sea firmly under control “in the East”, the geography of St Ives struck me as all wrong. You’ll see what I mean in the next picture. See those two beaches? I don’t even know what direction anything is in any more.
However if you do look at just one of the beaches it is very pretty. Jon had promised rain! Would you think this is November? So pretty. Just be careful not to share this with too many people – Cornwall has completely escaped tourists so far and I don’t want to be accused of starting anything.
We stopped off briefly by the Tate, which I had not expected to find in St Ives. I assume it was also on holiday. By the time we got back to the car, it did rain a bit!
Along the road we paused at this old engine house which was part of the old Giew mine works. Jon told me about one-legged stools. I had a suspicion that this would be a good place for a geocache, so after we looked around the building I checked my phone and I was right! A jar of fruit (GC41YFZ) was hidden nearby. It was a quick find, and my first in the south. I dropped off a travel bug too as it was a huge container.
Back on the road, we drove through Newlyn via Penzance. As we drove in we saw the weird Penzance rail station, where all the main lines literally stop. You’d think they’d run out of country. In Newlyn we had some fish and chips and made a friend.
In the far background of the picture above you can see St Michael’s Mount, which is very similar to Mont Saint Michel off the Normandy coast. You can get to the island via a causeway at low tide.
The next stop was Mousehole, a very picturesque village with a tiny harbour, with an even tinier gap for you to bring your boat through.
The lights along the coast are maintained entirely by volunteers, and donations are collected for the upkeep of the lights and for charity.
Could this be the West coast of Scotland?
Mousehole also has a plaque to the last recorded native speaker of Cornish, Dolly Pentreath, who lived there.
We drove back up to Penzance and had a quick drink at the Admiral Benbow, which wins the prize for the most idiosyncratically decorated pub I’ve ever been in. It’s spectacular inside! You can see some pictures inside here. We were shown around upstairs too. It’s definitely worthwhile dropping in.
To celebrate my last day of freedom before starting my new job, and because we’d been meaning to go on a proper day trip for ages, Terri and I spent a day caching on holy island! We checked the tide tables and reckoned we’d have time to get all of the island’s caches in one day – the challenge was on.
Our first stop was the endpoint of the mystery cache Lindisfarne Puzzler (GC51Z7Y), for which we had already solved the puzzle. Our coordinates were correct, and the find itself was very straightforward.
One down in short order! There’s a lovely multi cache on Lindisfarne, Lindisfarne Gospels (Holy Island) (GC49XKX), which takes you around the whole island. We decided to use it as our guide and pick up the traditional caches on the way around the island, recording the multi clues as we went.
We got the first clue at the prory and moved on swiftly to a traditional cache – Lindisfarne. View of St Cuthbert’s Isle. (GC51Z42). We found the cache quite quickly, and Terri braved the nettles to get it out. When we took the camo bag off, we found a caterpillar inside! Luckily it wasn’t inside the tupperware!
This one also had some really lovely treasure inside for the youngsters.
The cache location also offered us a few nice views.
Next, we went off to the castle for more of the multi, playing tourist as we went. There were SO many people though…
A busy little spot! We couldn’t find the multi clue, so we had to hope we could guess it…
After picking up a few more multi clues, time for the trads. This one was accessible only through Terri’s premium app, but she graciously allowed me to join in looking for Time for thought (GC3QV2D), which was tucked away behind a wall.
We continued around the perimeter of the island to pick up a few more multi clues, including one at a bird hide overlooking a lake.
It was here where we learned about the Pirri-Pirri burr… we would become much more acquainted with it later!
We passed some lovely bays and walked through lots of dune paths on the way to Cuthbert’s Ghost (GC1HAJ2), which was sited in an old quarry, with a ghostly tale…
We didn’t see any of Cuthbert’s Ghost’s beads, but we did find a solitary soldier climbing the rocks. Terri noticed that the log directly before ours was always by the same cachers, and we realised we must be following them around the island!
We went on to the next cache around the next bay and over some more dunes looking for Greenshiel Stamps (GC1TF34).
We found it tucked away amongst the ruins of an old settlement… now for us to get back to civilisation!
We rounded the last corner and got onto the home straight to Cache and Tache (GC49X05) which made no sense for a cache name until we discovered it was full of stick on moustaches! We of course graced the log with a picture of our moustachioed selves!
There’s always room for a pun… we were getting really quite tired by now, but we had also got all of the clues for the multicache! With a couple of hours left to get off the island we only had one more traditional cache and the multi’s final stage to find and log to finish off all the caches!
We started the second lap for Lindisfarne to get our last traditional cache of the day, View across the Pilgrim’s Way (GC51Z12). We came across lots of interesting things in the beach, and could here lots of animals hooting – probably seals!
And that was the last traditional cache of the day! On the way back to civilisation we passed by a strange collection of glass.
Back in the village we plugged in our answers to the multi cache, got coordinates and went off in search of the final multi stage… we wondered if we were going to run into the cachers who we’d been following all day! We also passed by a farm which had a yard full of birds – chickens, roosters, ducks, geese, swans…
We dived into the bushes off the road and got the multi cache final! We picked up a travel bug and then Terri said that she hadn’t seen the name of the cachers we had been following! We realised they couldn’t be far behind us, so quickly hid the container and sure enough, we spotted a couple walking towards us, GPS in hand! We stopped them and said hello, and it was the two cachers who had been following us all day! They were very nice and had enjoyed their day just as much as we had enjoyed ours.
We went back to the car park and took the weight off our feet – we had been walking for a long time! FInally, we crossed the causeway again, measuring its length for an earthcache, Lindisfarne Causeway (GC2993D).
We completed the other Earthcache tasks, and finally, we finished off the tenth cache back on the mainland – A View of Holy Island (GC1BJ3Q). It was another quick find, and we just about made it back to the car without falling to the ground through tiredness!
We had a lovely day on the island! A little weatherbeaten – and with aching legs – we dived into the nearest pub for a good feed and a refreshing drink. Aaaah… what a brilliant way to spend a day.
Terri was in need of ice cream and I reluctantly agreed to put myself out for the sake of our friendship. We enjoyed a Minchella’s in the sun and once there was no ice cream left, our thoughts turned to a very nearby geocache (GC3NXTP).
Suitably energised, we headed to the cache site. Somehow I put my hand on it straight away this time, after at least 4 previous attempts. We found that we had no pen, so dashed to the cafe quickly to sign it and bring it back. Once we rounded the corner, we saw two more people checking in between the wooden slats… Geocachers!
It was really nice to meet fellow cachers on the hunt!
Chennai is the capital city of Tamil Nadu, and is on the coast. The climate is hotter and more humid than Bangalore.
We woke up to breakfast by Shalini, and soon Krishita, Jay and Shalini’s daughter, was home from nursery. She immediately wanted to tell me all of her rhymes – she has a book of them and recites lots of them for English practice at nursery. She reeled off about a hundred of these before Shalini managed to get her to have some lunch.
Sellappan and I went on the grand tour of Chennai, and the first stop was Madras University, which we reached via a road going along the beach where Sellappan, Alka and the gang passed many a spare hour. We walked around the campus and Sellappan introduced me to a few of his teachers.
Next on the list was present shopping for the friends and relatives Sellappan has in the area, or more accurately, for their kids. We spent some time in a department store and picked up toys and clothes for a variety of ages and then headed downstairs again to get them giftwrapped. Meanwhile, I made a quick phone call to a patchworker to wish her many happy returns.
Our next stop was Loyola, another beautiful set of buildings which we weren’t allowed to photograph. Sellappan reminisced with his teachers and told me stories of his time there. We stopped for milk (I had mango milk, Sellappan had blackcurrant) to rehydrate and then it was time for the next visit.
Sellappan’s sister-in-law Renuka lives on the other side of Chennai with his nephew, Raghav. They were just coming back from school and we went to their place for a quick visit and passed on Raghav’s birthday gift to him. He was very excited to see Sellappan and showed him all of his toys, lining up dinosaurs and elephants for inspection.
After a little while we headed home to meet Shalini, Jay and Krishita to go out for dinner. We went to a restaurant specialising in middle eastern food, and had a mixed grill with hummus to start, and then Indian food to finish off. The restaurant was busy as it was Friday as well as being Valentine’s day. We ended the evening by going to the beach, and played in the sand with Krishita, much to her delight! She really loves playing in the sand, almost as much as she loves copying Shalini cooking with her toys.
Back at the flat we gave Krishita her gift of mini stainless steel pots and pans and cooking utensils. She cooked us up a mean invisible chicken biriyani before we went to bed.