Indian Summer- Friday 11th September 2020

Having taken Ruby down to Paignton the previous week we headed back there for another holiday break. We had a small list of minor warranty jobs that had needed looking at. Having tried to have a warranty job done a bit closer to home earlier in the year we decided that it was better to deal with Alan Kerr that sold Ruby to us. It seems easier for them to get authorisation for each job, and they take more of a personal responsibility as we bought it from them. As it turned out they didn’t get much done in the week, they fixed a bodywork leak above the windscreen ordered some other bits and said there was nothing wrong with the solar panels cooking the batteries…. we’ll see! Did get locking wheel nuts fitted and winter fridge covers (at great cost!).

Before we get to the Ruby adventures….we had been provided with a Fiat Punto courtesy car by Alan Kerr for the week the previous Friday. I put £20 fuel in it which I considered to be loads for this little car on a 180 mile round trip back home to Portishead. Didn’t want to risk running out and despite being from Yorkshire I was happy enough to leave some fuel for the next user ! 

However, as we entered Devon on our trip to collect Ruby our negligent navigator (yes me..!) allowed us to overshoot our turning and we stayed many miles too long on the A38. We then had to turn back and zooooom back towards Paignton. Trouble is the fuel had only 4 miles to go….. we flicked back onto the trip computer to see how many miles of fuel we had left. The answer was – – – – – – .   aah, nothing then! 1.5 miles to go and in severe danger of running out on a single track lane. You know when it’s getting low when you can start to smell petrol. Well we managed it on the fumes… just. (Amazing how much stress there is thinking about having to abandon the car in the middle of a country road, walk miles to a garage, buy a plastic fuel can, walk all the way back). We were delighted to have saved a £fiver though.. ha! 

Anyway, pick up Ruby (don’t mention the fuel !) and crack on. 

We had a week booked on a site in Cornwall but wanted to make the most of that day and night so Michelle found an excellent ‘wild’ (free!) site overlooking the Sound at Plymouth. This was found on the Park4night app and confirmed on the Search for Sites app. This was on a large gravel car park at Jennycliff bay. Slightly sloping, uneven but with superb views across The Plymouth Sound to the Cornish coast beyond. There were several ‘vans’ already setup but there was plenty of room to keep apart from neighbours. There is a road directly in front of the car park which was apparently subject to some boy racer action previously however the road was closed due to road works.. Result. This also gave us a good route to walk alongside the coastal path. Twas only an overnight stop so we had no plans. As it got dark the sky was clear so we just switched our interior lights off and sat in the front seats watching the lights across the bay, the car park activities and the occasional passing boat. 

It was interesting seeing the arrival of 6 or 7 scooters about 11pm. There was lots of high pitched revving, followed by lots of loud chat when they all parked up. It was funny watching these ‘kids’ messing around, boisterous and yobbish. We just realised though how nervy it would be for those campers that were already in bed, adjacent to these kids. It is easy to be nervous when you cannot see what is happening and we realised how many people were now sitting up in bed wondering what the kids were up to. Half an hour later we had an easy comfortable sleep once Scooter Mania had finished.

Next day was a short walk along the coast to Fort Bovisand. I was keen to visit as this was where I enjoyed a diving course over 40 years ago ( I know, I don’t look old enough..!). It hadn’t really changed much over the years (from a distance..). A lunch of inadequate quality was taken at the Jennycliff cafe before we hit the road once again headed for Cornwall. 

All was not entirely smooth from here. Another missed turning meant a big loop through the city centre to reach the Tamar Bridge. And when we were in the middle of a 4 lane carriageway our tyre pressure warning light came on. Didn’t even know we had tyre pressure sensors…! Stopped. Gave them a kick. Seemed alright but when we tried to use a tyre pressure pump at a nearby garage we realised that they only reached 60psi. No use to these 80psi babies we have. It turns out the light has not come on since and it was a simple glitch. Something to think about for the future though. 

Arrival in Polzeath in Cornwall was unexciting apart from squeezing through narrow lanes and continually pulling the wing mirrors in. We had a pitch booked in Lundynant which is a site five minutes walk from the beautiful Polzeath beach. This is a place that Michelle knows well as this is where I stole her from over 12 years ago. She used to work there with Trina so we have preferential treatment. We also joined masses of the Wood family who were being hosted by the site owner. We parked up on the best grass plot with hookup. First thing.. get on the beach. Just a walk through the site, across the road and into the surf. Thankfully we remembered the ‘boogie’ board and the surf was mega. This was a roasting hot day with clear, sunny skies despite not being ‘hot’ on the boogie board.  !

The following week was pretty damn good. The weather was mostly sunny and warm and we hit the beach several times. The coastal walks were also a big hit. Two highlights.. A large seal seen at the bottom of the cliffs that wouldn’t stop staring at us…! And a dolphin. Yes a large two metre dolphin near the rocks just a few miles from the camp site. Would have been more impressive if it hadn’t been dead though…. 😩. Still… a dolphin…

Tuesday saw us hiring bikes in Wadebridge and cycling into Bodmin along the Camel Trail. Nice and flat and wide culminating in a look at Bodmin prison being converted into a theme park..! Strange change of role there! 

17th September was our ‘last supper’ before returning home. Site owner Marion had organised a family steak night outside in her large garden. Trouble is… Boris Johnson had just decreed that there must be no gatherings of more than six people..anywhere due to the devilish Covid 19. And there were seven of us. Who would get kicked out? Who was the family non-favourite? 

However three tables spread across the garden with two metres between them solved the problem and meant that I could join them for dinner! A damn good steak meal in the sunshine washed down with excesses of wine. Well…rude not to. !

So here Endeth our Cornish trip. A labour-some five hour drive home later and that was another trip successfully achieved. I measure success partly on not wrecking Ruby in any way…but we also had fun, sun and family.  Can’t beat it. 

Did you know Michelle was born in Royal (don’t you know) Leaminton Spa before moving to Cornwall to become a Piskie. She grew up with the wonderful Wood family in and around St Minver/Wadebridge/Rock/Polzeath before raining chaos on the rest of the world.! 

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