Yesterday I did the holiday task I like least: I took Freya by bus and train to the cattery in Chingford. We had a bit of a chase to get her into the basket but once inside she settled down and even dozed during the train journey. She must surely know the routine by now.
We packed yesterday except for the last minute items like toothbrushes. As our train left only at 10:06, we could start the day in leisurely fashion. The 205, which stops almost at the door and takes us all the way to Paddington, delivered us there early so as to leave time for breakfast. We went upstairs to Eat and tried their porridge. It’s not bad but not as good as Camden Food Co’s.
The famous bronze of Paddington Bear, the story-book character who gave his name to the station.
Or was it the other way around?
Our train goes to Penzance but we change at Par. We have reservations but despite the fact that we bought the tickets together, our seats are far apart, so we have found a pair of unreserved seats together.
The train left on time but stopped soon after we had left the station. There was some problem with the onboard equipment, so we were informed. Once the driver had sorted it out, we would be on our way. That sounded ominous but after a few minutes we began to move again and now, at 10:33, we seem to be running normally.
I have bought Victorian London by Liza Picard to help while away the long hours of the journey but there is also plenty to see through the window.
The Tregella Hotel where we stayed. It was small and quiet with a relaxed atmosphere.
Our room was on the second flor with a view over the bay.
The sun shone briefly this morning but now it is grey and overcast. The weather forecast for our stay is not promising. I can only hope that the forecast is wrong, as usual, and that we will find conditions better than expected.
The train, having been delayed at the beginning of the journey, was late at all stops all the way to Par where we had to change. There we had only a couple of minutes to cross by the footbridge to the platform where the single carriage shuttle for Newquay was waiting.
During the journey, the weather worsened and long before we crossed the Tamar, the rain had started. Patches of fog clung to hilltops. The sunny warmth that was greeted with expostulations of joy and relief last week has subsided and I am glad to be wearing my winter coat again.
All being well, we should arrive in Newquay in about 45 minutes from now.
We reached Newquay on cue and set out to look for the hotel. It was cold and spitting with rain but the views of the beach and sea were striking as always. Newquay is a surfing town as you see immediately, not only from the number of shops selling surfing gear, but particularly from the line of dark figures standing in sea trying to catch a wave.
Our hotel room has a pleasant enough view of the coast. The room is small but it is sufficient for our purposes. There are the makings of tea and coffee but as usual we have brought our own. Why put up with mediocre stuff when you can have the best?
We now thought to have a late lunch and made for the nearest cafe. We had forgotten the Cornwall Effect: it was now 4pm so, of course, shops and cafes were closing.
We went to a nearby bar that was advertising food, only to be told they provide food in the summer only. Why leave out the signs then?
Opposite was the Great Western Hotel with its Steam bar advertising food all day. When went in and asked. Yes! They were serving. The food was quite good and the servings generous.
Back at the hotel, I found a card with log-on details for Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, it didn’t work and I was unable to connect to the Internet. (Did I mention the Cornwall Effect?) This was to prove a nuisance in a way I hadn’t anticipated.
When I bought the geotagger, I chose a model that I thought would record our travels over the whole week but in the end, I decided to bring my laptop with me and transfer my photos and geotagging data to it each day as I do in London.
This evening, I was able to geotag my photos successfully but when I tried to create maps, the process failed. This was because the software needs to connect to Google maps to produce the HTML map. In the absence of a connection, the software not only fails to produce a map but also crashes. To continue, you have to restart the program and reload the data. There was a similar problem with the KMZ map, which displays on Google earth. So I may have to forget about making maps on this trip.
Tomorrow we hope to start using our rail rover tickets to explore the region. Because of the early hour at which local services close down in the evening (did I mention the Cornwall Effect?), this will take careful planning if we don’t want to get stuck at the ends of the earth or at Newton Abbott, which comes to the same thing. (See Cornwall 2006, the entry for Sunday, Sept 3rd 2006.)