This morning the view from the window was of a sunlit scene, covered by a blue sky only thinly streaked with clouds. The gulls were busy wheeling and shrieking as if to make the most of the break in the weather. Are we going to enjoy a fine day to make up for all the rain? If so, it might be a good day to visit Totnes.
Outside it was cold despite the sun. At the bus station we just missed our usual 521 and took the Eden Project bus which also calls at St Austell. This one takes quite a roundabout route, enjoyable as long as you are not in a hurry.
We had a train at St Austell within minutes. By now the blue sky of the early morning had clouded over and the weather had become dull with occasional sunny intervals.
We had to change trains at Plymouth in order to get to Totnes, so it was about midday by the time we arrived. Totnes is a picturesque little town with a sloping high street that passes through the old East Gate.
As it was time for lunch, we went to the Green Cafe where we had been before. It is not a vegetarian eatery but does have vegetarian items on the menu. The interior is homely rather than elegant and there are cheesy slogans on the wall.
After lunch the showers started again. This was not very conducive to exploring and taking photos, though we managed a few, including the rugged and weather-beaten Priory Church of St Mary.
There was also a market of sorts, though it was not as big or as varied as some we have seen on our travels.
We decided to go back to Plymouth, through which we would have to pass anyway, and spend a little time there. Travelling by train and bus in Cornwall and Devon, you need to remain aware of the time so as not to miss your last train or bus home.
Unfortunately, as we approached Plymouth, the train came to a halt at a signal. We informed that there had been a points failure and that we would be held here until repairs could by carried out. A wait of 15 minutes was quoted but that seemed optimistic to me.
In the event, the delay lasted about 25 minutes but as it could have been worse I didn’t feel inclined to grumble. On reaching Plymouth, we decided not to tarry there but to continue on to Newquay and finish the day there.
The Penzance train that we needed to take was delayed too, having been held up by our Plymouth train. It was crowded with standing room only but Tigger managed to find us seats amidst the confusion.
On arriving at Newquay, we crossed the road to Steam for a long awaited cup of coffee and a chance to decide what to do next.
What we did next was to take a bus to Watergate Bay. This is a pleasant wide beach framed by cliffs, but spoilt as is usual by ugly apartment blocks and bars and clubs. It is sad to see beautiful places ruined by catering to those who possess money but no taste. The irony, as I have previously remarked, is that such “development” destroys the very amenity – calm natural beauty – which attracted people to start with. I am sorry to see the Cornish apparently unable or unwilling to protect their beautiful land from the depredations of money-grubbers.
Night fell and this and the cold persuaded us to catch the next bus back to Newquay. There we supped at Pizza Express before returning by the familiar route to the hotel.
Despite the disappointment provided by the weather (though it was not as bad as yesterday) and the delays caused by transport, it was a good day out. It was enjoyable to reacquaint ourselves with Totnes and even with Watergate Bay, notwithstanding my acerbic remarks above.