Newquay 2010 – Day 4

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.

From the station we had a tantalizing glimpse of the castle but did not visit it this time
From the station we had a tantalizing glimpse of the castle but did not visit it this time

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.

The high street passes through the old East Gate
The high street 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.

The Green Cafe, eco-aware with cheesy slogans on the walls
The Green Cafe, eco-aware with cheesy slogans on the walls

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.

Rugged and weatherbeaten, the Priory Church of St Mary
Rugged and weather-beaten, the 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.

There was a market of sorts
There was a market of sorts

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.

Garden commemorating the Queen's coronation
Garden commemorating the Queen’s coronation

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.

A sign of the times: the old signal box is now a cafe
A sign of the times: the old signal box is now a cafe
Note the old station name sign on the right

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.

Getting up Steam at the Great Western Hotel
Getting up Steam at the Great Western Hotel

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.

A rhapsody in blue: Watergate Bay
A rhapsody in blue: Watergate Bay

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.

Where to go to be amused in Newquay
Where to go to be amused in Newquay

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.

Night falls over Watergate Bay (but the surfers keep going)
Night falls over Watergate Bay (but the surfers keep going)

Copyright © 2010 SilverTiger,, All rights reserved.


About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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6 Responses to Newquay 2010 – Day 4

  1. Petrichor says:

    Beautiful pictures, comme d’habitude. It’s so weird seeing a place which is so quaintly English after having lived in the US where there is so much diversity of culture and race. Not a criticism -just an observation.

    So, are you vegetarian, then?

    • SilverTiger says:

      Cornwall and Devon have always been the archetypal holiday locations. They have everything: fine seaside, varied beautiful countryside and… cream teas! Unfortunately, many of the towns, especially the small ones, are being systematically despoiled by developers cramming in holiday apartment blocks and other “facilities” for holidaymakers, destroying their unique character.

      The corner of Cornwall around Newquay has attracted surfers in droves because of the flat sandy beaches and long-rolling waves. Newquay itself is now Surf City and has acquired a new character to go with this. Some may like it, some not.

      Surfers, dressed in wet suits, spend hours in the sea. From where they derive the stamina to face prolonged bouts in cold water, I do not know. They spend most of their time bouncing up and down waiting for a wave. When one comes, if they do manage to catch it and climb onto their boards, they usually remain upright for only a few seconds before falling back into the water. When they do, their boards shoot up out of the water in a characteristic movement that inspired Tigger to call this phase of the action “the Toaster”. It is a quaint sight to see black-clad figures running or cycling through the streets with ironing-boards under their arms.

      Yes, I am a vegetarian. I wasn’t brought up as such but have now been one so long that I am no longer sure when I started. I am a vegetarian by conviction, not by dietary necessity, and do not use use leather or other products containing materials from the slaughterhouse. I am not a vegan because I eat free-range eggs (those famous omelettes) and some milk products, such as vegetarian cheese.

  2. Petrichor says:

    God damn. Just left a more thorough response but it disappeared somehow. Grrrrr.

    Beautiful pictures.

    So, are you vegetarian?

    • SilverTiger says:

      It seems that your comments were held as suspected spam though I have no idea why.

      Both this comment and the original have been restored. Sorry for the inconvenience but it was owing to “circumstances beyond my control”!

  3. Petrichor says:

    I just left a new comment on your most recent post, and apparently your blog likes me now, and is no longer relogating all of my comments to your spam box! Yay!

    Mmmmmm, cream teas. You’re making me hungry.

    I used to be vegan for about three years, but just recently started eating fish and dairy produce again. It’s possible to be a very healthy vegan, and to have a varied, fun, diet, but you have to be organized and put a lot of work into your diet. I didn’t have the time to do that, so I was getting very bored by my food. Eventually I just started craving cheese and fish, so I decided to listen to my body, and ate them. It’s a bit of a novelty still, so I’ve been gorging myself on goat’s cheese.

    I will eat cow’s milk produce again, too, but I’d rather stick to goat’s milk as much as I can. Also, I see no need to buy a dairy cake if there’s a perfectly tasty vegan cake right next to it.

    • SilverTiger says:

      Yes, your comments are getting through now. I still don’t know why they were stopped before.

      I now find the smell of meat and fish quite unpleasant. I hold my breath when passing the stalls in the market so I can’t imagine eating the stuff.

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