Monday, 27 September 2010

18 Even More Cornwall

Monday 20th September
The weather has stayed cloudy and windy, and we decided to go to Falmouth and have a look around. I remember it being quite prominent in programmes like Poldark and the Onedine Line, ( showing my age here). It was not as interesting as I thought, so we headed on out along the coast and came across a beach called Swanpool, where Ray had a night navigation diving exam a very long time ago.  We had a wee snifter in a beach restaurant called "Ondabeach" which is what it says on the tin. There were some water sports going on and some very brave older people actually having a swimming session.  We haven't been brave enough to get into the sea yet, maybe next year.......

Tuesday 21st September

Today was brighter, but still not all that warm, we went to Penzance and I was quite taken with it.  There are lots of little streets with interesting little shops, all very pretty and quaint.

Competition time, Can you spot Ray?

We tried to go out on a boat which takes you around the coast in search of wildlife, but apparently it was too windy at sea.  Spot of retail therapy and then to a really old pub, steeped in History,(the sacrifices we make so that you have a good Pub guide).  The place is  called The Dolphin Tavern and is down on the harbour.  It dates back to 1585 and is where a man named Sir John Hawkins employed Cornish men to fight in the Navy against the Spanish Armada.  Sir Walter Raleigh smoked the first bit of tobacco brought back from his travels, (he's got a lot to answer for). Apparently the centre of the pub was the local court room and Judge Jeffries, who was known as the hanging judge, presided there on several occasions (we could do with some more like him)  Lastly, but not least, they have 3 resident ghosts. One is an old sea captain, one a young man who died in an accident on the premises and the third, an old woman, who nobody knows much about.  We didn't see any of them, but we did only stay for one drink.
Where are the ghosts?

Wednesday 22nd
Most of the day was spent at the MH, doing chores and then in the evening we went out for dinner at The Whitehouse Pub and Lodge.  We caused quite a stir turning up on our trusty steed as most of the clientel were older than us and were very impressed by the motor cycle.  Ray crept up on one older lady as she was touching the bike, shouted at her, "What are you doing to my bike" she nearly passed out having jumped 3 feet in the air, the paramedics stated it was only a mild heart attack, anyway we then listened to her and her husbands tales of their travels on different types of motor cycles 40 years ago.  Does this sound familiar?

Thursday 23rd
Now would be a good time to tell the saga of the awning by Ray Hall QPM. (as we put it up today) :
We needed a new awning as the one that came with Lizzy does not fair well in wind and has to be taken down every time the weather turns for the worse. 
So we searched the internet and found a suitable one that is designed for high Motorhomes and has a steel frame, a Dorema Highlander 2.
We found a supplier in Ilfracombe and we factored in a trip to there whilst on the way to Cornwall. We paid for the last one of its kind in the UK and waited for it to arrive. Four days later the supplier called us up and stated that the item did not actually exist and we had to have our money refunded.
We contacted another supplier in Sudbury near Colchester on the off chance that he hay have one in stock. He said no, there were none left but offered us an alternative, a Eurovent Coachman, this was also the last of its type in the UK.
We had no internet access and could not confirm the suitability but took his word for it and paid it and then waited to be delivered to the Treamble camp site at Perranporth. We waited about 4 days and then phoned up to enquire as to its whereabouts.
Lost in the Parcel force post system was the reply. Luverly.
We at this time had to move camp sites as the one we were as was closing.
Anyway, the dealer said that the supplier had put in a claim to Parcel force and would we like the next model down which was very similar with a different type of door on one side, a Eurovent Autovilla.
OK we said, and gave him the address of the new camp site.
3 Days later we phoned to enquire about the location of this awning only to be told that no one knew. I then received a voice mail from the courier stating that they had tried to deliver it but as we had left the campsite they would not take it. They tried to deliver it to the wrong campsite !
I phoned the courier, asked him wher he ewas and then drove the 15 miles to Crambourne to collect it on Wallace. Brilliant, at last we have our new awning.
The next morning, like a good little camper I set the awning up only to find that it was about 18" too small and we could not open our motorhome door if the awning was attached.
F**k, F**k, F**k !!!
Now we have the problem of sending it back. Not easy when you do not have a proper address.    

Friday 24th

Again really windy, but mostly dry, and off to the Lizard which is the most Southerly point of the UK.

Views from The Lizard, you can see the difference in the light just in the short time we were there.

  It was beautiful and after enjoying the views we headed back towards Lands End, however on route, we came across a Cider Farm which was in fact just a shop selling local brews, so we obliged, and that then becomes another story.  However, back to our touring and we ended up in Lands End.  We did the touristy bit and had our picture taken by the sign and complete with "Wallace".  There was a bloke on holiday with his 2 year old child, he turned out to be a complete knob. The area by the sign is actually rented by the photographer, so unless you are prepared to part with your hard earned dosh, you cannot take your own picture. This idiot wouldn't understand that and was declaring that England was a free country, all of this in front, of his kid, Well he was crying, the wife was crying, the in-laws were walking off, I thought I was back in Harringay, and Ray was surprisingly calm. You just cannot believe some people.  Anyway, photo posed for and off to the pub.

Says it all really

As we were leaving, we saw a group of people having their photo taken, all were wearing the same fetching outfits, so being nosy we went down to take a look and discovered that they were a group of Police Officers from Liverpool, who were about to embark on a cycle ride to John O'Groats for a children's charity.  Good luck chaps...

Liverpudlian Coppers

We drove along the coast to a place called Sennen Cove, it was very pretty and apparently Ray and the boys from the TA had a boys day out, trying to drown each other and practising their caveman skills.  Its been very nostalgic for him.

Sennen Cove

We headed back to Penzance to get a  photo of St Michaels Mount.

St Michaels Mount, minus the Germans

Back in World War 2, when the Germans were confident of a win, one of the Generals wanted to live there when the war was over. He believed that if he did his job well, then Hitler would give him most of Cornwall as well, thank goodness that we won, I doubt we would be visiting it now if things had turned out differently.  I needed to get a new camera, (mine having been covered in Cider when a bottle broke in the back of the motor cycle), and to finish off the evening we had decided we would go to  the Whitehouse for a quiz night.

Reason why Camera needed replacing

Whilst we were there, Ray thought he recognised a man he'd worked with in the Met whilst on the search team. Turned out he was an ex inspector from the met, Chris Sevier and he retired seven years ago and moved down to Cornwall.  I was left answering the quiz questions alone whilst they caught up. The marking went ahead, and apparently Chris and his family normally win, I am pleased to say that this night they didn't, we did. I think we put a few local noses out of joint. You just can't teach it can you.

Saturday 25th
Today we tried to get on the boat trip, as it was the first time that the wind had calmed down, again there was no joy but the man we had been trying to get out with, did suggest we try a place in Newquay, where his friend had a different type of boat that would be able to go out.  Before we got there, we met up with Chris again who works part time in an outdoor type of shop, so for a change, Ray spent loads a money on clothing,(this has been recorded in my diary in preparation for the next pair of shoes I want).  Once in Newquay we realised that there was a slight problem with our boat trip plan as the tide was out and the harbour was completely dry, apparently they had gone out hours earlier, just one of the details that we weren't told. 
On route back to the motor home, Ray decided that he had itchy feet and instead of leaving Cornwall on Sunday, he wanted to up sticks and do the trip over night so that we would be there early for our next campsite. I was quite pleased because there was a full day of motorcycle and motor vehicle racing on, so I would get to watch it. We had a couple of stops and I have to say one of the funniest things I've seen for a while, was Ray and Leon going for a walk around the huge car park of the service station.  Leon walks along beside you with his tail in the air, making sure that you haven't gone too far away and he meow's at you if there is something he wants to spend a bit more time at.
Male bonding at its best.

The trip from Cornwall to Ashford.
This normally boring 350 mile trip is worthy of mention.
We intended to do this trip on Sunday the 28th Oct but Karen said that she would miss the World Superbikes, the British Superbikes and the Formula 1 Grand Prix as these are all broadcast during Sunday. I decided it may be a good idea to travel overnight on the saturday to accommodate Karens screaming engine addiction.
So after arriving back home Saturday evening, we loaded Wallace on the back, struck camp and set off at about 7pm with TomTom leading the way. At about 8:30 I was driving and intending to pull in for a coffee at Exeter. Karen mentioned that she was about to miss Mick Hucknall and Simply Red on their final concert being shown at 9pm. Me being the obliging chap that I am decided to drive a bit further on, stop at 9, put the Satellite up and watch the program. (Aren't I wonderful ? - Don't answer that)
We set off again at 10 and eventually, with the tank showing a quarter full, pulled in near Swindon for petrol. I was surprised that the tank only took £50 but paid and set off again. A short while later Lizzy started to feel like her engine was misfiring, nothing serious but noticeable. We discussed the problem and decided that we had bought some dirty fuel and would get some injector cleaner. We drove to Windsor and decided to stop to take a look at the engine. As we got to the red lights at the bottom of the off ramp, the engine cut out. We got it going again and limped into Windsor looking for a garage or somewhere to pull over. When we eventually did, we could see and snell a small petrol leak from the area of the filler cap.
This was a very big "Oh S**t" moment. Not because of the leak, but because Lizzy runs on deisel !
I had shoved about 40 litres of petrol on top of about 20 litres of deisel. We had driven about 80 miles like this. How we were not stranded at the side of the M4 I do not know.
On top of this, the "engine Problem" light had now come on.
We decided to drive to Heston services, drain the tank, which was fortunately (?) lower than it would normally be by now, fill up with the correct fuel and see what happens.
I took the gas hose off of the BBQ and cut the gas fittings off. I had a spare 25 litre plastic can in the boot (as you do) and spent an hour or so with a mixture of petrol and diesel in my mouth but managed to siphon enough out to get the fuel light to come on at the dash. We then filled up and the engine ran perfectly. However, the "Engine Problem" light was still on so we had no idea how much damage has been done to it.
By now it was about 5am and I was knackered.
Having no real choice, we drove to Ashford, Kent, where we had booked our next campsite and as we turned off the M20 we found a McDonalds and decided to have breakfast. As we pulled up, blocking our usual 6 car parking spaces, I decided that there must be a way to clear the fault codes on the engine. so....
Ignition off, grab hold of and pull indicator stalk, ignition back on. Hey presto, "Engine Problem" light extinguished.
A massive sigh of relief from a silly old tw@t.
After McDonalds we drove the final 3 miles to the campsite, pulled in blocking most of the entrance and climbed into bed. What a horrible night.

Sunday 26th

McDonalds breakfast, sleep and motor racing, it doesn't get much better than this.

Monday 27th

Chores, I get to play with my washing machine, wearing thin already, too much like real life.

1 comment:

  1. sounds like you guys are having an absolute blast. I am sooooooo jealous!!!!! It,a not fair. XXX