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THE TIN MINES OF CORNWALL

We spent the next two weeks of our winter travels with Judy and Rob in Ebford. Once again it was "re-" time with the kind cousins. Time needed to recoup, reorganise, and prepare ourselves, plus repack the van in preparation for the next 3 month’s work in Ireland. Temperatures were generally just above or below freezing, and we had another light snowfall.
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Rob and Judy's cottage

Rob and Judy's cottage

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David discovered first-hand the danger of “black ice” on the road outside Rob and Judy's cottage when he slipped and landed with an ignominious plonk on his bum! We decided he must need "grounding", so he got into the soil by working on Judy’s raspberry beds, as she was still recovering from a broken arm.

On the weekend we visited the Kruger family near Truro in Cornwall, where they've been living and working for the past 18 years. It seems forever ago since David and Anton got up to mischief at Medical School together. Apart from the arrival of sons on both sides, little else has changed! Kay produced some wonderful Cornish dinners, including grass-fed roast beef, an instant addiction!
They live in an old, granite stone farmhouse, which they have been renovating for the past 18 years. As Anton and his sons are keen surfers, they are ideally situated with North and South Cornish coastlines readily accessible to them.
Anton and Justin checking out the surf

Anton and Justin checking out the surf

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We failed to find any surf, but after admiring several stretches of the rugged Cornish coastline, we settled for a chilly walk over the cliffs from Chapel Porth towards St Agnes to the ruins of the Wheal Coates tin mine. The engine house sits high on the cliff, while the mine shaft reaches down to sea level and below.
IMG_1813.jpgIMG_1809.jpgAnton and Kay

Anton and Kay

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Cornwall is dotted all over with similar relics of a bygone, very active mining era.

The next day we strolled around the pretty town of St Ives.
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We stopped in for a pint and some hot chips in a quay-side pub, before heading back for our last night with the Krugers.
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Monday dawned crisp and clear, and we set off to explore Falmouth, before crossing the Fal river on the King Harry ferry. It is propelled slowly across the river by clanking winches drawing on 2 fixed chains, and is the oldest chain ferry in existence. It is also the most expensive in relation to the short distance [£4.50].
IMG_1847.jpgDavid up on the bridge, assisting the skipper!

David up on the bridge, assisting the skipper!

Sandi opted to stay in the van for the short (and chilly) crossing

Sandi opted to stay in the van for the short (and chilly) crossing


Many large ships park in the river for long periods, waiting for better times

Many large ships park in the river for long periods, waiting for better times


We crossed over to the Roseland peninsula, and looked around the pretty village of St Mawes. .
St Mawes castle looking across the Percuil river

St Mawes castle looking across the Percuil river


The view towards Falmouth and Pendennis Castle

The view towards Falmouth and Pendennis Castle


On the way back to Exeter, we found some healthy looking veg at an "honesty stall" on the side of the road and stocked up with leeks [Judy's favourite] and curly-leaf cabbage.
Sandi admiring Brussel sprouts on the stalk

Sandi admiring Brussel sprouts on the stalk

Back in Ebford, we did a final sort-out and attic-stack [Judy and Rob kindly allow us to store what we don't need in their attic in between touch-downs]. During this time, we were actively communicating with Locumotion in Dublin, as David’s locum for the first week in Dublin fell through, and situations changed daily. It was very stressful and unsettling, as we could not finalise any accommodation arrangements until the job was secured, and many good accommodation deals on the internet fell through due to the constant delays. To add to the stress we had awful connectivity problems with our broadband, in spite of a £15 top-up, making accommodation searches a veritable nightmare of frustration for Sandi [who reckons she deserves a sainthood for her patience and self-control]. Eventually it all came together, with only 2 days to go, but Sandi managed to secure good accommodation for us at the 11th hour.
This caricature of David's grandfather, Charles, hangs in the bathroom

This caricature of David's grandfather, Charles, hangs in the bathroom


With the Irish Ferry booked, we drove for 4 hours up to Pembroke Dock in south Wales, encountering a snow shower on the way. We then crossed the sea for 4 hours, followed by an almost 3 hour drive in the dark up to Dublin, finally arriving exhausted at the Burlington Hotel at 21:30.

Posted by davidsandi 11:56 Archived in England

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