It is Pete Crossley’s 60th birthday but after the party we join Louisa, Julian and Tove in St. Ives. Monday night is quiz night at the Castle Inn pub in Fore Street. The theme is ‘school’ because it is half-term and the pub is crowded with 16 tables. Sheila, Julian and myself make up a table and win first prize – £45. We are elated.
We drive to St. Mawes the next day via the King Harry chain ferry. Huge tankers are moored in the river, mothballed until the economy picks up. Lunch is in the terrace lounge, overlooking the estuary, of the Idle Rocks hotel that Thom and Tara liked so much. It is nearby, in Roseland, that Danae and Nathan stayed and got engaged. On return we stop at Smuggler’s cottage where we drink tea from the Tregothnan estate. This spot is where the American soldiers set off for the D-Day invasion.
Later we learn of the lifeboat going out from Falmouth to aid two vessels, one of which is the tall ship, Fryderyk Chopin, which lost 2 masts near the Scilly Isles. We saw this ship earlier sailing into the estuary.
Much of our time is spent doing the things Tove enjoys most – such as being on the beach. Later in the week we go to Hayle and the sands and dunes along the Towan where we see kestrels stooping and bramblings in the reeds.
Eventually we head to the lighthouse, having a delicious lunch at the cafe in the National Trust grounds around Godrevy. Other places we eat are the Black Rock just behind Fore Street. It is only recently opened and is totally superb – best pork belly I’ve eaten. And half the price of the Porthminster Cafe that we also eat at.
Finally, we take the pirate trail with Shanty Baba, the escapee accountant from Bexley Heath. His act is now very polished, theatrical and includes a petulant teenager..
On our last day, I manage to get a screen capture from the St. Eia Hotel webcam of ourselves on Porthminster beach. We are the little dots on the left.