Saturday, 22 December 2012

Cornwall in SEPTEMBER (we must be crazy) continued.

A lazy Sunday sampling the hostelries of Newquay meant that now, Monday, we would do some more motorbiking. Of we six, we band of brothers, we happy few, two would be leaving the gang today. Mr GW was needed urgently back at work. Mr BG's bike needed hospitalisation so he would be leaving the happy band too. Double whammy.

Can't read this stuff? Then just click on the pic or ANY pic!!! Same with the maps!

GW and BG set off northeast. TE, AM, MF & JM set off southwest. Land's End was the first goal.

View Newquay - Land's End in a larger map

The weather stayed fine - mostly - and we were rewarded by fine views at Land's End. This is Longships Lighthouse.

Next goal was Newlyn via Porthcurno.

View Land's End - Newlyn in a larger map

Porthcurno is famous for the Atlantic Cable Station.  CLICK HERE for the link.

Porthcuro is also famous for the Minack Theatre.  CLICK HERE for the link.

The beach at Porthcurno.

Next stop: Newlyn.

Did you know that Newlyn is where the International Mean Sea Level Datum is marked?

Remember: Click on any photo to enlarge!!

Anyway, it was time to find some f 'n' c.

We walked around for a while.

Yeah ...... What's not to like? Soon we found our fish & chips. So everything was perfect. Time to head for Falmouth our next port of call en route back to Newquay.

View Newlyn - Newquay in a larger map

We called in to have a look at St Michael's Mount on the way.

Falmouth was interesting too. A huge natural harbour and home of the National Maritime Museum. Sorry for the lack of photos, but  here is the link.  CLICK

It would very soon be dark. It was time to set course for Newquay, our B&B and The Dolphin Inn CLICK HERE  for dinner......

....... and perhaps a beer back at base. We had had a pretty good day.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Cornwall in SEPTEMBER - Why not?

There was some doubt about riding our motorcycles to Cornwall so late in the year. Conditions could be poor - it could be cold, or wet, or cold and wet, or cold and wet and miserable. But what the heck - we MotoMates had long ago made the decision that in this country if one doesn't ride in the rain and the cold one hardly rides at all.

I like to call all-weather riding IFR. Pilots know IFR to mean Instrument Flight Rules - flying in cloud and rain, fog and clag. We are IFR bikers. We ride In Fog 'n' Rain.

Anyway, riding in Cornwall could not be wetter or colder than MF and me riding from Kalk Bay to Somerset West on a squally day last September. Never have I been so cold and wet. If it hadn't been for a hot chocolate at the Mug 'n' Bean I would have died of hyposomething.

Late on the Saturday afternoon we arrived at our B&B:

The place had seen better days (a little like us) but it was fine - comfortable, clean, hot water, good breakfast.

We parked the motorbikes in the parking space at the rear, carried our minimum luggage to the top floor where Bridie our Irish landlady had allocated us our three rooms. Pretty soon all daylight had gone. We headed out for a beer and a bite. It was only a short walk into Newquay town and found the busy, lively,  pub recommended by our lovely landlady.

For me, a large part of the attraction of motorcycle touring is the overnighting - the company, the laughs, the craic I think the Irish call it (Bridie would).

The next day was terrible weather (as forecast), but we didn't mind too much. The motorcycles were left exactly where we had parked them. We needed a bit of a rest from riding anyway. We walked down to the harbour to watch some mad folks preparing to put out to sea in rowing boats. I believe these crazy people were taking part in some ancient drowning ritual called County GIG Championships. 

Having observed these hardy souls we decided to go and have a hot chocolate. Which way Andy M?

We were looking for a warm coffee shop but couldn't find one anywhere ....  then suddenly we saw the big arrow!

The rest of the day was spent checking out various hostelries. Eventually we found one with NO EFFING MUSIC so that's where we stayed for the afternoon.

After a meal that wasn't prepared by Rick Stein we wended our weary way back to Bridie's for a nightcap and some well-deserved sleep after an arduous day. We certainly know how to have a good time!  See you tomorrow?

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

We Went To Cornwall in SEPTEMBER

Last September we flew to Cape Town. It was Springtime down there. This year we went to Cornwall. It was Autumn. If one could afford an annual migration to the Southern hemisphere in the Northern winter it would be a no-brainer.

View Home - Bristol in a larger map.

Six of us old MotoMates arranged to rendezvous at a hotel in the centre of Bristol. My start point was Duffield near the city of Derby. An old airforce mate had invited me to call in for lunch sometime. He and his lovely wife live in the Cotswolds so a short diversion from the country road would work well.

We had decided to overnight at Bristol. The RV was at the Premier Inn at 16:00. When I had parked my motorbike next to three very familiar machines on the roof carpark and got to the bar at 16:05, TE, BG and GW were halfway through their first well-deserved pint. They had had a very wet and very traffic-jammed motorway ride from Staffordshire - Newborough and Hill Ridware. Still to come was MF who had the longest ride of all of us to the RV. He lives in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, and is one of our septuagenarians. He rides a Honda CB1000F. Maybe he is phoning to say he's going to be late - again!

MF made it. He was only 1 hour late. He did well considering the conditions. There was a beer waiting for him in the bar. It was only slightly flat. I think that GW had his eye on it.  But I was watching him.  Now we had five out of a possible six. Just AM to make the RV. 

Dr AM (of the Dental Surgeon persuasion and from Makeney) was not able to leave his practice until around 16:30, but by 16:35 he was on his BMW 1200RT braving the rain and headlights via the M42, M5, and M4 to the rendezvous. Here he is:


He also did remarkably well. He arrived at 19:10 having filtered for about 150 miles - ... and God said, 'Let there be filtering' and we filtered and it was very good. And the hours became minutes.... Too bad AM has to work and couldn't leave earlier. But somebody has to work. How else does the government get tax £s to pay for pensioner bikers? Anyway we only invite AM along to get our average age down to about 67. He says that he has more fun hanging with us than with kids his own age.

Bristol is a brilliant city especially on a Friday night. When we had downed a few beers and some whiskeys we headed for an Italian restaurant that had been booked ahead. It was good fun. Good food and good wine. What's not to like?

 BG - JM - AM

GW - TE - MF

GW says, "I drink to make other people interesting!"

After a fun evening we wended our way back to the hotel. We didn't cause any trouble. We were as good as gold.

We eventually found the hotel. It was more or less where we left it. After a good sleep and a decent breakfast we set off from the roof of the Premier Inn (£39 per room for the night - not for the roof, actually in the hotel) for Cornwall. Unlike the day before, the weather was: SUNSHINE.

The plan was to keep off of the motorway and hug the north coast as far a possible. I'll try and insert another Google Map here:

Bristol to Lynton Note: All of these Google Maps can be clicked and dragged and zoomed in and out as required.

At about 11:00 we pulled into Porlock for a cuppa and a bacon sandwich. There was a convenient car park opposite a very pleasant little coffee shop. I left my helmet, gloves, and GPS on the bike. I am sure that Porlock is an honest town particularly when one can see one's motorcycle from the cafe.

Left to Right: AM, GW, MF, TE, BG, JM

The ride was very picturesque. We rode off the beaten track to look at the pretty harbour in Lynton. Motorbikes can get to places that cars cannot. We rode where we shouldn't have. We parked where we shouldn't have. A parking attendant ran up to tell us off.  Mike totally disarmed him by asking him to take this photo. What a nice jobsworth chap.

 GW's stickers. He is a true World Rider.

We stopped to consult the map. Straight to Barnstaple or via Lynmouth?

We opted for the climb into Lynmouth first, but had to negotiate a very tricky sharp and steep right hand turn first (sorry Barrie!). The sun was still shining and we were all enjoying taking our time and wending southwest. Here is yet another map:

Lynton - Boscastle - Tintagel - Newquay. Click and drag as required.

The sun continued to shine. We rode through Barnstaple, Bideford and Bude and diverted from the A39 for a brief look at Boscastle and to indulge ourselves with tea plus jam scones and clotted cream at Tintagel. This had taken us around Camelford but we rejoined the A39 for Wadebridge and Newquay.

At about 17:30 we arrived in Newquay and quickly found our B&B: Tir Chonaill Lodge Hotel 016 Mount Wise 01637 876492.
More coming if I can be @r$*d.