Last week, a colleague unexpectedly offered us the use of an apartment in Plymouth for a week. Plymouth is on the Southwestern coast of England, from which one can explore southern Devon and Cornwall and the moors. We have never been to that part of the country. How fast do you think I said “Yes”? We rearranged our calendar, hopped in the car, and took off.
This is the last Bank Holiday weekend of the summer, which means traffic. Lots of traffic. The highways were packed driving down here, so we got off the main drags and toodled along little country roads, making a 3.5 hour drive into 7, and enjoying every turn of the road. Since we are staying here for a week, we decided to stay close to Plymouth for the first few days until the holiday crowds diminish.
Yesterday, we drove onto the Torpoint car ferry and explored the little villages on the Rame peninsula and Whitsand Bay, just west of Plymouth. The guidebook said that GPS devices were unreliable out here. This is certainly true. Here is the road the GPS told us to take:
We stopped in the charming little town of Cawsand:
Cawsand has an interesting pirate vibe happening; apparently it has a history as a smuggling port. (Dig the parrot!):
We chatted with some locals about the best place for a walk and they pointed out a stretch of the costal path which leads from the tiny beach at Cawsund, up through a lovely wooded path filled with ferns and glimpses of sea, and lined with flowers:
The trail led to the top of the rise and beautiful views:
We found a little folly and spent some time watching the sea and the boats.
We were on a promintory. So, although it looks like I am sitting with my back to the view, I am actually gazing out at a glorious expanse of blue water. Now, here is the funny part. I am afraid of heights. I clambered onto this piece of rock, took out my knitting and sat there happily knitting away; Doug took some photos; I enjoyed the view. Then, I looked down, and realized that I was sitting at the very edge of a 30-foot drop and I hadn’t even noticed! (Emma and Leah, are you reading this? Are you thinking “Who are you and what have you done with my mom?”) This is where I sat and knit:
After our walk, we drove farther west along the beach, checking out many of the towns. We stopped at the town of Polperro, which was overrun with tourists, and looked as if a mad PR guy had designed the place for maximum tourist expenditure. I found it kind of creepy, but id did have some great views at the bottom of the tourist crawl: