Sunday, 28 August 2011

Fowey- Falmouth- The Lizard- Porthlevan

Waking up to the sounds of the high frequency emergency radio crackling in and out of use was a novel experience. We had slept the night on the floor of Fowey RNLI station's "crew room".
We packed the bikes and headed out for breakfast from the local deli- a croissant and slice of cake... Why not eh?

The long hill climb out of Fowey made us temporarily regret our decision to stuff our mouths but soon enough we were cruising along the top of the country lanes and making progress on the 45km that lay between us and our next stop- Falmouth. We only stopped twice, once to enjoy a few roadside blackberries and the second time to catch the passenger ferry from St. Mawes to Falmouth. While waiting for the ferry we bumped into and old friend of our, with whom we had stacked the shelves of London's finest dept store 10 years ago- Charlie London- or the Jammy Dodger as he is more commonly known for his in depth knowledge of Fortnum & Mason jam collection.

a brief rest for some blackberry picking

Charlie 'jammy dodger' London and Rad in St. Mawes

The ferry crossing sparked some interesting conversations with fellow passengers and a few more donations into the collection boxes (little RNLI money boxes strapped to our bikes). But we soon arrived at the other side and headed to the lifeboat station- which was again closed and no sign of activity- I guess a good thing but we aren't having the best of luck so far, finding open stations with a kettle and a biscuit tin!

A photo outside and a spot of lunch followed and within the hour we were heading west to The Lizard. Country roads lead us to Helford Passage, where Nick frequented as a boy. In fact he even saw the father of the family he stayed with at the time drive past us. Despite some frantic waving he failed to recognise us as we sped past in the opposite direction.

The road to The Lizard flattened off somewhat ans provided us the chance to get our speed up- which was a welcome change from the incessant hills of Devon. We arrived at the most beautiful lifeboat station, tucked away at the bottom of a country lane surrounded by cliffs and in sheltered cove. A few people were swimming and enjoying the weather. We soon found out that this was in fact the old RNLI station, now a house, and the new one was just around the corner.

The old RNLI station that is now a house with an incredible view

The new RNLI station (currently under construction)

After a brief but very pleasant swim, we cycled up the hill and back down another track where we saw the new station - so new that parts were still a construction site. After the station photo, we headed in to the village of The Lizard for a look around- we ate ice creams while walking around the classic cars that had parked up as part of a rally.

By about 5pm we decided to do one last push and get to Porthlevan, where we were greeted by Blades and Heather, university friends of Nick. We were kindly invited to stay for one night of their romantic week's holiday.

They had laid on a beautiful spread of food for which we were both very grateful and we drank beers as the sun set over Penzance. A brief trip to the local followed and after a pint of doombar, we walked back to the house, accompanied by the harmonics of a Cornish sea shanty band singing in one of the bars. We were definitely in Cornwall!

Heather, our host.

Captain Rad

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