Day 8: UK, Newquay

It was to be a mammoth walking day and by the end of the day we’d clocked up in excesss of 15km or just over 10miles if you’re working in old money.  Our 7 day total is 33km for the week.  Having only just started walking again, we’re pretty chuffed with this effort…..although I have to say that I am well and truly knackered and in need of a rest!

We opened up the roof vent this morning to sunshine and bright blue skies pouring in. Reason to travel #4

Lazed around for a while but with the prospect of the Newquay Fish Festival starting at 10am, and gagging for some more fresh seafood, we left fairly early (for us!) and walked into town (via the “pram route” I hasten to add!!!) and, with the tide out, cut across the beach to the pier.  We had been holding off for our first meal as wanted to get something street foody and fishy at the festival. Turns out this was definitely not a fish festival and could better have been described as the Newquay Festival. The stalls had been set up along the pier but the only thing fishy we saw was a man weaving lobster pots…. the rest were stalls manned by local businesses marketing hotels, holiday places, pottery, soaps and a few local (non-fishy) food stalls.

We left disappointed and hungry or maybe just a bit hangry?  On the way up into town, whilst looking for a suitable stop for some breakfast, we stopped to forage some wild nasturtium leaves and flowers.  Foraging in Newquay has been reasonably productive with nasturtiums, blackberries, rosehips and apples on offer.  It’s great to be back on the road.  Reason to travel #5.

We’re still only eating twice a day so by 12:30pm we needed to re-fuel and stopped at Fore St Cafe – another local cafe/restaurant in Newquay that is definitely worth a visit.

The gorgeous Mr T had dirty breakfast and mine, just a teeny little healthier, was a mackerel pate (well, we had been wanting some fish after all!) on toasted sourdough with avocado and dukkha on the side. …. and we loved them both equally.  Including massive mugs of tea, all for under £20.

Still feeling a bit cheated that the Fish Festival had been a bit oversold, we carried on wondering around the streets of Newquay. 

??? Dog ice creams??? Good marketing, I say!

The gorgeous Mr T spotted a very funky barber shop a few streets back and popped in to have his now flowing locks (!!!) trimmed to a no. 6 buzz cut. 

*Looks around for pricelist and heart sinks to find none*

Good lawd, Maude, £12 for a clipper cut……. we know where their money is going!!!  I think we’re far more used to the £4.50 he usually pays at home for exactly the same thing.

That’s one thing we have noticed here – it’s expensive for a slightly aged seaside town, or is it because it’s down south, or maybe a combination of the 2?  We also noticed that from Thursday to Friday there’s been a sharp increase in restaurant prices as well.  Now, we are capitalists at heart and all in support of being paid fairly and making a sensible profit.  We are *not* into being screwed royally without even being offered a jar of vaseline to ease the way.  Disappointed, people of Newquay.  You rely on our tourist money coming in through the season.  It may be end of season and we’re sorry if it’s been a difficult one but bad customer service, snarky sales people, crap quality food and higher prices are not the way to win return custom. #RantOver #ThankYouForListening

Time to get back to Kaya as the gorgeous Mr T’s nap clock was starting to ring and we were due in to the Last Night at the Proms at 7:30pm. 

As luck would have it, we spotted a salon on the way back home and they happened to have a slot available for me to have my now frizzled, fly-away, too-long hair cut.  Only a 20 minute wait, so we popped into the coffee shop next door.  Views to die for, customer service so slow, you could die from the wait.  Forest Gump could have done a sterling job over the chap who was serving!!! 1 order at a time, made and delivered, wrong orders to wrong tables.  Aaaarrrggghhhh but at 19 minutes and 30 seconds, our espressos arrived and I gulped mine down and ran out to make my appointment, thankfully only next door.  Sigh.

Great haircut, fabulous customer service, friendly folk.  What a difference 20 metres makes.

I suppose in my missive above, I’m trying to make a point.  We’ve had good and bad experiences in Newquay but we have to confess that it would never be a destination of choice for us again because of the distinct lack of enthusiasm the local folk show to visitors….. such a pity.  Or maybe next time, we try it before season starts, so some time in May or June….

Back home and as it was such an amazing day and the harvest (full moon) due that night, we decided to switch things up a little and take an earlier walk to Fistral Beach to watch the sunset.  It would mean getting to Last Night of the Proms a bit later after they had started but we sensed that the sunset might be something not be be missed.  Being flexible.  Reason to travel #6 (I think it’s 6…. I’m starting to lose track!!!)

So with the nasturtium leaves & flowers picked of insects and washed, I prepared a picnic of smoked salmon, lemon & dill cream cheese and nasturtium leaf sandwiches on granary, a few crisps to snack on and our obligatory whiskey and chilled water in our flasks to toast the sunset. 

An hour and 6kms later, after walking up and down the hills in Newquay, we crossed over to the other side of the bay and found Fistral Beach. We should have done this much earlier in the week.  This side was protected from the wildness of the other side, the beach sand white and clean.  Idyllic!  As the vivid orange and red sunset appeared in front of us, we watched the surfers bobbing up and down in the water, catching the tips of the waves and surfing down onto the beach only to paddle out again for another adrenaline ride, whilst we cracked open our picnic and poured ourselves a whiskey and water.  Reason to travel #7

After the sun had truly set, we wandered up the hill and down the hill….. up another hill and down another hill, back into town as the strains of the orchestra called us in to the harbour.  As predicted, we had missed the beginning but we wouldn’t have changed a thing!

After some very enthusiastic flag waving, lots of clapping, plenty of patriotism, a bit of stomping and a little (!!!) cider drinking, we slowly walked back to Kaya.  Exhausted, tired, a little merry, high on sunsets and each other and with an amazing day under our belts ; the light of the harvest moon hung low and burnt fiercely orange in the black night sky. 

And we stopped one last time to pick a few more nasturtiums.

2 Comments

  • Andrea Riley

    21 September , 2019 at 06:38 Reply

    Brilliant narrative of your time in Newquay. We do sometimes have an entitled attitude in the U.K. or is it lethargy? Whatever it is, it can spoil an experience and taint our views of a place.

    Good job you made the most of that sunset, looks like we won’t be seeing any next week!

    Keep “feeding” us with your wonderful stories.

    Love from Andi & Paul

    • JanR

      21 September , 2019 at 06:58 Reply

      Hiya both,
      Thanks, we love the photos of the sunset too! Not too difficult when nature provides a spectacular display…. and not a single filter or tweak, that was just as we saw it.
      Our new camera is the bee’s knees and loving it but still getting to “know” it. I’ve been playing around with some arty shots this week – I’ll be including these in the next few blogs. Starting to get very excited – ferry on Tuesday and first stop Maastricht!

      Chat soon
      Love from us both x

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