Local Loveliness

As Hugo sat atop the ancient stone altar, I contemplated whether I should sacrifice him to the gods of excrement or let him live. He had just rolled in his third fox poo of the morning and I was not relishing the idea of washing him in Dickie's shower cubicle. Sense prevailed and Hugo is still with us despite putting up a bit of a fight as he was cleansed in the waters of our van.

We are normally somewhere in Europe at this time of year but, due to family commitments, we have decided to make the most of what the UK has to offer and do some small trips in the local area. West Cornwall beckoned and we spent a night at Gurnards Head, a lovely pub with great food, just near Zennor. Graham has a book coming out early next year so we combined our trip with a drop off of the final proofs to his book's publishers, Troy Books, who are located near Penzance.

If you eat in the restaurant you can park your van overnight and there is a fabulous, if somewhat muddy and foxy, coast walk just minutes away. This is where we discovered the remnants of an ancient chapel with only its altar remaining. The rocky cliffs lead down to stunning beaches, only accessible by dangling precariously from a rope by the look of things. As tempting as it was to fling ourselves down for a walk on the sand, we desisted and stuck to the coast path.

The rain started so we headed off to the Ayr Campsite in St Ives. We've stayed there several times before as it's superbly located within walking distance of the town and it has great views over the sea. We had to do the touristy thing and ate fish and chips in view of the ever-present seagulls by the main beach. The rain came in so we spent the rest of the afternoon in Dickie just enjoying being away from home and pretending we were in France or Spain.

The murmurations of the starlings on Bodmin Moor were calling so we finished off our Cornish odyssey with a trip out to Roughtor near Camelford. The birds did not disappoint and millions of them came in to nest around 430pm, entertaining all who had come to watch. We can't get away too far this winter but it's great to think there is so much to see and do so close to home.

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