England – Day 8

England – Day 8

Monday, October 1. We got up this Sunday morning, and watched a little British TV. I’m surprised to find quite a few American channels. We get dressed and warily look around for Ted before we go into the fancy-ass dining room for the breakfast buffet.

Seriously, the staff are all dressed like butlers and french maids. They all have a vaguely german hint to their British accent, and look like they might be doing this against their will. Or maybe I’m just imagining this.

The buffet consists of the usual – sausage, bacon (or slices of fried ham) eggs, beans, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, and toast. We opted for the coffee again, because the sign says Best Coffee on the Cornish Coast. Not so much. I think I’m switching to tea. This was probably our most nondescript meal. White tablecloths, black napkins, chafing dishes, and german, french maids clearing tables. There was room for at least a hundred, and there were 5 other couples eating at the same time as we were. I could do a character study of each of them as well, but I’ll spare you.

We set out for the Castle Ruins, then realized halfway there we had forgotten the Heritage Trust card that gets us free admission. We walked back, decided to take the car, and drove this time into the town of Tintagel, the whole time, actively avoiding Ted.

We parked, walked around some shops, then went to the ticket office where we learned that the castle ruins were closed til April, having had their last day yesterday!! Dave was really disappointed. But we did take the walk up the hill and around to the cliffs where we could look at the ruins, and then visit a church, again, built in the 1100s! The graveyard was a sight to see, with graves still being added today, right next to ones from the 16 and 1700s! 

We stopped at a place called Charlies and had Cream Tea. My second one, when I thought I’d be doing it every day. This was different than the one at Anne Hathaway’s cottage. The scones didn’t have raisins, and were craggy looking, rather than the more biscuit shaped ones in Stratford. And the clotted cream this time was more like a sticky butter than a custardy version of whipped cream. The tea was fantastic – Tregothnan Tea. Dayna was right, the tea here is nothing like what we call tea in America! Also, the lady who served us was lovely. She had that sing-songy voice that some british women have. That, and she said thank you probably 200 times just in the time we were there – but it was sincere, and she was just so happy. I was starting to feel less glum about Tintagle, thanks to her.

We drove to a place Dave found in one of his guide books. A wooded path to a waterfall! More walking, and my hips were feeling weak – but I soldiered on. Through hedgerow lined paths hardly wider than a car, past sheep pastures, horse pastures, out onto rocky cliffs, always with stunning views of rolling hills with the blue Atlantic ocean on the horizon. The path was rocky, and either steeply up or steeply down, always following the contours of the earth. We walked along the cliffs next to a stream that grew larger as we neared the waterfalls. The sounds were magical, and there were lots of nooks and caves among the old vine covered trees. It was easy to imagine fairies, and trolls, and magic in this place. 

At the top, just before the falls, in true British fashion, there was a cafe where you could have a cuppa tea. We opted for a bottle of juice and water, while we rested on one of the picnic tables. As we were leaving, we noticed that there was a road leading out, and we thought it might be an easier walk. We asked one of the employees if that was true and had the loveliest conversation about the town, and the road, and that the police station was an hour away, and that we foreigners drive too slow – in the friendliest manner imaginable. He really lifted my spirits, and made creepy Ted fade further into the background. That and the walk, raised my opinion of Tintagel a lot.

We ended up walking 15,000 steps today. Ending with dinner at King Arthur’s Arms again. Fish and Chips and meat pies this time, with only one beer a piece. Tomorrow, we have to nail down our plan for London, which is good because it’s supposed to rain. Also, another drive to another walking opportunity. So tired, so sore, wanting a bathtub to soak in, better internet and cell service too. Oh, and our coats arrived!!!


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