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Roaring Girl
The adventures of the yacht Roaring Girl wandering the seas.
Falmouth arrival
30/04/2008, Veryan to Gunwalloe

I could not decide whether the little foot ferry across to St Mawes was running that early in the season, so I caught a bus there and just missed the ferry to Falmouth. I wandered the quay, looking at the pretty shops and rang Melanie.
We arranged to meet, and I caught the next ferry to Falmouth, where I purchased new shoes and a fenderstep. (Long required, and hard to get in France or Spain.) Melanie picked me around, and whisked me back to Gunwalloe, where she was getting the place ready for the summer tenants. Two days to go and a mad panic!

Places and people
I am not dangerous
29/04/2008, Gorran Haven to Veryan

The weather was not looking so good but decided to go at 9.30. The heavens opened shortly after. Too far to turn back, I have to go on to. The first village I come to is Gorran Church. Not even a shop. The bus on Tuesday left at 0930. Mised it. On to Beswinger. I know there is a YHA there. Should be a place to dry out there, methinks.
Well, I get to Boswinger. There is a holiday park on the corner, but thinking of a warm place with simpatico people, I go on. Wet, cold and ready to stop on, I knock on the YHA door.
A chap's head pops out the window. "What do you want?"
"A dry place and room if you have one."
"No. I've a school group in." All this, while he is hanging out of the window, as if I was a mass murderer. After some prompting, he suggests a B&B about six miles away. I ask if the holiday park might help, and with no specific answer, I put my pack on and trudge soppingly back up the road.
At the holiday park reception, the answer is "sorry, we're not really open for the season yet." But in answer to "do you mind if I dry out a bit", they say "no problem".
Having missed all the buses out of the village, I ask about the shuttle taxi. The nice man rings - to find out the taxi has just gone to the airport and is at least one and a half hours away. Ironically, it had left from the same pub I had left dry, only this morning.
Pondering my future and thinking - I'll just get a bus back to St Austell and get on a train, and give up.
A deliverer of publicity leaflets turns up, and yep! I get a lift out of here. Yes, yes, yes!
Next stop, Veryan . Sandy, my new-found friend, delivers attraction leaflets to all accommodation out this way, is most helpful about where to go in Veryan, and puts me right for striking distance of St Mawes and Falmouth.
The B&B is fab. The lovely lady dried all my stuff. Warm boots, and then the sun came out!.

Places and people
Really bad weather
28/04/2008, Charlestown to Gorran Haven

The weather isn't so good today and having found the first part of the walkway is closed, I decided the destination today is Mevagissey, but on the back road. Well, again I made Mevagissey by 1pm (must be getting fitter) so keep going.
Having been pleased with myself earlier, when a big rain squall came in, I was happily having a cup of team. Not so lucky this afternoon: about 1/2 mile out of Gorran Haven, the skies opened. Rain and hail. Lots of hail.
So I'm now staying here for the night.

Places and people
Tall ships
27/04/2008, Fowey to Charlestown

I have to say at this point every day I have asked myself - do I still want to do this? In the morning the answer is yes. In the afternoons, I have wanted to get on a bus or a train. No more walking. But then I wake up to think - well, keep going.
But today I changed allegiance from the coast path (has enough cliffs) to the Saints Way, which took me over rolling country and farms, then around Par beach, coming down in the picturesque port of Charlestown, where the tall ships sail from and are repaired.
Stayed at the hotel. Very nice.

Places and people
A long day
26/04/2008, Looe to Fowey

When I left in the morning, my target was Polperro about 5 miles. A bit shorter, but with very sore feet, I'm OK with that.
The walk out of Looe was truly stunning, a beautiful day with a long up and down track arriving at Polperro (in the pic) by 1.00. Feeling fit so I decided to keep going. Polruan, Fowey, is another 7 miles.
Arrived once again on the stumps that are my feet, just in time to see the last ferry pulling in to Polruan (6.55pm). Phew! A quick trip across Fowey harbour to another night in another Ship Inn (not very nice).

Places and people
Up and down
25/04/2008, Portwinkle to Looe

The coastal path along here is very up and down, and with a lot of fog. For the last hour I was hoping for a bus, but it was not to be. About 4.30 I triumphantly got in to Looe and tied up for the night in the Ship Inn.

Places and people
Crossing the border
24/04/2008, Plymouth to Portwinkle

Today I got the train to Plymouth then ferry to Cawsand/Kingsand . Across the border from Devon to Cornwall. Started walking right away following the path, with a few diversions. Four hours later I completed my first day, 10km/6 miles, and arrived at Portwinkle.
The Lighthouse B&B proved very comfortable to rest my sore legs and tired feet, Slept very well.

Places and people
Trains and buses
12/04/2008, Cardiff to Torquay

Having seen Sarah off to Norwich this morning, I returned to Jenny's house to get get ready for my own trip to Torquay. Packed and ready, it's back to the station.
Ah! First round of angst. Trains turn into buses one stop along at Newport. Of course, I miss my connection (and all the rest. Nightmare!)
"Just get on the next train, miss."
What with three changes, I'm a bit nervous, steeling myself for rejections and accusations of fare dodging. I arrived in Torquay painlessly - a miracle!

Places and people
Goodbye for now
08/04/2008, Upper Hutt

On Tuesday afternoon we set off with Beryl down to Wellington, and had a very pleasant day seeing the sites of the Hutt Valley and visiting the fabulous restaurant at the Maranui Surf Club. This is Beryl and Pip before leaving.
The trip back to the UK took forever, and because we went through LA meant that we got Wednesday twice. All very confusing and at the time of writing (Friday morning) we are far from over the jet lag.
We are heading in different directions tomorrow, Sarah to visit family and Pip to see a friend in Devon. Sarah is then heading back home to Roaring Girl next week, but Pip has various things to do in the UK and will not be going back to France till mid-May.

Places and people
Rainbow Warrior
06/04/2008, Wellington

The Greenpeace ship has been doing a tour of NZ to promote targets on climate change, encouraging the government to set solid targets in the legislation currently going though parliament. We went aboard for an inspiring visit.
The first Rainbow Warrior was of course bombed and sunk in Auckland Harbour by the French, in their efforts to stop media attention and passive resistance to their nuclear tests in the Pacific. We were told that the ship's bell in the wheelhouse was recovered from that first boat. Alain Maffard (we're not this minute sure of the spelling) who was one of the two people convicted of the bombing, is now senior in the Environment Ministry in France, and by a quirk of history was the leader of a delegation to RW when she was moored in Marseilles to publicise pollution in the Mediterranean. He waffled a lot, and then the skipper told him that all important visitors to the vessel rang the bell. He did so, and was then told where it comes from.
The media (duly pre-briefed of course) were all watching, and so he then had to honestly address the issues raised by Greenpeace. A small crumb of revenge, and it made some use of the French attacks.

Places and people
Last view of the Pacific
04/04/2008, Rarangi Beach

Our first night in Puff was spent at the DOC site at Rarangi, so from Nelson we drove the beautiful road to Blenheim and then up the east coast which took us back past the same point. From the lookout above the beach, you get this amazing view south to the White Bluffs about 12 miles away.
The beach is fed with shingle from the river the far side of the Bluffs and is growing at the amazing rate of about 1m a year, which is a phenomonal amount of materiel. Turning north, you clearly see the North Island.
We then drove the back road that hugs the coast through Port Underwood (a major site of coastal whaling in the nineteenth century) up to Picton, a slow, winding and lovely road with astonishing views across the Sounds. Here we met up with Millie, and then had another lovely meal out with her, Helen and Mary. Great fun.
On Saturday morning, in the pouring rain, we visited the fascinating vessel Edwin Fox, a wooden ship that is preserved with her own museum on Picton Quay. She is the ninth oldest ship in the world (though she was only built in 1853, so we wondered about that). She has several unique claims to fame, having carried troops to the Crimea, convicts to Australia and settlers to New Zealand.
We then bid a final farewell to Puff, who now has new adventures ahead of her with Millie, and took the ferry back to Wellington.

Places and people
02/04/2008, Rongamai Ridge again

We drove back over the marble mountain (spectacular views!) to visit again with Melissa and Michelle. As suggested months ago, Lou had come north with her new partner, Suze. Melissa, Lou and Pip, who all used to work together, haven't been in one place for well over 10 years. A good excuse for a couple of raucous evenings.

Places and people

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Who: Pip Harris and Sarah Tanburn
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