So not quite South East Asia but how about pretty much as far South West in England you can get, St. Ives, Cornwall. I thought I would detail this short weekend adventure before the big trip begins as a bit of practice getting to grips with this whole blog stuff and to see if I’m any good at writing something half decent.
The long weekend began by getting the train to Salisbury from Guildford to meet Henry. As usual, I was early, so had a quick breakfast in Spoons and waited for Henry who as usual was late. But none the less Salisbury was a nice place to kill an hour or so. Once Henry finally showed up we made the 4-hour drive down to St. Ives in decent time and the drive wasn’t bad at all. Once down in Cornwall we picked up Brad from St. Erth train station (although if better planed we could have got him in Exeter, sorry mate). The “Beckingham Boys” were now just missing its final member so we made our way to Binney’s house where we would be staying the weekend and were once again reunited.
After pleasantries and small talk had been exchanged, chilli con carne consumed (courtesy of Binney’s mum), we headed out to explore St.Ives, Tesco bag full of beers in hand. First stop The Island, where the beers were consumed overlooking the beach of Porthmeor, cracking view and great company. We made our way around The Island, (although strictly not an island) took some photos and headed into St. Ives. Here we headed for a place called the Rum and Crab shack, followed by some pub which I’ve forgotten the name of where some old bloke absolutely rocked the harmonica. After consuming a few Korev’s (very nice Cornwall larger) we made our way to St. Ives version of a club “The Balcony”. Brad and I were swiftly I.D before heading inside. The Balcony was a nice place where we stayed a little while before heading back to bed.
Come Saturday morning the weather had taken a turn and was pretty bleak, none the less we headed out anyway. First stop, a viewpoint which Binney promised was great and a highlight of his morning commute. However, on arrival, the only view was about 10 ft ahead and of a small hedge due to the thickness of the fog. (Binney later sent us a photo of how the view should be and I can confirm it would have been lovely).
Next, we moved onto Marazion in search of another view, which offered us a gaze of St. Michaels Mount. A castle on a little island just out to sea only accessible at low tide. Once again, our view was obstructed due to poor weather condition. Henry, Binney and I walked a little way out to sea on the road that allows access to the castle. Brad, on the other hand, thought the water was too cold so stayed on dry land.
Once back in the warmth of the car we headed to Philps Bakery and had the most amazing premium steak Cornish pasty, would highly recommend. This was topped off by some ice cream from Mr B’s. We then moved onto the afternoon’s activity of golf. Luckily the weather improved a little bit for this, sadly not the case with our game. The 12-hole course was very nice and suitable for our ability, that being, SHIT! Binney shot a 57 I shot a 58 (conveniently Binney was scoring) and I think Brad and Henry ended up in the 80’s, better luck next time lads. Overall a good laugh and we all made some nice shots.
After golf, we headed home, got changed and headed out for a bite to eat and another night on the town. Once again, another pub with a local singer, who was younger and didn’t play the harmonica but was equally as good as the previous night’s entertainment (plus he played Sweet Caroline & Wonderwall always guaranteed to win me over). Back to Balcony we went, where once again Brad and I were I.D by the same bouncer, I’m sure we shall be grateful in 10 years’ time mate! Tonight, wasn’t so calm and after probably one too many we stumbled home to eat pizza at 2 am.
Sunday morning, we awoke to sore heads but sunny skies. The surf report was promising, so we headed to Gwithian Beach just a short drive from St. Ives. The beach was stunning, and the waves lived up to expectations. Wetsuits were donned, Instagram photos taken and we headed for the waves. Binney being the most experienced led the way, (I mean it wasn’t hard to be the most experienced seeing as Brad and I had never surfed and Henry very little) but I dutifully followed. Next thing I know I’m up against 5-6ft waves and have no idea what I’m doing! A man on a surfboard comes flying at me and had to bail due to me being in his way (sorry bro). Before I knew it, I’d swallowed half the water off the Cornwall coast! Some surfer next to me sensing my struggles asked if I was alright, to which I mustered a “yeah I’m fine”. It was at this point I thought to myself WTF am I doing out here and headed back closer to the shore to get to grips with this whole surfing thing.
“Don’t run before you can walk”
This proved to be a sensible decision as in the smaller swell I actually started to get the hang of it. I caught a few waves (I assume that’s the lingo) and managed to stand up several times, even if only briefly, before crashing into the sea with the grace of a sedated elephant. As my confidence grew I decided again to head out further and was once again pounded by the waves! Next thing I know my surfboard has broken off its tether attached to me and I’m left there thinking shit, I’ve just lost Binney’s sister’s surfboard! I headed for shore hoping it was washed up there, which luckily it was. Here I reattached the tether, but by this point, I was pretty much all surfed out.
We spent a good 4 hours at the beach surfing and I thoroughly enjoyed it, although it was bloody knackering. That afternoon we refuelled ourselves with a massive roast dinner at a local restaurant and had a quiet night in.
Overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend and it was great to see the lads again. Unfortunately, it may be a little while until we next meet but I’m looking forward to it none the less. As for Cornwall, it was beautiful, and I will definitely be back!
Well, that concludes the first true blog post, I hope it wasn’t too bad and well if it was I guess you won’t be back!