Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Dear Diary Saga Part 1
Last week a spur of the moment decision was made to pack our bags take a break and hit the big wide road - actually the M5 down south.
Frantic measures were taken to book accommodation and flights. The plan was to spend time in Cornwall and also visit the Scilly Isles, and after two false starts away we went.
A good drive down and an over night stopover at the Holland Inn and Travel Lodge at Saltash proved to be ideal, although on arrival it appeared we were booked in for the wrong night, note to self , always double check the finer details!
Monday : - early start - luggage loaded - off to Newquay to catch the Skybus to St Marys - Scilly Isles. Good journey time to spare so we parked up and took a stroll through Newquay, and then afterwards took a quick drive down to the world famous Watergate Bay - the surfers paradise see pic
The airport was quite busy after the usual check in and security measures - of course my hand luggage did not pass muster - so B's luggage weighed under - so out with the extra boots and shoes and into his case - B's new knee bleeped at security , so he was frisked by a burley guard - in case he had a gun up his trouser leg - well it looked that way!
The flight was amazing - the plane takes about 12 people (I didn't count the seats),we were lucky to be right up front and could see all the controls and what was happening, of course I am convinced I could fly a plane now!see pic - the views were stunning being a clear sunny day - see pics in side panel.
On arrival at St Marys the taxis were waiting and off we went to the Santa Maria guesthouse - see above - we had a brilliant stay here in this accommodation - it was recommended to me by the tourist information on Scilly.
There was time for a quick stroll before our evening meal - so we made our way to the Garrison - past the Gateway house and onto the cliff walk - see pic above - the castle now an hotel was built in 1593 on the instruction of Queen Elizabeth 1 - this walk is a must for birders - walkers and those who love to stroll and stand and gaze
Click on the pic above to view and read text about the Garrison
Next day over breakfast a local boatman arrived - asking if anyone wanted to go out on any of the trips to the other islands - yes we said we will book for Tresco.
Tresco is famous for its botanical gardens.So off we went down to the Quay with the other adventurers , after a brief safety talk - away we went hanging onto our breakfasts!
After about 30 mins the boat chugged alongside a quay - the boatman checked details of return - and out we clambered with our colleagues - mainly birders with expensive gear and us with our bins.
We looked around expecting to see some evidence or direction to the Botanical Gardens - no one to ask - our colleagues had all vanished into the sand dunes. B spotted a chap working on a boat - " Oh this isn't Tresco mate this is Bryher - ( we had got off on the wrong island)we were on what appeared to be a pretty desolate island , to be picked up at 4.15 - now it was 11am - we were without a packed lunch - water bottle or anything!
Ok - so off we set to make the most of things- we had had an enormous breakfast - so what the hell we would survive!
Bryer is a most beautiful island - I was so pleased we had not missed this experience - although late in the season - flowers were still in bloom, an abundance of birds - one very special to me the Lapland Bunting see header pic - we saw seals and admired the white sands and rocky cliffs
We found an artists studio see pic above - unmanned with just an honesty box - we found this so refreshing-
As we came down towards the quay we passed the island church All Saints - the door was unlocked so we were able to spend a few moments to admire its simplicity with the oil lamps and beautiful stained glass windows (see side panel pics)
By the way we did find a tiny coffee shop - so all was not lost