David and Jennifer as my birthday present paid for an escorted kayaking trip ( with the excellent Encounter Cornwall ) on the river Fowey for the four of us. We had been with David and Karen of Encounter Cornwall before, travelling up river from Golant to Lerryn. This time we were to go downriver from Golant to Fowey. The day started off grey as you can see but, as promised, the weather quickly picked up and we had a very enjoyable trip indeed. The trip lasts 3 hours and includes a break of half an hour at Fowey. On the way we passed the china clay works (the mining is still a significant industry in Cornwall) and more importantly enjoyed the peace and quiet of the river and its wildlife. We saw and heard a couple of buzzards with their distinctive mewing sound. Some on the trip also saw a kingfisher although we missed that. The nearer we got to Fowey and Polruan the more boats and activity there was and this is always fascinating. At Fowey we paddled round a moored cruise ship which seemed huge from our viewpoint but in reality was one of the smaller of its brethren. And, since we were in double kayaks, it wasn’t always hard work paddling either! The thought arises….shall we invest in our own kayak….we could then get to know from the river some of the many creeks and inlets in Cornwall and Devon which make this whole area so beautiful. We shall see.
Back at home we, as usual I am afraid, called on David’s services to do some work…..this time putting up a pair of blinds in the living room. He is unusually competent in many things (which is unfortunate for him when he comes round to our house!).
On Sunday we went in two cars to Dartmouth which Jennifer had never seen and which David had not seen since he left when about three years old. Both were very impressed – who wouldn’t be? We wandered past our old greengrocers shop in Front Street, saw the flat where we used to live with the town clock on its outside wall (which I had to wind once a week, occasionally forgetting, have they forgiven me?). We saw the old Butter Walk, had time to call in one of the many Art shops for a framed poster of Dartmouth for David and Jennifer’s new flat, looked up some of the quaint old streets where visitors rarely get, and had a very quick walk through the park (which was even more beautiful than ever) and a walk along the front with its incomparable vistas. We only lived in Dartmouth for 3 or 4 years, but whenever we return we wonder what on earth possessed us to leave. Still, there were good reasons at the time, and housing is very expensive. Our visit was unfortunately rushed as we had a birthday lunch appointment to keep at nearby Stoke Fleming…….
After a most enjoyable lunch at Radius 7, we went our separate ways (the reason for the two cars). D + J off to a barbecue in London, whilst we took the very scenic route from Stoke Fleming, a beautiful village itself, through many other delightful places (Street Slapton, Blackpool Sands, where we took David and Katherine as children, Chillington, West Charleston, Kingsbridge, Salcombe amongst others) to end up at Overbecks which we had not visited before. This is a NT property where the major interest is in the subtropical gardens which are, one can only say, amazing with their profusion of tropical plants including a banana grove and echiums etc etc. We were entranced, and as the sun was now well out the Mediterranean backdrop of the bluest of seas was perfect.
And to cap it all (literally!) a new hat from the NT shop for £10……bargain!