Friday, 30 December 2016

A Short Holiday in Port Isaac

Well, it's taken a while to get things sorted out after our computer, containing all our photos, crashed and the backup failed as well...quite a predicament! I was about to write this post and thought I would do a disc scan first, that's when it all went wrong, the scan stopping half way through. Eventually, with the help of the IT expert at work, we have sorted out the recovery of all the photos and files that were lost and I have rebuilt the computer. I replaced the failed hard drive with a new solid state drive (SSD) and installed a brand new copy of Windows 10 instead of an upgraded copy over the top of Windows 8.

So where was I up to? Our last post was 01 October when were back in the UK, moored outside Toby Carvery in Stoke. By the time the weather finally fined up it was impossible to do my programmed painting so we moved Serafina into the marina. The next morning Rachael reminded me that it was time to start packing up ready for our departure, she tells me I was unbearable for the next few days! We were lucky enough to have Rachael's cousin Stephen come down from Scotland for a few days to see us off and give a final hand packing up the boat and getting Serafina ready for winter.

We had planned a short trip down south before heading off back home to Australia for the Australian summer. With Serafina ready for winter Stephen headed off north as Rachael and I headed south in our hire car to our first overnight stop, the market town of Malmesbury in the Cotswolds area. We stayed at The Old Bell Inn, possibly the oldest inn in England dating back to 1220 AD, apparently built specifically for lodging. It was a late afternoon arrival, still plenty of time to have a look around the town.

Old Bell Inn c1220
Malmesbury Abbey 7th Century

Abbey side entrance

Carving inside the entrance
Carving inside the entrance

Market Cross c 1490
Inside the Market Cross

Inside the Market Cross
The Abbey was still a very impressive building even without its original 130m high spire.

The next morning was spent taking it easy with a late breakfast before checkout and heading off the long way towards Port Isaac, our final destination for a few days. We stopped in a Tetbury, near Gloucester, mainly for a look at the wares of Prince Charles' Dutchy Home Farm (Highbury), there is a shop in the middle of town. We strolled the streets of Tetbury, found the Prince's shop, had coffee and with nothing really taking our fancy (apart from some of the architecture) headed off again.

Tetbury Market House c1655
Rachael is the Doc Martin fan hence our sojourn to Port Isaac (or Port Wenn), in fact she gets a lot of tour ideas from her television viewing. It was an interesting entry into Port Isaac as the sat nav decided to go haywire just near the final turn and then redirecting me around some of the tightest roads I've had to drive. It brought us in the back way to Port Isaac, down the hill on the road in the pic below. It got very tight at the bottom with just enough room to get the car through between two houses. Reminded me of being on the boat again, problem was the car isn't built for small nudges like the boat is.

Across Port Isaac
Port Isaac is a quaint little fishing village in Cornwall. We found our B&B right in the middle of town, not what Rachael was expecting when she booked. (I accepted no responsibility for the booking failure) With no ensuite Rachael wasn't terribly happy as this is as close to camping as Rachael ever gets! The B&B turned out to be excellent despite the three paces from our door to the bathroom! There was enough to see and do to keep us busy for the two days, Rachael particularly enjoyed picking out the sites from the television series and there were plenty of art galleries and ice cream shops too. If you're a Doc Martin fan you may recognise some of these shots.

The 9th October we headed off to Heathrow having booked an airport hotel for the night, not far from The Three Magpies Hotel, our regular dinner venue,  ready to fly home to Australia next morning.