Thursday, 30 September 2010

A trip away from the Yorkshire Wolds to the Eden Project - Pt2

As we left Frampton on Severn we decided that on our journey deeper in to the south west that we should try and see as much of the area as possible. So, we planned that as soon as we got to Exeter to get off motorways and dual carriageways and head cross country.

High Street, Moretonhampstead 
We left the main road and headed off on the B312 towards Dartmoor and soon started twisting and turning around country lanes. We were soon upon Dartmoor and the road climbed steeply and as soon as we broke out on to the moor we were greeted with the sight of some iconic Dartmoor Ponies. We took a casual drive across the moor taking in the "Tor" scenery. Before long we'd arrived at Moretonhampstead and we stopped there to buy some lunch. It must be an upmarket area as there was a new Rolls Royce parked outside the Co-op!

We pressed on across the moor to find somewhere we could pull off the road and take in the scenery. It's testament to the popularity of Dartmoor that we had to travel some distance to find a suitable spot that wasn't already taken; finally getting beyond Princetown and it's brooding prison when we stopped. As the picture shows it was a fine day and you could see for many miles. We both vowed one day we would return to walk on Dartmoor.

As we didn't want to get back on to the main roads (I still, at this point, did not know our final destination just that it was close to the Eden Project) we elected to cross Plymouth Sound using the Torpoint Ferry. The journey was short but interesting as the route goes through the Naval Base. Even better the ferry appeared to be free when heading westbound. We then headed on to Looe, parked up and had a stroll round this coastal town. We walked along the harbour taking in the sights and commenting how busy it must be at the height of the season and being slightly relieved that we weren't there then. We idled at the harbour entrance for a while taking in the view down the coast and out to sea and admiring the view some houses would have perched on the cliff side.

Little Egret
As we walked back along the harbour side we noticed a small white bird expertly hunting small fish. I thought it may be a Little Egret and a quick bit of research on a smartphone when back at the car confirmed that this was correct. Apparently, they have only recently colonised the south of England. They must have been successful at it as we'd seen three more before we got back to the car.

Polperro Harbour
We seemed to have got the ferry bug and decided that we should cross the River Fowey by ferry and we headed off from Looe towards Boddinick to get the ferry on the last leg of our journey to the St Austell area. On the way we drove past Polperro and got a short way past then decided that seeing as we were in the area that we shouldn't pass up the opportunity to visit. So, we did a quick U-turn and headed back. Polperro is a small village that sits along the bottom of a small narrow valley. We walked through the narrow streets with the usual mix of cafes, galleries and art shops which were just beginning to pack up for the night. The narrow streets twisted down to a small harbour and on another day when we had more time it would have been a good place to idle.

Stephengelly Farm
We soon set off again for the ferry but when we caught it we weren't quite as lucky this time as you had to pay going west. I still hadn't been let in to the location of that nights accommodation and my wife guided me through ever narrower country lanes until we finally reached Stephengelly Organic Farm - - just a few miles south of Bodmin and a few miles from the Eden Project. The setting was far more rustic than the previous nights with the old farmhouse tucked away down a country lane with no close neighbours. It was clear that the owners had put some effort in to creating a comfortable space for their guests. If we'd wanted they would have shown us around the farm and explained what was going on; we declined this chance as my wife is a farmer's daughter and we've seen plenty of farming. Breakfast in the morning was served in their conservatory overlooking the farmhouse garden. Our breakfast was accompanied by two varieties of home produced apple juice; a nice touch. It was a comfortable night that refreshed us from our travels and set us up for the days visit to the Eden Project.....

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