A Travellerspoint blog

Finish off England

Last few days in UK

semi-overcast 14 °C
View Trek 2008 on smilers2's travel map.

Its been a bit tricky to get the rest of the UK blog bit done ... Cornwall isn´t the hotbed of internet cafes that you all might think and finding a computer requires a half hour journey into Truro. When you have a dodgy car its not the top priority.

After getting the car fixed by Johnny Harris Garages (pronounced Arris) we decided to risk all and a day out with Marlene and Marian (who works with Marlene on the farm). First stop Clovelly, which meant driving out of Cornwall into Devon.

Clovelly is a lovely little place. Pity about the summer showers (we´re in UK remember). One family owns all the houses in the village (and there have only been three familys that have owned the village since the norman conquests). Somewhere around 100 houses! plus the restaurants and pubs etc. Not a bad earner! Entry to the village is 5.50 pounds each, and unusually no reduction for senior citizens. Very steep cobbled path down to the bottom but you can get a landrover drive back if needed.

Next stop Tintagel Castle. Bit of a ruin ... in fact Sarah spotted a lovely looking hotelly castle thing and just assumed that was Tintagel. when she saw the real thing, the whole visit soured and was a bit of a disappointment. A long drive to see not much. Would have been a lovely walk around the rocks, but we didn´t have the time, as we needed to get back for the animals.

Next day we took Marlene and her friend Gwen (around 80ish and it was her birthday - Simon kept wanting to ask her age, thankfully I could steer him round) to Southern Cornwall. First stop was to be the Lizard - which is the Southern most point of England. Ann´s Pastys as featured on Rick Stein is a popular haunt for pasty lovers. Stocked up with 6 but not all for the one sitting. Next stop was to be Mullian - for lunch and to check out the Chocolate factory. Not a patch on Cadburys but you never get a bad chocolate.

Interrupting our soujourn was a few temperamental car problems with the mercedes AGAIN. visited a few garages and we got to our final destination. However on the way home, disaster struck and we were stuck by Coldrose Helicopter base on the side of the road for about an hour and a half. Thankfully Fiona (sister) was able to check phone numbers on the computer via texting and when the mechanic from Johnny Arris came out we could get going. Turned out that one sparkplug lead needed changing (done on Monday) but also the fuel filter needed replacing. The car had only travelled 11 miles between MOTs (WOF for Kiwis). Seems to only get an outing when we´re over.

Back to London now.

Visited Kelvin´s rugby club - down towards Tilbury and lost count of the drinks, but didn´t feel too bad the next morning. Visited Borough Market. Excellent food market - with different cheeses, breads, meats, fish, veges, drinks.
Well worth a visit. Find your way to London Bridge underground stop and you´re there. Took us a wee while as every train-lightrail etc seemed to have a problem and would terminate its stop just one stop before we wanted to get off. Thanks to Kelvin´s local knowledge (with help from Aunty Fi ' yeh right) we found our way there.

In the afternoon watched the Kiwis win the Bledisloe cup and TriNations yay. Poor Kelvin, he supports England and any team playing the All Blacks.

Posted by smilers2 00:49 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Arrived in Spain


Arrived in Spain

Nice and warm 28 degrees! at night.

will update in a day or two running out of time!

Posted by smilers2 02:15 Comments (0)

Summertime in UK


overcast 13 °C

Arrived in sunny London (ok... overcast grey and dull but not raining (yet)). Not much jetlag - forget sleeping tablets, forget no jetlag pills, try Business Class - thanks Air NZ!

Brilliant taxi service from Fiona and Kelvin (sister and brother-in-law). Good to have a catch up that night .... few beers, few more wines, few ciders.

Hampton Court Palace - very interesting and well worth a visit. Especially great was the 2 for 1 on British Rail - meant only £13.50 for the both of us to visit. You can tour through Henry VIII's rooms, William III's private rooms, the Tudor Kitchens, the Queen's state rooms. Tried looking for the two ghosts that haunt Hampton Court - but must have been a day off for them. About 35 mins from Waterloo on train. Then another 20 mins to Liverpool St, then another 35 mins to Wickford. Travelling on the trains eats up a bit of time.


Thursday - Huge decisions. Simon was venturing to the British Museum, Fiona was heading to Lakeside Shopping Centre. Museum? Shopping? Museum? Shopping? Sarah chose shopping (more as moral support to her sister!). It was a close call - British Museum up there! Shopping was similar to the museum because Cliff Richard was at the centre signing books (an old relic).

Cleopatra at British Museum

Caught up later on for a drink at the Windmill Pub. Very busy and a popular local for workers and actors and patrons visiting the nearby Globe Theatre. Across the road is a highly recommended Restaurant - Tas Restaurant - offering supurb Turkish food.

Fiona and Sarah at Pub

Simon may have had a few more beers waiting for us at the Windmill. On our way home - he stopped to take a photo of us getting on the underground and hello - guess who was left behind on the platform. He had the last laugh though as our tube stopped at Westham and we had to get out in pouring rain and wait for Simon's one which carried us through the one more stop to Stratford.

Uneventful train ride through to Cornwall - four hours on train. Managed to grab free seats across a table. Boots lunch - meal deal only £3.79 for a sammie, drink and sweet. Huge amount of flooding north of Exeter. They've had rain all through their summer like we've had rain all through our winter. Temperatures are on par with Auckland.

Pub dinner at Veryan (the local town in Cornwall). Surprised entertainment - few cornish boys having a few pints and breaking into song (barbershop style). Simon chose not to sing (thank goodness). Simon had cottage pie for dinner (Marlene - step mother) quite disappointed. Sarah went for Moroccan Lamb tagine with couscous (Marlene not impressed with foreign food and where's the potatoes, then what's couscous).

Sunday - went for a drive to Tavistock to see the markets. An old stannery town. Dammit - markets closed sundays. Carried on to Dartmoor and just past the prison is Princetown. Had a Sunday roast lunch there with yorkshire puds, roast lamb, beef, pork, turkey and all the trimmings. offered ten veges - all for £7.95 each.
Carried on up Dartmoor to Widecombe on the Moor. Lots of wild ponies just wandering around. The moor was very barron and you could imagine how bleak it would be in the winter.

On the way home ... about an hour's drive away the old car (Mercedes 1978) broke down. Luckily Sarah went up to a close by house and by chance the owner's son worked in the local garage and got his boss and his lorry to tow the car and Sarah and Simon back home. We'd phoned Marlene's nephew who came to pick her up - had to get back to the animals (ponies, donkeys and sheep were all out and the four dogs needed walking). First time in a tow truck!


Popped into Truro today to update the blog. Weather back to grey and overcast.

Posted by smilers2 10:41 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged family_travel Comments (2)

More Photos

By request

View Trek 2008 on smilers2's travel map.

By request more photos - the latest ones from Hong Kong. We haven't done much of London to warrent photos.

Firstly a school by our hotel - interesting style - appartment style - not sure if you can even go outside - but with the overcrowding not surprising.IMG_1168.jpg

then we have an interesting concept - Hourly hotels - although the overnight one is interesting. i'm sure this is a concept designed by the original recipient of "get a room".IMG_1173.jpg

And finally - a Mr Smiler photo - from the top of the peak! IMG_1130.jpg

Posted by smilers2 14:57 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

Ps. From Hong Kong

Just one more thing

overcast 29 °C
View Trek 2008 on smilers2's travel map.


Managed to figure out how to add a photo - nice shot of the night laser show!

As a ps to the Hong Kong part of our journey:

We were impressed with the service at the Metropark Hotel. When we arrived at 8.30am we knew check in was at 2pm and were prepared to do a quick change and leave the bags.... hello - due to the Olympics they were no longer offering the facility of bag storage for the duration of the games up to Sept 20th. Yikes. But .... our room was ready and for no extra charge we hightailed up there 5 1/2 hours early!

Hong Kong Airport - arrived before the check in staff. But whiled away time watching the huge amount of lightening and awesome thunder sounds. Unusual but not unknown - weight problem out of Hong Kong. We had to keep our bags and return an hour before departure. Spotted Krishan's name on the flightplan! Thankfully we hadn't overshopped and we scraped on - in business class - hurrah! Fantastic crew - as we were split seated they ensured we sat together for the flight. Simon went for a walk to stretch his legs and they were sure jammed up in economy. Pretty full flight.

Flight time 13 hours - and on arrival at Terminal 1 (extremely grotty) had to wait on the taxi way for half an hour due no gate.

Posted by smilers2 09:30 Archived in Hong Kong Tagged air_travel Comments (1)

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