Super Secret Weekend Away

Trip Start Aug 27, 2007
Trip End Sep 17, 2011

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hey Guys,

My most recent adventure was a porise weekend getaway organised by Laurent. I had no clue where we were going but was told I needed to get to some place called Swindon after work on Friday where he would pick me up and drive us t our super secret hholiday destination. I'm not normally one for suprises as th suspense almost kills me but this time despite hints from Laurent I was determined to keep it as a suprise and to let him do the organising.

I left work early an took the train to Swindon, an hour later I arrived at the train station and started having doubts about what lay ahead of me of the next two days. I was greeted at the station by several drunken homeless people and lots of chavs yelling at each other through the station doors. I was crossing my fingers and hoping that my super secret holiday destination wasnt nearby Bristol- home to some of the recent riots in the UK. For those of you that don't know what a chav is, I googled and got the below description.

'A chav is a stereotype if certain people in the United Kingdon. Also known as a charver in Yorkshire and North East England 'chavs' are said to be aggresive and arrogant teenagers and young adults, of underclass background, who repeatedly engage in anti-social behaviour such as street drinking, drug abuse and general rowdiness, or other forms of juvenile delinquency with a certain dress sense oftening involving shell suits'

Drunken aggresive teenagers, scare the crap out of me so I didn't exactly fancy spending my weekend with rioting youngsters but lucky for me Laurent appeared like a knight in shining armour dressed in a button up shirt , with a jersey and Hugo Boss jeans to whisk me away. It turned out we still had a good 3-4 hour drive ahead of us so we woulnt reach our destination till just before midnight. I cant tell you how much of a relief it was to Swindown rail station slowly fading away in the rear-view mirror as we drove away.

The drive although long want very painful at all, as we drove away from the city we were greeted with beautiful countryside which reminded me just a bit of home. Two hhours into our drive it was time for dinner at a roadside BK before continuing on. After viewing numerous road signs pointing to Cardiff I was adamant we were heading to Wales, so I got a heck of a shock when we took the turn off to Cornwall. We eventually arrived in the dark at our hotel in Newquay, supposedly the best surf spot in the UK. I knew our hotel was seafront but in the dark although I could hear the waves crashing and smell the salt in the air I couldnt see it.

The hotel itself was older but had recently had a refurb, Laurent was dissappointed as it didnt live up t picture on the website but to me it was cosy and with a seaview. The room may not have been 5 stars but waking up to hear the sea roaring and see the waves lapping the shore was worth it.

After a relaxed English breakfast we decided to drive around some the smaller villages that make up the area of Cornwall. Our first stop was a small seaside resort called St Ives. Loaded with RedBull to combat the late night drive the day earlier we wanderred along the shore listening to the sea gulls sqwak and the tourists munching on Corninsh pasties. The small village was really beautiful, small cobbled streets full of independant family run shops peppered with cafes. Luckily for us the sun was shining and although windy we couldnt have asked for better weather. Soon it was time for us to be tourists and try the local specialy of Pasties. Whilst there was something special about standing on the coast whilst munching on a hot pastry covered parcel whilst the wind whipped through my hair I couldn't help but think that a good old mince and cheese pie might have takn the experience from a 9/10 to a 10/10.

From St Ives we took the scenic route and decided to drive to Lands End-the most south-western point of the UK mainland. As we drove we wound through tiny narrow roads that left me clinging to the sides of my seat hanging on for dear life fearing that all of a sudden an onwards vehicle would be hheading our way. Laurent devused a clever but somewha annoying system of honking before going around every corner to let others know we were coming. Despite the annoying honking we survived so thats all that mattered. Our choice to take the scenic route paid off as were greeted with the most amazing views of the countrside shaply dropping off into the ocean. It looked like a giant patchwork quilt with each field stitched to the next held together with threads of pine trees and shrubbery with the sea and sky meeting on the horizon.

Luck would have it that the weather changed once we reached Land's End, and that my camera battery died. We hid in the car eating Cornishh fudge while we dat out the downpour. Eventually it stopped and so we found ourselves ina cafe and souvenir shop discreetly trying to charge my camera in the corner. Our guidebook sid that Lands End was a run down 80's tourist trap trying to con people out of money, I assumed this was an exaggerated description from some jaded critic however it was actually spot on. We had the typical photos with the sign but the site itself was enough to make me want to leave as soon as I could.

After having taken the mandatory photos we drove to Marazion to view St Michael's Mount. It was built after the Norman conquest by the monks who inhabited Mont St Michel in France. Its a small island off shore linked to the mainland by a causeway. I found it to be very beautiful but after having viewed the original in France it didnt have he same wow affect on me.

From St Michael's Mount we set off to explore the town of Newquay which much like the beach was designed in everyway for surfers. It was very laid back with loads of beach bars and surf shops and whilst nice it didnt have a proper restaurant unless you counted a burger bar as fine dining. We opted instead to retire to our hotel to make the most of the pool and to have dinner at the hotels sister properties restaurant.

The following day also started witha leaisurely Englih breakfast but this time instead of driving around we decided to stay put and make the most of the beaches. We brought beach mats and towels and walked the length of Fistral beach. I hav never seen so many surfers congregate in one place. It was odd to see so many wetsuit clad bodies floatnf in the sea which from a distance looked like seals. We continued past the surfers and walked around the headland admiring the cliffs and heading toward Unequal Bay. We bought some lunch from a smal bakery and made our way to the beach with lunch in one hand and newspapers in the other where we spent several hours in silence just soaking up the atmosphere. It was so serene that I have to admit I fell asleep for a good period of time.

Nap time over and with fresh sunburns it was time to trek back to Fistral beach and get an ice cream before saying goodbye to Cornwall and climbing back in our car ready for the long drive home. It was a long drive home indeed and I have to say it as sad to leave the seaside behind, Knowing that an early morning trek into London and grey buildings faced me the next morning was a tad depressing but at least I had the memories of my fantastic weekend. It was such a lovely weekend away and came at the perfect time when I really needed a break from reality. I was so thankful to Laurent for arranging out super secret weekend away getaway and wont be forgetting the patchwork fields, beautiful beaches or the Cornish Pasties anytime soon.

Until next time,

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