August 2021 - Cornwall - Day 3
After over 260 blogs (equivalent to more than 2 decent novels) written over 3½ years I now find myself having to write a redaction for this first time. I really should not use this blog for a rant especially on subjects for which I am not a subject matter expert.
This morning I woke to details of new credible research into Covid vaccinations. The headlines much of the press went with was that vaccinated people give off the same viral load as the non-vaccinated which reputes other articles I had read previously and quoted. Basically I was wrong for which I apologise.
What the press didn’t report in detail was that vaccinated people give off the viral load for a considerably less period of time though which is equally as relevant especially if either as asymptomatic. It also showed how much more likely the unvaccinated are to end up in Hospital putting the NHS under more strain.
I promise not to return to this subject and only rant about less controversial topics.
Today we had to set an alarm as we had tickets for admission to the Eden Project at 9.30am which is about 1 hours’ drive away. Karen has prepared and frozen some rolls before she went to bed and so it was easy to grab everything together and we set off not long after 8am.
After a quick refuelling stop at the Asda Falmouth we set off and I was pleased that wasn’t too much traffic on the road at this time of day. The final roads leading into Eden Project were very small for what is considered a major UK attraction.
Now this was a day we were both really looking forward to and was a major factor in us choosing to come down to Cornwall. It was certainly somewhere I had wanted to visit ever since it first opened.
I was impressed by the entrance and the car parking organisation. There was steep walk down to the ticket office from Orange Car Park 3 (I was disappointed for some reason we had not been directed to one of Banana named car parks though). It was also cleverly laid out in that the Biodomes were hidden from view until you went through the main entrance after having your tickets checked.
We were very impressed with our first sight of the Biodomes, and the gardens laid out before us. We followed the circular paths down to the base where the entrance to the Biodomes were. So far so good and we were really enjoying our day and I had even forgotten how much it had cost us to get in, even with our student discount.
We pushed on and decided to go into the Rainforest Biodome first before it all got busy with lots of people later. Despite a sign requesting that people wear masks whilst inside, 90% of people didn’t. We did wonder though as the Biodomes were so huge that that people may have felt as though there were outside. We wore owes throughout.
This Biodome contained the largest inside Rainforest in the world.
It reminded us of the similar dome we had visited in Singapore. But this felt much better designed bring set deep in a disused quarry. The trees and pathways were huge. The first rainforest area was what you would find in Polynesia, and I loved it and it reminded me of being there. The path inside wound round and up the Biodomeand as it did so the temperature and the humidity inside. It was all so well thought through.
However, and there had to be a however. We passed many features and small attractions that were closed or broken. It appears since it opened 20 years ago there has been no ongoing management or development. We noticed this more and more the longer we were there. The simple issue was the place felt tired. Disney would never have allowed this to happen. This is not to distract from the place and setting itself and planting , all of which are marvellous (apart from the weeds that were growing in the outside gardens). Recently when the UK hosted the G7, a gala reception was held here with the Queen and other members of the Royal Family present. However, we found it difficult to picture how everything had been set up for them and whether they had bothered to try and make everything picture perfect, because in the weeks since it had been ‘let go’ again. The plants obviously take priority and perhaps correctly so, it’s just that I expected more. They need someone to take control of the whole Customer Experience.
From the Rainforest Biodomes we walked across to the Mediterranean Biodome. I mistakenly thought it just meant the Mediterranean countries, but it referred to the type of climate so included South Africa, California and parts of Australia. It was still very interesting and well done but felt the poor cousin to the Rainforest Biodome.
As we come out, we decided it was finally time for a drink and found a table on the undercover terrace. It was then we realised that it was raining quite hard and obviously had been all the time we had been inside. It wasn’t cold though and we enjoyed watching the rain fall over the garden in the quarry. It did mean we sat longer than we intended but we were in no hurry to move on until it stopped.
As we sat there some street performers come amongst everyone on the terrace in colourful garden related costumes. As they did so they set off a chorus of dogs barking all around which amused me.
Eventually we thought it was time to move on and wearing cagoules as a precaution we started to make our way out. To do so you were encouraged to walk through another building called The Core. It was full of pretentious nonsense about us all being part of the atmosphere. There was one installation that did blow out random cool perfect smoke rings for whatever reason I was not sure, but it amused me.
As we made our way back up to the entrance/exit we watched as overhead flew people on the fastest UK zip line. Karen described it as her worse nightmare.
The shop at the exit was actually surprisingly good although we didn’t purchase anything. Back at the car we ate the rather tasty rolls Karen had prepared before heading off to visit Charlestown.
It was a bad choice of destination. The number of cars and people was ridiculous. We were over a mile away when we first came across cars parked anywhere and everywhere. We drove down to the bay, and it was heaving. It was a tourist trap but was one we would like to have wandered around. After 20 minutes of trying and getting frustrated, we gave up trying to find a car park space. I repeat this county is just too full.
Eventually, we headed to small bay a few miles away called Lower Porthpean. It was off the main tourist drag and was pleasant enough to sit for Karen to have a whippy Cornish ice cream, but nothing to write home about.
Finally, we thought we would go and have a look at St Austell. We parked easily and pictured ourselves walking through a pretty town with quaint coffee shops and stores. Instead, it was like Dereham on a bad day. It was a bland ugly run down town with no redeeming features and they were just the good bits.
It was a relief to fight our way through the traffic back to Falmouth where we had a quick turnaround before heading out for our first meal of this trip. We had booked the Trelowarren Arms in the nearby village of Budock as it was off the touristy places and was recommened by Robert the owner of the annex.
Even here we struggled to park but found a side road eventually. Karen wanted to sit outside despite the chill in the air. The staff were very friendly and efficient. The food was fine but not fantastic. I had Ham Egg and Chips whilst Karen had Scampi. It was just nice to have a cooked hot meal out and we thought we would go back if we needed somewhere else to eat.
Whilst there I had a message from Neil telling me that a mole was back wrecking my back lawn which improved my mood immensely. Karen’s mood was also improved by looking at the dreadful weather forecast for the next few days
My calves were sore from all the walking up and down steep slopes. I am already suffering from my back which is struggling with the soft bed and the slopes. As each day wears on I am finding it more and more difficult to move later in the day and it looks like I may have to resort to taking painkillers which I continue to loath to do. If only I knew where there was a hot tub I could use to soothe the aches.
Cornwall it seems you are doing your best to continue to make this trip difficult for us. Please do try and help us going forward, otherwise I might start to lose my patience with you.