Friday 7th August
Set off early for Danescombe Mine (our 22nd Landmark), stopped at lovely services in Gloucester for breakfast & wander around the farm shop where we bought pretty leaf mug.
Headed to Torquay & parked up to have a coffee and a wander around. Bought a pair of black denim shorts & a lovely blue dress in the BHS sales. Walked to the harbour then & saw a funeral parking up by the sea!
Went to the Living Coast by the harbour, an aquarium/zoo and meandered around watching the puffins, penguins, seals, stingrays & otters. Spent a couple of hours there - was a lovely place & really well laid out. They had a huge netted in area that you could see from the town for the birds to fly freely in.
Headed to Danescombe then & unpacked & settled in before going to the Boot Inn in Calstock for fabulous scallops & fish cakes, steak & burger.
Returned to Danescombe for beer & wine on the decking & watching the stars. Beautiful & tranquil here surrounded by the woods & not a sound anywhere. The stars are so bright & twinkly out here.
Saturday 8th August
I was up early, made coffee & sat outside listening to the birds, the only sound here. Later when Andrew was up & we were ready for the day we sat outside again to wait for Nina & Val to arrive. Girls got here about 10.20am - having left home at 5am.
After a cuppa & a wander about we drove to the Eden Project to spend the day there. Lovely drive of about an hour, & a walk through the Slopes of Earthly Treasures gardens to the Kitchen restaurant, where we had a fantastic early lunch of salmon or mushroom pastry with various salads & scones, cake etc before starting our exploring properly.
An incredible garden, we walked around the Rainforest Biomes which are stunning & beautifully planted, passed the lovely waterfalls & up into the walkway at tree top level.
Amazing plants which we’d never seen before including Baobab, Cola, Cashew & Coffee trees. Banana plants & some extraordinarily beautiful flowers & shrubs.
Stopped to video some Roul-Roul birds, fabulous greens & red feathers a male & female with 2 gorgeous babies, we watched the male bird grab a papaya & roll in down the hill so that the babies could feed on it. Found Val & Nina & took them back for a look at them too. We later found 2 more pairs of these lovely birds, but no more babies.
On the way out we stopped for a baobab smoothie which was delicious. Bought some Baobab powder in the shop to make our own smoothies.
Mediterranean Biomes were next, all tropical planting, vegetables & herb kitchen gardens from around the world. Very old olive trees, and citrus groves, again truly stunning. A tea break in the lovely Mediterranean café there, & a dinosaur visit which had all the children screaming.
Next was the Dinosaur dome which was very well done with realistic roaring going on.We started that dome with an under the sea area which was totally dark & very pretty.
We had a wander around the outside gardens to the land train station and took the train ride through the grounds in case we’d missed anything as it was getting near closing time. We were dropped off up by the entrance so mooched around the shop & bought a fridge magnet, then around the plant shop where I bought a red salvia – Royal Bumble, Achillea – Eve Red & a weird triangular succulent – Faucaria Tuberculosa.
Drove back to Danescombe then for wonderful Moroccan lamb & couscous courtesy of Nina, followed by the sticky toffee pudding I’d made to bring with us. A lovely evening with the girls chatting & star gazing. Andrew took some fantastic photos of the stars. All slept well!
Sunday 9th August
Gorgeous full breakfast complete with fresh Eden Project bread & Cornish butter, cooked by head chef Nina this morning.
Then we set out for Polperro an ancient fishing village about an hours drive away. We parked in the huge car park above the village & took the tram down to the lovely picturesque village.
Lots of lovely little shops to explore, we bought me a gorgeous flapper style skirt in blue silk & cotton and a pretty tie dye summer dress in purple, turquoise & pink! Val bought a lovely dress, and Nina some sandals all in the same little shop.
Bought locally made prints of Polperro, Looe, Fowey & Mevagissy to add to our collection.
Andrew & I then took a ½ hour trip on the Smuggler fishing boat, whilst Nina & Val went for a walk.
Met up after for a cuppa then lunched at the 3 Pilchards- which was okay. Wandered back up to the tram stop then as Nina & Val are off home soon.
Back at the Mine there was time for another cuppa before fond farewells as the girlies left.
Andrew & I went for a walk & bought a 4 elephants plaque from the local potter, viewed the other ruins & collected some pretty slate pieces for my little rock garden at home.
Later on we had a pasty & beans followed by last of the sticky toffee pudding. Cleaned up & spent the rest of the evening writing in the log book & reading past logbooks & listening to music before bed. Very overcast tonight so no star gazing on our last night.
Monday 10th August
Usual clean up etc before leaving the lovely Danescombe Mine. It has persisted down all night & continues still, poor Andrew got drowned loading the car!
Thunderstorms have put the lights out just as we were leaving. Now not driving through Bodmin Moor as planned. Decided to go to Taunton instead, stopped at Okehampton en route for some Cornish butter & local Black Dog eggs.
It’s not persisting down in Taunton so a little wander & lunch at Wildwood restaurant, scallops, bruschetta, calzone & tricolour salad, espresso- all yummy!
Found a little crystal shop, went in for a look & found fabulous Blue Goldstone pendant & earrings which Andrew bought for me – utterly stunning in the sunlight.
Raining again as we set off for home, a quick stop at a little chef for coffee en route and we drove home, unpacked & cuddled the cats. Later on we had some of Nina’s wonderful Moroccan lamb with couscous that we’d found left for us in the fridge at Danescombe.
A fabulous 4 day break at this lovely Landmark, especially as we had the lovely Nina and Val with us for most of our time there.