Wednesday, 22 April 2009

A Cornish Adventure Part 2

15 April

*Yawn* I got up today and went out on an adventure. It was such an exciting day that I stayed awake for nearly all of it. I only slept in the car, and I think that all three of us did that!

We went to visit our old friend Arthur at his birthplace at Tintagel. You do have to wonder why our mystical friends chose to have birthplaces and other hang outs in such out of the way, inaccessible and above all - STEEP places! All I can say is thank heavens for the doughty Frannie and redoubtable Builder who carried us up and down. Those steps were much too steep for tiny hippo legs to deal with. Even my longer legs would have struggled. But it was all worth it. The views from the top were magnificent. We made friends with two black labradors called Hector and Henry. We scrambled about. We went back down from the island headland and up to the main part of the castle on the mainland. Even with Frannie and The Builder carrying us, it was a solid afternoon’s work for two sleepy animals and a retired business hippo. Fortunately we had had hearty pasties before setting off to fortify us. I was ready for an after lunch snooze after that.

There is nothing left of King Arthur’s father’s castle. The remains now are mostly medieval. And a great deal drier than the iron age village. The sun shone and it was lovely and warm.

We went back to Tintagel Village via the Saxon and Norman church and stopped to talk to two black pigs on the way. We ran across Hector and Henry again in the Old Post Office. We had restorative ice creams before hopping back in the car and travelling to Camelford, to collect it for Lindsey. We all decided we were too tired to go to Padstow as planned and came back to the house, where we spent a pleasant late afternoon telling our adventures to Cookie, dining well and then retiring for a very well earned rest. It really was an exciting day.


16th April

The mist and the rain are back today. The humans are off to Eden. The hippos and I have decided to have a day off exploring. We are still tired from all the excitements of yesterday. And tomorrow is our last day. We are expecting many food excitements tomorrow. We need to be ready and rested! Right time for a nap before breakfast.

[Sleepy Bear]

18th April

I tell you - you can’t take Bernard anywhere!

We were on our way to Polperro to talk to the smugglers when we completely inadvertently found ourselves close to a medieval castle. We all decided to call in. Pottering about on the steps we were, when Bernard decided he just had to storm the castle. He leapt from the travel basket and stood upon the stair, brandishing his paw. “The castle is mine!” he heroically declared. “Attempt to breach my defences if you dare!!!” Talk about an embarrassment. He has no idea how a RETIRED business hippo ought to be behaving!

Frannie recaptured him and put him back in the travel basket. She was muttering something about how English Heritage might not be best pleased to find that their castle had been commandeered by a small, elderly hippo.

We went to find a beautiful Tudor bridge over the river Fowey in nearby Lostwithiel. Fortunately, Bernard wasn’t minded to storm that. He seemed more interested in the provisions on the picnic table in the park.

Then we got back on track to find the smugglers in Polperro.

The talking map device took us along some very, very, very narrow winding lanes. It was very exciting and a little nervous-making. And when we finally reached Polperro we discovered that we had come into the back entrance. And only authorised traffic was supposed to proceed between certain dates. Except we didn’t see when the dates were. But we thought it highly unlikely that we were in an authorised vehicle. But The Builder said there was no room to turn the car around. And even if we had, we couldn’t have gone very far because there was other, possibly authorised, perhaps not, traffic behind us. He drove very, very, very carefully through the amazingly narrow streets, failed to run any holiday makers over (thank goodness) and drove us out of the town again.

We fled, before any smugglers or excise men could come and impound the car!

And took the Main Roads back to Megavissey where Frannie had promised us lunch in a seafood restaurant overlooking the harbour. It was a very magnificent lunch. And much less fraught trying to get to it.

And then it was back to the cottage for a last talk to the horses and to Cookie and to the puppy, and a last sleep on the fluffy sleeping cushions, before we had to come back home again. Except that we haven’t made it home yet. We’re still in Tupton. We’ve been telling our friends Jack and Janet, and Marlo all about our adventures.




We’ve got some lovely photos. Frannie says she’ll put them on our website and on Bernard and Sleepy Hippo's Facebook page later. But she has to go back to work today so it may not be until tonight. She was muttering yesterday about how she would like to look for a nice little part time job so she can spend more time idling about in her garden. We can certainly see the temptation of the garden. But she needs to get her priorities right. Her top priority is to raise the wherewithal to fund further hippo (and bear) adventures!!!

B SH & SB.

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