My wife and I flew into Newquay Airport via a touchdown in Plymouth after leaving Dublin in mid afternoon January 2010. We had come to find the gravesite of my Great great great great great Grandfather buried somewhere in the Little Petherick churchyard.
We were so excited as we picked up our hirecar and left the airport. Id never driven in England and here I was in the middle of winter driving a foriegn car in a foriegn land without a GPS.
The nervous tension spiked when I nearly collected a partridge(??) about two hundred metres from the airport that darted across the road...then I took a wrong turn and ventured into the early evening on a road toward the coast instead of a road toward the A39....Yep we were lost.
The light was starting to get dim when I done the unthinkable...ask for directions... and thanks to this wonderful lady who jumped into our car we set off across Tregurrian, Trevarrian and Trenance, names that I recognised in researching England census', as residence of my forefathers.
"Lookout!!" screamed my guide; as I hit the brakes at a "double" roundabout...Id never heard of them I told her. I had now, and soon the guide asked to be dropped off at the next safe opportunity.
I thanked her ever so much as she thanked God she was still alive...and we set off on our way into inky blackness of a winding road to Padstow literally via the cape.
Over hill and moor we went drilling our headlights into what seemed to be a black emptiness. When we did spot lights after coming over the next rise we thought, thats got to be Padstow, our destination...but we were wrong...on and on slowly at first around the blind hedged rowed bends and down through the dips and up again and there it was.
We stayed at the Metropole Hotel in Padstow and I highly recommend it. Comfortable,clean and with friendly desk staff who served up fish and mushy peas...yum...Id had my first taste of Cornwall.
Breakfast next morning was scrumptous and included a beautiful view from the dining room out over the roof tops into the River Camel.
We then travelled back across part of our previous journey the following day under a clear blue sky -and enjoyed the journey far better- to Bedruthan Steps. What an amazing coastline. My wife had to wee and I said- "You'll be right, theres no one around"...I hadnt spotted a man nearby coming towards us...That gave us a laugh.
The surreal piece was still to come that afternoon, when we walked into the churchyard in Little Petherick and believe it or not discovered the headstone- Yes it was the very first one we tried to read. My wife said that was spooky and did I feel any connection. I hadn't, but the moment was not lost on me.
We stayed for three days and went to Port Isaac, St Kew, Tintagel, Wadebridge, Newquay, and places in between. We talk about how beautiful our experience was all the time and yearn to return.