UK Tour 2002
Day 3 Tuesday March 19th 2002
When we planned this trip, most of the discussions took place using an Internet notice board, where you post messages to each other and the message is automatically emailed to all the people who are registered to the notice board. The trip that was drawn up using this bears no resemblance to the one we're on. Thank God!
Instead of the 8.30 am role call it's breakfast TV followed by "Tricia" and "Good Morning", eventually we meander down to the town to buy things from the joke shop we've discovered. Today the joke pooh was left on top of the butter in the fridge.
This morning Nikki went off by herself for a 6 mile walk while Helen and I spent a couple of hours in the local computer skills school who have very kindly allowed us to use their Internet connection for free, once they found out about our project. Colin went to some local pubs to photograph their interiors, apparently he's found that a full beer glass makes an excellent filter through which to view the world.
After our fix on the Web we made our way to Polperoo where we'd arranged to meet Nikki. At one point we sat in a traffic jam for half an hour whilst a lorry negotiated a narrow road with an even bigger lorry carrying a mobile home.
When we got to the town we drove into it despite the warnings that no car without a permit should enter. Just outside the town there's a car park where you're meant to leave your car and walk in to the village from. At first I felt a bit indignant about this however as we ventured further in and the streets became narrower and the bends became tighter I understood why the policy had been put into place. However the walk from the car park to the village was longer than I could cope with so I outside of my brief excursion in to the it I did not get to see the place up close, but what I did see looked interesting. The only thing I thought though was as with all tourist places there's an element of spoiling that occurs in the process of commercialisation. There's no feeling of discovery as you might get if you're wondering through an area off the beaten track.
Even so the experience of eating next to an open fire in "Milli's" Tea room was especially enjoyable because we didn't have to eat English High Tea, instead we had a warm Pannini. One day we'll rename Pannini something which sounds olde worldy and pretend it's English, for now though we'll let the Italians have a bit of credit, even if it's through gritted teeth (Pannini between them I guess).
Nikki found her way to us by means of a well timed call to Helen's mobile phone, which for the most part hadn't got a signal in the cafe, so it was pure luck that when she went outside to see if she could get a signal that Nikki rang her from a phone box, Nikki's phone could not get a signal. Why am I telling you this? Well I'd asked the mobile phone company One2One to help sponsor me on this journey by letting me have some free time to connect to the Internet from my lap top and mobile phone so that I could upload the diary daily, and in return they'd get some free publicity, however they declined so I'd just like to let you that so far Colin's Celnet phone has got the most coverage, followed by Helen's Orange and lastly need I say more comes One2ONe.
On the way home we tried to find a place called Portlooe, we got to a place where the road split three ways and Portlooe was marked as being 1/4 mile away, we tried all three ways but didn't find it. One road brought us to a rugged cove, which was very interesting, but not as interesting as the couple in the car next to us who were having it off, and no where near as entertaining as the expression when the bloke realised he had an audience.
When we got back it was my turn to cook, luckily I was prepared and had four roast chicken ready meals. Just 10 minutes each in the microwave and ............... No more cooking for me on this trip. Always works.
After dinner it was down to tour the local pubs. The first one, The Jolly Sailor, had a pool table, we made such a racket cheering etc.... that the landlord came out to see what was going on. Then it was down to another pub on the harbor front, The Boscombe. As we entered everyone in it turned round and fell silent, this was obviously a local's haunt. Tomorrow night they have a disco there and we promised ourselves to go there, stay tuned!
The next pub was The Swan. As we walked in a couple walked in with us. At the bar we got talking to them, it turned out we knew someone in common so they came to join us.
The couple, Jeremy and Tina, had come here from Wolverhampton to pick up a fridge, however it transpired that Jeremy had family here and had visited Looe once or twice a year from childhood. He said the main changes he'd noticed seemed to be both in the way people earn a living and the type of people who live here. Looe is mainly a holiday town now but used to be a fishing port. It still has quite a few boats setting off from here, there's a fish market too, so it's not exactly a cosmetic industry, however because property prices have soared due to people buying retirement / second / holiday homes local workers are finding it hard to continue to live in the area. I'd noticed that hidden behind the hill we're living on there's another more residential area, and I wondered if this is where locals are forced out to.
After we dropped Jeremy and Tina off we returned home. I looked back at the town and thought it reminded me of some fishing villages I'd seen in Northern Spain and Corfu. Jeremy had told me that it was only in the last few years that the harbor lights had been put up.
See, a bit of water, a few boats, houses going up a steep hill add some fairy lights and I'm fooled.
Tomorrow we're off to Dartmoor