Padstow, a beautiful Cornish harbour town on the River Camel. There are bars, restaurants, buskers, and Rick Stein, it has such a holiday and foodie feel. Tourists sit on the harbour wall, crabbing with the kids, more than once we returned to the boat to find skanky bits of crab bait on the deck. It was a bit of a culture shock; so many people! Our last stop had been Lundy, an isolated wildlife haven. Despite the concentration of tourists around the harbour, a short walk took you along the Camel estuary to it's gorgeous beaches, never crowded, perfect golden sand and clear water. I hadn't been to Cornwall since I was a child I had forgotten how beautiful it is. We spoke to Joe, he and Beth had nothing particular happening for the week so decided to drive down and spend a few days with us. After an unpleasant, rough sail down from Lundy we were happy to spend a few days secure in the harbour before considering rounding Land's End and The Lizard.
We tied up along the harbour wall, a ladder providing access ashore. Unlike a pontoon that rises and falls with the tide we have to allow for a metre or so of variation of our height, it takes several warps, (ropes ashore), fenders and a fender board to secure us safely.
On Monday we had visitors; a colleague of mine, Diane, and her family; husband, Andy and two young sons, Owen and Josh and Honey the hound, joined us aboard, we did some crabbing from the boat and then walked along to the beach for some sandcastle building. Another beautiful, sunny day. We bought pasties for lunch, there must be half a dozen bakeries in Padstow selling there "award-winning" fare.
Tuesday we took the bikes out along the Camel Trail, it runs along the river to Wadebridge and on to Bodmin, eleven miles to Bodmin, a scenic, level trail suitable for all, and very busy. There's a thriving bike rental business in Padstow and Wadebridge supplying cycles to suit every requirement, including trailers for small children or dogs, tandems, electric bikes and one extraordinary contraption that was was peddled from the back, whilst an elderly lady sat regally, enjoying unimpaired views, marvellous!

JPEG image

Camel estuary from the Camel Trail

Joe, Beth and Tilly arrived after a swift six hour drive, we then had to contrive a system to get Tillydog aboard; with Bliss laying alongside the harbour wall, there was a seven feet drop to negotiate; she's not good at ladders! Eventually, after initially man-handling her aboard in a very precarious nature, we used the bosun's chair as a sling and lifted/lowered her between two of us with safety if not dignity!

JPEG image

Poor Tilly, so undignified

On Wednesday we walked a circular nine mile route, mostly consisting of the Coast Path, to Trevone , gorgeous, hilly, fabulous views from the cliff tops and a lovely swim for Joe and I at Trevone. Tilly did brilliantly managing nine hilly miles, she was about to be 14, about 90 in human equivalent.

JPEG image

Helen,Joe and Beth at Stepper Point

JPEG image

Trevone Beach

We enjoyed a couple more holiday days with Joe and Beth, a beach afternoon playing frisbee and building sandcastles. Chris and Joe did some coasteering, we had a delicious meal out, not at one of the numerous Rick Stein establishments, we didn't book early enough, but at The Basement which was excellent with a bottle of Camel Valley wine, from just a few miles up the valley, we'd visited the vineyard on our bike ride, they produce really good, award winning, sparkling and still wine.

Saturday morning Joe, Beth and Tilly left early, and we saw that we also had a window to move on to St.Ives and then round Land's End, there were some strong easterlies forecast on Monday and Tuesday. Padstow had been brilliant but it was time to escape the crowds.