It’s the end of January and we’ve been on the road for 1 month now. What a great feeling, what a great experience! In our old lives, January would normally drag on forever, but this month has just flown by! I can’t believe how much we’ve seen and done in one month.
This seems like a good time to reflect on our travels and experiences so far. We’ve seen so many beautiful places. The weather may not always have been great, in fact it may well have been the wettest January Cornwall has seen in years, but it was still great to travel around and some stops certainly stand out.
Early on, we find Instow near Bideford, North Devon. This is the first stop that really puts a smile on our faces! After a number of stops in towns and cities, we’re so happy to be back by the coast. We only found out about Instow when we met another full-timer who gave us the tip. We get there just after Storm Eleanor has passed through and the impact is clear to see. It’s only a small village and there isn’t much there in January, but there is a beautiful beach and Appledore is just across the water. We wild-camp here which seems OK in January but probably won’t work from March onwards. There are plenty of campsites nearby if you’d like to visit.
The next highlight has to be Tintagel and the surrounding area. We receive lots of tips of places to visit near here and we try to visit as many as possible. For example we visit Boscastle and Trebarwith. We stay in the carpark of the King Arthur pub, which allows motorhomes to overnight but there are no services. It is a really convenient and safe place to stop. We enjoy some great walks along the coastal path, and we’re sure to go back.
Colliford Lake, on Bodmin Moor is a beautiful place with cows and Moor ponies. There are great walks and stunning scenery. There are places to wild camp, but there’s also a campsite as wild camping could well be more difficult once the season starts.
As we travel on, the stops seem to get better and better. We stay at St Meryn and Harlyn, near Padstow, from where we can explore a number of beaches. We go for a huge hike along the coastal path and visit Harlyn, Booby’s Bay, Mother Ivey’s Bay and Constantine Bay. There are quite a few holiday parks here, so plenty of choice for a summer stay.
We go to Saint Agnes on the off-chance really… We don’t really know what’s there but we decide to check it out. It turns out to be a real gem of a place and we both fall in love. There are lots of old tin mines around to explore and again lots of great coastal path walks. We visit Driftwood Spars which turns out to be the bar that breaks Dry January, with its cosy bar area, log burner and friendly locals.
Saint Ives is always worth a mention. It’s always a popular destination, and even in January it’s quite busy. We stay at Ayr Holiday park, which is a bit pricey but the facilities are superb and the location is brilliant. There are quite a few other vans there, which makes a nice change. The town, the beaches, the people; everything about this charming town is just lovely and always deserving of a visit.
Friends of ours are travelling to Treen near Porthcurno for the weekend, and seeing as we’re nearby, we go to meet up with them there. Porthcurno and surrounding area is absolutely stunning, with amazing coves and landscapes. We have a great night in the Logan Rock Inn and a visit to beautiful Porthgwarra.
We travel on through Mousehole, Newlyn and Penzance, where we spend some time near St Michael’s Mount. We find another great spot at Praa Sands, and as I write this, we’re in beautiful Porthleven (with some blue sky and sunny spells!!).
What a great way to live!
Other nice stops and towns which are definitely worth a visit included: Stratford Upon Avon, Bude, Duckpool, Wadebridge, Bodmin, Port Isaac, Truro.
So how did we do..?
Well, we don’t really have a measure of how well we do, but we’ve certainly learnt a lot and things have gone wrong! Like the morning Luna decided to be sick in the bed, which happened to be the morning after we spent the evening in the launderette to wash it all… Back to washing again, and no longer giving in to Luna’s demands for early dinners. Lesson learnt the hard way.
Another one was when we found we had too much condensation in the van. Trying to dry that out in grey, wet January was no mean feat, cue two hotels and a couple of campsites for EHU and to get over the shock. We also have more dry-matting now under cushions etc.
We’ve learnt a lot about living in a small space and how important it is to look after what little space we have. We’ve learnt that this involves a lot more than just the occasional sweep through and tidy up. We need to ensure there’s enough ventilation, as well as enough heat and to keep things tidied away and clean.
We’ve learnt a little more about ourselves, and how we can communicate and behave differently to work together better in such a small space.
We’ve done pretty good at being organised with our food-shopping and thinking of meals to use up left-overs rather than waste food.
We’ve also done well at problem solving and fixing things. Any challenges that have come our way, we’ve dealt with well and we’ve worked together to resolve any issues.
Overall, as I’m sat here in the sun writing, I’m just so happy that we’ve made the switch! And whilst I would still like the house to come through soon, I’m also planning plenty of places I want to visit before we have to do lots of DIY.