It was a day of natural wonders that began with the sighting of a swallows nest full of noisy chicks pitched up in the beam of the ladies public toilets at Lizard Point.
The mum swallow came darting in, swooping low through the open door and up to three open beaks. We were so close to the three little heads lined up in the nest that it felt quite a privilege and it was a great way to start the day.
Pulling out the map and with mobile sat nav in hand we headed north. We were still at England's most southerly point. Our next stop was Boscastle, north of Tintagel and possibly a long journey away.
Luckily though it turned out to be brief and uneventful, except for our first encounter with driving through a ford. In front of us flowed a very small river, or is that a large stream (?), which we crossed with a big sloush of water beneath the car as the road dipped to its lowest point.
With nothing more to mention we reached the edge of Boscastle and began the descent of a very steep road. Along one side a row of attractive, uniform slatestone villas descended before us and then dropped out of sight. We had no idea what to expect in the valley below.
We turned around a bend in the road and as we reached the bottom of the valley grey slatestone buildings began to multiply before us. On either side were former warehouses, industrial buildings and cottages that dated back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries when Boscastle had been a thriving harbour. As we approached the bridge in the centre of the town, the sun shone and tourists seemed to fill either side of the road. The sat nav had directed us to turn left by the bank of the river onto what looked like a pedestrianised area. We took a left and slowly drove passed groups of staring people, wondering, I felt sure, who could be so stupid as to drive along this path. I felt like shrinking in the passenger seat and hiding. Something had gone wrong. We parked up and my Welsh One decided to go seeking the YHA, our destination for the night on foot.
Meanwhile, I could take in our new surroundings. Pretty stone cottages lined either side of a river that flowed over sheets of slate. Shops and cafes were bustling with people and it looked like nowhere I had been before. It was a very peaceful scene.
My Welsh One came back and explained that we needed to park in the main car park on the other side of the river. Our drive of shame would have to be reversed.
This time, our drive was very brief as it was a short distance to the car park where we only had to pay for an hours parking because it's free after 6pm in the evening.
We could now have a proper look around and I noticed a high tide mark, possibly 6 ft high on an old building opposite and I wondered what it could mean. For my Welsh One it made the penny drop, he remembered why he knew the name of Boscastle. At almost exactly the same time of year that we were there, Boscastle had been devastated by floods in 2004. It's unbelievable looking at the place now, which is an incredible testament to the hard work of this local community in restoring this picturesque town so well.
It was time to check in and we headed back to the YHA Boscastle. It was our third YHA in three days and the views from our previous stays had been fabulous. The YHA had suffered extensively during the floods and had been completed refitted as a consequence. Housed in a former stable building the YHA is attractive looking on the outside, built from the local stone. Inside our room felt cosy, there were three beds, one double and one single. Again, it was our private room for the night and we had the most lovely view of the pretty river and hillside. Through the open windows we could hear the faint trickle of the river as it flowed onwards.
We continued to climb the rocks until we reached the very edge, called Penally Point. It had taken us no time to reach it and the views from the clifftop were superb.
This was to be the final night of our Cornish adventure and we were again to receive a great recommendation from one of the YHA team for our last night. The lady at the YHA told us of a local singing group that gathered every Wednesday to sing folk songs and it was worth a visit.
I love folk so I was keen. I wasn't sure how my electronic-loving Welsh Man would find it, but he promised to go for a while. It turned out to be a wonderful night. In particular a young lady in mustard who sang the most beautiful song accompanied by guitar. I didn't find out her name or the name of the song, but I know it was her own composition and in the summer of 2016 the venue was the back of the Wellington pub.
It had been a day full of delights and a wonderful holiday with thanks to the YHA for three nights accommodation.
YHA Boscastle, Cornwall, PL35 0HD
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