People always ask how I can afford to travel. The truth is, a lot of the time I can't! I've never been good with money, well, I'm good at spending it....on travel......but I'm not so good at saving it. However, this time, my adventures are so big, and will cost so much, that I've really had to knuckle down and save, BIG TIME! This thought didnt sit too well with me, as it meant having to watch what I spend for the 12 weeks until departure (not fun!). That also means no spontaneous nights out, no spontaneous trips, no spontaneous buys. So I decided to try something new, local travel.
My roots have been in Plymouth, Devon for the last 10 years or so, the most time I've ever spent in one place in fact. But my knowledge about this South Western part of England is incredibly poor. And so, to stave off boredom I decided I should do some "local travel" and educate myself a bit more about my home county.
1). Polperro and Looe
These two costal towns are just over the boarder and into Cornwall. Don't let their cute fishing village looks decieve you though, they have pasts of smuggling and pirates and more recently host some of the best music festivals in the south west. I ventured down to these two villages on what started out as a sunny day. By the time I'd driven down it had clouded over, but being the typical Brit I didnt let this deter me. Polperro was surprisingly busy, despite it being late Septemeber and well past tourist season. I meandered through the old narrow streets and made my way to the beach.........
Thats right.....the tide was in. And then, rain. So, so far my travel had not gone so well. I climbed to the top of the cliff face. Beautiful views met me, despite the rain and the high tide, and I actually felt a peace I normally only get at the top of the Mountains in Africa or in the Temples of India. I felt spurred on, and decided not to give up on my adventure just yet. On my way back into town I came across two of the most unique shops I have ever seen, and it made my growing love for this little town grow ever bigger.
Shop number one - Noel of Polperro is an all year round Christmas shop. The Christmas music blares out and you can hear it before you even see the little shop tucked back off the street. A giant Nutcracker greets you, along with a sign that declares how many days it is until Christmas. I love Christmas, but can never say I've got into Christmas until after Thanksgiving before! I was quite taken with the warm =th and dry that the little shop offered however, and even bought a new decoration from it, just to say that I had!
The second little shop surpassed even the Noel shop in its Uniquness however. Labelled the Smallest shop in Kernow (Cornwall) this adorable little place was full of charater, as was the very talented artist who owned it. I was invited in out of the rain, and was greeted with beautiful hand painted cards and other goodies. I was so taken with the beauty of the art that I just had to buy one for my sisters birthday present, and stood and chatted to the lovely owner Jasmine, who also agreed to be in the picture I took (Thank you Jasmine!) until the worst of the weather had passed.
I definietly recommend Polperro as a stop on the old map, especially if you want something different to the usual tourist hotspots! I will certainly be returning.
However, it was onto Looe for my next local travel adventure. Looe is somewhere I had been several times as a child. But travelling alone always opens your eyes to things you miss as a child, or when travelling with others. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that, by the time I had driven the 3 miles that separated Polperro and Looe, the weather had done a complete 180 turn and was now blisteringly hot (for England anyway) and the sky had nearly completely cleared itself of clouds!
I parked up and the first thing I did was look for somewhere to eat. I chanced upon Miss Marples tea rooms. Being a huge book worm and a particular Agatha Christie fan I entered, and had the typical Brit-on-holiday lunch......a cream tea!
Stomach satisfied I set off to explore Looe. Similar in some ways to Polperro it had the narrow lanes and low swung beams and houses. Again I was surprised at how busy it was, although the weather could have fooled anyone into thinking it was still summer! I bypassed all shops this time and headed straight for the beach. This time the beach was visable and the sky was clear(ish). I spent a good hour walking along the beach, sitting and reading and just enjoying this surprise performance by the sun.
All too soon it was time for me to return to reality. However, I felt like my local travel adventure had paid off; I felt relaxed and happy. Despite not having to board a plane or needing to travel for hours, I had found a little piece of the world that I had enjoyed as much as my travels in forgien countries. And so I concluded - local travel is a great way of travelling whilst on a budget! I cant wait to see what my next local travel adventure brings!
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