A pictorial post today… the return journey from Pendennis Castle to Seaview International Camp site…
A pictorial post today… the return journey from Pendennis Castle to Seaview International Camp site…
Sometimes you see something that makes you do a double take, even though you know that it can’t possibly be true.
When during our summer of 2013 visit, I first saw a figure hanging from a gallows I certainly caught my breath.
Then my brain kicked in and knew it couldn’t possibly be a real person, and of course it was a manikin.
The “executioner” that I saw nearby was however very real and looked suitably scary for the role.
In my last post from Pendennis Castle, I leave Himself, Little Mr and Kiwi Daughter in a large tent where for a fee you can decorate various objects.
Kiwi Daughter and Little Mr have chosen to decorate small wooden shields but aside from the queue to get in, the tent is packed and there is standing room only so I arrange to go somewhere quieter and meet them later.
This post is a compilation of my visit to the fort earlier in the day and my look around the large square building near the entrance. Outside there are some seats and refreshment stalls, I get some water and sit for a while talking a much needed rest. Then I go inside and discover a series of rooms filled with exhibition material, everything from medieval weaponry to models of the peninsular where the castle and fort are standing.
I love this kind of thing, and knowing that the other members of my family are less enamoured by historical stuff, I’m delighted that I’m here by myself and that they are doing something that they like better.
I take a slow look round and end up in the shop, where I buy a few souvenirs.The time when the others are supposed to join me elapses and I wonder where they have gotten to, luckily I can sit on the same steps near the entrance where I waited when we came in, and just as well because it was quite a wait.
It turns out that the tent was so packed with kids wanting to do the various activities that there was a queue for the use of the materials.
It might have been a better idea to have let less kids in at a time so that there were enough materials to go around, because patience was being tried, but other parents like Himself had already paid the fee for the activity and the kids were keen to be creating something so they joined the wait, and waited and waited and waited. (Some with more degrees of meltdown than others.) Our offspring survived and joined me near the entrance waving shields still glistening with wet paint, I will have to confess that about 10% of my brain was congratulating them on their efforts and about 90% of it was panicking about getting paint on the upholstery in the camper.
Luckily I found several old plastic shopping bags and used them as places to put the wet artworks on to dry and heaved a huge sigh of relief that we were are least not adding something extra to the list of already high insurance expenses for damage incurred this trip. We’ve all loved this event, but due to the pain I’m thinking that it might not have been wise to have done so much walking. Only later would I find out that this was not a case of ” doing more and getting better faster”, but rather of “over extending and doing damage.” Time to hit the ice-packs and painkillers. The kids however, still have enough energy to run on ahead…
The other jousting tournament that took place whilst we were visiting Pendennis Castle in Cornwall, England was of a sort that I hadn’t seen before.
Apparently all of the tournaments have their roots in old medieval traditions, this one doesn’t involve full armour, just a helmet and the aim of each knight is to knock the red “dragon” off the top of his opponents helmet with a baton rather than with a long lance.
The thing that puts some extra excitement into the mix is that there can be lots of knights on the field at one time so you might be busy focusing your attention attacking an opponent, but you have to watch your back as other knights come up behind you and try and attack you from behind.
There are always handshakes between the competing horsemen after each round, this is a chivalrous sport after all. I get some action shots of stuffed dragons flying, and after each round the winner does a victory lap around the field, then all of the knights line up and ride a lap around the field to thank the supporters in the crowd. This tournament is full of energy and the horses and riders get closer to the crowd than with the jousting with the long lances so this event has a very different feel to the other tournament.
The crowd are as enthusiastic as the riders, there are plenty of “ohhh” and “aggggh” moments as the knights almost take tumbles and when one knight is within a hair’s breadth of toppling his opponents dragon but gets caught out when a different opponent comes up behind him and topples his instead. There’s a lot of fun in this tournament and it’s infectious… and last summer when we visited, Family Kiwidutch also caught the bug.
Of course if you are coming to a castle that has a jousting festival on the weekend that you are visiting, then of course this is going to be the highlight of the day.
The announcer tells us that jousting is an actual sport, and their horses are especially trained so that they are used to the sport and the crowds.
Regular tournaments take place and the participants can win various titles over the jousting season.
There are specific rules as well, from what I understood (I didn’t catch the entire explanation due to the crowd noise around us) there is a special tip on the lance, and with a “hit” this tip comes off so that the winner of each joust can be determined. There are more rules but I didn’t catch the rest.
In this series of photographs the knights are jousting in armour, racing their horses down each side of a low fence so that the horses do not come in contact with one another.
Spectators can buy little flags in the colours of the knight they are “supporting” (money raised from the flags goes to the cost of staging the event) , Little Mr and Kiwi Daughter were delighted because the knight in the yellow and green colours was the eventual winner and they were the ones in the family who had this flag and they were the supporters of this knight. We all cheered for “our” knights and the noise from the crowd was certainly at times deafeningly enthusiastic. Who needs electronic games when some medieval entertainment can be so much fun?… (Ok, after a whole day my kids might have a different opinion on that one ha ha!)
This horse may have lost this round…but he can still manage a big grin for the camera…
The knight we are supporting end up being the winner!
There are some days you could just kick yourself for not being organised.
In the summer of 2013 while visiting Cornwall in England was one of these occasions.
We had gone for a day trip to Pendennis Castle and I thought I’d charged the batteries of the pocket camera and the DSLR.
I was wrong about the pocket camera and it’s the camera where I’ve worked out how to use the movie function.
During the falconry display I discovered my error, but thought not too much of it, at least I had decent stills from the DSLR and I probably didn’t need the movie function.
A short time later I started to realise just how wrong I was. A man dressed as a court jester set up his pitch, gathered the crowd around him and began his show.
There was humour on every level imaginable, from slapstick to plays on words, kid jokes and innuendo for the adults, he soon had the entire crowd laughing so hard they were wiping the tears from their eyes. Indeed many of the adults were also holding their stomachs because it hurt to laugh so much. I’m not someone to laugh out loud at every little thing, and these days there is “humour” (and very often questionable as to what passes for such) and there is “comic genius” . This gentleman was certainly the latter. I so, so wish I had had the chance to video even a snippet of the show, to post here and share. I wish even more that I could have recorded his entire show.
His name is “Patch” and he’s a court jester performer based in Crediton who’s performed for Queen Elizabeth II and became an English Heritage National Jester. I’d highly recommend stopping anywhere that he is performing to enjoy the show… if my reaction and that of the rest of the crowd is anything to go by, you will leave with aching sides from laughing so hard and huge smile on your face.
Link to a website that features Patches:
Last summer we visited Pendennis Castle in Cornwall, England, and had the good fortune to be there the weekend a medieval jousting tournament was taking place.
Just after we arrived, a falconry display began in the large cordoned off paddock and the crowd grew quickly as people gathered round.
At various times during the display, the falconer pulled volunteers out of the audience.
They started with a young boy in a red striped tee-shirt who looked excited, then nervous when the big leather glove engulfed his hand and lower arm, and then ecstatic when the bird glided in and landed on the glove.
A man in a red hat was chosen as the next volunteer and the falcon swooped in very photogenically, coming in in an almost slow motion landing that once again left me in awe of nature and how the “engineering” of birds and their mastery of flight works so beautifully. Then the call came for someone who could run really fast. (That’s me and my crutches out then.) A young lad in a yellow tee-shirt fitted the bill and after some instruction about what was going to happen next, was handed a rope onto the trailing end of which was attached dummy bird.
He started to sprint down the field, at the other of of the field the bird of prey was let loose and it didn’t take long for the moving target (the bird, not the boy!) was spotted and the falcon swooped in for the “kill”.
I was lucky to get photos of the falcon within metres of the dummy bird and then on it.
In the last part of the display the falconer swung another , far smaller dummy bird around in huge arcs in the air, this time a different bird was set loose (I forget the name) but it was one that doesn’t catch prey on the ground, but prefers to intercept it’s meals mid-air.
The huge arcs that the dummy bird made were quickly scoped out by the bird of prey, who made large circles around it, keeping itself facing the sun so that the other “bird” would have difficulty spotting it.
It then semi folded itself up as it dropped from a height like a stone and seized the dummy mid-air. All of the birds of course earned real food reward afterwards and the crowd certainly appreciated the display. We also enjoyed it very much and although our kids especially enjoyed the other children taking part, they were definitely not brave enough to volunteer themselves. Mind you, neither of them are very extrovert in this respect and are never keen to put themselves into the spotlight. They obviously inherited the “happier behind the scenes”gene that Himself and I share.
Just past Falmouth on the south coast of England lies a peninsular which has a castle near it’s headland.
This is Pendennis Castle and it’s our pure good fortune that this weekend they are hosting some medieval jousting here.
We found out about it via the perfectionist at our camp site and we have the choice of visiting on either the Saturday or Sunday, and choose the Saturday because the weather report looks better.
Once again there are queues of cars on the narrow and winding roads leading along the coast, luckily we once again took the precaution of leaving early so we enjoy the view.
Eventually we come into sight of the Castle, there are a few attendants directing traffic and they want to wave us towards a car park that is long way away. Himself explains that I am on crutches and that my walking range is therefore limited, and whilst we are still not allowed to park closer, we are allowed to enter an access road so that he can let me off closer. I leave Himself to reverse the camper back out of the access road and make my way up to the entrance. There is a (now dry) moat around the castle and thick walls surrounding the main buildings. I find a step to sit on whilst I wait for Himself and the kids to catch up and I’m rather surprised once we are inside to not find a medieval style castle as the main building within the grounds.
Instead we find that the main building is a very square looking building with wings sticking out on either end at right angles, but as we look out on the large field in front of this building we discover a far more castle-shaped building on the far side, it’s the round fort dating from the time of Henry VIII , and far more fairy-tale and castle-like looking. During the course of the day I manage to go into the main section of the fort, but there are too many steps for me to go further so I make the most of the photographs I can get…
If you are travelling somewhere new it always pays to take a moment to listen to local advice for local events and tips on places to go.
Whilst we were checking in at the reception of the Seaview International Camp site, we found out about something special taking place that weekend in nearby Falmouth.
We had a few vague plans for things to do this weekend but this idea quickly topped them all and so the next day we set out down the Cornish coast… and not too far away ran smack bang into a long traffic jam.
Little winding roads are delightful in theory: when they are empty, but when every man and his dog wants to join you down them, they don’t make the easiest of driving, especially in a massive camper.
(Yes… I’m fully away that vehicles like ours only added to the problem).
It looks like half of the country is heading to the same place we are, so it’s just as well (a) we are not in a desperate hurry and (b) we have a toilet on board the camper (yet another occasion when standing still in traffic was at last practical in one respect). All of this took place in the summer of 2013 and we were very lucky to be in Falmouth during a special weekend… This post details our journey there, I love how one camp-site place decorates it’s road sign with a little pink camper bus, and as usual I’m captivated by the very English architecture along the way…
If you are touring the south coast of England, then Cornwall is beautiful place to head to… and we join a huge stream of holiday makers heading in this direction.
Our next campsite is the “Seaview International Camp Site”, where we arrive late on a cool day and after checking in and parking the camper go in search of some groceries for dinner.
As luck would have it, they have a roast dinner on this evening at the little Cafe next to the shop so we forgo buying pasta we came in for and decide to take the easy option of a ready made roast dinner instead.
Outside the weather turns unexpectedly dark and there is a sudden cloudburst, the torrential rain also helps make the decision not to attempt the walk back to the camper, and as luck would have it we came in just minutes before the rain started and the rain stopped just as we were finishing our meal… perfect timing. Kiwi Daughter was unimpressed by the roast on offer so opted for a pizza and Little Mr went for rice and his guilty pleasure: chicken nuggets. Later, since daylight lasted deep into the evening, the kids found some other children to play with and amused themselves by filling one hundred and fifty-six water balloons… yes they were all counted. I allowed it on the proviso that none were thrown inside campers or tents and that all the kids involved got their swimming costumes on and helped pick up the burst rubber pieces afterwards.
Deal done, they started a massive water fight and their squeals attracted other kids who joined in with gusto. A few Euros for a packet of five hundred water balloons… enough to last a summer and cheap entertainment. As night fell our kids were herded to the shower block to clean up before bed and there were lots of excited stories about who chased who, who got , and took, direct hits and how wet everyone got. Who need electronics?
One hundred and fifty-six water balloons look like this…
Seaview International Holiday Park
T: 01726 843425
F: 01726 843358
In my last post from the Eden Project in Cornwall, England, I take you back to the main entrance building via the elevated walkway, rather than via the hillside path that Himself, Kiwi Daughter and Little Mr choose to take.
I could have taken the motorised transport back up the hill, or approached the staff and asked for wheelchair assistance but although my foot was hurting a lot I assumed it was just because of the extra exercise, and since I had just taken some pain relief pills that I just needed to wait for them to start taking effect.
It was only when I got a lift from the main entrance building back to the camper that I realised that the pain relief should have been working by then (and wasn’t) so I must have over done things quite a bit.
My stubbornness stemmed partly from the fact that I was sick and tired of being on crutches and thought that extra extra exercise would speed up my recovery and partly because I didn’t want to let the pain “win”, but that turned out to be a bad idea because the pain quickly became unbearable and I spent most of the night up and in tears.
Since this trip took place in the summer of 2013 and I now have the benefit of hindsight, I now know that doing as much walking as I did around the Eden Project actually did damage rather than good to my foot, but of course I didn’t know that at the time.
The moral of the story is that it doesn’t always pay to try and be “brave”, sometimes you should accept help and most of all you should listen to the messages your body is trying to tell you ,and stop when you feel too much pain.
I’d had a rest in the “Core”building and left Himself and the kids to take the more physical route up the hill.
I made my way to a lift that took me up to the bridge that connected the Core area with the main entrance building on the top of the hill.
From high up on the walkway/bridge I get excellent views of the Biomes, the roof of the Core and all of the outside hillside area (I had already sensibly realised that it was beyond my physical capabilities to go there, so once my foot is better I will need a return trip to see the bits I missed).
Once back in the main entrance building I met up with Himself and the kids and then together we took advantage of the motorised transport for those who are mobility impaired back to where the camper was parked.I regret not using a wheelchair, but we had such an amazing experience here I certainly don’t regret our day here… it’s been fabulous…