The Final Countdown: Europe, North America travel blog

Elsa and her babies

Reg and Copper's tortoise, about 80 years old

Adam, KaWing, Cynthea head down th ehill to Clovelly

No cars in clovelly, so you have to take the Donkey

Cynthea, KaWing and Adam

EAsy enough to see why there are no cars, a bit steep...

Low tide?


Cynthea's got crabs

Adem better hope the tide doesn't come back in too quick

High 'n dry

Waterfall on the beach at Clovelly

Devon and Cornwall photos – incl Clovelly and Eden

Down on the Farm

After breakfast we have time for a quick tour of the farm while we waited for Adam to arrive. It is a bit of a mission finding gumboots that fit, don’t leak, and don’t have animal remains in them, courtesy of the cats! We head out to the barn to see Elsa and her piglets. She is very relaxed around people when she has her young. Tony picks up one of the piglets and it squeals blue murder, Elsa whips around to see what is happening, and sees Tony with her baby. It is almost a look of “oh, it’s you, that is ok then”, and she goes back to what she was doing. The owls are doing well, Wilbur the big European eagle owl still hoots at everyone and everything. Roger the African Spotted owl used to only whisper on the few occasions when he hooted, and despite his efforts Tony never did get more than that out of him. So it was a nice surprise to actually hear him, and he was talking more as well. Sally the Bengal eagle owl used hiss at everyone, she rarely actually hooted, so it was another surprise that she hooted a few times when Tony came near. Louise tells Tony that Sally hisses a little bit, but these days she usually she hoots like an owl should. The rescue owl has gone, Catherine released him last night. She got sick of him and his girlfriend keeping her awake with their courting all hours, so she figured that if he was ready to go, he could. We wonder if either of them will return looking for an easy feed.

Adam arrives and with KaWing we pile into the wee Fiat, still don’t know how we all fitted in, it must have been a bit of a crush in the back seat. We head off to Clovelly around 10am, it is about an hour away if Adam isn’t navigating. We wanted to stop at a supermarket to use an ATM, he said turn off at the next roundabout for a Morrisons, but we should have taken the first one. We had been here before with Catherine, but that was a long time ago. We had a tiki tour through Barnstable then found a Tescos, more by accident than Adam’s dodgy directions. We get some cash out and spend a bit of time in Tescos stocking up on supplies for the road trip.

It is nearly 1pm by the time we get to the car park at the entrance to Clovelly, a small fishing village that has been turned into a tourist attraction by the owner. We pay an entry fee of £6.50 each, with access through the visitor centre shop and down steep cobbled streets. We watch a short film on the history of the village and head off down the hill. They tell us that there is no vehicle access, and for the majority of homes that is true as there is no way a vehicle can travel these paths, but there is a road around the back that takes you to the Red Lion hotel on the pier. Deliveries to most of the homes is by sled, the milkman uses one. He would have to take a lot of care that the sled doesn’t get away on him, those cobbled paths are very steep in places, and slippery with it. During “the season” there is a landrover service from the back of the Red Lion to take people back up the hill if they cannot make the trip under their own steam, £2.50 for the ride.

It is an interesting place to visit, and there is plenty to see on the way down to the village itself. We stop at the stables to see the donkeys, and there is a pottery studio and shop next door.

It is nearly low tide when we get to the beach, there is a huge tidal fall here, a good 5m, maybe more. Boats in the harbour are left high and dry at low tide.

After a late lunch at the pub, Cynthea took the jeep ride back up the steep path to the visitor centre. Tony, Adam and KaWing walked along the beach but had to be careful, it was made up of huge boulders and was quite steep in places. At the wharf they were amazed by the tidal fall, here was the high tide mark far above their heads as they stood underneath. Boats lay on their sides, waiting for the water to return. The group stopped at the waterfall before starting back up the road to the visitor centre.

We head back to West Kidland Farm to cook tea. Lousie doesn’t like the owls, so is more than happy for Tony to feed them. The barn owls were first up, Stanley was out in his tree and surprised Tony by landing on his arm to take the chicken. Sally even took a chicken from Tony, but as expected she spat it out. Roger was a bit on the timid side, and wouldn’t come to Tony, and Wilbur ran over the ground to get his feed. No sign of the rescue owl that Catherine released last night, some chicken was left out for him, but he didn’t return.

There was much hilarity at the table tonight, just like old times.

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