Sorry folks, I wrote an entire page a while back on the start of my trip in Cornwall UK and somehow lost it.
My entire trip was to start from Land’s End in the UK, so that I could “wave” at Canada across the Atlantic and then start the daunting task of riding east until I get to Cape Spear in Newfoundland. Here I will “wave” at England across the Atlantic.
I set off from my Mum’s place in Devon on a Wednesday morning and rode Twiggy down the A38 toward the Tamar bridge that spans the river Tamar, the division between Devon and Cornwall at this point. The day was sunny and dry and there was a slight chill in the air but nothing serious. Memories came flooding back as I rode into Cornwall again and gazed upon fields of sheep and cows. The grass is so green here and, as I remember the roads were getting narrower too. I passed through the town of Dobwalls and sniggered to myself in the crash helmet. It was always known as “Dogballs” to my friends and me….I’m sure I’m not the only one. Slowly but surely the roads petered down to 2 lane windy roads that would normally be fun on a bike if it weren’t for the odd van or truck slowly trudging southwest.
My mission today was to meet Tiffany Coates at the train Station in a St. Erth, a small hamlet way down near Land’s End. I was lost in my own little world of viewing fields, small churches and villages so much that I almost zipped by St. Erth. I pulled up in the station car park and waited….i was half an hour early anyway. I watched a couple of small trains pick up and drop off people as they went about their daily ritual. The station is a typical rural English station and could have been used in a Miss Marple tv show or similar and I was just contemplating this as I heard the sound of a boxer twin coming down the road. The sound got closer and closer and I saw Tiffany dash past the entrance and careen down the hill away from the car park. Fortunately she looked back over her shoulder and noticed that I was already there…..then she dashed out of sight. She had someone on the back of Thelma, her bike. I was alone again.
Two minutes later she reappeared and it turns out the passenger is her nephew that she was returning from school. Yes Thelma is still used everyday even though this bike has been all over the world and put Tiffany in the Guinness book of records as the most traveled woman on the planet by motorcycle. Thelma has been there every inch of the way…….but is also local school transport too.
My afternoon was to be a guided tour with Tiffany, after all this is her neck of the woods and who better to go motorcycling with? She took us along the north coast road that started with a lovely harbor ride into St. Ives and beyond. Onward across the clifftops we rode with the se to our right and eventually came into the Porthmeor and Bosigran areas. This was a rush of memories for me as I had spent quite a bit of time climbing here when I was younger. Tiffany took us along an old dirt road at Bosigran that skirted old tin mine ruins and dry stone granite walls that have stood the test of time for hundreds of years. The scenery here was that of open moorland and sweeping single lane roads that reminded me of Scotland. “You know, I’ve never been to Scotland Nevil” came the words from Tiffany……I almost fell over. She’s been to Ulaanbaatar but not Scotland.
Land’s End was our destination and it was a cold evening by then. At the Land’s End sign we took photos of me and Twiggy and the Atlantic behind me as the sun set in the west. It was a beautiful moment. Onward to the bar Tiffany started the trip properly by buying me a margarita. This was to be my mission….a margarita in every country I visit. I put on my Hawaiian shirt that was given to me by good friends Don and Carole Nelson in Alberta and sipped the drink slowly as the sun set in the west. It was a perfect evening to start a motorcycle trip around the world. I wonder what adventures might lay ahead of me over the next five months. Tiffany’s place is only a few miles from here and she was kind enough to give me a room for the night. I slept well. It must have been a good margarita.
I had to leave the next morning and return to Devon to see my Mum again. Tiffany and I (and her entire housefull of friends said our goodbyes and as I rode down her driveway I wondered to myself….when would I see her and Thelma again? Travel is a wonderful thing, you never know, you just never know. My only other thought as I left her house was that Tiffany needs to go to Scotland. Someone please offer to take her there?
Thank you so much for your tireless hospitality Tiffany, You are a national treasure J
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