With nothing much to do (courtesy my unemployment), I took the couple of days I had to visit Plymouth. I hadn't really visited any place in Devon or Cornwall, which gave me a chance to add a pin on the map.
Funny though, I had no plan whatsoever to visit and I ended up spending a fortune on my trip. It all started with improper planning where I decided on the same day that I will travel to Plymouth to meet the doctor and told him so. What happened at the end? I was hopelessly late, the doctor's friend (who had an exam in a month) had to waste half hour of his time to wait for me at the station, and I ended up running across the platforms of many stations I have never visited before.
After all the hullabaloo, I finally settled in plymouth (or so I thought)... Completing the previous day with "Whyte and Mackay", I realized that I woke up very late the following day. With nothing much to do, I decided to go around Plymouth. It was nice: the sea front, the royal parade and all along with the fact that the weather was quite good. At the end, it was not a bad day at all, the walk around Plymouth city centre and the sea front, not withstanding the fact that I managed to let off a job opportunity in the melee.
There wasn't much for the next day. I had thought that the day would be a plain trip back home considering it was 4.5 hours back to London from Plymouth.
What happened though, was an unplanned melee of a pleasant trip... I always had Land's end in mind, so why not it then, since I am so close?
I finally set off on the morning of Friday from Plymouth with a view of visiting Land's end (Me and my friend had planned some time back, with a plan to do an end to end from here to John o' groats albeit with a car, which never took place unfortunately). Up pretty early per my standards (woke up at 5:30), I was contemplating on how to plan the trip so that I could get back to London the same day. It seemed little hard and hectic. Nevertheless, my early 'awakening' got me rolling quickly. I did however manage to miss the 7 AM train which would have handed me a good one hour extra for the trip. I finally caught up with the 8 AM train to Penzance which would take atleast 2 hours to get to Penzance.
The train ride was quite good, as it is passes through a beautiful scenic route starting from Saltash. However, I could not take any good pictures as the train windows were pretty dirty. What a shame! would have loved to take some good pictures. The train passes through a route which has beautiful scenery with the train passing on top of tall via ducts with villages and towns spread out in the valley below the via ducts. The ride did lift my spirits considering the fact that my body was still not back in its prime of incessant travel viz 20 hours a day for travel (I had slept for only 5 hours previous night).
On approaching penzance, I noticed an island out my window and realized that it was the same island I wanted to visit for a long time.... I always knew St. Michael's mount was somewhere in cornwall, but never this close to Penzance. This added some pressure to my already packed schedule. It was a one hour journey from Penzance to Land's end and not knowing how much time I would need in Land's end, it was pretty hard to include this in the schedule.
Nevertheless, I thought of giving it a try once I visit Land's end. Luckily enough, the rest of the schedule worked like a dream. I got down from the train, found the bus going to Land's end the next moment. Now, I had not done enough research and had thought that there was only 1 bus / provider going to Land's end and per my current arrival, had to wait for atleast an hour to get to Land's end (I was thinking of the taxi had things not worked out) - One good reason to be angry on myself for missing the 7 AM train as it would have perfectly taken me into Penzance to match the bus timings. But then, I was wrong. There is another bus going to Land's end and it was just 2 minutes away!
After the wait for a couple of minutes, I was on the bus, on my way to Land's end. Now, I had the flexibility of spending 2 or 4 hours at land's end and not the 3 hours I had earlier calculated as the time return to Penzance!
The bus which takes an hour to cover a distance of 10 miles, though eats up a lot of time, takes you through a very scenic route again. And since the bus was a double decker, you can imagine my excitement being on top (pun intended). The ride did bore me a bit towards the end though.
On reaching Land's end, I walked to the first and last restaurant in England to have something to eat (I was hungry all along), but I couldn't figure out if it was open or closed, so I decided to push my hunger for some more time. It took me an hour to roam around Land's end, without venturing too far to get some good clicks. I even had a photo taken with the Land's end sign board which unfortunately, is not free. But then after coming this far, would I mind sparing 10 quid for the name of Mysore on the board? Nah!
So photos done, I decided to roam around a bit. Incidentally, the gentleman who was taking photos asked me if there is a company which makes sandal soaps in Mysore! On my answer, he said that himself and his wife use that soap! (Considering the fact that not many people come from the place where your soap is manufactured, he should have given me my photo for free ;-) )
After a quick chat with him on best places to get some good clicks, I was on my way. I spent close to an hour walking around the place with the Atlantic roaring on my face, back, body and all. Weirdly and luckily, the weather was so perfect, the sea and land were very bright and colourful. After some good time pass, clicks and my conversations with nature and god, I decided that it was time to cater for my hunger. The food at the restaurant in land's end is good, but rather overpriced. Nevertheless, I did not have a choice as I had half hour left and I could not use this to get into the cove village (A small village on the coast 1 mile North east of Land's end, which is sort of situated in a cove) as I had St Michael's in mind.
Done with my lunch (if i can call it that way), I was about to leave when I noticed the RAF rescue helicopter hovering around for a rescue exercise. But as I was short of time, I could not afford to spend more time there. Luckily (again), I was just in time for the bus. Once back in Penzance, I caught the bus on the way to Marzion square (which is the closest point to St. Michael's).
As I started approaching St. Micheal's I realized that it was the wrong time of the day as the Sun was beside the object rendering any attempt at my photography useless as it was pretty hard to find a spot which would shield the island from the Sun. Nevertheless, I attempted to take some pictures (which weren't so great). There was another catch, the boat was not going to the island for another 20 minutes and per my calculation I would need atleast a couple of hours on the island, which would really stretch everything to the limit given that I had to catch the 4 PM train back to London (I know I could have planned this better, but then this was a totally unplanned trip!).
So I decided to get back. I had enough time to reach Penzance, get some cash from the cash machine, get some water and mags for my journey back and get back to the station, minutes away from departure....
As I settled in the train and typed the blog, I was happy that this was one eventless journey to only realize that I would be asked by a drunk passenger that I was in his seat. Luckily (again & again), the TC pointed that he was in the wrong coach. Now that I settled finally thought "Wow an eventless journey after a long time" (None of my travels are peaceful, one way or the other), I did not realize that this was all the same!!!
As i finally trudged home from a delayed bus, I had a super mushroom gravy ready for me (courtesy my friend), which I finished and slept like an unconscious person. Something that finally came out of the trip was the fact that it finally kicked off my traveling spirit which was dead for an year (that is what I would think, atleast).
All I need to do next is, get a license, buy a car and stay in Penzance and put a proper plan to complete cornwall, St. Michael's and all and not to make the days so dry after all!!
Game for a chance? ;-)