Saturday, 25 July 2015

Surf and Sun in Perranporth, Cornwall

6 - 10 July 2015

Years since my last surf session, or camping holiday, our recent trip to Perranporth on the north coast of Cornwall was bound to hold a few surprises.

After a long drive from Dorset, we arrived at Perran Sands Holiday Park in late afternoon and battled the strong winds to set up camp. What had happened to the warm and still days of the week before?

Ideally located in the dunes, our campsite was a steep but short walk to Perranporth Beach which took my breath away with its rough naturalness and the size of the waves. The main reason Mark and I decided on Cornwall was for the surf, as we both wanted the chance to develop our board skills.

We rented a learner board and a couple of wetsuits from Bathsheba Surf Shop in the village. It was about £45 for 3 days - which is a great deal - and luckily they were also happy to look after the board overnight, saving us a long walk back to the campsite with the board under our arms!

Mark heading out for his first surf

Our first day's surfing had some rough conditions, not helped by the fact I had my head in SUP mode after my recent class, but despite the weather I managed to get to my feet a few times. Incredibly, the beach was spattered with jelly fish, both washed up and the tide line, and in the shallows. Jelly fish are a big fear of mine, so I was proud I managed to put it to the back of my mind and focus on catching some waves.

The following day was much sunnier, warmer and had all round better surf conditions. Both Mark and I got a few hours surfing in between dozing on the beach, reading and lunch at The Watering Hole. The water was sparkling blue and there was a real summer feeling in the air. Before we knew it, it was 4pm and we'd spent 6 hours in the water! We were exhausted but had had an amazing day.

The summer returns; bring me the sea!

Back at the campsite I was enjoying spending so much time outdoors. There's something about scrambling about in the morning to make a cup of tea and midnight walks to the toilets which is reviving at least if not relaxing. No phone signal or wifi definitely helped us digitally detox, something I desperately needed.

Perran Sands is a family orientated park, with all the child friendly amenities you'd need as a family. I admit, we were a little out of place as a twenty-something couple with a 3 man tent and a BBQ. We were surrounded by touring vehicles with electric hookups and windbreaks, and whilst they undoubtedly waited out the wind and rain with the evening entertainment, we cuddled up to watch Skyfall in our sleeping bags with a mug of Dorset Tea and a pack of Fudges Florentines.

Once we'd worn ourselves out on the waves and had fastened our ear plugs in place against the wind, it was easy to drift off, still feeling the rock of the waves in our bones knowing we'd squeezed all the surfing and sun tanning we could out of the British weather.

59 years between these pictures of me and my uncle in Perranporth

A special few moments on our trip included receiving a collection on photos from my mum of my grandparents and baby uncle enjoying a day in Perranporth in 1959. My Nan was the epitome of a pin up, and I had fun re-creating the images, though the light conditions weren't in our favour.

One sunny morning, we made our way to Newquay, which I had been to a few times before as a teenager with a friend and her family. I thought I'd have some memories coming back to me, but I was left blind to everything but the vision of boardmasters on Fistral Beach back in the early 2000's. Newquay is still a lively town, and Fistral Beach is certainly worth your time, especially with The Stables, and Rick Stein restaurants all to hand.

Fistral Beach, Newquay

Keep sailing with my coming posts which will take more trips down memory lane as I blog about my adventures before I launched Weigh The Anchor in my Sail back series, including 24 hours in Bruges and cruising down the Nile.