Monday, June 09, 2008

Hold very tight!

Aside

We four friends mustered at Minehead bus stop and thanked Heaven for clement weather. Some of our quartet were more enthusiastic than others, about mounting to the top, open deck but as I pointed out that had been the whole point and no –one was prepared to sit downstairs, alone, without the obligatory blether. Had we boarded at the station we would have had a better choice of seats and two of us sat backwards – but that was fine. We quickly became aware of the height of the bus and the lowness of the trees and there was a lot of ducking and diving in parts. Once through Porlock where we saw the spire –less church (legend has it that it was stolen and placed on the unfinished Culbone Church) we slowly climbed up onto Exmoor for stunning views of the Bristol Channel, Wales and the moor. It was too early for heather and only a smattering of gorse but we saw clumps of rhododendrons in the distance.

We reached 1,200’ before the dramatic descent into Lynmouth, with views to die for; no photograph can convey the frighteningly sheer drops. We dismounted in warm sunshine and ambled to a coffee house where we learned that decaff is cheaper than normal coffee because the manufacturers sell the caffeine – so our host told us. There is an almost vertical funicular up to the sister town Lynton but we were content to browse round the shops in Lynmouth and welcome the summer at last.

We were spoilt for choice for a lunch venue though four people never see things the same way; eventually we chose a place which looked fine from outside but seemed dark inside. We asked for a table for four and although mine host didn’t quite grimace churlishly we sat down feeling we were in the way. When Joy said she didn’t feel welcome that was enough and, as one man we left. Finally we settled on Riverside Cottage. After entering through the wrong door we came across the owner who was run off her feet but gave us a beaming mile and said she would be with us in a moment. Result!

Lunch turned out to be our usual jolly affair and when we thanked our hostess she said it was people like us who made all the work worth while. On our return journey we braved the top deck again but the weather had clouded over and we were blown to bits. The total journey cost £4.90 but we four with our new bus passes didn’t pay a bean.

Photos to follow.

18 comments:

Z said...

It took me a few moments to realise why I started to think of Coleridge - it's the distracting Man from Porlock, of course.

PI said...

Z: he did start to rear his head but I decided I'd given him enough publicity already.

Eryl Shields said...

I want your life! You seem to spend a lot of time looking at magnificent views and having lunch, or going to the theatre and having dinner.

Kim Ayres said...

I might be wrong, but I have a funny feeling this print of one of my father's paintings was from up on the moor above Porlock.

I also remember hearing tales when i was a child of my grandfather motorbike racing up Porlock hill back in the days before it was tarmacked.

sablonneuse said...

Isn't it a shame when you feel ill at ease in a restaurant or café. The best thing to do is walk out - definitely.

P.S. If you haven't found the 'other' blog the link is on this comment but not, I believe, on your sidebar.

LOM said...

We spend a lot of time in Lymouth, nice walking around there.

We did the open top bus thing a year ago, you can't beat being smacked in the face by a tree and all the flys stuck to your teeth.

problemchildbride said...

Rhododendrons always look so impossibly lush and tropical to flourish in the British Isles. I love them, especially when they're in flower, but they block out so much light they kill pretty much anything growing underneath them

PI said...

Sandy: I'm struggling at the moment and hope to get straight tomorrow DV!

lom: arrr! I see you knows of what you speak!

Sam: I think foresters now go round whacking them with a stick to get rid of them.

PI said...

Kim: that's beautiful. I'm sure that's Selworthy Hill in the distant (my Dad's favourite) and the flat bit before Porlock Weir in the middle and Exmoor in the foreground. It's really lovely. Thank you for showing me.

PI said...

Eryl: it's a hard life but someone's got to do it.

rashbre said...

Open top buses! Sunshine. Brilliant. Sounds like a great day and you were right to move if somewhere had forgotten how to be hospitable.

kenju said...

What? No pictures?

PI said...

Rashbre: it's easier to be brave on someone else's half. I felt Joy didn't deserve that.

Judy: this week I'm chasing my tail and today has been hysterical. Photos on Wednesday DV.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

You all always have such a lively good time together! And I've said it before--I wish I could join you! LOL! I LOVE that you all got out of that other lunch place pronto--when it felt totally wrong. These get-togethers are so much fun and so meaningful too, why stay someplace that feels lousy? And I love the Owner of the place you ended up at being so gracious and HAPPY to see you four! I look forward to the pictures, Pat.

PI said...

Naomi: I hope to have the photos tomorrow but this week so far has been hectic and I seemed to spend all day yesterday trying to simply order a book. My computer skills are thin on the ground. On Thursday our French son and granddaughter arrive so I have to keep at it. At least the weather is good.

moon said...

Still waiting for pics lol....But the day sounds like it was full of fun had by all...except for being blown to bits ofcourse lol.

R. Sherman said...

I've been away and am catching up. As usual, sounds like another fab getaway. I look forward to the photos.

Cheers.

PI said...

Moon: it's nearly midnight and I shall go to bed and first thing in the morning I'll do the photos. DV.

Randall: a little bird told me your Missus is away. Mind you look after yourself this time.