“Why do you want to go to St Ives? It´s a five hour train ride… we can fly to Ibiza in less than two hours.”
“No Ibiza. I just want to go to St Ives.”
Didn´t take much convincing, for the joys and miseries of travelling always set a new mark to start afresh.
-“Can I ask you, what will we do in St Ives?”
-“Here are the tickets, we´re leaving in one hour and forty minutes.”
-“ Oh, no,You´re joking!” I saw that shiny, little star in his eyes.
The journey was unexpectedly smooth and I had three boxes to tick on my list- art, sea and moaning.
Yep, moaning. I always save my moaning to get spoilt in the most ridiculous manner I can.
– “You will not moan there will you? “
– “Not if you let me smoke as much as I like”.
The closer we got to the hotel, the more enchanted we felt, for if there was a place with a simpler richness of character, this would be the areas of Cornwall.
The first day was silly, spent walking up and down like a pair of knotted shadows, the skilled rythm of the port not affected by our hungry curiosity . We watched, and before the art galleries closed, we had seen those paintings.
-”Gosh, you look like that pirate!”
– “Thanks!, he also looks like me”.
There is a travel style we enjoy, and it is the one opposed to the “surveyor tourist” as I like to call them, who carries a list of the most important sights to visit, at a particular date and time, and the more he sees, the better.
We just like to float there, let our shoes take us around, hear the history from the locals, notice those particular little things…. go visit the places the locals recommend, and mostly, get to know the people.
That day I was left thrilled by an old novelty of place, so I had forgotten to do my planned and loved moaning. Took me almost an hour to fall asleep as the beauty of St Ives played in my imagery, making me want it all.
Very lucky to rise under a beautiful sunshine and a treasoning wind, I suggested we had a sip of Cornish Lust Cream for breakfast. It sprung to my mind to hire some bikes, why not. Even if my smoking and quick sandwiches habit was not going to be my friend. Minutes after I googled a bike hire service, I heard my name.
The bikes were there! Peter from Lands End Cycle Hire had delivered them! And we were the halfway though a cigarette. At first I started to feel uneasy thinking of the awful cramps I would get on the next day, but Peter´s jolly mood made me stick to the no-plan, which was to just get on the bikes and go here and there and nowhere.
Pete pulled out a large. colourful map and marked a cross over our exact location. Then he drew a route to follow with a skillful trace, and told us where we could go, including St Michael´s Mount.
– “Isn´t all that too far?”
– “No it isn´t”, he said, confidently. I was slightly scared when I saw the line on paper, but all this sounded so good.
Handing us the bikes as if he was trusting his best racing horses to take us on our journey, I watched my partner ride off in circles like a kid.
– “Where´s the map?”
– “I´ve got it!”
– “No, give it to me!”
Every time I remember that day I´ve got to stop doing what I´m doing and enjoy the resurfacing emotions for three minutes.
I felt very proud of not going back on my steps but taking up the little adventure, and we could´t wait to go. We only took essentials and the bike locks. No, no raincoats.
“If it´s longer tan I think then I can start my moaning.”
Instead of moaning, all that came up was a futuristic renaissance of the body as my legs pumped up the oxygen, and we felt so free and in control of space, wanting to go further and further.
All that running after buses, errands and the ever broken lift had paid- I wasn´t so unfit! I was recalling how as a kid I liked to BMX, while I tried to not miss the enticing lansdcapes and architecture that allowed us to inhale history, life and future.
We didn´t get lost. We saw so much, placed our feet on the Giant´s Heart of St Michael´s Mount, the day was too long and at the same time too short… for we could´t get enough. It was all too entertaining to leave space for cramps.
At one point a young lady called us and handed us the notes I had dropped while taking off my jumper. This was sooo nice.
The sky was wide, the breaks so delightful.
– “You haven´t started moaning yet!”
– ” Wait and see. It´s getting dark, we need to get back to the hotel.”
– “I think it looks like it´s about to rain.”
– “How are we going to make it back tos St Ives?”
A passer-by Heard us and said the last train was leaving in sixteen minutes, and we could take the bikes too. I thought it was a joke, but it was correct. My ignorance!
My partner looked at me and said
– “I didn´t know you were so fit”.
– “you mean the bike is fit.”
– “Very funny.”
– “Sure I am, because you always send me to the most remote shop to get hot chilis for the pasta sauce before it´s about to burn!”
– “I guess so… do you have that Crust cream on you?”
– “You mean the Lust Cream?”
– “Yeah. Whatever.”
– “No, I left it on the night table…. When do we go back?”
– “You want to go back?”
– “Well, if we got enough money to stretch the holidays…. I´d like to stay one week more.”
– “OK. We´ll stay until we got two pounds fifty left in our pockets.”
He opened a secret zip inside his jacket and showed me a few notes.
– “Hey, you cheeky! I asked. What´s that”?
– “I got a refund and I saved it for a sunny day.”
– “Brilliaaaant! We´re there! Quick, where´s the bikes wagon? “
– “No idea….”
– “What we gonna do?”
– “The bikes wagon is the last carriage!”, somebody informed.
– “Thank you, Sir! “My man stared at him in funny way and whispered…
– “This guy really looks like that pirate on the painting we saw yesterday.”
I lied all the time about not having any night cramps, even if he kept on asking, because I wanted to cycle my breathe away- on every single holiday, for the rest of time….
After six days whe realised we had only three gorgeous pounds left. We had fed the seals, been fishing and many more things. It was time to return the bikes.
Peter must have read our relief, because he smiled as if he could grasp the joy of our cycling in Cornwall. He must have been very used to that.
– “Before we go, can we get a souvenir mug? Do you think we got enough coins? “I enquired.
-”Lets try. The mug broke a Little on the way back. What is really strange is that the day we got our brand new bikes and got back home, the mug strangely appeared undamaged.
A few weeks later I noticed my man staring at some birds.
– “You like their looks? The shorter one reminds me of the pirate on the boat on the painting….”
– ” It’s even better than that! I think she might be the same person who picked up our quids when you dropped them in Cornwall”…
– You wish!
* * *
Lately I found a new excuse to moan- and this is if someone asks to borrow my bike!.
Thanks for sharing!
Benefits of cycling include
– Better navigation skills
– Improves spacial awareness and confidence
– Boosts your inmune system
– Brain health
– Social life
….. and no need to mention- saves a good deal of time and money!