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Cruising To Cornwall In A Camper

Skippy the Dub

It’s been said that you should never meet your heroes. A few years ago, during a trip to Cornwall I found out exactly why.
This is Skippy, a classic 1972 Volkswagen Campervan. My wife Sarah and I rented him with huge excitement since we’ve often entertained the thought of buying one.

Skippy belongs to Chase the Sun, a camper hire company in Preston, Lancashire. We picked him up and drove the 350 miles to Cornwall via an overnight stop in Wales. Now far be it from me to deter anyone from renting a classic camper, after all, it is every fair-weather hippy’s dream to one day throw off the shackles of modern life and adopt the life of the wonderer. However, the truth is that I’ve been thoroughly spoiled by the conveniences of modern life and, in particular, technological advances such as power steering, air conditioning and a driver’s seat that one can position to suit one’s bulky frame. I do also now appreciate the comfort of hotels that much more. Skippy is the worst vehicle I’ve ever driven and one of the worst places I’ve ever slept. Nevertheless, we did enjoy seeing as much of Cornwall as we could fit into a week.

This small collection represents a few favourites among the pictures I took during our trip, which included visits to Bude, Porth, Newquay and the Eden Project.

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Porth Sunset

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Port Sunset and Vagrant

A gift for anyone with a camera, this was one of the most perfect sunsets I’ve ever seen. It lasted for over an hour, evolving through a spectrum of pale pinks through to deep purples.  We took more than a hundred shots, up to our ankles in water getting drunk on Rosé. I must take this opportunity to show appreciation for Sarah’s contribution here, as she was not only the subject of the shot, but is also camera assistant, carrying the camera kit while I wondered about with a camera in one hand and the wine bottle in the other.

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The Eden Project

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The Core at The Eden Project

The trip felt like a proper adventure. We continually got lost thanks to an over-confident Sat Nav (which, for instance, didn’t seem to think a field of potatoes would prove an obstacle to a 35 year old bed on wheels) which led us to places we’d never otherwise have found. My favourite memories are of damp, mossy villages hidden beneath the canopies of oak trees that sold local cheese and beer. Or the tiny fishing ports that cling to the insides of steep, rocky prominences and where you feel it has always rained, where the most dominant structure is the local chapel, a monument to those lost to the deadly cruelty of the grey, heaving sea which grabs and snatches at the rocks and small piers that embrace trembling fishing boats.

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