Week 3: Sunday (Oh, Cornwall)

I’m around halfway into my five-week Humble Tour, which is probably about time I hit a snag. I’m not talking about the usual transport/delay/getting lost/what the heck is going in London Paddington snags, which are pretty much inevitable while travelling, but the much more unpleasant and difficult (for me, at least) snags of bad health and feeling sick. This is mostly because I am a super duper weakling who’s suffered from both WoW injuries and PhDitis—and I’d also like to go back to the start of the game and keep rolling until I max out in Constitution.

Another (more plausible) explanation for the general ugh-ness this morning might’ve been my massive trek yesterday, but that would be logical and boring. Instead, I’m going to blame the foul weather, because rain, wind, and 15 degrees Celsius does not a summer make.

For the entire morning and a good chunk of the early afternoon, I just stayed in the hotel, phoned my parents in Sydney (hi mum, I’m glad you’re enjoying these posts!), washed my underthings, caught up on some TV on iPlayer (finally finished BBC’s Shakespearean Upstart Crow—hilarious stuff!), nibbled on my various snacks, played Sailormoon Drops, and so on. Eventually, I decided to brave the weather and head to St. Ives (£2.65 return)—except I can’t read properly and had a platform/train misunderstanding, and ended up in St. Ives an hour later than expected.

A sign from a legal firm in Pnezance. The Poldark reference was both epic and slightly concerning.

A sign from a legal firm in Pnezance. The Poldark reference was both epic and slightly concerning.

I was quite surprised that, despite the horrible weather, the water in St. Ives was still pretty!

I was quite surprised that, despite the horrible weather, the water was still pretty!

Trying to make the scene more summery.

Trying to make the scene more summery.

By this time, I was a little tired, but it was nothing major. I walked around the town a little, and tried to imagine how lovely it would be without having to hold an umbrella and brace against the rain. I stopped for a small traditional Cornish pasty (£1.50), because I hadn’t managed to eat one yet.

The loltastic result of trying to photograph my pasty with my phone while holding an umbrella that's being blown away.

The loltastic result of trying to photograph my pasty with my phone while holding an umbrella that’s being blown away.

I started to feel a little weird by then, but dismissed it once more as general fatigue. I’d really wanted to swing by The Tearoom, which seemed like a nice place for an early dinner and to read my book. I got a mango Bellini (£6) and a Cornish crab and saffron tart with citrus mayonnaise (£10).

Watching from The Tearoom's window while a man wrestles with a kite.

Watching from The Tearoom’s window while a man wrestles with a kite.

The crab tart was nice, but the citrus mayo was the best bit for me.

The crab tart was nice, but the citrus mayo was the best bit for me.

Not long after I’d started on my tart, I started to feel even more weird. About halfway through, I knew something was definitely wrong—I was light-headed, nauseated, and breaking into a cold sweat. I somehow managed to pay, fumble to the facilities, and then returned to my table for some water and rest.

I wanted to get back to Penzance ASAP, and braved the walk to St Ives station. When I sat down in the train, the fatigue returned once more. I let it take me, and had a strange, deep sleep during the 10 minutes or so of the ride. When we reached St Erth (where I needed to change for Penzance), I was feeling a lot better, though still not quite right.

The walk from Penzance station, however, rejuvenated me, and I knew I was on the mend from the mysterious weirdness when my appetite returned. I really wanted to try some homemade ice-cream from The Navy Inn, which had been recommended to me by Grace and Steve, and since it was close to my hotel, I went there. The staff were incredibly understanding and helpful, and since I wanted something to help fill my stomach, I became the difficult diner by ordering off the menu and getting homemade bread (£2) and triple-cooked chips (£3).

Comfort food.

Comfort food.

I think that combination saved me. The homemade bread was very much like the hearty peasant bread that’s my go-to recipe, while the accompanying butter was so glorious I was in butter heaven.

Yes, I photographed my butter, because it was just that amazing.

Yes, I photographed my butter, because it was just that amazing.

The chips were also good, but alas, they still don’t compare to those Haworth chips. One of these days, I need to compare Haworth chips to Heston Blumenthal’s chips—right now, I’m pretty sure the former takes the crown.

I was definitely a lot better by the end of my unconvential “dinner” (a couple next to me kept giving me strange looks), which meant only one thing: ice-cream (£2 a scoop—I had two)!

Ginger on top, and chocolate and nuts on bottom. Both were divine.

Ginger on top, and chocolate and nuts on bottom. Both were divine.

And oh my goodness it was so worth it.

After chatting a bit more to the staff, I learnt the Navy Inn was first established in 1890 (the year Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty premiered—those were the days!), and has kept the name since. All their dishes are locally sourced, most of them homemade, and they serve some pretty fresh seafood. A bit of banter with the staff and some of the patrons (B-52 cocktails and Shakespearean puns were involved) later, and apart from my slightly tender stomach, I was all but cured. Evidently, The Navy Inn is a panacea for mysterious illnesses (possible mild food poisoning?), and I absolutely definitely fantabulously recommend it to any and all swinging by Penzance. In fact, I’ll probably go there tomorrow for my last Cornish dinner before I catch my sleeper train back to London.

My attempt to capture the windy, rainy, and misty Penzance Promenade sight resulted in many umbrella battles and some near phone catastrophes.

My attempt to capture the windy, rainy, and misty Penzance Promenade sight resulted in many umbrella battles and some near phone catastrophes.

Accommodation: £60
Food & drink: £26.50
Transport: £2.65
Total: £89.15
Walked: 10,086 steps; 6.63km

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