The Bodmin Moor…Exciting place to visit…

The Daphne du Maurier room is on display at the Smugglers Museum at the Jamaica Inn & Restaurant site.

Fascinating Fact of the Day Bodmin Moor, Cornwall:
Bodmin Moor, one of Cornwall’s designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is a remote, bleak heather-covered upland granite moorland still grazed by moorland ponies and bisected by the main A30 road.”

An under-glass display of Daphne du Maurier’s many novels. From this site: “Dame Daphne du Maurier, Lady Browning, DBE was an English author and playwright. Although she is classed as a romantic novelist, her stories have been described as “moody and resonant” with overtones of the paranormal.”
As it turned out, we discovered that Bodmin Moor was not an area that could be thoroughly appreciated in a one-day drive. Travelers can easily plan four of five days of jaw-dropping experiences in this majestic area in Cornwall.
The Farm Shop at Jamaica Inn and Restaurant.
Yes, it requires a fair amount of planning, which we unfortunately did not do, which we later regretted. Also, the satellite signal was poor and unavailable for a better portion of today’s drive. It’s easy to get lost with all the narrow roads with hedgerows impeding the view in many areas.
Locally grown fruits and vegetables.
It definitely would be advisable to take a paper map and carefully outline the areas you’d like to explore. We failed to do this, reliant upon a Maps signal which no doubt prevented us from the whole experience.  
Locally raised grass-fed meats.

You know how frustrating it is to get lost when using Maps with the voice continually saving, “Signal lost,” or in a more frustrating tone, “Make a legal u-turn,” when a u-turn isn’t necessary. We’d saved the directions on my phone, but with so many unmarked narrow roads, it was easy to miss a turn.

A wide array of English wines, liqueurs, and liquors.

Tom, the sound driver, stayed calm and drove cautiously around the endless array of single-lane roads and quickly adapted to direction changes. I appreciated his calm when I was repeatedly trying to get a signal to keep him on the right track. We both persevered.

Antique English porcelain figurines.

As mentioned above, with poor planning, we missed a lot and ended up seeing very little as compared to what we could have seen in one afternoon. At the same time, we had lunch at the popular Jamaica Inn Restaurant, including museums and shops. Located in Bolventor, Launceston, we did our best to decide what appealed to us the most while enjoying the scenic drive. We opted for Tamar Otter & Wildlife Centre located in North Petherwin, Launceston, Cornwall.

These pipes were used in England for smoking cocaine and other drugs in the 1920s and 1930s.
For us, this wasn’t a good decision. The center was beautiful and well designed with various indigenous and non-indigenous wildlife, but essentially, it was a zoo with an open wildlife area contained therein.  This is an excellent place to start for children and those who’ve had little exposure to nature.
Women and men’s historical pieces are displayed in the glass cabinet.

After over two years in Africa, we love what wildlife is all about and…their freedom in the savannah, and we have a hard time enjoying zoos where animals are confined. It breaks our hearts to see them in pens and cages, unable to live the life they are meant to live.

Representation of certain characters from the 1700s.

There is an open and wild area where many birds, deer, and oddly, wallaby’s life. We agree that such a facility benefits those who may never have an opportunity to see animals in the wild, which is probably the majority of the population in many countries.

Articles of shoes and clothing from the 1700 and 1800s.
We decided to make the best of it, wandering through the lush surroundings and stopping to appreciate every living being along the way while we took many photos. The park wasn’t crowded, but we did see several other visitors along the way.
The front garden of the Jamaica Restaurant and Inn where visitors languished over beer and other beverages.

As mentioned above, before we visited the wildlife center, we stopped for lunch at the Jamaica Inn Restaurant, we took advantage of the many sites to see right on the property, such as the Smuggler’s Museum, the Farm Shop. The well-known Daphne du Maurier room was which packed with fascinating period pieces reminding me of her many popular books, some of which I’d read years ago.

Tom wasn’t comfortable in this position for long.  From this site: “The pillory is a device made of a wooden or metal framework erected on a post, with holes for securing the head and hands, formerly used for punishment by public humiliation and often further physical abuse.”
We took many photos, more than we can share here in one post. Since we’re leaving here today to head to our following location, we’ll be posting the favorite of our photos over the next few days while we get settled in our new site.
Traditional red phone booths found in the UK. There are currently 5,023 red phone boxes, or kiosks as they’re officially known, up for grabs across the UK, including 970 in the South West, 741 in Scotland, 555 in London, and 419 in Wales.
A few days later, we’ll begin posting stories and photos of the new location In Devon, Cornwall, including the property, the grounds, and much more. Please check back for more. We love the beauty of Cornwall and can’t wait to see more.
May your day be rich with new experiences!
Photo from one year ago today, September 20, 2018:
A yellow-billed heron was sitting atop the back of a hippo at Sunset Dam in Kruger National Park. For more photos, please click here.

So you want National Healthcare???…Humm…Prescription hell..

Poldark Locations
A map illustrating the various locations in Cornwall where the TV series Poldark is filmed.

Fascinating Fact of the Day Bodmin Moor, Cornwall:
The Moor contains about 500 farm holdings with around 10,000 beef cows, 55,000 breeding ewes and 1,000 horses and ponies. Most of the moor is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and has been officially designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), as part of Cornwall AONB.”

Soon, once the laundry is done and we’re done here, we’re heading to Bodmin Moor to check out the scenery, which we’ve heard about over and over again. Also, we’ve been aware that some of the scenes from the British TV series Poldark (another favorite of ours) were filmed in the Bodmin Moors. Tomorrow, our final day in St. Teath, Bodmin, we’ll post photos from the moor.

We’d hoped to have gone to Bodmin Moor yesterday, but with other immediate tasks on hand, as you’ll see below, we postponed it until today. Fortunately, it’s sunny again today, which motivates us to continue with our plans.

In the interim, we have an important story to share, especially for those readers who have desired a national healthcare service in their country. It may not be all that it’s “cracked up” to be, after all, based on comments we’ve heard over the years from our British friends and others.
A little love among the pygmy goats.
 Many have the perception that such a national service is “free.” That’s hardly the case.  The citizens pay for the cost via taxes imposed on many products, services, and daily living expenses.  Tourists pay VAT taxes and taxes on food, dining out, tours, housing, and more.
“The National Health Service is the publicly funded national healthcare system for England and one of the four National Health Services for each constituent country of the United Kingdom. It is the largest single-payer healthcare system in the world.”
Now, we have a personal example of sharing about the National Healthcare Service in England. Recently, I noticed that one of the two medications I take for hypertension is running low. I thought I had plenty more in our luggage, but alas, I searched through everything and couldn’t find it.
The goats get along well with the chickens that wander into their paddock.
I wouldn’t doubt that I made an error and missed refilling the one during the worst of my recovery when I wasn’t thinking as clearly as I am now. I surprised myself that I didn’t screw up more during that period!  

In looking back at prior posts, I realized I started up again precisely two weeks after the cardiac bypass surgery. Here’s the link to that day. And, I didn’t miss a beat (no pun intended) when I returned to the hospital for the two-leg surgeries a few days apart. Here’s the link to the story I wrote when I returned to the hospital for five days for the leg surgeries.

As a result, I’m not beating myself up for missing the refilling of the one prescription. I just needed to figure out how to get it filled at a local pharmacy without going through a big hassle. I was overly optimistic.
Goat love standing on the highest structure wherever they may be.
First, we tried several pharmacies in several small villages. Pharmacists can sell a one or two-month dose of any non-narcotic medication to a customer on an emergency basis. The drug I needed was non-narcotic.  
I had enough medication to last 14 days, so I assumed I had plenty of time to figure this out.  The first pharmacist in the town of Camelford agreed to refill it on an emergency basis if I could provide proof that the medication was prescribed for me.Since I had enough to last two weeks, I returned with “the proof” a week later, and he flat out refused to refill the medication! He said if it were an emergency, I wouldn’t have waited a week to bring him the proof. He stated I needed to see a doctor for a new prescription. Oh, good grief. I must admit I stormed out the door in a huff, totally unlike me to do.
This cutie posed for a photo.
I didn’t want to see a doctor. We’d heard how hard it was to get an appointment with a GP and, I didn’t want to have to go through everything with a doctor I’d never see again. We tried a few more pharmacies to no avail, even with the proof in hand.

From there, we tried a few more pharmacies again without any luck. Then, the fun began! We resigned ourselves to the reality that a doctor’s appointment was necessary.

There are several doctors in the various small towns around us. I called every one of these and was told they had no openings, now or shortly.  There was nothing they could do.  

My only solution would be to go to the hospital, which would take hours and cost quite a bit for a US $20 prescription.  In doing so, they may have required me to go through several unnecessary tests to be given the prescription.
The next day I asked property owner Lorraine what she’d suggest I do. She proceeded to tell me about dialing 111, not 999 (an emergency number comparable to 911 in the US). She felt by calling this “helpline,” they’d figure out a solution.
Immediately, I called 111, and after a barrage of questions, they gave me two numbers to reach the following day at 8:30 am and explained I had registered my request with 111 and I’d be given priority consideration in getting a 5-minute doctor appointment.

At 8:30 yesterday morning, I called the numbers I was given and still was given the run around that no appointment was available. I persisted, explaining I only needed a five-minute appointment, and I didn’t want to re-contact 111 for further instructions.  

As it turns out, patients are required to be given priority treatment when they’ve gone through 111. Finally, one of two receptionists relented and booked me in for a 3:50 pm appointment yesterday, requiring us to arrive at 3:30 to complete the paperwork. No problem.  

We were there 30 minutes earlier than required, and after the five-minute appointment with an elderly doctor, we walked out the door with the prescription in hand.

We wondered what would have transpired if I hadn’t been so persistent. We’ve heard stories of citizens dying from their inability in getting urgent doctor appointments as explained in this article as shown below:

“Patients were dying on NHS waiting lists ‘surges by 10,000.’

The number of patients dying while waiting for treatment has increased by over 10,000, according to reports.

A freedom of information request to NHS Trusts, carried out by the Express, revealed that the number of patients dying while on a waiting list rose from 18,876 in 2012/13 to 29,553 in 2017/18.

The information request also saw that there was an increase of more than 50% across dozens of NHS Trusts. But this number could be higher, as only half (67 of 135) of the NHS Trusts responded, the paper reported.

One NHS trust in the South-west saw that the number of people who died on a waiting list rose by 250% – from 652 in 2012/13 to 2,289 in 2017/18.

At the same time, a North-west NHS Trust reported that its figure had doubled from 147 to 305, while one in the East of England found it had increased from 392 to 577.  This comes as the latest figures from NHS England saw that only 87.8% of patients are seen within 18 weeks, below the 92% target.

And as of June this year, there were 4.11m people on waiting lists, 280,000 more than in June last year, representing a 60% increase since June 2010.

Having seen this situation first hand and having heard about it from many UK residents, we are convinced this type of system is seriously flawed both in the UK, Canada, and many other countries.  

No, we weren’t charged for the doctor’s appointment, which we happily offered to pay but were refused. Why are taxpayers paying for tourist’s medical needs?  Are tourists coming here and staying a few months to jump on the “free service?”

When we get the prescription filled in the next few days, we will be charged but were told the price will be five times more than we’ve paid in the past. Maybe, in essence, we’re paying after all with the outrageous cost of the prescriptions themselves.

Of course, we’re no experts on healthcare, and the US system is also seriously flawed as it is in many countries throughout the world. We continue to live with the reality that our international insurance failed us in South Africa, and we had to pay the enormous bill out of pocket.

We learn as we go.  

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with our final post from the Tredarupp Holiday Cottages and begin making our way toward Witheridge, a two-hour drive.

May today be a learning day for you, with a good outcome. Be well.
Photo from one year ago today, September 19, 2018:
Based on our position in the line-up of vehicles, our photo-taking advantage was limited. For more photos, please click here.

Contemplation…Off and about today…The last of the Port Isaac photos…

A gorgeous countryside view as we drove toward Port Isaac from St. Teath (pronounced “breath”).

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Port Isaac:
“Port Isaac’s pier was constructed during the reign of Henry VIII. A 1937 history said, “…Tudor pier and breakwater have now yielded to a strong new sea-wall balanced by the arm on the opposite side of the cove, and we do not doubt that the fishermen sleep more soundly in their beds on stormy nights.” The village center dated from the 18th and 19th centuries when its prosperity was tied to local coastal freight and fishing. The port handled cargoes of coal, wood, stone, ores, limestone, salt, pottery, and heavy goods, which were conveyed along its narrow streets. Small coastal sailing vessels were built below Roscarrock Hill.

Often, we strive to share the details of our daily lives, however uneventful and straightforward or exciting and heart-pounding. In either case, we share our dreams and hopes for future travel.

Over the past several months, with so much up in the air, the future unknown, our dreams were on hold while we tentatively booked only a few plans for the future. We’d lost so much when we had to cancel many plans losing tens of thousands of dollars in deposits we’d paid and flights we’d booked, most of which was non-refundable.

The tour I longed for the most, the comprehensive safari in Kenya for exquisite luxury tented camps and hotels including Little Governor’s Camp, Giraffe Manor, and the Maasai Mara (where we’d been on safari in 2013), had to be canceled. We were scheduled to leave South Africa on February 15th (when our visas ended), three days after I had the bypass surgery.  We weren’t able to go until three months later when I was cleared to fly.

Port Isaac’s ocean views are stunning.

And then, three months later, while attempting to leave the country, accompanied by copies of medical documents and doctor’s letters, we were determined to have immigration accept our reasons for the “overstay.”

Alas, they did not do so, and we were labeled in their system as “undesirables” and told we couldn’t return to the country for five years. However, we had the right to request a waiver based on the circumstances by filing copious documents with their “overstay” department at immigration.  

We filed the documents well within the required seven-day period and have inquired numerous times to no avail. It appears our only recourse is to hire a South African immigration lawyer, which we are considering.

The Cornwall area is known for its craggy cliffs.

We’d be less concerned about getting back into South Africa sooner than the five-year ban. Still, we have a cruise booked from Lisbon, Portugal to Capetown, South Africa, embarking on November 10, 2020, a cruise we’ve been excited to experience and for which we could lose the deposit.

This particular cruise with Azamara cruise line has an itinerary we’ll most likely never be able to experience in the future, an itinerary that may eventually be discontinued.  

It sails along the western coast of Africa with ports of call to include: Casablanca, Morocco; Agadir, Morocco; Canary Islands; Banjul, Gambia; Abidjan; Ivory Coast; Takoradi, Ghana; Luanda, Angola; Walvis Bay, Namibia; Luderitz, Namibia, and then to Capetown where we plan to stay for three days.

Access to the ocean for swimming and launching small boats.

Of the total 18 months we’ve spent in South Africa, we’d never visited Capetown when we didn’t want to leave Marloth Park any more than we’d have to for an “immigration stamp” allowing us to stay 90 more days.  

Twice during this last 15-month stay in Marloth Park, we flew to Zambia and then visited Botswana. Zimbabwe returned to the airport known as Nelspruit/Mpumalanga/Kruger to have our visas stamped once again. 

The second time we made this trip, we were told we wouldn’t be allowed another extension unless we applied with Home Affairs immigration department. As mentioned earlier, we were granted an extension until February 15, 2019,  three days after the dreadful surgery resulting in numerous complications. 
A typical narrow road in Port Isaac.

However, our comprehensive May 2019 request for a waiver for the five-year ban and our status as “undesirables” has been ignored. We’ve decided if we don’t receive a result by this November, we’ll contact an immigration attorney in South Africa.

Ah, those who think that a life of world travel is easy are kidding themselves. Sure, a one or two-year adventure may be relatively uneventful, other than the joys of the travel experiences.  

But, now, almost seven years later, we accept the harsh reality that life is complicated and may deviate from the desired path over which we choose, regardless of all of our best intentions.
A typical narrow road in Port Isaac.
Oddly, even to us, we still feel passionate and hopeful for the future of our ongoing world travels. We also realize that we will have to stop traveling at some point in the future, health and age being the relevant factors.

In the interim, we may have had to refocus our activities to accommodate my “new normal,” but our hearts and spirits stay strong and motivated to continue.

Please continue with us…

Photo from one year ago today, September 13, 2018:

This could be two females with this male lion or a female and a young male whose mane has yet to develop. There’s a male behind the male in front.  For more photos, please click here.

More on Port Isaac…Known as Portwenn in the Doc Martin TV series…Healing…

St. Peter church in Port Isaac. (Too bad the power lines obstruct the view. I tried removing them but doing so hindered the photo).

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Port Isaac:
“The small, vibrant fishing village of Port Isaac is one of Cornwall’s most well-known and popular holiday destinations. The picturesque fishing village lies on a stunning stretch of coastline, midway between Polzeath (and the Rumps headland to the west) and the ever-popular village of Tintagel. Much of the coastline and surrounding countryside of Port Isaac is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Heritage Coastline. Port Isaac was a busy coastal port from the Middle Ages to the mid 19th. Century when it was an active harbor where cargoes like stone, coal, timber, and pottery were loaded and unloaded.”

Again, it’s raining, which is expected to continue throughout the day and perhaps again tomorrow. As much as we’d like to get out sightseeing, it’s relatively fruitless on these rainy days and these narrow winding roads.  

It’s impossible to stop on the side of the road for photos when there aren’t any shoulders on the streets or in the small towns we encounter along the way. Neither of us can conceive of hiding under raincoats with the camera in a plastic bag to get what might be a poor photo anyway. We wait patiently for sunny days.

Expansive views of the English countryside near Port Isaac.
In the interim, we continue to busy ourselves on the farm, taking care of household tasks, laundry, cooking, and continuing research for the future. In a mere 42 days, we’ll be boarding a cruise in Southampton, England, with an itinerary that takes us to a few new (to us) ports of call. We always enjoy a transatlantic cruise.

Each day, I continue to improve in baby steps after stopping those three awful drugs. It’s only been 17 days since I stopped the drug, Bisoprolol, that caused me the most side effects, including horrible pain in my arms and legs and intermittent breathing issues, which may continue for months after stopping two of the three drugs.  
Blue sky, blue sea, and craggy cliffs.
Yesterday was the first day I had no breathing issues whatsoever.  But this morning, I noticed it had returned. There’s not much I can do to stop it. Any activity doesn’t seem to make it worse, such as walking and stairs.  
As a result, the breathing issue is not exercise-induced, which gives me peace of mind that it’s not a heart-related issue. In reading the literature that accompanied these drugs, breathing problems are typical for a while (as much as one year) following the weaning off Amiodarone and Bisoprolol.    
Port Isaac welcomes visitors.  But, we doubt the residents are happy about the influx of tourists since Doc Martin began in 2004, other than those benefiting from tourist purchases.
I’d go to a doctor if I had any other symptoms, but otherwise, I feel pretty good, seven months today since the surgery. Once we get to the US and are in Arizona, I most likely go to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale to be checked.
A typical road in Port Isaac which we could access by car.

Today, I’m busy chopping and dicing to make low-carb taco salad.  We have delicious leftover pot roast which I’ll shred with seasonings for Tom’s salad, and I’ve made a tuna salad which I’ll stuff into both halves of a small avocado for my dinner, with a side salad including onions, celery, grape tomatoes, sliced green olives, and lettuce.

Tomorrow, we have an exciting afternoon activity planned (exciting to us, anyway) which we’ll share after the experience with photos.

The Old School Hotel and Restaurant in Port Isaac, located in the center of town.

Have a lovely evening wherever you may be! We thank every one of you for following our world travel story, almost seven years in the making.

Photo from one year ago today, September 12, 2018:

Lounging poolside.  For more photos, please click here.

Port Isaac, known as Portwenn, location for filming “Doc Martin” TV series…What a site to see!

As we approached Port Isaac, the filming site for the TV series, Doc Martin, the scenery took our breath away.

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Port Isaac, Cornwall*:

From this site: “Port Isaac is a small fishing village on the Atlantic coast of north Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The nearest towns are Wadebridge and Camelford, both ten miles away. Port Gaverne, commonly mistaken to be part of Port Isaac, is a nearby hamlet with its history.”
We began watching the first 62 episodes of the popular British TV Series, Doc Martin, over eight seasons. Based on popular demand, the series was renewed for season 9, which begins on TV here in the UK on September 25th.

We’ll be able to watch the first four episodes while we’re here in England on the TV and will stream the remaining four episodes after we get settled into our following location.

Although beaches and ocean access are abundant in Cornwall, the constant cool weather may prevent locals and tourists from visiting the beaches.
Oddly, Doc Martin reminds me of the US TV series Seinfeld, in that it was referred to as the “show about nothing.” Doc Martin has this same characteristic.  

It’s somewhat of a mindless show requiring little contemplation, but the subtlety so prevalent with the British, along with their typical sense of humor, often “tongue in cheek,” makes this show a gem.

We fell in love with all the quirky characters, including Doc Martin, masterfully played by well-known British actor Martin Clunes who has had quite an illustrious career. For more on this series, please click here.

Not only are the ocean views outstanding, but the rolling patchwork countryside also has much to offer.
The series is masterfully described as follows:
“Is there a dyspeptic doctor in the house? Successful surgeon Dr. Martin Ellingham abruptly leaves his London practice to become a general practitioner in the sleepy fishing village of Portwenn, where he spent the holidays during his youth.
But his luxury car and lavish wardrobe immediately rub the locals the wrong way, and once they get a load of his abrasive attitude and lack of bedside manner, he quickly alienates most of the townsfolk.”

During our world travels in 2012, we found we could relax and get out of our heads if we watched a few favorite shows when we didn’t have evening plans either on my laptop or on a flat-screen TV (if available) using our HDMI cord.

With the inability to access some US TV series for streaming, we found we could more readily download many popular British shows.  One of the British shows that set us on this path (along with “Downton Abbey”) was “Luther,” a gripping police drama starring Idris Alba, a fantastic actor. From there, we were hooked.

There are numerous shops, restaurants, and tourist-related businesses lining the streets of Port Isaac.
At least half of the shows we watched over the past seven years have been British-made, with many of our friends from the UK recommending a variety of shows which we ultimately enjoyed.

One of the reasons we chose to stay in St. Teath, Cornwall, was its proximity to the location where Doc Martin was filmed. With the massive number of tourists we knew would be in Port Isaac, we weren’t interested in staying in a holiday home in the sleepy town.

Yesterday, we witnessed an unbelievable tourist infusion which must be difficult for the residents until it slows down during the colder winter months. We ran into a few difficulties once we arrived after a 25-minute drive from our holiday home.

A pair of seagulls resting atop a parked car.
One was the fact there were virtually no available parking spaces.  If we had waited at the few parking lots close to the town, we might have been able to get a spot eventually.  

But the more significant issue was “me.” Should we have been able to find a parking place in one of the lots (nothing available in the center of town), I would not have been able to make the long walk up and down the steep hills required to get into the town.

After all, it’s only been a few weeks since I could walk without excruciating pain.  It will take time for me to build the strength and muscle tone to tackle such a trek.  

From this site:  Looking at Port Isaac first, it is an actual commercial fishing harbor from yesteryear, when it was the center of attention for the Pilchard industry. In the heyday of Blue shark fishing from the south coast, it was nothing for sharking enthusiasts to drive to the north shore to get some tubs of Pilchard for use as rubby dubby, as the oil exuded by this small fish is second to none when attracting predators. The pier at the end was built during the reign of Henry the Eighth, and while the town dates back 700 years, it was during the 18th and 19th centuries that the town’s prosperity was assured with the handling of ocean-bound cargo like salt, coal, wood and of course all manner of sea fish, crabs, and lobsters. In 1869, the Port Isaac lifeboat was established with a lifeboat called “Sarah and Richard” that had to be dragged through the narrow streets for launching. In the 1960s, the RNLI put in the inshore lifeboat, and since 1967 it has the new” D” coastal model. Today, the picturesque narrow streets and alleys are home to cake shops, souvenirs, and eateries, with general tourism, boosted to celebrity status with programs such as “Poldark,” Saving Grace,” and “Doc Martin.” Out in Port Isaac Bay, there are reputed to have been over 1000 wrecks, a testament to the winter and sometimes summer storms that rumble in off the Atlantic. Many of these would have been sailing ships at the mercy of the wind, whereas today, the age of motor power sees far fewer mishaps.
I am working on it daily with all the hills we encounter when we’re out and the walking around the house and ground, along with the 15 to 20 flights of steps I do each day, intentionally going up and downstairs for added exercise.  

When we couldn’t find a parking spot and realized that most of the buildings shown in the Doc Martin series were only accessible on foot, we resigned ourselves to the reality that the only photos we’d be able to take were those we could manage from the car.

On a few occasions, Tom was able to find a place to pull over for a minute or two while I got out of the car to take photos of the ocean and massive cliffs in the area.
This is one of our favorite ocean views in Port Isaac.
After driving around for an hour or more, we finally headed out of Port Isaac on the road to explore the countryside a little further. It was a pleasant drive.
Although we were disappointed not to have captured some of the photos we’d intended, we had a good time exploring, as usual, especially on a sunny day. More Port Isaac photos will follow in the next few days.

Today, it’s raining again, and we’ll stay put while researching future travels. Right now, we feel we’d like to wait until we get to the US in 58 days, where we’ll be staying for two months until we head to India.

Our heartfelt prayers and memories for those in the US who lost loved ones during the 9/11 attack 18 years ago as of today.

Photo from one year ago today, September 11, 2018:
Many species can share a space in harmony. For more photos, please click here.

Will today be a good day for sightseeing?…The consumption of animal products…

The first animal we encountered in the paddock was pigs. As our readers know, I love pigs.  However, as cute as they are, they can’t match the appeal of a handsome warthog.

Fascinating Fact of the Day About St. Teath, Cornwall*:

From this site: “The village has an interesting history. St Tetha, (from whom this village acquired its name) came over from Wales, with her sisters, to this area of Cornwall to bring Christianity to those living here. Since then, the village has seen much change with the rise and fall of both mining and the railway. There is plenty of evidence of both around the area.  The oldest part of the village surrounds the village square – the focal point of the annual summer carnival, Remembrance day, Christmas lights, and New Year Celebrations.”

So far this morning, the sun is shining, but we’re noticing dark clouds rolling in. If it doesn’t rain, we’ll be on the road to go sightseeing in a few hours. Taking photos on rainy days has become a source of frustration for me, and I am determined to avoid adding rainy day photos to our inventory.  
We were especially enthused to see the pygmy goats. Unfortunately, the grass was too mushy and wet for us to get closer for better photos.
Yesterday, as I’d promised myself, I finished our 2018 tax prep and forwarded the documents and worksheet to our accountant in Nevada. It was a tedious task, but somehow I managed to get through it when I already had a considerable amount of the information in place, ready to enter the form. What a sense of relief that was!
Adorable pygmy goat “baaaahing” at us as we admired him.
Now we wait to hear from the accountant with questions. We’ll probably chat with him in the next week and wrap this up, putting it behind us. We have until October 15th to file the return electronically, which he’ll handle for us.
A few mornings ago, after a rainy night, we decided to explore the various paddocks to see the farm animals. It was lightly misting and still quite cloudy, but we couldn’t have been more pleased. 
Beyond this bush are two wind turbines which are prevalent in England.
After a lengthy walk in thick grass, we had to wash our shoes, leaving them outdoors to dry when the sun finally peeked out. The shoes I wear most days when we’re going out are water shoes.  

With only five pairs of shoes, I can’t risk ruining a pair in rainy weather making water shoes perfect for our travels. They are ideal on rainy days and yet, are outrageously comfortable.  Tom’s tennis shoes were also a mess, but he waited until the grass dried and then brushed off the grass using a dustpan brush.  

The countryside beyond the farm is comparable to a patchwork quilt with varying shapes and colors.
As we walked through the paddocks, we realized we’d have to ask the owners, Lorraine or Graham, to escort us so we could take better photos on the next sunny day. Undoubtedly, over the next ten days, it will be bright once or twice.
Geese and ducks co-habitat peacefully in a paddock.
We love African animals, but we are also drawn to barnyard animals who have a unique charm of their own. Sadly, some of the animals we saw here will eventually be slaughtered. I doubt the goats or the ducks and geese, kept for their eggs, will be subject to that dreadful fate.

Yesterday, I wrote about how we eat meat, chicken, and pork, yet we have angst about slaughtering animals. Isn’t that hypocritical? I suppose some would say it is. But, the reality remains…we have emotions about this topic.
More beautiful scenery as seen from the farm.
Unfortunately, I can’t be a vegetarian/vegan based on my strict diet, nor would Tom, who doesn’t eat vegetables or fruit. The way I justify this in my mind, which I must do to make peace with it, is the concept that God, a higher power or whatever your beliefs, created an environment with a “pecking order.”  
Every morning and also during the day, we hear the roosters crowing.  It reminds us of living in Kauai, where there are thousands of feral chickens.
As a result, readily available protein sources (necessary for life itself) are provided to each creature on the planet, including humans. Living in Africa for two years during the past seven years placed us in a position to accept the hard facts about the animal hunt and subsequent consumption of the captured food source.

No, I won’t get further into a philosophical view of whether or not to consume animal products. We each have our reasons, rationalizations, and dietary needs.
The last time we had access to a clothes dryer was in Costa Rica over two years ago.  What a treat!  Our clothes were washed and dried in a mere two hours, compared to a day or two of hanging them in humid weather.
Now, as I wrap this up, we’re watching the weather to see if today will be a good day for a road trip.  

Have an excellent day filled with beautiful surprises!
Photo from one year ago today, September 10, 2018:
Check out those long eyelashes. For more photos, please click here.

Exciting purchase in the countryside…

Although the building is small and unassuming, Button Meats offers a wealth of grass-fed meats and poultry with a heartfelt welcoming we couldn’t have appreciated more.

Fascinating Fact of the Day About St. Teath, Cornwall*:

“The village of St. Teath is situated approximately three miles (5 km) southwest of Camelford and seven miles (11 km) northeast of Wadebridge. The hamlet of Whitewell lies to the west. The parish population at the 2011 census was 2628. An electoral ward also exists, including Delabole and St Breward; the population for this ward at the same census was 3,957.”

*Based on the fact we are currently located in a somewhat tiny village, we’ll be adding information in “Fascinating Fact of the Day” for the surrounding areas as well.
On Friday, this is the sign we spotted on our way to the property, asking our property owners if they’d recommend purchasing meat at this location. They enthusiastically explained they buy all their meat at Button Butchers, and it was well worth a visit. At the end of this week, we’ll return for our final week’s meat supply. 

This morning, after a fitful night’s sleep, I arose, bound and determined to tackle the task of putting all our tax information together for our accountant in Nevada.  

Over the past months during my recovery, I couldn’t seem to get motivated to get this done. It weighed heavily on my mind. As of now, Monday at noon, I am done, having sent the worksheet and attached documents by email, including a few questions, for the accountant.  

Two cases are filled with a variety of meats, homemade sausages, and streaky bacon.

He’s very competent and will most likely be done submitting our forms electronically by the end of the week. No signature is required.  What a relief to have this almost behind us!

My next daunting task is getting to work on setting up Plan B and a supplement for Medicare, so at least when we’re in the US, I’ll have coverage. Plus, I’m contemplating a trip to the Mayo Clinic while we’re in Scottsdale, Arizona, to check to ensure all is well with my heart and recovery.

It was raining when we arrived, making the refrigerated cases foggy, but the butcher/owner John was more than willing to show us or cut for us anything we desired.

United Healthcare Global Plan doesn’t cover our trips to the US.  Thus, the only coverage we have while in the US is Medicare Part A which only pays for 80% of any required hospitalization but not doctor visits, outpatient tests, or treatment or prescriptions.

Now that I am down to only three prescriptions with the opportunity to refill them online at reasonable prices from a reputable company we’ve used for years, ProgressiveRX.

Sausages don’t often work for my way of eating based on wheat and other grain fillers.

As we’ve mentioned many times in the past, the responsibilities of our lives as US citizens remain constant regardless of where we may be at any time in any part of the world.

On the most recent cruise, only 2½ weeks ago, several passengers asked us if we’ll ever give up our US citizenship. This will never happen for dozens of reasons I won’t get into here since the list would be too long to list.  

John toured us through the cooler.  I cringed a little seeing the hanging pig carcasses.  But, if we’re going to eat meat this is a harsh reality.

We have many benefits and reasons always to maintain our US citizenship, plus with it comes down to it, there is a certain sense of pride in being American. And yes, regardless of “political disharmony” in the US (which we won’t get into here either), we still and always will feel a strong sense of patriotism.

Today’s photos depict one of many reasons we both feel connected to the countryside or outlying areas of many countries in the world. As we’ve often mentioned, we are not “city folk” as much as we may be in awe from time to time visiting large cities.

More hanging/aging meats.

Sure, cities such as St. Petersburg, Paris, London, Rome, and many more hold a certain appeal with their luxurious historical buildings and history. But for us, a visit to a small town in the country leaves us reeling with delight, as has been the case here in the UK in Falmouth and now in St. Teath and their many quaint surrounding areas.

On the day we arrived at the Mill Barn cottage (actually a large house), we noticed a sign at a nearby farm inviting passersby to stop to purchase grass-fed local meat. We couldn’t have been more thrilled. 

Massive slabs of grass-fed beef.

On Friday afternoon, we returned to the less-than-a-mile away Button Meats and purchased all the beef, lamb, pork, bacon, free-range eggs, and chicken we’d need for a week.

We always giggle over finds such as this delightful farm offering a wide array of healthful meats, chickens, and eggs. The butcher/owner John cut beef for us precisely as we needed to make old-fashioned pot roast, a favorite of Tom.  

Prime rib is located on the back shelf.

I selected two lamb shanks to add to the beef in the large pot we borrowed from the owners whose home is next to us (not attached). They are kind and thoughtful, willing to assist us in any way possible. But, we make every effort not to ask for many extras.

Speaking of thoughtful owners, John, the property owner in Falmouth, sent a US $300 credit to our credit card (via Homeaway’s system) with an apology for the inconvenience of the towel debacle the first two days we were there. How nice it that!!!  

We got a kick out of John, quite the fine butcher.

We’d never asked for special consideration of any type. Here’s the link to John’s property in Falmouth, which we thoroughly enjoyed once we had towels on hand. The owners here in St. Teath are equally kind and accommodating.

We’ve been fortunate to have had many great experiences with owners throughout the world over the past almost seven years and, they are with us. We would treat their properties with the same consideration if they’d been our properties, creating a mutually beneficial relationship.

Of course, we’ll be back tomorrow with more, sharing photos of the animals in the paddocks here on the farm. It’s raining, so we’re staying in doing laundry and preparing tonight’s special dinner.

(Apologies to our vegetarian/vegan readers for today’s meat photos)!

Carpe diem!
Photo from one year ago today, September 9, 2018:
Vervet monkey drinking water off the roadway after a downpour during a drought. For more photos, please click here.

A drive through the historic town of St. Ives…Facts about the enchanting town…

I stood in the pouring rain to capture this photo.  Sadly, it wasn’t a sunny day.

Fascinating Fact of the Day About St. Ives, Cornwall:

From this site: “St Ives is a town in Cornwall, England, known for its surf beaches, like Porthmeor, and its art scene. The seafront Tate St Ives gallery has rotating modern art exhibitions focusing on British artists. Nearby, the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden displays her bronzes and other works in the modernist artist’s former studio. Boat trips go to Seal Island, just west of town, to see the seal colony.”

Unfortunately, there was a downpour as we drove through the enchanting town of St. Ives, Cornwall on our way to our next holiday home in St. Teath, Bodmin, Cornwall, on Friday.
It was dark and dreary as we drove through the town of St. Ives.

Also, the town was packed with end-of-summer tourists, and we couldn’t find a single parking spot that didn’t require us to walk for 15 minutes up steep hills to reach the center of town and all the sites. 

Narrow roads and historic buildings created a fascinating view of the small town with approximately 12,000.

Our raincoats were packed deep inside our luggage, plus we didn’t feel confident in leaving our bags unattended in the car, which included all of our digital equipment and laptops.  

St. Ives Parish Church.

Thus, we could only drive through the town at a slow pace as we worked our way around tourists with umbrellas and raincoats and an endless parade of vehicles. We can only imagine how much busier it must be during the warmer summer months.

Many towns, villages, and countries throughout the world have these colorful buildings lining the streets.

The quality of our photos was hampered by the crowds and the rain. I could only get out of the car once for photos when Tom parked for a few minutes in an illegal spot in front of a hotel. I got soaked attempting to capture a few ocean shots.  

Old and newer structures are built into the hills to take advantage of the scenic views of the ocean.

With check-in time at 2 pm at our new location, we didn’t veer from our course when we wanted to stop for lunch which was impossible in St. Ives but would have been fun.  

Note the surfers at a distance.

Instead, we stopped at a cute cafe, Pots, in the center of town in Bodmin and had a nice lunch, as shown in the photos below. We were able to park on the street and quietly enjoy our meal.

We love little cafes like Pots, extensive menus, freshly made food, and loads of playful ambiance.
My grilled chicken salad at Pots.
Tom’s spaghetti bolognese. Notice the buttered bread to the right. He devoured his bread and then mine. He never ate another bite the rest of the day, bypassing dinner since he was so full.

Here are some facts about St. Ives:

From this site:

  • St Ives is home to one of the oldest inns in Cornwall. The famous Sloop Inn, which sits on the Wharf overlooking the harbor, dates back to circa 1312 and has welcomed fisherman through its doors since the 14th century.
  • The branch train line from St Erth to St.Ives is deemed one of the most picturesque railway lines in England and takes in the sights of Hayle Estuary, Porthkidney Sands, Carbis Bay, and St Ives.
    The narrow, tightly packed roads made driving through the pretty town slow and tedious but well worth it.
  • St Ives is home to one of only four Tate Galleries in the UK – Tate St Ives. The others are Tate Britain & Tate Modern in London and Tate Liverpool. The artist movement in St Ives has gained world acclaim, with masterpieces created by Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, and Alfred Wallis, who were all residents.
    The rocky shoreline in St. Ives.
  • St Ives September Festival takes place for two weeks every year and has been running since 1977. There is something for everyone, with over 200 events over two weeks relating to music, dance, fine arts, poetry, arts, crafts, and theatre.
  • Of only eight Blue Flag beaches in Cornwall, three are in the St Ives area – (Carbis Bay, Porthmeor, and Porthminster). The Blue Flag Award is an independent recognition of environmental excellence run by the non-profit Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). Worldwide there are over 2,000 Blue Flag beaches in 36 countries.
Now in St. Teath, in this stunning 300-year-old renovated stone barn, we are pretty content and looking forward to venturing out in a few days. Today, with the sun shining, we’ll head to the paddocks to see the animals on the gorgeous farm. Tomorrow, we’ll be back with photos!

May your Sunday be a day of rest and contentment.

Photo from one year ago today, September 8, 2018:

This baby elephant appeared to be no more than a month old. For more photos, please click here.

Another swoon-worthy location in the Cornwall countryside…

The main living area in the house, including a den through the door at the far left end of this open area, is spacious and comfortable with every possible amenity, including Netflix on the new high-quality, high-def TV.

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Bodwin*:

From this site:
“St Petroc’s Parish Church in Bodmin is totally out of proportion to the current size of the town. It was the largest church in Cornwall until Truro Cathedral was built. The current church dates back to 1469, on foundations believed to have been laid by St Petroc around 540AD. You can have fun on a treasure hunt inside the church, looking for the man with five fingers and a thumb immortalized in the carved misericords (hinged seats in the choir stalls). Easier to find is the 12th-century font, the effigy of Prior Vivian lying on a chest and the holy well of St Guron in the churchyard.”
* Based on the fact that we are in a relatively remote farm location surrounded by many wonderful small towns, our Fascinating Fact of About….” will include some surrounding areas. Bodwin is the largest town in the room with a population of 12,788, which is approximately 20 minutes from our new location in Treveighan/Tredarupp.
All the walls are stone including in the kitchen and baths.

The drive to Tredarupp to our new holiday rental was longer than we’d expected. Leaving Falmouth at 10:00 am and with check-in at 2:00 pm, we decided to take a longer route and visit the town of St. Ives. A popular tourist location was suggested to us by Barbara and Chris at dinner last Tuesday night.

The owners thought of every possible amenity included insulated grocery bags available for our use.
Unfortunately, as often is the case in the UK, it was rainy and cloudy, and we were a little disappointed with our photos. We’ll share those from St. Ives and more over the next several days when we’ve chosen to post photos of our new temporary home today.
Although it’s very cool now, I doubt we’ll use the wood-burning stove, preferring not to make a mess.

Before our “stuff” began cluttering the spacious house, I zipped around and took photos while admiring every space before us. There wasn’t a single aspect of the place we didn’t like.

We’d lived in another 300-year-old house in Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy, in 2013. It’s a 300-year-old property renovated but holding to its original stone structure and thick stone walls. Here’s the link to photos of that property. 

This is the area where we’re seated now as I prepare today’s post, sitting on the sofa on the left while Tom sits in the plaid chair to the left, all very comfortable.

However, the Italian property had several obstacles, some of which were hazardous. See our link regarding those issues here.  However, this property in Tredarrup does not have obstacles other than accessing the back entrance, where parking is located, via eight uneven stone steps to the house. I’m extra careful.

The den, an area we’ll be unlikely to use when there are windows and comfort in the living room.

When we walked in the door, we immediately felt at ease, seeing that everything was even more lovely than depicted in the photos.  The lovely owners, Lorraine and Graham, were greeting us when we arrived, reminding us to notify them immediately if we needed anything at all.

This morning, we had breakfast at this dining table.  Note the size of the refrigerator. Although not full-size, it is much better than the “shortie” we had in Falmouth. But, there again, we improvised and made it work during our two weeks by the sea.

The only item I may need is a large bowl, but there is every other kitchen gadget imaginable. I’ll wait a few days and see how I can improvise without it, perhaps using the largest of the cooking pots, of which there are plenty.

The king-sized bed in the master bedroom.  The bath is not ensuite but next door to the master bedroom.  

What can I say? We’re immensely comfortable in this house and slept like babies in the king-sized bed with lush linens, blankets, and pillows. I never awoke once during the night.

Both bathrooms are located on the lower level resulting in the necessity of going downstairs many times a day, again, great exercise for me. I’ve already been up and down about ten times as we continued to get organized.  

This is the guest bathroom with a nice tub with a shower (inside the tub).

This morning we drove to the tiny town of Camelford to the “Food Co-Op” market for groceries. Yesterday, we visited a local farm where we purchased all the meats we’ll need for these first seven days. (More on that tomorrow). 

Tonight we’ll grill two lean ribeye steaks on the Weber grill on our veranda accompanied by sauteed mushrooms and a salad of fresh greens and veggies. The weather continues to be dreary, rainy, and dark.  

The second of three bedrooms.  We placed our open suitcases on each of these twin beds for easy access as we live out of our bags, ideal during these short two-week stays.

Of course, I can’t wait until it dries up a bit to walk out to the paddock and see the pygmy goats, pigs, sheep, chickens, ducks, and geese. Most definitely, photos will follow shortly after that.

The master bath with a shower and lo and behold a medicine cabinet, ideal for our toiletries.  Few bathrooms in houses throughout the world have ample counter space or cupboards in the bathroom.  Cruise ships typically have more storage space in the toilets than in holiday homes.

As for today, we’ll stay put. On Monday, I am committed to preparing our tax information for our accountant. I have tons of receipts to scan (using the camera) and log into the system. It’s a tedious task, but I am determined to put this nagging task behind me.  

Our accountant arranged for an extension since I was in no shape to tackle that daunting task only days after I got out of the hospital for the two surgeries on my legs. Tom does the “heavy lifting,” cooking, laundry, and researches our future cruises and travels, and I do the “paperwork.”

The entrance to our new home, Mill Barn, a finely renovated 300-year-old stone house.  It’s extraordinary!

Once I am done on Monday, we’ll be heading out on the first sunny day. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for us during our remaining 13 days in this part of Cornwall. It will pass all too quickly!

Accomplishing dreaded tasks is a fantastic way to feel uplifted and immensely accomplished. May your month of September be so fulfilling.

Photo from one year ago today, September 7, 2018:
The lions were very far from us, and thus, these photos aren’t as straightforward as we’d have liked, but we were always excited to see them.  For more photos, please click here.