The Bodmin Moor…Exciting place to visit…

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

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.”

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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 simply not an area that can 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 ahead, which, unfortunately, we did not do which we later regretted.  Also, the satellite signal was poor and unavailable for a better portion of today’s drive.  With all the narrow roads with hedgerows impeding the view in many areas, its easy to get lost.
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 full 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, good driver that he is, stayed calm and drove cautiously around the endless array of single-lane roads and quickly adapted to direction changes.  I so appreciated his calm when I was trying over and over again 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.  While having lunch at the popular Jamaica Inn Restaurant which included 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 centre was beautiful and well designed with a plethora of various indigenous and non-indigenous wildlife but essentially, it was a zoo with an open wildlife area contained therein.  For children and those who’ve had little exposure to wildlife, this is an excellent place to start.
Women and men’s historical pieces are displayed in the glass cabinet.

For us, after over two years in Africa, loving what wildlife is all about and…their freedom in the savannah, 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 character from the 1700s.

There is an open and wild area of the facility where many birds, deer and oddly, wallaby’s lived.  We totally agree that such a facility has benefit for 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 centre 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, and 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 next location, we’ll be posting the favorite of our photos over the next few days while we get settled in our new location.
Traditional red phone booth 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’re loving the beauty of Cornwall and can’t wait to see more.

May your day be rich with new experiences!
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Photo from one year ago today, September 20, 2018:
A yellow-billed heron 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.”

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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) was 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 on 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 its “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 many taxes imposed on many products, services and expenses of daily life.  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 to share 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, after I searched through everything and I couldn’t find it.
The goats get along well with the chickens that wander into their paddock.
I wouldn’t doubt that during the time of the worst of my recovery when I wasn’t thinking as clearly as I am now, I made an error and missed refilling the one.  I surprise myself that I didn’t screw up more during that period of time!  

In looking back at prior posts I realized I started up again exactly two weeks after I had the cardiac by-pass surgery.  Here’s the link to that day.  And, I didn’t miss a beat (no pun intended) when I returned 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 a way to get it filled at a local pharmacy without going through a big hassle.  I was overly optimistic, to say the least.
Goat love standing on the highest structure wherever they may be.
First, we tried several pharmacies in several small villages.  Pharmacists are able to sell a one or two-month dose of any non-narcotic medication to a customer on an emergency basis.  The drug I needed was definitely 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 was 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.  We resigned ourselves to the reality, that a doctor appointment was necessary.  Then, the fun began!

There are several doctors in the various small towns around us.  I called each and every one of these and was told they had no openings, now or in the near future.  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 I go through a number of needless tests in order 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 called this “helpline” they’d figure out a solution.
Immediately, I called 111 and after a barrage of questions, they gave me two numbers to call the next morning at 8:30 am and to explain 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 have 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 completed 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 citizen dying from their inability in getting urgent doctor appointments as explained in this article as shown below:

“Patients 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 across dozens of NHS Trusts, there was an increase of more than 50%.  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, and 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 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 in order 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 itself.

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 own international insurance failed us in South Africa and we had to pay the huge bill out of pocket.



We learn as we go.  

We’ll be back tomorrow 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.
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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.


A day at the movies…The Downton Abbey movie…No spoilers…

In August 2014, we held our breath as we approached Highclare Castle, home of the famed BBC Downton Abbey TV series.  No interior photos were allowed.  

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Wadebridge:“Wadebridge is a popular town in north Cornwall, very well situated for visitors intending to walk the Camel Trail. The most notable historical building in Wadebridge is not actually a building, its the remarkable Old Bridge built by Reverend Thomas Lovibond in 1460. The bridge stretches 320 feet across the Camel, with a grand total of 17 arches supporting it.”

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The poster for the movie.

With numerous trailers shown online and promoted throughout England, we thought it would be befitting for us to go to the movies to see yesterday’s first release of the classic movie TV show, Downton Abbey.

The Towne Centre in Wakebridge.

While living in many countries throughout the world, we’ll find a movie that was made locally and make a point of downloading and watching it, including those with subtitles.  

Captured on a walk on the boulevard.

Primarily, our objective is to see authentic scenes of places we may like to visit while there or to get a greater understanding of history and culture.  Many well-made movies seem capable of accomplishing this to some degree.

The 89-year-old Regal Cinema in downtown Wakebridgde.

Having watched all 52 episodes of Downton Abbey over six seasons, all of which were since we began traveling the world.  An episode would air and a few days later we could download it, saving it to our hard drive and watching it at our convenience, always in the evenings after dinner, as a special treat.

The cost for one adult ticket GBP 7.30, US $9.13, about the same price or slightly less than in the US from what we recall.

The series was so inspiring in 2014 we booked a tour to the filming location for the series, the Highclere Castle, which is shown today as our main photo, which we’d taken on that special day.  Click here to see our post from August 21, 2014.

The concession stand.  There wasn’t anything I could order, as usual.

When we’d heard so much about the movie being released we thought it would be a treat to see it on its opening day while in England on Friday, September 13, 2019.  (The release in the US and other countries is on September 20, 2019, one week later).

Tom purchased a bottle of soda and popcorn as shown below.

We searched online to see if there was a movie theatre in this part of Cornwall where we could see the movie.  The Regal Theatre in Wadebridge, a 30-minute drive which was the most convenient location. 


The 89-year-old movie theatre was a site to see in itself with a bit of its history as follows:
The Regal situated at the end of The Platt in Wadebridge Cornwall was built by the Pope family of Padstow and opened its doors for the first time in January 1931. Several local owners operated the cinema under its initial name of the “Cinedrome.”

Our view of the screen from our good seats.
When we arrived an hour earlier than the start of the movie to ensure we’d get tickets and good seats to find the ticket office closed until 1:30 pm, we wandered about the cozy village, packed with tourists and locals.  

As it turned out we were the first to buy tickets and find great seats, smack dab in the middle several rows back from the screen.  In no time at all, move moviegoers arrived but hardly filled in the good-sized theatre. We’d expected the 2 pm matinee would attract a number of the locals but it didn’t.
Tom had to order his popcorn in a  bag.  The only freshly popped corn they had was “sweet popcorn” which he doesn’t like.  The only unsweetened popcorn offered is in a bag as shown.
Need I say, we loved the movie and giggled over having seen the magnificent castle on the big screen, five years later from our own face to face viewing.  We won’t share any details about the movie.  All we can say is if you liked the TV series, most likely you’ll enjoy the movie as well.
When we left the theatre, we walked past a creek with ducks.
After the movie ended we walked the short distance to the Co-Op Supermarket to shop for the final upcoming week in St. Teath, Cornwall.  We leave here in six days and have loved every moment in this scenic part of the country.  Cornwall has truly pleased and surprised us.

May your Saturday be as pleasant as ours, on a sunny day in the countryside.
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Photo from one year ago today, September 14, 2018:

This a white-crested seedeater.  For more photos, please click here.