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.