Monday, 5 May 2008

Cornwall and cars 3

Tuesday was rainy and cool so we amused ourselves by burning logs on the stove in Parc Wartha which cheered the place up enormously. The back part of the house dates back to the fifteenth century, and the upstairs flat, which we rented, has been updated with great style and sensitivity. The walls are built out of huge chunks of Cornish stone, often the Serpentine for which the Lizard peninsula is famous.
After lunch we walked down to the cove, pictured above, and found the tide still very high. We also found ourselves with a one-legged seagull. We seem to be haunted by one-legged birds as we have a second one-legged robin in our garden at home, and now this seagull. He found it difficult to land exactly where he wanted, especially in a gusty wind, and we didn't have anything to feed him but tangerine segments, which he did not even investigate. (I went back with a thick, fresh crust of bread next day, but other people commandeered the seat that he'd chosen as his spot, and when they left, he left. I waited, but he didn't return, so I left the bread anyway. I like to think he came back and found it.)
About five o'clock we got a call from the garage in Truro to say they'd found the fault and we could pick the car up as soon as we liked. H'mmm. The garage was 40 long Cornish miles away. We said we'd be there next day, and then grabbed the bus timetables. Three buses, and we reckoned we could be there by eleven.

We were up very early next morning and stood in the rain at the bus stop outside the Methodist church. We were not alone, even though it was only 7.45. The bus breathed in and squeezed around the narrow Mullion streets, hurtled around the lanes to Helston at alarming speed. If you've never been to Cornwall, you need to know that driving through country roads is like driving through a leafy, sunlit tunnel. The hedgerows at this time of year are littered with primroses, bluebells and orchard spikes, but behind that beautiful greenery lurks two tons of solid stone and soil, often six feet high and not something with which you, your car or the bus outght to collide. The Cornish hedge repells all invaders. Your car, person or bus will suffer irreparable damage.

A short wait in Helston, another bus and off to Truro. Double the distance this time at 18 miles. Another change in Truro and off to Trispen, another nine or ten miles, 40 in all. We got off right outside the garage and joyfully picked up the Honda. A bad connection in the wires that ran beneath the driver's seat had been the cause of the problem. Something so simple! But we couldn't really complain after 8 years of trouble free motoring, paid our bill £85 and drove off back to Kynance garage to settle our account there. We paid out £150 but couldn't object, considering all the man had done for us, and on a Sunday, too; but I couldn't help thinking what such a small thing as a bad connection was costing us.

We drove another four miles to Cadgwith cove, parked the car and walked down through the woods to the cove and had lunch there. The sun disappeared and there was a brief fall of hailstones and lots of rain but we enjoyed a brief walk around once it cleared. It is such a hilly village that we didn't walk far, but headed back to the car and you'll never wouldn't start. Same probalem all over again. The immobiliser had immobilised us.

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