This post was originally published on www.randomstoat.com on 27 August 2010.
The last full day of the holiday before we had to go home, and we had a fair bit to cram in. I ended up sleeping in for an extra hour compared to the rest of the week. I blame the torrential wind all night for that. Once everyone was up and dressed we made the usual drive into Newquay and parked up next to the (slightly cheaper than the one across the road) car park next to the slightly pink hotel and went down to the aquarium on one of the beach fronts. A man, covered in tattoos, was doing a demonstration outside with a crab and a lobster. It looked like an ex-con had decided to try and steal business from the aquarium, but then it turned out he was affiliated with them.
The aquarium was typical fare, with a couple of notable exceptions, both within 10 feet of each other – an octopus and a giant lobster, which were great fun to see. They slightly put Sealife Birmingham to shame. The rest of it was mostly the normal stuff – obligatory clown fish for the kids, a few sea horses and a walk-thrifty giant tank, inhabited by a rather nice giant turtle. The gift shop at the end was rather cramped and had almost nothing of interest for anyone over the age of 12.
It was around the end of the aquarium walk that my knees started playing up, causing further problems when we left and had to climb the stairs back up towards the high street. Stopped for a tiny break before we made our way to our second destination of the day, Buccaneer Bay, as set up by Dragon’s Den resident, Duncan Bannatyne. We queued for quite a while but finally made our way inside. The live actors were variable in quality, varying between bored, playing an Irish pirate (bit odd…), being completely over the top (Ant can verify this in the “scare” section of the attraction), and simultaneously being unsure how to deal with an entirely adult group of visitors. Do they improvise? Do they play along a little? Do they just stick to the script? The answer is all of these. But not. Very confusing all the same.
I’m glad we didn’t decide to miss the scare attraction: it would have been a ridiculously short visit otherwise. As soon as we got out of that portion we were pretty much at the end. And what was the point in us sticking to the white line so desperately inside the scare attraction? Despite warnings to the contrary, nothing jumped out at us at any point (except for the chap playing a smoker’s version of Captain Jack Sparrow). It would have been a total waste of time if Ant hadn’t soiled himself at every turn in the building. Worth the price of admission alone.
We went in search of lunch and went to a local tea room on the high street. Lunch for me was the Mega Brunch: sausage, bacon, egg, beans, toast and chips. All respectably priced, and tasted just as respectable. After lunch we returned to the campsite in much drier conditions than the day before, where everyone else had a kickaround for a bit while Ant and myself sat down to discuss the pirate musical we’re writing. The weather had other ideas and decided to rain for a bit. But… It didn’t stop us having a BBQ at last. We finished off just about everything we had left over, although theleftover burgers from Monday had gone a horrible brown colour, so they were disposed of.
In many ways I was almost glad to be leaving the next day. The campsite had filled up considerably, no doubt bolstered by GCSE and A-Level students celebrating their results. The standards of the toilets had declined after the football hooligans arrived in the morning, and the overall ambience of the campsite had declined but I couldn’t quite put my finger on how, it’s not as if they were imposing themselves on us. Probably more psychological on my part than anything else.
After dinner I spent a fair amount of time throwing stuff into the car just to make life a little easier by the morning. Then it was socialising time, as best as possible, until everyone was too tired to stay awake. Despite my original plans for the week, I hadn’t listened to more than 5 podcasts all week. I’d originally wanted to listen to 5 a day. All things considered though, it was much more beneficial to not listen to podcasts, just in case I was needed for anything. My hearing isn’t brilliant at the best of times, so popping headphones in wouldn’t have helped. It was also a rather nice day to end on, activities wise at least.