Jamaica Inn

 Jamaica InnDay three started early with a spooky trip to Tesco for more ice bags. Actually it wasn’t spooky but as our ghost hunting holiday hadn’t turned up anything paranormal, we were trying to crank up the creep factor. No, wait a minute, day three really started with us discovering if we jumped from the bed settee onto the settee mattress, it was springy enough to propel us onto the bed. Rumours of us turning 30 in Feb have been greatly exaggerated.

Then began our hunt for the Beast of Bodmin. Ryan refused to don a ridiculous costume for our hoax video, much to our disgust. He was almost kicked out of the team for that one. We assured him we would avenge his untimely demise should a local farmer shoot him but he wasn’t appeased by this. With the worst hoax in the history of hoaxes in tatters, we drove through the Moors, finding only some sheep, and they weren’t in the least bit panther shaped.Bodmin Moor

We found Jamaica Inn and drove into the car park only to drive straight back out again. No we weren’t chased out by pirates. We figured 10:30 was a bit early for a drink so we decided to do some more beast hunting. As we toured the Moors, we came across Dozmary Pool, where King Arthur’s sword was apparently thrown after his death. The sign pointed left so we went left. Only to end up driving down a potholed dirt track. There was a bit of a thunk from Mickey and we questioned whether we were supposed to be driving down there. But we’d gone too far to turn back. Also turning back would be like admitting we weren’t supposed to be driving down there. We parked by a gate in some mud and got out to look at the lake, Mickey’s fan loudly protesting. Mini Coopers clearly don’t like being forced to go off road.

We did a bit more beastie hunting before the lure of Jamaica Inn was too hard to resist. We considered driving to the coast, wrecking some ships and stashing the booty in Jamaica Inn so our mum could retire. (Who wouldn’t want a chest full of gold as a holiday souvenir?) But there was no way we’d get a treasure chest in Mickey with all our stuff inside so we returned to the Inn bootyless. Sorry mum. We were so excited at finally being at one of the most haunted places in Britain it was all we could do to stop ourselves borrowing some local horses and charging over the cobbles shouting ‘pieces of eight’ and ‘give us yer gold ye scurvy sons of biscuit eaters.’ But we suspected the elderly clientele wouldn’t engage in an energetic sword fight with us.Jamaica Inn

We first toured the Daphne du Maurier and smugglers museum, taking a photo of L K Jay’s copy of Jamaica Inn near du Maurier’s writing desk. Then we headed for the Inn itself, all hyped up on pirates, ghosts and treasure. Only for One Direction’s ‘Beautiful’ to be playing as we walked in. Mood. Killed. Even worse, the barman was singing to it, not reaching for his shotgun and threatening us with the hangman’s noose. We unashamedly explored the Inn, taking photos and posing behind the original bar, which was Joss’ bar in the book. Unfortunately the K2 was silent. We were desperate for it to be really spooky and haunted but had we not known the significance of the Inn, it was just like any other pub of that age. With added mannequins.

We absolutely loved it and wished we could’ve afforded to stay the night so we could experience how spooky it was on the lonely Moors after the sun had died. We were reluctant to leave, even after we’d been there a couple of hours but it was our last day and we had a beast to find. We got lost on the Moors and stopped for an impromptu interview. With a sheep. He stopped grazing but seemed reluctant to answer our questions. None of the others wanted to talk to us. In fact, every time Ryan called out “the beast is coming!” they all got up and ran off. We thought maybe the first sheep was a bit skittish but this happened every time he warned them. Clearly the beast is much more than a Cornish legend. The sheep’s behaviour hinted the beast is very real.

We got out to explore the Moors but didn’t find any sign of this beastie that had the sheep so worried. We finally convinced Ryan to do a bit of beastie dancing, only for a military looking Jeep to speed along the track. Had the beast been spotted? Did they believe our rumours that Ryan was in fact the beast and had come to take him to a secure unit for ‘examination’? Or were they just heading for the nearby military museum? We might never know. But for now, the beast remains just a legend.C L Raven at Jamaica Inn

Just when we thought we’d be lost on the Moors forever, with tales of a hot orange Mini Cooper haunting the locals, we found our way to Bude. We’d been looking forwards to chips and ice cream at a vegan friendly cafe. It was closed. Annoyed, we kicked some locals before buying pasties for our family. We left Bude at 5 to return home. Only to get lost. Well, not lost, we knew exactly where we were. Right along the coast at the top of Devon. Miles out of our way. We should’ve gone east but instead went north. Very north. We decided to stick with the coastal route and we’re so glad we did. It was stunning. We got to drive through country lanes, see the sun setting over cliffs and beaches and drive through the beautiful Exmoor forest. Not exactly ghost hunting scenery. There was a car parked at the top of one of the cliffs we’d stopped to photograph and a check confirmed it was empty. Where was the driver? There was nowhere to walk – we were on a cliff edge. Had the beast strayed into Devon and had a human sized snack? We’ll never know.

We were very reluctant to leave as Cornwall is stunning. Wish we could’ve stayed longer. In fact we’re planning a return trip. But when we hit the M5, we could smell Wales and suddenly we were desperate to get home. First thing we did when arriving back at 10pm was hunt down the cats for kisses. Warlock’s hunger strike lasted a day. Kyler, the iguana was more committed. His hunger strike lasted 2 days. Warlock has barely left our sides since we got back, so while we can’t wait to return to Cornwall, it’ll be a while before we venture off again. It’s nice to be missed.

And if anyone sees the beast, tell him we’re looking for him.Calamityville Horror at Jamaica Inn

Get out of Jail Free

Day two of Calamityville Horror Roadtrip started reasonably well. None of us got a great night’s sleep – our intermittent insomnia means we find it difficult sleeping anywhere other than our own beds. Ryan’s restlessness might have had something to do with the incontinence mattress he was sleeping on. We’re not kidding. It was covered in a plastic coating with towelling on top. Every time he moved, it crunched, earning him the nickname Crinkles. Perhaps Travelodge believe that whoever sleeps on the pull out bed has bladder problems. Maybe they should invest in a nappy dispenser.

St. Ives

As we were going to St. Ives

Our first port of call was St. Ives. We used to go to St. Ives and Mevagissy all the time when we were kids. And everytime we went, we always visited Fat Willy’s surf shack. Today was no exception. We had a bit of a nightmare trying to park and ended up driving all the way through the town before finding a car park above a beach. Cat got into another argument with the pay and display machine when she found out it didn’t give change. She couldn’t return to the car, because there was a queue forming behind her and she couldn’t signal to Lynx and Ryan in the car, because she was out of sight. She marched away from the machine, furious. And ten pence poorer.

We headed straight for the harbour and a postcard shop to get a postcard for our niece. She started nursery on Wednesday and has found it hard, so as she loves getting postcards, we figured it’d cheer her up. We didn’t get her a cute postcard, we got her one with smugglers. She loves pirates as much as we do. Though unfortunately we haven’t met any. We were hoping to get enough treasure for our mum to retire. Who wouldn’t want smugglers’ gold as a holiday souvenir?

We then made our way to Fat Willy’s. The shop has changed a bit from when we were kids, but the jukebox is still there. And although they now do their t-shirts in different colours, we bought our niece a black one, like the ones we had as kids. We even made Ryan take a photo of us holding the t-shirt outside the shop. Purely to make our sister jealous 😀

Ryan taunted us by having an ice cream as we wandered the streets. As Travelodge don’t have freezers in the rooms, or even fridges, we’ve been unable to bring our vegan ice cream. Those of you who follow us on Twitter or are friends with us on Facebook, will know how much we love ice cream. We eat a massive bowl of it every day. Even when it’s freezing outside. So him eating his in front of us was beyond cruel. As tempting as it was to trip him so he could watch the seagulls enjoy his tasty treat, we left him and his ice cream cone unmolested. Karma rewarded our self-control with an ice cream shop, Willy Wallers, which sold vegan sorbet. We ordered a chocolate one each. It was delicious! It’s been fifteen years since we’ve eaten ice cream out of a tub with a small spoon and we enjoyed every mouthful.

We decided to head for Bodmin, but first made a detour to Penzance to buy some ice from Tesco’s. We brought a cool box that we packed with two bags of ice to keep our many Red Bulls and soya milk ice cold. It works wonderfully, but unfortunately, it turns to water by morning and will therefore make a great wake up alarm if Ryan tries to have a lie in. We also had an ulterior motive for going to Penzance – the route between Penzance and Hayle has a village called Cockwells. We missed our photo opportunity when we went on the ghost walk and we couldn’t let the sign go unphotographed. Ryan refused to get out and stand by it in his Fat Willy’s t-shirt. Some people have no appreciation for the arts.

Bodmin JailWe then went to the place we’ve been most looking forwards to – Bodmin Jail. We didn’t get lost! This is becoming a nasty habit. Particularly as we didn’t print out many route planners so we relying on our map reading skills and sign posts. It’s £6.50 to get in but it’s so worth it. http://www.bodminjail.org/ It was boiling outside so we took our jumpers off. Only for the jail to be 12 degrees C. Yes, we used our new toy for the first time – our temperature gun. The jail is everything a jail should be – dark and creepy. There were many levels to explore and we spent three hours there.

Bodmin JailWeirdly, when we were exploring one of the lower levels, we were setting up a shot when this family approached us. Turns out, they recognised us from Oxford Castle. In fact, they were on the same tour as us! What are the chances? They’re from the Berkshire paranormal group, so we compared notes on Oxford and Hell Fire Caves. For some reason, these mad coincidences never happen with us and Johnny Depp. We’ve never managed to be in the same room as him.

Bodmin JailAfter exploring the jail, we wandered around the back to get some outside shots. There we stumbled across another wing of the jail. We saw it from one of the levels in the main jail and were desperate to get inside. All the cells were still there, but there were no walkways so we couldn’t explore it all. Sadly, the gift shop wasn’t open. We were gutted. Apparently it closed at three, but we were there at two and it was already closed, which is a bit strange, as the jail is open ‘til dusk, so they’re missing out on a lot of potential custom.

It had been our intention to visit Bodmin Moor and Jamaica Inn on the same day as the jail, but we decided to save them for Saturday. Our second Travelodge was in Wadebridge so we began driving towards it. Only to realise we were heading in completely the wrong direction. We had to turn around and retrace our steps ALL the way back to the jail. Turns out, instead of going left out of the jail, we should’ve gone right.

We found Wadebridge with no further mishaps. Except we couldn’t find our Travelodge. We swear they hide them from us. There is no way we can miss FOUR Travelodges. There MUST be a conspiracy involved. Ryan chastised us for not getting the postcode, but then his iPhone died, rendering any postcode useless. We drove through Wadebridge one way, failed to find the Travelodge, so turned around and headed another way through Wadebridge. We drove out the other end, looking for somewhere to turn around. And drove straight past our Travelodge. We did a quick u-turn in Tesco’s then parked up.

This Travelodge has a big disadvantage to the one in Hayle – Ryan’s pull out bed doesn’t have an incontinence mattress. Looks like he’ll have to get up to use the toilet this time.

Bodmin Jail

Hang ’em High

Bewitched

Tintagel castle cliffs3 people, 2 suitcases, food and other essentials on a ghost hunting tour of Cornwall for 3 days. In a Mini Cooper Convertible. It sounds like the start to a bad joke or at least a comedy show. It’s Calamityville Horror Roadtrip. So yeah, the start to a bad joke or a comedy show 😀

After weeks of crappy weather, we’ve had nothing but hot sunshine on our holiday. Our pasty skin blinded passers-by, who donned their sunglasses and hissed at the rare sight. We made good time and didn’t nearly die once. It was looking good. Except our big black cat, Warlock spent the day on a hunger strike in protest of us leaving. Temptations swiftly ended it. Our first destination was the witchcraft museum in Boscastle. the museum of witchcraft, BoscastleWe didn’t even know of its existence until we were circling places on our map and discovered it by accident. We’re so glad we did. We initially drove out of Boscastle so pulled into a petrol station to ask for directions. Only for a lorry to pull in behind us and jam us in. We thought it was getting diesel. No. It was unloading supplies for the shop. It was hot in the car so we ate some lunch while we waited to be freed, our patience melting with our skin. Then Cat hit a low point by arguing with the pay and display machine because it swallowed her 5p, until Ryan told her to press the coin return. That worked but the relationship remained frosty.

The museum was fantastic. We were speaking to the owner at the start and he told us he’d seen the beast of Bodmin Moor – 3 years ago! He even let us interview him. We’d only just arrived and already we had an interview for this sinking ship that is Calamityville. He was certain we would love the museum and he was right. There was everything related to witchcraft including poppets, wands, Mandrake root, herbs, Ouija boards, swords and skulls. And even entire board relating to penis amulets. We even bought an iron Athame. Yes people, we now have our very own wand. Ryan is now a little scared of the power we wield. The witchcraft museum, BoscastleWe even used a Tarot machine for the first time. Basically, you put a coin in, the needle spins and lands on a card. Ryan tutted at us for paying 2p as he slotted £1 in. If writing paid better, we’d be less stingy. His tarot card was Judgement. Lynx’s landed smack between The Fool and Justice. Cat got The Devil. Throughout the museum were signs warning people not to lean across the displays as they were alarmed. While we were loitering by the magic mirror (if you see a face, it’s the person you’ll marry. Wentworth Miller didn’t appear) an alarm blared around the museum and a guilty looking Ryan stepped back from the display.

We then headed to Tintagel castle. It was basically ruins but it was right on top of a cliff and was the birth place of King Arthur. Merlin’s Caves were underneath. The views were stunning. Unfortunately Cat’s bad knee had been playing up all week and the steep cliff steps finished it off but she ignored the pain and we climbed another cliff to more ruins. Luckily she packed her ice pack and crutches. Tintagel castleAfter that we headed for Hayle and our Travelodge. For those who know our tales of woe when trying to find our Travelodges in North Wales, you won’t be surprised to discover we couldn’t find this one. Turned out in wasn’t actually IN Hayle. Travelodge name them after the nearest town, not the actual destination. We were directed to a garage and pulled in to the car park, only to discover it was Premier Inn. As we toured the car park, we spied Travelodge lurking behind a Shell petrol station, spying on us. And it had just caught us flirting with another motel. We scurried over and assured Travelodge that it wasn’t what it looked like, we were just LOOKING at Premier Inn and it meant nothing to us.

Penzance ghost walkWe had just enough time to unpack and have a quick snack before leaving for Penzance. Mum told us to leave at half seven for the half eight ghost walk. We left at 7:55 – we had to wait for Ryan’s equipment to recharge. We got there on time and were even allowed to film. The walk lasted til 10:15 and it was brilliant. The guide, Ian Addicoat, was really entertaining and clearly knew a lot about the area. There were 15-20 of us on the walk yet we were the only ones who had a light. In the pitch black cemetery, Lynx kindly lit the steps for the elderly people in the group so no one broke a hip. That would really sour the spooky atmosphere. We kept getting left behind as we skulked in the dark taking photos like perverts. Iain told us of the legends of black dogs and how people die soon after seeing these spectral creatures. Ryan was then paranoid about meeting them. We planned to tell him we couldn’t see any black dogs if he spotted one.Penzance ghost walk

We found our way back to our Travelodge no problem, which surprised us all. A whole day in Cornwall and we didn’t get lost once. In other news, Jupiter has melted.