Saturday, July 11, 2009

Torquay I.ii

Hello there! I'm back again - here to finish up telling you about Torquay. I think I left off at the 26th, so we'll start there. I don't think it was a very exciting day. We were due to leave our hotel the next day, but since everywhere else in the country was ridiculously expensive we decided we'd stay in Torquay. And honestly, we really liked it there and wanted to stay anyways. So we traipsed over to another B&B we had looked up online only to find they were all booked up. But, as luck would have it, we saw a place on the way that looked nice and adevertised having internet so we staopped in. They had a full week open so we booked it all! And by booking a full week we got one night free, so it was a good deal in our opinion. After getting that taken care of we went to Chuck's favorite fish n chips shop, then crossed the street to the beach to dip our toes in the water. As usual, it was freezing, but oh so lovely! We played for a bit in the surf before heading back to our current hotel for our last night.

We moved over to our new B&B on the 27th, all the while keeping the fact that we were continuing our stay in Torquay a secret from the previous B&B. I felt so bad about changing hotels on them simply due to the internet problems... They were so nice to us. So I had some guilt issues for a bit (actually, I still feel a twinge of guilt thinking about it now!). But we ended up in for the rest of the day and the next day because I had developed a cold. The rubbish bin (I'm so British!) was full of snotty tissues by the 29th. Ick. But on the 29th we actually got out and did somehting again! We took a walk.

We went on a walk along a coastal hiking trail that was just gorgeous. After stopping into Primark and getting me a new £2.00 tank top and stopping into Tesco for a brown-bag lunch we made our way to a lovely, secluded, tiny alcove to eat. The ocean was crystal clear here with a rocky, pebbly beach. It really reminded me of my summers in lake Erie with the smooth stones and freezing water. It was so beautiful! And after lunch we continued our walk and found a tree for me to climb, then found a rocky hill to climb down on our butts because it got too steep. And then we carefully balanced our way across a pool of filthy, monster0riden water with jagged rocks poking out of it to find ourselves once again at Meadfoot Beach (the beach we visited after Kent's Cavern). Then we had to walk allll the way back to the B&B in the blazing Torquay summer heat. I'm not joking either, it was hot. But it made for a lovely day.

The 1st of July was our next big outing - we went to a place called the Eden Project. It's west of where we were staying by about 2-3 hours, in Cornwall. We took the train and what should have been a 2.5 hour trip turned into, oh 4 hours due to all the delays that day. I don't know what was going on but it seemed that just about every train was delayed by at least 20 minutes, if not more. But we eventually did make it there and foudn it to be a very cool place.

It has two bio-domes. Each one had a big central "bubble" with two smalled bubbles merging into it. They were very futuristic looking. The walk to the domes is lined with tons of different plants and flowers, including a large patch of marijuana plants surrounded by an electric fence. How crazy is that?? Besides pot they were also growing various vegetables, some fruits, hops, tons of flowers, some herbs, and other things I can't even remember or didn't even get a chance to see. It's a huge place.

One of the bio-domes is a tropical rainforest set-up. It was worse than Florida in there... I had noticible back-sweat by the time we were done. Eww. They even had a "cool room" halfway along the path that was blowing nice freezing air. Good idea. They had lots of plants I wasn't familiar with, and some I was. Bananas, cacao, coffee, rubber, hibiscus, palms, and papaya are some that I can remember. And they do a really nice job of making the place more interesting with nice-looking displays showing how some plants are used, or products that the plants are used in. Someone there is doing some really creative work.

The other dome is filled with Mediteranean plants and has a much nicer temperature. The neatest display was of tobacco plants. I'd never before thought about the fact that they would have a flower, but they do and it's kind of pretty. They had one of those nice displays for the tobacco as well, with it all set up to dry the leaves out like they do to make cigarettes or whatever. And they had a bunch of peach trees that were hanging with fruit and smelling oh-so-delicious. There was a huge agave plant, which is what Tequila is made from. Soem others were grapes, tomatos, sun flowers, pomegranate, bouganvillia and more. A really cool place! I recommend a visit if you're ever in the area...

Here's a collection of just flower and plant pictures - there's about 60 of them, so be warned! Some turned out quite pretty though.

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