September 15th was the last day of Andrea’s first holiday.
I began the day with a substantial (but delicately-eaten) breakfast, and while I waited for it to arrive had another good chat with the guests from New Zealand. While I ate I had a good chat with the B&B owners, and when I left one gave me a hug ‘goodbye hun’ while the other one helped me with my bags to the car and then also hugged me and told me to stay in touch.
I drove up the Cornish coast and stopped at a car park near Tintagel above the sea in order to visit the island and ruins there. I walked along the cliff path, took a few photos, and said hello to a few passers by who smiled with their own greeting. I bought my ticket from a guy with some nice chat, then headed down increasingly steep steps to the small bridge that crosses the island; at times I had to hold my skirt down as the wind threatened to blow it to indecency, but I was glad I wore it after the two previous legging-days. As I climbed the steps towards the ruins a guy light-heartedly joked with me that there were oxygen masks at the top; I merrily agreed that the steps were getting very steep. I had a good walk around the top, took a few photos of the stunning views, and picked up a plastic bottle that someone had carelessly dropped and, with no bins, handed it over to the guy in the ticket booth and had a litter-chat with him before returning to my yellow car. As I changed my shoes a little dog wandered over and its owner came over and smiled, then told the dog to not be a bother. See below for photo of Tintagel island.
I drove onwards just a few miles to Boscastle, a village previously wrecked by flood water. I parked, wandered through the village, and went into the National Trust place to the cafe where I ordered a Cornish cream tea – the girl serving me was really nice, and I joked that I was desperate to have my first cream tea as my holiday was nearly over. After a loo stop, I wandered down the river a bit, over a bridge, then up the other side. I passed three people on a seat and the two women found me rather curious – perhaps they’ve never seen a girl in a skirt carrying a big camera before….? Oh well, bought a small cake from a bakery, then went into a Spar to buy water – a woman said “excuse me love” to pass by, and the lady who served me was very nice and we had a bit of weather-chat.
I then drove for over 90 minutes east and eventually stopped for petrol a few miles from the M5 motorway. I wasn’t sure of the best route to the motorway so I told the petrol-guy where I was going, and he said which would be the best route by far, though indicated it was rather a twisty road – I joked that as I was alone so that was okay as I was the only one I had to worry about getting car sick.
Near Bristol airport I stopped at a pub for dinner. I asked for a table and the guy behind the bar advised that there was a 30 minute wait as it was busy. I said no problem, and placed an order for food and got a drink. I asked if there was free wifi and he said it was broken so I said I wished I had brought a book or something to kill the time, so he offered a local paper. My table was right by the bar, with people coming and going, but nobody seemed to notice anything different about me, and the waitresses who looked after me were all fine too.
The last thing I did as Andrea was fill the car with petrol and pay… because then I had the demoralising task of removing all trace of Andrea so that I could return the car as male. It felt so awful changing clothes and removing makeup in a layby… but my BGF Kirsty has to do it a lot, so I can truly empathise with her now.
So, that was my three and a bit days totally Andrea. LOADS of positive experiences, LOADS of voice use and enjoyable chat… and only a couple of people obviously giving me a stare of curiosity, which I think is pretty good. Mega amounts of bliss and contentment!