Riviera Sleeper to Penzance
The Riviera Sleeper, otherwise known as me not getting much sleep with two teenage nephews in tow! Going to Penzance with two train obsessed and lively boys was always going to be exhausting but fun.
Leaving Paddington Station at midnight already felt like we were going on an adventure.
With airplane like seating I wasn't sure what to make of it ~ the boys reassuring me that it would be a laugh.
The buffet car was open all night, and that kept the eldest happy when he wasn't snoring that is. I mean, a nearly-six-foot-frame needs a lot of fuel.
"We're going to stay awake all night," they said.
"Of course, be my guest."
I knew they wouldn't stay awake much gone 2am and I was right. They slept and I didn't get a wink! The seats were comfy enough, but the lights were too bright ~ I wished they would turn them down like they do on nights flights. Maybe it's a safety issue, or did they forget?
The carriage echoed to the sound of gentle snoring of strangers, gaping mouths showing years worth of dentistry, that did nothing to soothe my tired bones. Reminded me of being a nurse 'on nights,' many moons ago, desperately trying to keep my tired eyes open. Only this time I was desperate for some shut-eye! I was compensated though by seeing the sunrise over East Devon ~ golden rays cast a glow over the Jurassic coast's red coloured cliffs. Weirdly reminding me of the Australian outback. Seeing the Tamar bridge, crossing into Cornwall from Devon, was delightful too.
It really does feel like entering a different world in the West country. Second home even. A gentle pace of life, sea, sand and seagulls, beautiful scenery, what more could you want?
Well, a bus tour or two actually. This is what happens when you hand the reins of what to do to teenage boys. Fine by me as I sat on the open top deck bus soaking in the rays without a care in the world. Essentially we had 48 hours to see West Cornwall so I think we got a feel of places rather than a view per se. A tip though. Don't visit St Ives on a sweltering Bank Holiday Monday ~ it's not worth the hassle as you shuffle shoulder to shoulder with sweaty strangers, all the while gasping for a cuppa. I'm sure the Tate Gallery was there somewhere and I'm sure it's very nice, but we never found it. Can you imagine my disappointment as the boys had kindly agreed to have a look at "arty stuff," to compensate for me sitting on buses all day? Still, Cornwall has enviable beautiful scenery and it was restful to while away the hours taking it all in.
Never mind, it was a lovely couple of days with the boys, making memories and having a lot of laughs. Happily do it again only next time we're taking the sleeper coach, proper beds!
All photos my own