Sat 9th July 2018
It was another sunny day that greeted us for our last morning in Hastings. We took one last walk before setting off for the 5-hour drive to Torquay. The Sat-Nav took us by the shortest route but that had us almost in London at the half-way mark! The journey was fine though and went without event, apart from lots of traffic, and we finally made it to Torquay by 4 pm.
There is always a moment of trepidation when you enter new holiday lodgings. Will it be ok? Will it be like the pictures and description or will it be like our fateful trip of years ago to Porto Santo Stefano. For those of you who don’t know about that trip we ended up leaving early but literally had to run to escape the Italian staff (no English spoken in this part of Italy) who were not wanting us to depart at all. With Mark revving the car and me running towards him saying ‘go go go’. It sounds funny now but it was a rather disturbing experience for us as we escaped back to Rome from the apartment from hell.
Anyway, no such problems here. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Our new lodging for Torquay was absolute luxury in a large, modern, high-spec and ultra clean apartment that offered oodles of storage. Mark’s bike even had its own bedroom. The last two places were nice but this place was luxurious by comparison and we’re looking forward to exploring from here during our 8-night stay. We’re hoping the local area might match the caliber of the apartment and that will also make for a pleasant change. Ramsgate and Hastings offered us an interesting stay and they both have so much potential but much of that remains unrealized for the moment. I hope that might change for them one day.
Link to our Torquay apartment: https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/23353312
We settled in at the apartment and then headed out for a walk down the hill, a rather steep hill mind you, to the waterfront where we were pleasantly surprised to find lots of activity; the place was busy on this sunny Saturday afternoon with folk spilling out of all the cafes and restaurants. This region is referred to as The English Riviera and we found this to quite an apt description. We had a drink at an Irish pub before deciding to have an early dinner and our restaurant of choice was ‘Rockfish’ given that it had some outside seating and was catching the afternoon/evening sun. This ended up being a great choice as I had the best fish meal of my entire life and Mark’s meal, whilst good, came with the best chips ever and, even better still, the chips were ‘bottomless’ however we were stopped after two serves. It had been a long day, especially for Mark who had done all the driving, and so we wound our way home, via a quick stop off at Tescos for some supplies, and enjoyed a final glass of wine from our balcony whilst enjoying the spectacular view! The walk home involved an almost vertical climb though so my first job slated for tomorrow was to find alternative walking routes home; preferable one(s) with a more manageable gradient!
Sunday 10th June
It was clear and sunny for our first morning in Torquay and Mark set off for a bike ride with Mid Devon Cycle Club and I set off for a walk. I ventured down to the waterfront via a different pathway and was pleased to find that this afforded a morning gentle gradient for any return trip so my first job of the day was completed successfully. I found there was much more activity here of a morning, compared to what we experienced at either Ramsgate or Hastings, and that was greatly appreciated. There was a much more festive feel to this place and the properties, shops, cafes and restaurants were all maintained to a much higher standard. It was really nice to see that folk were taking pride in their properties and celebrating their beautiful surroundings.
Mark was not due home until near 2 pm and so I ended up heading out again for lunch and to have a wander around the shops. Whilst lunch was pretty ordinary, the shopping went well. I found a great UK-based shoe shop, no surprises there, but they had a variety of shoes that were well suited to pounding the hard surfaces you tend to find across much of Europe and at very reasonable prices. So, with one pair of shoes purchased, I continued to wander the cobbled lanes until Mark eventually returned home and made his way down to meet me. We had a drink together at Torquay’s version of RVP, here it is called Green Ginger, before collecting something for dinner from Tescos and heading home for a night of dining in. We have one of the best views in Torquay, if not the best, so good food and wine at home makes sense!
Monday 11th June
It was a beautiful sunny morning and the forecast was for good weather all day so we decided to take a ferry trip to Brixham after our morning walk. The ferry trip takes about 30 minutes and is pretty good value at 3 GBP return per adult. We caught the 10.45 am ferry over and the 2.00 pm ferry back. Brixham is just a small fishing village but is where restaurants in all of the surrounding areas source their fish produce. An hour spent wandering the streets is plenty enough time to soak up the atmosphere though and we did this before heading to ‘Rockfish’ for lunch. This was the same chain that we went to on our first night in Torquay and Mark sample the bottomless chips again which, of course, was washed down by a couple of beers!