The outside of a motorbike engine seen up close near the exhaust

Home Travel StoriesStatic Caravan in Cornwall 2005 - By Ren Withnell

Static Caravan In Cornwall 2005 - Day 1

I’ve got a friend who’s been going to the same static caravan site now for 20 to 30 years. He used to take the kids when they were young and now they are adults and have flown the nest, they still go down as a family every year. Only this year was different. This year the youngest has got his partner pregnant and she is due slap bang in the middle of the holidays. This means my friend and his partner want to be at home when baby comes along, and the youngest and his partner need to be home for the same reasons. The eldest is still going with his partner. So there are a couple of caravans spare at Gear Park Holidays, in Perranporth, Cornwall. Arrangements are made, cheques pass hands and I’ve booked a caravan for the end of August.

Then there’s the gf. Her back has been bad for quite some time now, and we were still not sure, even with the new painkillers, if she would be fit to go on the bike for so long. We have done a test ride to Derbyshire and that went ok, but 350 miles is a long way. The decision to go on the bike is only settled on the night before we leave. If we were to take the car we would drive down overnight to avoid the traffic, on the bike we plan to leave early on the Saturday morning.

So on Saturday morning at 0600 the alarm goes off. We do not want to get out of bed, no matter how excited we are about going on holiday. We finally scrape ourselves off the sheets and into some clothes and feed. Of course I have to nag the gf to get ready. “Oh, is there room for this…and this…hang on…this?” After all my nagging I give up and sit down. Moments later she’s stood there, helmet on and ready to go. We set off at 0705, 5 minutes late. The nagging paid off.

It’s a perfect day for riding. No rain but some cloud cover to stop the sun from making us sweat to death in the bike kit. We head straight for the motorways. It’s too far to be messing around with A roads. The bike had showed itself to be uncomfortable on the Faro trip but today I’ve got my ass into a groove and we’re moving along. I’m more concerned about the gf. I’m wondering if every bump is agony and each mile is hell. After 80 miles we pull of into Hilton Park services and get off the bike. My ass is a bit numb and my knees stiff. I ask the gf how she is in my best “worried and concerned” voice. Bugger, she’s fine. So pumped up on painkillers I could slap her around the car park and she wouldn’t even notice.

I stretch and have a smoke then we carry on. We manage to clear Birmingham before 0900 that means we have missed the worst of the Saturday traffic. Traffic start to get heavier as we get closer to Bristol, and there must be a few matches on today as plenty of cars are sporting flags and scarves out the window. Another 80 miles down to Michael Wood services, more concerns over the gf as I notice she’s fidgeting a little from time to time. This time I’m starting to suffer on the bike, this time my neck aches and my legs ache and my bum aches and my back aches. Of course the gf is fine. I hate that, I hate that she’s the one I’m worried about and yet she’s fine. Bummer.

At the services we park net to 2 Harleys and a VFR800. The couple on the 2 Harleys are stopping near Exeter and have only another 80 or 90 miles to go. The couple on the VFR are off to Perranporth! We talk for a while and I learn the Harley couple had been to Faro this year, on the plane. They did not wish to get the bikes all dirty in that dusty desert. Another stretch, another toilet visit and another smoke and we are off again.

This time the traffic is getting very heavy. We’re filtering for 4 or 5 miles, a short blast then filtering again. As we filter along at 10 to 15 mph I have to laugh. The bike is wide due to the saddlebags so I’m being careful not to squeeze through any really tight gaps. Even so through some of the smaller gaps I can feel the gf pull her knees into my hips tight. The bars and the bags stick out at least 6 inches further than her knees, but her mind is telling her to breathe in and brace for impact. It’s nice to know she has faith in my ability.

This filtering is tiring and we stop at Bridgeport services for a stretch and rest. Again we set off into the traffic and again we filter. Finally we come off the motorway and head towards Exeter in search of food. Sainsbury’s have the answer and I order 2 bacon butties, the gf has the all day breakfast. I eat my butties and start to eye the gf’s all day breakfast. No chance. The food monster, all 7 and a half stone of her, is in eating mode. There is barely any baked bean juice left on the plate when she is finished.

The A30 which runs through the spine of Devon and Cornwall is busy. Most of this is dual carriageway so the single lane sections are jammed solid. More filtering, more slow riding, more sore ass and more frustration. If we’d used the car it would take a week to clear this road. Another quick stop then finally the Perranporth signs come into view. The road is now single carriageway, twisty and fun. The fun only lasts for 10 miles then I’m in Perranporth. A quick look at the map guides me back up the road a mile into Perran Sands Campsite.

Gear Park is a tiny section of a much larger complex. We find the owner and book in after some confusion over who has paid what to whom. The caravan is a dated old thing but in good order and more than suitable for our needs. We unpack, sort out the bedding and settle in. The evening is drawing in and the air is cooling. Of course the fire is not working. The owner cannot fix this and assures me he will get a man out to fix is on Monday. He leaves so we take an executive decision to light the oven that warms the van nicely.

Dated and a little worn, but good enough for us.

We go to the shop for basic supplies, say “Hello” so my friend’s eldest and his partner, watch some TV and throw ourselves into a weary bed.

Static Caravan In Cornwall 2005 - Day 1
Static Caravan In Cornwall 2005 - Day 2
Static Caravan In Cornwall 2005 - Day 3
Static Caravan In Cornwall 2005 - Day 4 Just a lazy day at the beach with nary a motorcycle in sight.
Static Caravan In Cornwall 2005 - Day 5
Static Caravan In Cornwall 2005 - Day 6
Static Caravan In Cornwall 2005 - Day 7
Static Caravan In Cornwall 2005 - Day 8

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Home Travel StoriesStatic Caravan in Cornwall 2005 - By Ren Withnell

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