Last week I took the geokids to Cornwall for a few days, so that Wolfie could spend some of the summer break with her boyfriend (yes I made him cache too). Anyway, Cadence and I found ourselves at a bit of a lose end on the Wednesday. The weather was overcast but still warm and we really didn’t fancy a boring day at our basic campsite (it hadn’t got anything there for children to do).
As I had always dreamed of visiting the home of King Arthur of Camelot, with a romanticism of the medieval past imagined from all the stories, novels and television shows that have fuelled my enthusiasm for English history for as long as I can remember, we hopped into the car, loaded the GPSr to direct us and headed out.
The first thing we noticed about Tintagel was the age. There were ancient buildings amongst modern builds. One beautiful example was The Old Post Office described by The National Trust as “a 14th-century yeoman’s farmhouse -With a famously wavy slate roof and over 600 years of history”, and then there were the tourists. They were everywhere. (Now of course I knew that we were tourists that day too, but at least we had the decency to walk on pavements rather than in the road.)
Sorry I got distracted… back to ancient Cornwall. As I said there were beautiful buildings (I do love ancient architecture especially knowing a little about the crude tools that were used to build these perfect homesteads), and there was one little place where we were able to sit and admire Fore Street in all it’s hustle & bustle and bag ourselves a geocache at the same time. Tintagel – Extreme Stealth is a difficulty 3/terrain 1 traditional geocache in the heart of Fore Street, Tintagel. The cache owner, SMacB, describes it as “Nano, extreme stealth required. Possibly one of the busiest areas of the village” and repeatedly mentions stealth is required. Now here was a challenge we were not going to pass up. With a scratch of my leg the cache was in my hand and the passers by had no idea I was acting suspiciously, log duly signed and with another scratch or two the cache was returned to it’s home and the tourist’s were none the wiser.
Job done it was time to find Tintagel Castle to see if it lived up to my high expectations. The easiest way to do this was to follow everyone else as they all were going to and coming from the same direction. In no time at all, Cadence and I were trekking down a very steep and very long footpath & unmade road towards what is possibly one of the most famous attractions in the UK – Tintagel Castle. Home of legends, myths and magic.
Despite the looming grey clouds which have a tendancy to make everything look miserable, I was still in awe of the medieval structure, although now all in ruins it still looks impressive and you can just imagine how imposing and intimidating it must have been at the height of King Arthur’s reign. Atop the opposite cliff looking over at the towering heights I felt very much at peace and at home. We spent a long time with mouths agape, speechless, at the top of Tintagel, imaging the knights enjoying their banquets and Merlin hiding out in his cave at the mouth of the sea.
A time well spent dreaming and back to the task in hand – finding the geocache. Tintagel Castle was placed by Lunchbox back in Sept 2001 and has accrued a staggering 151 favourite points. Well knowing it had that many favourites and 1,170 found logs, Cadence and I thought it may be an easy find. We followed the arrow in the direction of the cache, read the description when we were close to ground zero and the hint (because we couldn’t see any obvious hiding place) and began our search.
Because of the strong breeze I decided that it wasn’t a good idea for Cadence to join in this hunt, so left her in charge of the camera. After some belly crawling, finger tip searching and more belly crawling I gave up and we sat together enjoying the view while I read up on the found logs. That was when I discovered we were in fact too high up the cliff. We hunted around for the path described in the logs and on closer inspection my fear of heights got the better of me and we logged a “did not find”.
Despite our slight failure we were not despondant, we had enjoyed our time in Tintagel, dreamed glorious dreams of Camelot and were now ready to move on to the next village that held more hopes and dreams – Boscastle.