Reidy writes

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

St Ives to Heathrow, Home !

We arrived in St Ives to a very warm welcome from Evie and Noah, their mum was the reason we were there. Zoe and her husband Andrew are involved with the St Ives Surf Club and invited us to spend a day hanging out with the kids surfing and nipper training. With a welcome like the one below how could we not feel at home.

From Zoe's place we ventured down the hill and through all the very narrow streets of St Ives to the other side of the Harbour to a place called The Mermaid, its a very popular  seafood restaurant owned by a lovely couple named Matt and Roz, we were staying in the cool little 2 bedroom shack upstairs. It was a perfect location for us as it's right near both the main part of town and also the beach where the waves were. After getting settled we ventured out to see a little bit of this picturesque village and grab some dinner with Deb and Liz from Owl Marketing. After some great pub grub from a place called the Union Inn we pulled up stumps early as we had a huge day to follow. 

7:45am we met Sal from BBC radio Corwall down at thebeach, Sal is a lovely bloke with a very enthusiastic personality. He Interviewed all of us as well as James (one of the nippers parents) and some of the nipper kids for their local morning show. Being live radio it was a little nerve racking but everyone seemed to do really well.

After the radio stuff it was time to get stuck into some really fun stuff. The crew at from St Ives Surf School give up their time every Saturday morning for 2 hours to take all the local kids surfing. The guys love the fact that they get the opportunity to surf and want everyone to be as stoked on surfing as they are so they start at the grass roots of their community. Its such a great display of local community spirt and was so nice to see after the craziness of the recent riots. Now i know what your thinking "Reidy, isn't the water cold?" well my answer to that is "YES although not as cold as i expected" the friendly guys from St Ives surf school kindly lent us all 5mm of insulating rubber (very thick wetsuit) so the cold wasn't a problem at all. Their were a couple of different groups ranging from beginners through to advanced, Gonzo and I were with the beginners (they must have heard how good we surf). We started out just pushing them onto waves then towards the end we regrouped and they had to go through their levels which include trying to complete certain manoeuvres such as a push ups or an aeroplane and even the Buddha to help teach them board control, It was such a wonderful experience, I'm not sure who was having more fun, us or the kids. Big thanks to Jamie and the crew from St Ives surf school for letting us tag along. You guys are awesome, the world could use a lot more people like you in many of its communities.

We popped back to The Mermaid for showers before the organised meet and greet at a great little bar down the road called The Sloop Inn. It's the oldest pub in St Ives, celebrating its 700th Birthday next year. Nearly as old as Hoppo :) The turn out was amazing with one woman coming 350 mile just to say hello, what a legend. It was awesome to chat to everybody about the weather and the town of St Ives, many were there as tourist like us but we all fell in love with the built up seaside town. We were also treated to some scones with jam and cream which we happily devoured after. Thanks to everyone that came along, it was great to meet you all.

After a couple of hours down time it was time to cruise back down to Porthmeor beach for nipper training followed by a BBQ and medal presentation from a big carnival they won just recently. The St Ives SLSC is on a super high at the moment after knocking off the top dogs in the local derby.  We arrived to at least 60 very excited nippers, I really wish Harries had of been there he would have loved it. They split them into 4 groups putting one of us in each group and we completed board relays and then finished it off with every kid including us doing a board rescue. Everyone did really well including the parents who really get involved either marsheling kids or out the back swimming around doing water safety. After we dried off we tucked into some great BBQ food, couple of beers and gave out some medals at the presentation. Every kid took home at least 2 or 3 medals which i think is a credit to the hard work all the parents have put in over the years. Thanks to everyone down at St Ives SLSC for having us, we really did have an absolute ball with everyone.

Feeling like we'd reclaimed The Ashes after taking on, and WINNING a little drinking challenge laid down by some of the nippers fathers in a bar called The Balcony the night before, Sunday was always going to be a good day. Although it was sad to leave St Ives looking so picture perfect with the sun beaming down and not a cloud in the sky. It really is an amazing place, if you get the chance make sure you check it out, I promise you wont be disappointed.

We were off to meet a friend of Kerr Boxes, a guy named Paul. Paul was taking us Go Karting at a place called Coast to Coast Karting just 10 mins outside of St Ives. I was so excited about reliving my Super Mario Kart days i nearly couldn't contain myself. Paul signed us up for twin engine Karts and before we knew it we were fanging around the racetrack and speeds normally left to the professionals race car drivers. Hoppo was a little worse for ware after the previous nights fun, I'm pretty sure his Kart didn't get out of first gear. Big thanks to Paul for spicing up our trip, we really did have loads of fun.

Adrenaline still pumping it was time to move on, we were headed to see a beautiful lady named Sarah, Sarah is battling a very aggressive form of bowl cancer. The world nearly lost one of its best last november when she came very close to the end but some how after some serious doses of chemo, a whole lot of will power and strong fight she bounced back. Sarah just happens to like Bondi Rescue and when she found out we were going to be 5 minutes from her house she got in contact with Deb and Liz from Owl Marketing and offered home made "Cream Tea" in return for a quick hello. Now we love Cream Tea and we love wonderful women so how could we say no. We sat out the back in her lovely garden, drank tea while tucking into sponge cake and scones with jam and cream for about an hour just chatting about everything. I was thrilled we got to meet Sarah and her family, they are all such wonderful people and the fact that they are going through what they're going through kinda breaks my heart. Sarah will never be able to be given the all clear by doctors as the cancer seedlings will always remain in her bowel but still she remains positive. She looks so great right now and on behalf of all the boys at Bondi we wish you many, many, many more years of great health and happy times.

Back on the road again we headed up to Newquay, we couldn't be so close to the place and not check it out. It just happened to be the final day of a famous festival there called Boardmasters, it was also a warm sunny day so the place was packed. We walked around the golf course that sits right behind the beach and then continued with a lap on the beach up to where the surfing competition was being held. We happened to arrive as the final was kicking off and it was an Australia guy named Mitchel Coleborn V a France guy named Romain Colitre so we grabbed some food and watched them tear apart an onshore Newquay beach for a bit. Colitre got the win in the end but it was cool to see an Aussie in the final. After taking some photos with Deb and Liz we said our farewells and wished them a safe drive back to Manchester. It was really great to get to thank them properly and spend sometime with them after all the time and effort they put in to making this trip so much fun for us guys.

Once the wise old OWLS had left we were back out in the big wide world fending for ourselves again. We didn't have a plan and night was drawing near. It was our very last night before we made our way to heathrow to start our journey back to sydney at 10:30pm the following evening. We put our heads together and came up with a plan, drive halfway to Bristol spend a lazy night there and do the other half of the drive later the next day after seeing the sights up that way. We were back on the road AGAIN, after about 2 hours we finally rolled into Bristol about 8:30 pm. Big thanks to Mel at CBS reality we checked into The Raddision hotel in the centre of town. Taking full advantage of the 12pm check out we all slept in till about 11:30am. Up and atom we got our stuff together and headed to a little shop around the corner called Made Up. Its owned by a lovely lady named Clare. Clare had heard we were in town and asked if we would like to come in, try some of her delicious sandwiches and help her celebrate the shop opening 4 years ago to the day. Clare loves her little business and takes pride in everything she does. I'm really glad we took her up on the offer. It was a such a nice way to enjoy our last lunch in England by hanging out and talking to locals.

Having a little time up our sleeve we decided to check out the very old town of Bath. We had heard it is a must see as the Roman Baths are just amazing. Arriving it was like you'd gone back in time, you can just  feel the age of the place when your walking through the city centre. The architecture and detail in the buildings had us ooohhhing and aaahhhing the whole way round. We stopped into check out he Roman Baths but unfortunately we didn't have the time to do the whole tour as it takes about 1.5 hours however we did manage to see the spring where the water comes from 84 meters under ground. We also got the opportunity to drink some of it although it tasted like old footy socks that had been soaking in mud. Bath is an amazing place that should be on everyones bucket list !

So here we are, sitting in the amazing upper class section on Virgin Atlantic's airbus 600 named "Queen of the skies" being very well looked after by a friendly and warm stewardess named Hannah. With only 8hrs of flying between us and home I'm feeling a little sad. I'm ready to go home but I'm not. I have met so many wonderful people on this trip, people I'm stoked to call friends and I feel like this is me saying good bye to many of them I may never see again. To everyone that has put us up for the night, helped us with directions, planned a a fun day for us, traveled along way to see us or even just given us kind words and a cheeky smile I'd just like to say THANK YOU. You've all made this trip oh so special in one way or another and if your ever in Bondi please make sure you look us up and say hello.

This wont be my last blog as I'm kinda into this blogging caper, I'll just be waiting till i have interesting stuff to write about.

Lets not say "good bye", lets say "see you soon".