So back at the end of my third year of University some of my friends and I had what I have always referred to as ‘one of the best days of my life’. We drove down to Newquay, Cornwall, hired some boards, spend a day surfing (attempting to) in the sunshine and then finished it off with pizza and ice cream on the beach.
It was perfect.
In a bid to recreate an extended version of that day, my friend had decided to organise a trip for us all to go down south and spend a weekend surfing, splashing about in the ocean, and enjoying each others company.
So on what was to be the hottest day of the year so far, we set off to Devon with a packed car and high hopes.
After a big Tesco shop we arrived to our apartment for the weekend. It was located in a shipyard however, if you turned the opposite direction and pretended it wasn’t there, we had a lovely view of the estuary.
The tide there came in and went out so quickly! It was actually fascinating to watch!
To make the most of the sunshine we took a stroll to the beach, I was most excited because I finally got to wear my summer dungarees which I had bought back in the deep depths of Winter. I highly advise that when wearing dungarees, if your bladder calls, find a toilet – don’t wild wee.
We also stopped off for some lunch at this cute little cafe which had a beautiful flower garden you could sit in and lots of quaint little bits and pieces for decoration.
After finishing the day off with a pitcher of Pimms from a nearby seafront pub, we headed back to the apartment to wait for a few of the others to arrive and get the BBQ started.
Possibly the most civilised evening of my life, we set up the most perfect BBQ with another bottle of Pimms to top it off.
Whoever said females can’t do BBQ’s got it incredibly wrong in our case!
That night there was a serious storm forecasted for the South West. I made a comment to my friend about how I might set an alarm for the early hours to get up and watch it but I am often absolutely hopeless at staying awake and dozed off before I even had the chance.
So 3am comes around and I am stirred by my friend calling my name as she had woken to the storm and didn’t want me to miss out. The thunder and lightning was like nothing I have ever seen or heard before. All of us woke up because of it (also probably partly to do with my squealing) and sat for a good twenty minutes just watching the continuous illuminations of the clouds above us. It was the coolest storm I have ever witnessed.
The next day the weather was still warm but significantly less sunny and more windy. We decided to make the most of the seaside and visit Westwood Ho! (only place in the UK to have and exclamation mark in it’s name – geography fact) to try body boarding.
It was my first time using body boards and although it was fun to try out, I definitely prefer surfing!
It was a bit chilly too!
After two hours freezing our butts off, we caved and went back to the apartment to shower the salt off our skin. Once feeing human again we decided to visit Bideford to get some lunch.
Bideford was a pretty little town on the estuary and appeared to have some motorbike show on so there was a lot of leather about.
After a warming lunch and an unsuccessful attempt to find homemade fudge, but successful attempt at saving an abandoned dog, we popped to Asda to top up on our Pimms supply.
Another trip to the pub playing the oldest game of Trivial Pursuit I’ve ever seen and the boys finally rocked up. Eventually, we finished off our drinks, made our way back and took control of the BBQ before they had a chance to.
The next day the weather picked up, there were sunny spells, the wind had died down and the beach was busy.
So after a group breakfast we all squeezed into our wetsuits once again and made a sweet little set up on the beach.
We were all well and truly ready for the waves.
With 5 shared boards and a couple of body boards we entered the water and began surfing! There were many successful stands and seven times as many wipe outs! But it was super fun!
Here is visual evidence I actually managed to (briefly) stand up!
After a couple of hours our tummies were rumbling so we exited the water and purchased several loads of chips, chicken nuggets and scampi (yeesss!!) for a group lunch.
And here we all are stuffing our faces!
Satisfied with the food, we donned the soggy wet suits once again and went back in the ocean for another few hours.
That evening, after several fights and arguments over whose turn it was to use the shower next, we put on our nicest clothes and went for a meal at a nearby restaurant. I went the full hog and had a starter, main and dessert which were all delicious. Eventually, exhausted from the day and fresh air, we went back for our last nights sleep at the apartment.
On the last morning, we packed up our stuff and bunged it all in the cars. After a breakfast at a nearby cafe and an ice cream on the sea front, we made our long journey back.
And our journey back was long, five hours were spent sat in traffic along the M5. This is where the song of the trip comes in, for some reason we came on to the topic of how great the song Sandstorm is. One of our friends did not know what song we were on about and so to show her, we put it on. Sat in stand-still traffic there was a car full of us alongside multiple sandy bodyboards dancing like lunatics to that legendary dance song.
So there it was (one of) the best weekend(s) of my life.