Sunday, October 08, 2006

How do you get to an island at high tide?

Sea Tractor No 3
By sea tractor!

At Bigbury-on-Sea there is a causeway to a small island, called Burgh Island. Its covered at high tide but you can still get across if you can catch one of these.

If you can.... We and several others waited after this one had put down its passengers but then the driver ran away. We had all drifted off looking at things on the seashore when suddenly he returned got in started it up and returned to the island with no-one on board. An odd way to run the service... and we therefore did not eat at the pub or hotel on the island which had been our aim.

Another place that was run oddly was a cafe we had heard about. We didn't have good directions and spent some time looking through all the lanes around one village, called cutely Harrowbarrow, when we got there it was still in good time for lunch and the place had almost no-one seated but on seeing us the waitress pointedly removed the board that said to wait to be seated and put up another saying that they were fully booked. So we drove on to Tavistock, where we ate at Cafe Liaison near the church. In fact we liked it so much that we went home this way and dropped in for morning cake!

Near this cafe there was a lovely gallery (its website doesn't do it justice!) selling some really beautiful pieces of pottery, woodwork and jewellery in particular.

Dartmoor

On our last day the weather was fabulous so we weren't rushing to return. We went via Dartmoor and did a short walk around some of the strange standing stones there.


Standing Stone, Dartmoor

On the journey home I was determined to get a photo of this man, who is made from willow over a steel framework.

M5 wicker sculpture

As he's on the M5 we couldn't stop to take his picture but this one wasn't too blurry!

17 comments:

Reluctant Nomad said...

I've been on that tractor!! Did you go to the Burgh Island Hotel at all? Fascinating place. I stayed in nearby Salford for a weekend (about 17 years ago) when I visited Burgh Island -lovely part of the world.

tinker said...

I didn't know there was such a creature as a sea tractor...I'm glad that after those first couple of harrowing experiences, your adventure got better and better.

Standing stones fascinate me. I've always wanted to see one in person. The willow man is rather captivating, too. How tall does he stand, I wonder...

Caroline said...

We didn't get across to the island at all as the tide was in and the man driving the tractor not keen on giving lifts... I've recently been re-reading P.D. James and I wondered if this island and the hotel was the model for the big house on an island in The Skull Beneath the Skin.

Caroline said...

Oh Tinker you managed to post at the same time as I was replying to Mr Nomad! I love standing stones in general - my real favourties are further south.

According to the BBC the willow man is 40 ft high.

Guyana-Gyal said...

So good to have you back, Caro :-)

I'd love to go on one of those tractors...I'm always amazed at the stuff being invented overseas.

Doesn't that willow man remind you of someone...?

ian russell said...

i've passed the willow man a few times about four years ago - he's weathering well!

the ferry tractor man thought he'd left the iron on. he rushed to the nearest phonebooth only to get the blessed answer machine, so there was only one thing for it...

he urgently needed to spend a penny but, alas, too late. in his embarrassing condition, he beat a hasty retreat...

it all sounds a bit Father Ted. ;o)

Caroline said...

GG - its good to be back - I missed you all - and that's very funny the stuff that's invented overseas.... who were you thinking?

Ian - he was burnt down once and rebuilt so he's had a second skin. I suspect you may have got the answer I should have more compassion for the poor tractor driver.

Joy Eliz said...

These pictures are beautiful!! I love the sea tractor... and mmm cake!

Janet said...

Yay! You're back!
I saw the sea tractor on T.V. once...so neat!
The cottages look wonderful, too.
I hope you post lots more pics. Welcome back!!

Caroline said...

Joy Eliz - thank you - unfortunately now I'm back I've just tested that I need to go on liver detox so no more cake for a while... unless I make one without sugar.

Janet - Yay! I am!

I'd never heard of the sea tractor before and was astonished to see it churning its way over the water - it looked rather precarious but it had clearly been doing the job successfully for yonks.

I've got plenty more pictures to post but I need to limit myself or I'll never get back to Painter... Jim was shocked that I managed to take over 200 photos on 2 separate days - so over 400 just from those days ;-)

Wild Mother Lightning said...

Hey Sweetie, good to see your back to. Loving the pics!! Can't wait to see what else you took. My part of the world seems so much more captivating from your perspective. I shouldn't take it for granted.

Wild Mother Lightning said...

I forgot to say but I experienced my first romance at Burgh Island- That sea tractor holds more than a few memories for me lol

ValGalArt said...

I love this! I first saw one of these on an episode of Poirot! I would love to go on one and am happy to see that they are really still in use! Very cool! Your holiday looks wonderful!!

Caroline said...

WML - what a romantic place for a first romance!

Valgalart - that must mean I've missed a Poirot (or wasn't paying enough attention)!

Reluctant Nomad said...

I don't know about the setting of the PD James, but at least one Agatha Christie was set there.

Caroline said...

Do you know which one?

Guyana-Gyal said...

[grin] doesn't the willow man remind you of someone? Look at your pic, Caro...