I don’t remember the name of this little village on the English coastline, but I was directed here by a few different people. Driving north from Newquay along narrow country roads, my pulse escalates a little as the beach comes into view. I pull into the carpark, turn my windshield wipers to intermittent and sit for a while. The steady drizzle and green hills providing an odd comfort. Debating whether to surf or not, I decide the waves aren’t worth making my sore throat and aching head any worse. A quick exploration of the village yields a cozy coffee shop to retreat to. I order and find a seat as the drizzle escalates outside. I sit alone, contently enjoying my drink and wonder at how I ended up in this random village on the coast of England.
It was the end of a 5-week tour for When Oceans Rise and Ireland was the last stop. In a few days I’d be on a plane home to sunny California, but for now I just enjoyed exploring the cold, damp streets of this small coastal community. It might be because I’m more interested in finding waves, but I rarely go to popular tourist destinations when I travel. I don’t dislike them or anything, I just usually find myself in small villages, talking to strangers, walking the main street, trying to get a sense of what a place is like for those who live there. If a popular tourist site happens to be near waves then I might visit it, but if not chances are you will find me somewhere more like this little village.
As the rain let up I found the local pub, ordered dinner, and listened to the locals next to me excitedly recount the waves they just surfed over rounds of Guinness. I understood their excitement, I just surfed them too. Those kind of waves are hard to forget. But so were the mashed potatoes—some of the best I’ve had.