Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Hidden Treasures of Cornwall

So on Sunday we decided to go looking for treasure.  Cornwall is full of treasure; for some of it you know where to look and for some of it you have to go searching, and I mean really searching; in bushes, in holes, up trees, under rocks.  You see we like the odd bit of Geocaching.  For fear of being called a nerd, all I would say in our defence is don't knock it till you've tried it.

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.  Sometimes you find it, sometimes you don't but what is clear is that geocaching has led us to some amazing little spots around the world that we would never have discovered otherwise.  That's the hidden treasure, not the trinkets for swapping you sometimes find in the caches (that's for the kids really).

So go to  if you want to learn more about it.  It's free and I bet if you pop in your postcode you will find a plethora of nearby caches on your doorstep.

With a few geocaches under our belts, we went searching for a different kind of treasure.  It is hidden in an old quarry but there are plenty of signs pointing you in the right direction to find the Eden Project.  Residents of Cornwall get a really cheap 'locals for a fiver' annual membership (actually it has just increased to £7.50 we noticed!) so we visit quite frequently.  In the midst of a cold, wet Cornish winter there is nothing better than heading for the tropics or the Mediterranean in the biomes. 

As we arrived quite late, we were delighted to discover that all the savoury snacks in the cafe were being sold off for £1 each so we had an impromptu, early and cheap Sunday dinner.  What a bonus as they actually had vegan choices today.  Despite a few emails sent in Eden's direction, I feel that Eden seems to still fall short of the importance of the vegan diet to the environment.  Maybe one day they will catch up but in the meantime, every time we visit we like to leave a message on their huge wall made out of recycled refrigerator doors.
After bellies were filled we walked around the practically deserted biomes whilst rain battered on the huge plastic walls outside.  It is always a delight to be at Eden but even more so when the crowds have disappeared and you can lose yourself in the likes of a Filipino homestead; steamy, warm and surrounded by the musty smells of moist foliage.

So the hidden treasure of Eden is that of visiting at the right time and having the place practically to yourself.  If you've not been to Eden, it is well worth a visit and for those vegans amongst you who do, please make sure you feedback the vegan message to them.  If enough people do, you never know they might get the idea!


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