Saturday 3rd June
An early start - an 8:00 breakfast in the pub.
All our luggage is collected - we don't have to worry about it.
We have to keep ourselves occupied until 15:30, when we are due to board the Oldenburg. The weather is a damp penetrating mist. We bagged a big table in the pub, and ate, and drunk. The drivers stayed dry for the drive later in the day. This is interspersed with short damp forays to the castle, church and shop.
We squared up our tabs with the pub and shop - a lot cheaper than we imagined.
Jenny, Bernie and I leave for the harbour early, planning to have one last look at the south lighthouse.
Down the cliff, the harbour is brighter and warmer - even sunny! We leave the mist on top as low cloud. A last chance to explore caves and stare at seals.
We board at 16:00, and sail at 16:30. The sea is calm, and we arrive at Bideford at 18:15.
We play a game of "how many people are there on the boat". Jack and Tobias walk round counting people. Jenny counts people walking down the gangway when we dock. I ask the first officer for an official answer: "201 and a horse". I win.
There are extra delays here - we have arrived at the "other" port, not Ilfracombe where we had parked our cars. We're not too sure why the ferry uses different ports, is it the tides? The more cynical think this is a ploy by the tourist board to drum up extra custom: Bideford is picturesque - but we just want to get home.
A coach gets us back to Ilfracombe for 19:30. We collect cars, and hug as our party splits. Andrew, Laura and I head for Milton Keynes, whilst the others head straight to Cambridge.
We tried looking for inspirational restaurants in Barnstable. We failed. The next town was Tiverton.
Here we find a splendid Chinese - the Golden Panda, 18 Newport Street - almost Peking standard. Busy but good food.
We shared driving, and were home by 1:30 Sunday morning. No traffic delays at all.
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