I have to be honest – we’re not in love with our latest hostel. After the high of the Old Slaughterhouse, we had high expectations of this new hostel, because of the high rating it has in the guide book. But sadly our expectations were dashed when we got here. It’s a lovely house, with a flower-filled cottage garden, and lovely wooden cottages dotted around (Sadly we’re in the dormitory inside the house). But there’s a jarring note with the toilets – they are ‘dry’ toilets, and they’re across the car park. (A ‘dry’ toilet is a euphemism for a hole with a big pile of poo at the bottom!) So although everything is very nice and clean, the toilets aren’t great to use. We don’t mind this when we’re in the bush – in fact, if you’re in the middle of a national park, it’s what you expect. But when you’re in a house, with a flushing toilet that you’re not allowed to use except at night (we’re not sure why…), it’s not great. It doesn’t seem to fit quite correctly with a hostel that’s costing us £32 a night, and that’s got a dishwasher, washing machine, and all mod cons etc. (The owner has just gone off to a Green Party conference, so I guess there’s some ecologically sound reason for it).
Anyway, after ignoring the toilets, there’s some great features – like the outdoor baths – that are great. It’s very close to the beach, and we spent the day out and exploring the local area. And in the evening we went down to the local beach at low tide to collect shellfish. It was really easy – just wander out to the beach to the wide sandbanks, and dig through the wet sand with fingers to locate the shells.
Emily got bored by the end, but Charlotte was captivated by the whole thing – that she was getting her own dinner, and because clams are one of her favourite foods, she didn’t want to stop.
We sorted them out by size (we’d decided that small ones were young ones, so we decided to bed them all back in the sand), and then brought the rest back to the hostel to clean and rinse. We cooked them up, and put them into a creamy pasta sauce, and that was it – home caught dinner! It appealed to the inner ‘hunter-gatherer’ in me, and I’m sure Charlotte had a ‘Cave Girl’ moment – it kind of shows on the photo!