A few years back my mom convinced me to become a couchsurfer. I’ll share that story another time, but one of the wonderful things about couchsurfing can be that it presents you with unexpected opportunities or sights you could not have planned for because only a local would know about them.
It was March 2008, and my mother and I traveled to England for the first time. Our first couchsurfing host was Jane and her wonderful family. They lived in a thatched roof cottage in Cornwall — quite a new experience for Americans, and one you can’t get in a hotel.
Jane was an incomparable hostess and went above and beyond to welcome us (homemade Shepherd’s pie for example). On our day of exploration she and her children took us to visit one of their favorite places, a place they called Church Cove. We walked down from the top of the cliffs as the cold wind rushed in from the sea and then along to beach to visit the ancient church at the bottom.
It is unlikely we would have found that cove listed in a guidebook or a Trip Advisor post. But it was lovely and authentic experience of Cornwall and I still look back fondly on it. Later, they also took us to see their horse on a piece of property they had in a nearby town and into Marazion to see St. Michael’s Mount, and look across Mount’s bay to Penzance. I’m a little sorry we didn’t get a chance to visit the town made famous by The Pirates of Penzance, but at least we saw it from a distance.
This picture is from church cove, although it should be obvious that my photography equipment and skills have come a long way in six years.