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Trip Report Five Days With Rabbies in Devon and Cornwall

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I've been a member here for 10 years and have never written a trip report. Oh I've always had good intentions, but my propensity for procrastination ( arguably another term for laziness ) has always interfered. By the time I get home, unpack and plunge into normality, all pretense of doing a report has disappeared. However, there have been questions recently about Rabbies tours and, although, I have done day trips with them and like others on this forum have recommended them, this past summer was the first time for a trip of any length. I hope this report answers some questions and proves helpful for any wanting more information about Rabbies and their tours.

The Beginnings: Why would an independent traveler do a tour?

Like most on this forum I consider myself an independent traveler.I have done a number of tours so have some knowledge as to how they operate. I lived abroad ( Australia, South Africa and Germany ) for nearly 8 years due to husband's job. About a year after returning home, I was ready for another dose of travel. I headed to Europe for five weeks with a Eurail Pass and a vague idea of where I wanted to go, I've been traveling ever since.

I've always considered myself an intrepid traveler, but that first solo trip was nearly 30 years ago. Now reaching a certain maturity :-& and having had a bout with cancer, I've found I'm not quite as intrepid as I once was. :( I still get great satisfaction knowing that I can usually keep up with those 20+ years younger, but also recognize that keeping my trips as stress free as possible and less itinerary loaded is important. Not too many years ago, I used to jog up the stairs and escalators while negotiating the underground. The past couple of years, I'm quite happy to stand to one side and read the mini billboards. At least a few concessions need to be made when one reaches a certain age. Not that I'm old by any means./:)

For my 2014 trip, I decided to intersperse my independent travel with a tour of some kind and Rabbies seemed to fit the bill. A tour would provide a respite between my other travels. A time to just sit back, relax and enjoy. The hardest part was in allowing someone else to take control of the sights I'd be visiting and the places I'd be staying. A bit of type A personality. With any plan I think there has to be compromises, and I quickly decided that I'd be fine with someone else making the decisions after all that was the point. By the time I was ready to commit to a tour, my independent itinerary had me in northern Scotland and my dates were not terribly flexible. I looked at the Edinburgh and Glasgow departures but nothing really excited me. Having traveled in the UK for more than 25 years, it became a case of been there, seen that. While I often enjoy returning to places I've been, I just couldn't get too excited about any of my options. I then looked at London departures and the Devon and Cornwall trip did appeal. I have been to both Devon and Cornwall. I was at Exeter for a conference several years ago, had spend Easter weekend one year near Polperro and remember being at Lands End during a hasty trip through Cornwall. Time to see Cornwall /Devon again. Having read reviews of the tour, I easily decided that this was the one I wanted to do.

One more point about taking a tour instead of doing this by myself. We covered a considerable area on this tour. If I had been driving, there is no way I could have seen as many places as we did. In fact, unless one is familiar with the roads in Cornwall, including the back roads which we frequented, I don't think anyone could have managed this itinerary. Another plus with not having to drive was that I didn't have to rely on road maps or GPS ( which I often find doesn't work well on back roads ). I didn't have to worry about traffic, traffic jams and overly large tour buses trying to make their way through impossibly narrow streets. Dave our driver/guide handled it all with the patience of Job, and I was able to sit back, relax and listen to Dave point out and comment on all the sights along the way.

Breather: Then back with more on our itinerary and the ins and outs of a Rabbies tour.

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