A rough day on the Scottish roads – Dunoon to Coylton (81/20,081ks, 360)


We are in holiday park hell, somewhere near Ayr, Scotland.  We tried to get a powered tent site but no luck.  Instead they offered that we use the power in the bar/restaurant.  OK – here’s where it gets bad.  Picture the following:

  • a very loud kids show with dancing cartoons and a very animated host
  • Followed up by adult bingo at 100 db volume, with disco ball spinning
  • No lights in the room, to speak of (other than the disco ball)
  • In between the kids show and the bingo they put an Alice Cooper hits selection – at 100 db again
  • Many heavily tattooed men are drinking beer with their  wives dressed in leopard tights, holding screaming kids
  • and just now, best of all, the real entertainment has started – several employees dressed up and singing and dancing 60’s hits (the same employees that were hosting the kids show and doing the calling during the bingo).  Beatles hits sound kind of weird sung with a Scottish brogue, let me tell you.

We give up – no post today, we can’t stand the noise anymore.  We had a hard ride, too many busy roads and too much traffic.  Too close to Glasgow we think.

Some days adventure travel is really not even close to what it is billed.  Off to bed now before they play “School’s Out” one more time and I end up bashing their PA system.

Check back tomorrow to see if we have made it out of holiday park hell…


(written by Nancy)

We had a great breakfast at the Undercliff B&B – fresh hot eggs to order plus any kind of side that you wanted (including bacon), hot coffee, yogurt, all kinds of cereal.  Really more food than you could eat but it was a nice change from oatmeal.  It would have been a nice place to hang out for a day, in our comfy room with the TV but we needed to make tracks so off we went.

We took the ferry across from the Hunter’s Quay terminal to Gourock, a 20 minute ferry ride that put us on the main landmass that we will ride down into England.  Lots of dark clouds and a bit of light rain but nothing too bad.  We were slow going though, as Dave had a low front tire (bad valve) and then decided his headset was loose so had to fix that.  Anyway, between the ferry and all the stops it was after 11 by the time we stopped in Largs, about 25k or so down the coast.

We had been riding the coastal road, A78, until there and it hadn’t been too bad.  There was an option at Largs to take another route inland a bit and work our way down on roads away from the coast.  As we were feeling behind and the traffic had not been too bad we decided to continue down the A78.  In retrospect that was not a good call, as the traffic seemed to get worse and worse.  Between that and the wind, which was blowing a gale right in our faces, it was not a good ride.

There were lots of towns to work our way around and though the scenery was nice it was difficult to enjoy with the wind and the traffic.  The road became a dual carriageway so not only was there more traffic but it was going very fast.  We did have a bit of a shoulder for part of it, which helped.  It was difficult at that point to get off on some smaller roads without a lot of backtracking so we put our head down and rode – it just became a day of trying to get to the end without much to enjoy along the way.  Not really the kind of day that we like.

We finally arrived at the Sundrum Castle Holiday Park after 4pm, both very tired and worn out from the ride.  And then, well, you saw the post from last night above.  Some days are harder than others and this was one of those days.  It’s a bit odd, as “holiday parks” here seem to mean places full of mobile homes (which they call ‘lodges’, of all things) that you can buy or rent on a weekly basis.  The mobile homes are all placed right next to each other just like you would see in a mobile home park.  Very strange…  and then this park had the added features we mentioned above – lots of singing and dancing to very loud music and a separate games room that looked a bit like it was trying to be a mini Las Vegas.  We really felt like we had walked into another world.  To each his own, I guess.  At least we know now to avoid ParkDean Holiday Parks as they are clearly not for us.

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