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March 02, 2021, 06:53:53 AM

Pier Pressure THE STORY - Day 3 Sunday 14th August

This is a discussion for the topic Pier Pressure THE STORY - Day 3 Sunday 14th August on the board Pier Pressure 2016.

Author Topic: Pier Pressure THE STORY - Day 3 Sunday 14th August  (Read 3784 times)

this user is offline Chad

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on: October 04, 2016, 01:24:05 AM
Normally on a Sunday morning I get up a little later than normal and generally wake up looking at my beautiful wife. But not this Sunday. We woke at 7:00am to the sound of the familiar burble of buggy cannons pulling into the car park right outside our window. I was also welcomed by the sight of George in his under pants getting up for his morning ablutions.  As much as he is my best buddy I do hope the remaining Hotels have family rooms for the Chadwicks from now on.

Of all our planned days this is one I am particularly looking forward to. After going to Paul Muirhead’s Haggis Hunt a couple of years back, I really wanted to get back cruising around Scotland in the buggy.

Allan Mathie met us on the car park in his SWB Blue Doon and it was good to finally put a face to the facebook name I had been chatting with for a few months. Alan had got a hood made for his Doon the week or two before and had driven down from Edinburgh to Kilmarnock that morning (setting off at ‘Oh My God o’clock) to then cruise all day with us back to Edinburgh. Up until a few months back Alan said he had not travelled more than a few miles from home in the buggy but knowing about Pier Pressure had decided to put more miles under the wheels. By the end of the day he certainly did do that. He also became the 15th participant of the Pier Pressure Cruise.





Whilst packing up the cars we were also met by Glynn TTFN from the buggy forum who kindly arrived to say hi and bring some goodies in the form of sweets and 24 cans of coke.  Unfortunately, he couldn’t join us for the day but it was good to put another face to a cyber name.

A quick fuel stop next door and off we head for Weymss Bay and the terminal for the first ferry of the day. Today we would be visiting just 2 piers, both on the far west of Scotland which required us to take three ferries, before ending the day on the east coast at Berwick on Tweed. The 40 minute drive was really nice up to Weymss Bay, with the road running literally right alongside the coastline for a few miles. The day has started grey and drizzly; Alan had driven through rain all that morning, but the weather was now starting to clear and we could now make out the Isle of Bute, the location of our first Pier visit of the day at Rothsey.




Weymss Bay terminal was an unexpected and pleasant surprise. The terminal is not only home to the ferry dock but also a beautiful Victorian Rail terminal / station. In Victorian times wealthy folk form Glasgow and Edingburgh would take the steam train to Weymss and then cross on the paddle steamer to the Isle of Bute for weekends away being pampered at the many health spas that were on the island.






The train station was in immaculate condition and as well as still have operational platforms it also had a great little café situated in one of the old waiting rooms. The Rothsey ferry is a pay as you go ferry and after purchasing tickets for both this ferry and the next one off the island, we found we actually had about 30minutes spare for once in our busy schedule. So off to the café for a nice cup of tea and bacon bap.






Soon we are loaded up and sailing off towards the Isle of Bute.






The ferry takes around 40 minutes giving us time for another tea and a bit of rare chill out time. We are already starting to feel the strain of continual driving a buggy for 12 or so hours day after day, and it’s still only Day 3.

 




Before long Rothesay comes into view and the weather is clearing nicely.




We actually dock at the pier we need to visit. Rothsey’s pier master had already agreed for us to spend time on the pier and good to their word they were waiting for us as we left the boat. We had to wait for the waiting ferry queue to load for the next crossing but then essentially we had the pier to ourselves for a while. Rothsey is an ‘L’ shape pier and when you are on it doesn’t feel like a traditional pier. It is still very much a working ferry terminal and hence no cute cafes or amusements here, although there is a very nice restored Victorian toilet block.







We spend a good while just chatting to the assistant pier master before heading off up the coastline to rendezvous with our second ferry of the day, taking us across from the north of the Island between Rhubodach to Colintraive. This part of the drive was brilliant, in parts single track and very picturesque, running alongside the narrow stretch of water between the lochs of Riddon and Striven.




The mainland is now just a few hundred yards away and the ferry literally take just over 5 minutes to cross from Bute. Trouble is we spent too long chatting at Rothseay and we arrive to see the ferry just leaving its birth. Not too bad we thought as it’s only a quick crossing, should be back soon. So 40 minutes later the ferry trundles back across to get us after waiting for a few cars to show on the other side.







Soon technically we are back on the mainland to Colintraive, although due to the high number of Lochs it still feels like we are on an island. Now I know George loved the road from Keswick, but the B836 over to Dunoon was one of my highlights of the whole trip. Its essentially a 10 mile single track, freshly tarmacked roller coaster road, with twisty sectins, stunning scenery and a 1 in 4 slope in places just for fun. You should put this on your bucket list.






Very soon we drop down alongside Holy Loch and find another small pier (although not Victorian) before heading around the coast to Dunoon.


« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 08:32:16 AM by DND Services Ltd »
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this user is offline Chad

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Reply #1 on: October 04, 2016, 01:31:14 AM
Once again I had pre-contacted the pier and quickly found the deputy Pier Master. The area is pretty quiet for a Sunday afternoon and apart for a few folk setting up a community radio even, there are no folks on the pier. Dunoon forms more of a U shape rather than a long spur and was very much a steamer terminal rather than amusement centre although it does still boast its original ticket office / event hall on its head. The pier deck boards had recently been renovated so it was with some surprise the gates were opened and the three of us we allowed onto the new deck. We really appreciated the gesture and can’t thank them enough.








Unfortunately, due to the delay on the previous ferry, we all too soon have to head off to catch our third ferry of the day at McInroy’s and head towards Hunters Quay, avoiding a 60 mile drive around Long Loch (clue is in the name). Whilst sat waiting in the queue, a nice old bearded man wanders over to George and simply states, ‘You guys don’t need to pay for the crossing – I’ve sorted it with them’ !! Eventually, it turns out he was a retired ex-captain of the boat we were crossing on and had a word with his ex-colleagues although he didn’t want any thanks. The generosity of people still amazes me, in a world where all you seem to read about is selfishness, hate and spite.





Back onto the proper mainland and time for fuel and a quick bite to eat. A short KFC break at Greenock after trying to get food at the local Tesco Café to find out they stop serving at 2pm :-0 before heading east towards Edinburgh. At this point we detour over the Erskine Bridge across the Clyde and head for a place I spotted some time ago when planning the trip. When you see a road name such as ‘Tak ma Doon’ then it is law that you must take your Doon up there – simple. Tak Ma Doon road is highly regarded by cyclists and winds up a steep narrow road to give great views across to the Firth of Forth and beyond. It climbs up to Carron Bridge in the North over the Campsie Hills.







Other than a very near miss with a local in a 4 wheel drive coming the other way, the ride was brilliant and we stop at the viewing point at the top for a 10 minute break. From hear you can see across Glasgow to the west and all the way down to the Forth Bridge in the East. Brilliant view and well worth the detour.




As a sub plot to our Pier trip, we also wanted to take in as many iconic bridges as possible and so we decided to head to Edinburgh the long way around as we really wanted to do the Forth Road bridge crossing. Heading to cross the River Forth at Kilcardine Bridge we meet up with Aaron in his yellow Volksrod, David in his red GP and Jed on his really nice blue and silver VW Trike, right on the roundabout before the bridge.  We had met up with Aaron previously at Paul Groove Champion’s Haggis Hunt a couple of years ago and it was great to see his buggy finally up and running and joining in the fun.




After a quick jaunt along the northern side of the river, we cross back using the Forth Road Bridge. The bridge is impressive, but not as much as the new bridge, which is around 80% complete and runs alongside the old bridge.





At this point traffic is building and getting quite heavy, so I hand over the leadership reigns to Alan, who lives in the shadow of the Forth Bridge. I pre-arranged with Alan to lead us through is home town and I am so glad I did.  What we hadn’t realised when we planned the trip was we would be hitting Edinburgh on the Sunday afternoon of Fringe Festival and the Tattoo. Busy isn’t the word, but bloody brilliant too. We must be on at least 1000 Japanese holiday snaps and many a you tube video too.
 





Alan led us a merry dance through the City, backwards and forwards across the Royal Mile, before finally parking up outside the rear gates of Holyrood House. Ruth went over and spoke with the guard that was quickly heading our way. Apparently we were OK for a few minutes, but Lady Sarah did want to leave soon so could we please be gone in 10 minutes.





All too soon we head off east towards our Travelodge stop in Berwick on Tweed. However, time is now moving quickly past 6pm and our bellies are protesting and we ask our Scottish brethren for a good place to eat. We end up at the all new Fort Kinnaird centre at Newcraighall which is a typical large retail out of town centre with shops and eateries. At this point Alan stays for food whilst Aaron, David and Jed head home, but not before Alex gets a ride on the back of the Trike. Thankfully we manage to get into an Italian place and for the first time in many days we manage to eat something other than chips or sandwiches.





We now part company with Alan who has smashed his own furthest trip in his Doon record by taking a round trip from Edinburgh, via the Isle of Bute and Back in one day. Awesome support  from all our new and old Scottish friends. We are now left to complete the final 40 miles or so along the A1 on our own and soon the sun is setting on a brilliant day. Turning south as we hit the east coast near Dunbar, we arrive in the dark at our resting place for the night in Berwick on Tweed, even managing to find two parking spaces right next to the door.

At last we get our first family room for the Chadwick’s and George gets his own space. Before bed we partake in our customary night cap of tea and biscuits whilst reflecting on the great scenery, memorable roads, great company and the nice piers we have encountered in Scotland. George then heads off to his own room to download his go-pro and leave me programming in the next day’s journey into my satnav, between fatigue led power naps and watching the Olympics.

3 days complete, 12 piers down, 18 additional vehicles already joined in our Cruise Against Cancer and nearly 750miles travelled already – bring on day 4.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 08:32:56 AM by DND Services Ltd »
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this user is offline apmaman

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Reply #2 on: October 04, 2016, 09:37:23 AM
Great day getting to meet everyone. Lets hope some of those crazy asian tourists donated!  ;D ;D

Arran
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Reply #3 on: October 04, 2016, 02:05:34 PM
Chad - as always an amazing write up  ;-)up

I'm glad Scotland and its weather was nice to you - absolutely gutted that I wasn't around that weekend to support you guys


Paul


PS - now that Louise is back to normal health wise plans can be made for Haggis Hunt 2017 - just hope you didn't use all the good roads  ;)
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this user is offline Shaggy

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Reply #4 on: October 04, 2016, 02:49:31 PM
Brilliant. Enjoying the write up mucca.  ;-)up 8)
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this user is offline Dave DND

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Reply #5 on: October 04, 2016, 03:30:08 PM
Really enjoying this and cannot wait for the next installment(s)

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this user is offline Hunter

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Reply #6 on: October 04, 2016, 07:40:51 PM
Crackin (no "G") write up,  and I didn't know I had a quay in Scotland  :D now I may have to plan a visit to it.

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