Tuesday 4th September 2012 – Day 23

Tarbert – Ayr

80.94 miles

3815 feet climbed

4015 calories burnt

Top speed 39.2 mph

Today was Mum and Dad’s 36th wedding anniversary, so we’re staying in a lovely hotel in Ayre tonight, the Abbotsford Hotel.

We set off from Tarbert harbour and cycled about half a mile to the ferry terminal for the 9:00am ferry to Portavadie. The ferry was on time and the crossing was nice and calm, it was pretty empty for that time of the morning, and the friendly staff helped me tie up my bike.

When we got off the ferry, it was a sharp climb out of Portavadie on some very bumpy road, but the sun was starting to shine again for us so we weren’t complaining. I was definitely still quite tired from yesterday’s mileage as it took about 10 miles for my legs to warm up.

We had rolling climbs for the majority of the morning, but there was some absolutely stunning scenery to keep us occupied.  The roads we took, were the A8003, along side the Kyles of Bute and Loch Riddon – I have some stunning photographs of the area and would definitely recommend people visit ‘Argyll’s Secret Coast’. The climbing was great because we were rewarded with some amazing descents, this was where I hit my top speed of the trip so far of 39.2 mps!

We turned right on to the A886, quite a busy road, but we soon turned off left on to the smaller B836, this was where there were a couple of hairy moments with cars flying round corners. This is also where we saw the Tarsan Loch and Dam, and cycled through a beautiful valley.

We took a passenger ferry from Dunoon to Gourock and Mum and Harry were waiting for us on the other side for lunch as they had taken roads all the way instead of the ferries. We had our sandwiches and Dad made the decision to push for 45 miles in the afternoon as the wind would be on our side.

We tracked the A78 all the way from Gourock down to Ayr, through places like Largs, Farlie and West Kilbride. I have to admit I was really feeling the tiredness kick in along this road, I started to feel abit sick, and my concentration wasn’t really holding. It probably wasn’t the best road to be tired on as it was incredibly busy with lorries and fast cars and it felt quite alien being on a busy road after the quieter ones in the highlands.

The wind when we came out of Gourock  was incredibly strong in our faces. We were pushing west at the time so when we rounded the corner to head south it helped us along a bit. The only town I can really remember in my tired haze was Largs, it was very pretty and also where a woman pulled out of a junction on me. I shouted to her to stop, and all she could say, instead of sorry was – ‘well the car flashed me out’! Cheers!!!

As it was my Mum and Dad’s anniversary today, my Mum surprised my Dad to a hotel as a treat, so I directed us through the rush hour traffic to get there. It was called the Abbotsford Hotel in Ayr and it was a lucky find as they only had two rooms left and they let dogs in.

I treated us all to dinner, it was just your typical pub food, I had battered prawns, steak pie and apple tart (I had just burnt over 4,000 calories today), with a bottle of prosecco to celebrate.

We then went to the pub in the hotel, Harry and Dad creacked out the whiskey and we had a bit of a relax. Mum and I then tried to go to bed, only to find that the bed was on a slant so we had to take the mattress off the frame and sleep with it on the floor. This was all done whilst we were in fits of giggles, trying to lift a heavy, slippery mattress! Needless to say we didn’t get much sleep, but again it was just nice having more space!

2 thoughts on “Tuesday 4th September 2012 – Day 23

  1. Hi Just a wee note, I missed your change of route for Monday 😦 I was on the Portavadie – Dunoon section hoping to join you for a while.
    Good luck with the rest of your journey.
    Ian.

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