On Wednesday I was quite relaxed. I just rolled for a mere 40 kilometres up the the coast. I passed the classics Prestwick and Royal Troon. They actually looked really classy, out of question.

Completely natural and yet manicured to perfection, like other scottish top links, as Dornoch or Nairn. But for this current journey they would not be really fitting, since they sent out that certain atmosphere of elitism. This journey is supposed to be just the opposite. Anyway, it was nice to pass them that closely during my ride. By the way that happened on the first really good cycling path after leaving Newcastle. It was real fun to just let it roll, completely secured against cars.
After the rain-and-sand calamity of the night before I had already booked a nice room for that evening in Irvine. When I entered it my mood raised even higher since it was fairly new and very bright. I was looking forward for the afternoon with a reserved tee time on a municipal in Troon. On this course, as the marketing narrative of the club goes, the Golden Bear himself, Jack Nicklaus, has qualified for his first Open. Well, I have to research on this, when I will be back.
The relaxed mood obviously let to a little nap on the soft and dry bed. When I awoke I noticed, that time had run fast. The 12 km to the golf course had to be done very quick. Unfortunately, I missed my tee time, but this was no problem at all. The secretary just shrugged and told me to tee off as soon as I was ready. This seems to be quite kind but I am still asking myself: Why? I found myself right in the middle of the Wednesday Medal. I was not even aware of that when I started my round just after a 3 Ball. I asked a member who approached the tee when I was just preparing to start whether he wanted to join me. David, if I remember this right, was a very nice guy and we played slowly but steadily behind the other group. On the third hole it started to rain heavily which brought David to the conclusion to go back to the clubhouse; I had done the same, if that would have been my home course. But unfortunately that brought me to the situation that I found myself behind a couple of games where every player seemed to search for his ball for exactly five minutes. Who knows me when playing golf, is aware of the fact, that waiting for slow games ahead of me is not my biggest strength. The group directly ahead of me let me play through after a few holes. But that didn‘t help at all, since the group before that seemed to search for balls even harder. I had to change the plan completely. I went back a couple of holes, the course was completely abandoned there. The evening sun was out again and I started to practice a bit. After half an hour of pitching, chipping, and putting I went on to play the course. But after just one hole I already was straight behind another playing group. Well, I could only draw only one conclusion: Not every round of golf has to be completed. So, I went cross-court back to my bike, cycled to my hotel, and enjoyed the luxury of a dry and warm room for the night.
Next day again I had just a couple of kilometres to Adrossan. From there the ferry to Campbeltown went off to the peninsula of Kintyre. Perfect weather and, again, a very good cycling path made that trip a complete joyride. But that was excelled vastly by the encounter I had at the ferry terminal.

First, I have to mention, that Adrossan is quite different to other towns you can find directly at a beach. There is nothing to be seen of the prosperity, that comes with tourism in a nice, little coastal town. When you look at the front of the houses around it seem to be obvious that the demise of the scottish fishing industry which so often is described as one of the major faults of the EU due to fishing quotas can be seen here. A part of the damned brexit.
Back to the ferry terminal. In front of the building there sat another cycling tourist. A guess which can be made quite reliable due to a heavily packed bike. He was -a most serious cyclist are- slightly thinner than me, slightly older as well and sat on a bench to oversee two gravel bikes with bike packing kits. I asked him for the procedures at this terminal and he told me that there seemed to be no deeper secrets. His wife was just on her way to buy tickets. I did so, too. When I came out again both of them waited for me. We started to chat and they happened to be IT fugitives as myself. They were from Birmingham, orginally, but moved to a coastal town in Wales a few years ago. Most of their time they spent with extensive bike travelling on the british isle, as well as on the european main land. Less luggage than me, but more distances. They just came back from a trip along the wine road at the Rhine, full of memories. It should be a very pleasant afternoon, full of laughter. The two hours before we had to embark the ship we spent in a spanish restaurant in Adrossan. The chef there was a weird guy who spoiled us with an extra-course of sea food and myself with a little paper flag of Germany. It will stay a mystery why he had a supply of those. We supposed him to order a large supply of little spanish flags to have a proper decoration on a buffet but all he got was a delivery of black-red-gold. Hopefully, the spanish flags have been delivered later.
The time on the ferry went by in no time as well, we had a very lively conversation there. That was a really nice encounter.
It was dark already when after four hours on the ferry we arrived on Kintyre. I had to do a brief 20 minutes ride to my shelter for the next three days. Of course, there was no rain until we disembarked the ferry. Well, I arrived at the beautiful and isolated manor quite soaking wet.

Overall, this was a very good leg of my journey. Only the golfing clouds the assessment. So, there are 91 of 100 cycling tourists, but only 35 wandering golfers on the upwardly open scale.


#1 Darren Cash 2018-09-19 12:34
The next few days were very wet. We did wonder how your golfing was going as we sat each evening drying out our clothes. We recall our encounter every time someone looks at our bikes and says something like 'how do you manage with all that luggage ?' to which we can now say 'well, we met this guy who was touring by bike and also carrying a set of golf clubs' :-) Great to meet you and enjoy your journey.

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