Thursday, 5 April 2012

The Actual Trip: Day 6

Hello from Ayr! That was a long drive today, 350 miles. Took an hour longer than Bing had told me too, ie 9 instead of 8. Can't really see a reason for that, there wasn't loads of traffic though it was a little slow through some of the towns. Hey ho, much shorter day tomorrow.

The sea at Bardsea.
Morecambe seems a long time ago now, yet it was only this morning! Left early knowing it was going to be a long day anyway. Picked up my day's supply of petrol in Carnforth and off I went for a tour round the lake district. Joined the rush hour traffic on the A590 towards Ulverston and Barrow but things were moving quite swiftly. Stopped to take some photos at Bardsea, where there was a sign warning of quick sand, so I didn't head onto the beach! Was going to stop for my first break in Millom (hmm, think I found some of that extra hour, that was two hours to not get that far...) but all the parking was "discs only". To be honest, if you are going to make the parking for your town/village be the sort where you either have to already have a disc, or traipse into a shop looking for one you may as well put up a large sign saying "Visitors Not Welcome Here". So I drove on and stopped in a layby near a place called Bootle.
The Lake District, where I saw no lakes, but lots of mountains.

Weirdly I went through the more well known Bootle yesterday, and there was also another Crosby just up the road. On I went through Whitehaven (actually, that took a while too) and up to Workington. The temporary bridge that was put up after the old bridge was destroyed by the floods in 2009 is still the one being used though construction on the more permanent replacement is well under way.

I went into Carlisle for lunch and found a nice cafe that managed to not have my first 3 choices from their menu available. Had bangers and mash. Into Scotland and away I was on the A75 towards Dumfries. My first impression of driving in Scotland was how darn fast everyone goes! Now, don't get me wrong, I don't pootle and will drive at the speed limit wherever safe to do so, yet I think I have been overtaken on single-carriageway roads more times since entering Scotland than on the rest of the trip so far. Now, at this point the signs were displaying Stranraer as being cheerfully close. Of course, it was if you were sensible and staying on the A75. I was however heading there via the Solway coast. A nice quiet drive it was and it still looked at this point as if Ayr wasn't that far away. Stopped somewhere on the A710 for a break and some photos.
The A710. Traffic level in this photo
was representative of the whole road.

Back on the A75 and I had turned over the page of my map to recall the route was taking me on a long detour down "The Machars". It was a nice drive; it took well over an hour. Finally back on to the A75 I made it to Stranraer, only for a sign to cheerfully tell me it was 50 miles to Ayr, and I was taking the scenic route via the coast. Got there in the end though! Picked up petrol before tomorrow as I was actually starting to get a bit short and it saved doing it in the morning. This was the longest drive so far and it was only 30 miles shorter than my longest drive which is on Easter Sunday. Still seemed shorted than day 2 though, was certainly easier. I did take one wrong turn today, missed a left in Kirkcudbright (which isn't pronounced Kirk cud bright) but other than that was ok. My last night in a Travelodge until Sunday; I have hotels booked as Fort William or Wick don't have Travelodges...

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