Rothesay to Ardrossan
Distance: 19.31 miles
Average speed: 9.9 mph
Total distance: 585.27 miles
Maximum speed: 28.9 mph
We enjoyed our final evening in Rothesay, we strolled along the waterside down to the ‘Waterfront’ restaurant as recommended by our friendly hosts, feeling much revived after a long bath. It was a great meal, and we even managed whisky, Jura Origin, light and refreshing, lightly peated. Not especially local, but there’s no distillery on Bute.
Lots of rain overnight, and even a thunderstorm, but by the time we surfaced it had all passed over. We had only to cycle nineteen miles today after taking the ferry to Wemyss (pronounced Weems), back down to Ardrossan where we began two weeks ago. So we applied all the usual cycling unguents and creamyss, and stuffed everything into the panniers for the last time. Slightly bursting at the seamyss after a big breakfast, we set off in the direction of the harbour, accompanied by the screamyss of the seagulls. [OK, enough now, you are taking this to extremyss. Ed]
We’d spotted a few back roads we could take to avoid the busy A78 towards Ardrossan, and it was a lovely route, quite up and down, but very quiet and good views of the water. It turned out that our back roads route was known as the Argyll Coastal Path, and was quite well sign-posted. In fact at one point there was a rather wonderful set of signs showing the junction between ‘the High road’ and ‘the Low road’ to Largs – no, really! Of course on a tandem it’s not really possibly that ‘you take the high road while I take the low road’, unless we reduce it to two unicycles, so we opted for the high road and pushed on.
After Largs we found a cycle path, in a wooded area beside the road, and later a fully metalled track for cyclists and pedestrians, and before long we were pulling into the harbour area in Ardrossan. A quick check with the car-park attendant confirmed that we were going to have to nip back to Asda to get some cash, as they didn’t take cards and the Captain had been carefully spending up all his Scottish bank notes. They are perfectly legal tender in England, but it’s surprising how often they will be refused when you try to pay for something with one.
So we cycled back to Asda and got exactly the right amount of Scottish money (!), then back at the car we broke down the tandem into its constituent parts, put it in the boot, paid the man with the Asda cash, and left.
It had been a great trip, lots of incredible scenery, especially Glencoe in the sunshine.
And not a single visit from the puncture fairy. Remarkable.