The Misery Trip 2021

Discussion in 'Your Trip Reports and Plans' started by Poisson, 13th Jul 2021.

  1. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    As some of you may know, I am a fan of the odd cred grab of questionable coasters, as is @MattyH, and during the beginning of the dark times we began planning a small trip to collect some creds at a few parks in the tractor lands and the SE, such joyous locations such as Pleasurewood Hills, Dreamland Margate and Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach were in the conversation. Through the mini release we completed some of these parks and the trip was replanned slightly, then a bit more and then it became 7 days of utter carnage involving coasters, train v car races and questionable buying of lumps of scrap Zierer. To try and break it down, I'll go day by day, cred by cred and mistake by mistake. The photos are a mix of mine and Matt's.

    Day 1: Drayton Manor, Cannon Hill, West Mids Safari Park, Treasure Island & Barry Island

    The first day began with a barely reasonable 06:30 alarm to go and fetch Matt from his 5* hotel otherwise known as a Travelodge in Tamworth. Once I had slightly abused him (read: rang him and shouted abuse until he was leaving his room) we headed to the first stop of the day. Not a park, but some station grabbing for Matt in the form of Wilnecote.

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    Anyway, onto the first park...

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    A fine way to kick things off for a trip of this calibre. Rainy, dreary and full of school trips. Even better was the first ride

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    Which in true Shockwave style wasn't ready for opening, was horrendous to ride and probably not worth it. No new creds for me in Drayton so a +1 for Matt. This was followed by a wait for Accelerator in the deafening room that is the queue. This is where we felt we had made an awful mistake doing this trip when we did with school trips and to most sane people this entire trip looks horrendous I imagine. After this and Buffalo we abandoned Drayton, for Troublesome Trucks had a massive queue and the park is easy enough to get back to for Matt to get the final +1 there. Anyway, back to the chariot. A magnificent vehicle if I say so myself, somehow the most sensible car between us to do the trip. We are awful at car buying.

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    We then proceeded to the next luxurious park on the trip, Canon Hill Park, for a magnificent +1. When this is probably in the smooth park of the trip with the lesser violent coasters, you know it's a bad idea.

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    After this brief foray into Brum we decided to escape to Kidderminster and the +3 that is West Midlands Safari Park. After much ticket faff, trying not to accidentally end up in the safari and the creds, we had a quick penguin based diversion

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    Not quite sure this lion friendo is real

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    We then went onwards to another magical +1 at Treasure Island in Stourport. After working out with the assistance of one ride op the entire place was being operated by two ops, we grabbed the op from the Waltzer and got the cred.

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    Back in the car we had a conflab and decided food was an idiots game and could wait we went for a quick blast down to Barry Island. Upon arrival into the post-apocalyptic wasteland that is Barry Island and entering the park, we found that both creds were closed and no staff could be bothered to find out if anyone might operate them. Which was nice.

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    Y Barri is a question we were asking ourselves.

    1 spite for me (Beastie that's ex-Towers lives here I've already got) and 2 spites for Matt, we then went to the station in some vague hope of escaping the dump and found out the train was due. Car vs train, Rover vs BREL, an awful driver vs TfW's finest in a race between Barry Island and Tregatwg/Cadoxton. Somehow the idiot won and we went onward to Neath and in a desperate attempt to redeem himself, Matt boarded the train to Swansea. Naturally Birmingham's finest crushed him once again.

    Following two crushing defeats for Matt we then went to find something even more daft than this trip, Swansea's golden bridge.

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    Look at the state of that. After much mocking we retreated to the hotel in the northern part of Swansea to find pizza and sleep. Day 1 complete, +5 for me and +8 for Matt.
     
    Last edited: 17th Jul 2021
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    Posted 13th Jul 2021
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  2. John

    John TowersStreet Member

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    I've been following your FB updates and I'm rather impressed by your dedication. I don't have a particularly high shame threshold when it comes to coasters (I did LLW's Duplo Dino Coaster on Sunday) but I don't think I could motivate myself for such a big trip where the highlights are Oakwood and Drayton Manor.
     
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    Posted 13th Jul 2021
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  3. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    I enjoyed Duplo and, from a design point of view, the trains are excellent. Adults will accompany their kids, lets have trains they (and shameless cred whores) can fit in. Funnily enough Drayton was an actual lowlight in the end along with Barry despite having the 4th best technical specs of the trip. Motivation was it was a laugh and we could do the trip despite COVID restrictions and having no shame.
     
    Last edited: 17th Jul 2021
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    Posted 13th Jul 2021
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  4. MattyH

    MattyH TowersStreet Member

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    Plus we were pleasantly surprised along the way
     
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    Posted 13th Jul 2021
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  5. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    This sounds absolutely tragic.

    I love it.
     
    Posted 13th Jul 2021
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  6. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    Reading reports like this just make me realise how tight I am, I can't imagine not getting my monies worth so enthusiastically.
     
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    Posted 13th Jul 2021
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  7. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    Something like £18 per new coaster. With hotels and petrol split, plus doing other stuff helped.
     
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    Posted 13th Jul 2021
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  8. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    If Drayton are getting my £39.50 I'm there for the duration!
     
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    Posted 13th Jul 2021
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  9. Jonathan

    Jonathan TowersStreet Member

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    Having been party to a number of discussions in the formation of this trip, I can confirm it gets worse. :p
     
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    Posted 13th Jul 2021
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  10. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight on with this miserable story. Picking up with day 2:

    Day 2: Oakwood, Barry Island 2: The Miserabler, Coney Beach.

    Prior to Drayton on day 1, we found out Coney Beach had confirmed opening for the Wednesday evening and had obtained the tickets before the mass horde clearly were going to swoop in from the corners of the world.

    Anyhow the first stop of the day was Kidwelly station for more TfW v EWD (England's Worst Driver) shenanigans. This time the target was Narberth station. Once again the car was superior even if I drove some roads that could be considered a roller coaster, little did I know it would get much, much worse further into the trip.

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    We are both members of Your Crap Railway Photos, you can probably see why with some of these amazing shots. You should see the ones I am not including. Looks like someone was hit with lightning whilst falling off a platform. Following this we headed to Oakwood. A park I had heard much about, ranging from a dump to not bad.

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    First port of call was Creepy Crawler, definitely not James And The Giant IP Failure. Nope. Never was. Definitely not a Dahl style character inside and definitely not a peach stone inside the "pumpkin". Stop looking at it. Now. Especially as it was late opening so we went to Crocodile Coaster, sporting a fetching mask. No picture here as I forgot and Matt's picture looked like he'd fallen over trying to take it. Following that we headed to Speed, that was also shut because yaaaaaaaaaaaay. Then we headed to Treetops which was actually open (shock horror) and a Zierer time was had by all. Especially me. More on that later.

    Finally it was time for the biggie. Megafobia. All was going well, sadly one train ops but not too busy, a 20 min or so wait (wiped after every cycle, rows left between groups. We got back row. Fantastic. Right up until the bottom of the first drop and the train tried to head to the centre of the Earth. Spectacular potholing, this coming from someone who like the BPB woodies despite their tendencies to be not massively smooth but this was actually unpleasant and the loss of speed due to it crashing more than coasting. I had low hopes deliberately and it was still dreadful.

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    James and the Crawling IP Lawsuit had opened following this so we wandered over and it being a Pinfari with OTSRs and under the tender care of M&D's as a part time park, part time travelling coaster for over 15 years had me worried. Unfounded worries! As a common theme to this trip, misery is a misleading title as it was smooth enough. Both of us were left bewildered, befuddled, confused and concerned. Was this a real Pinfari or an imposter? How was it so smooth? Questions science still can't answer. Another question was Speed. Was it open?

    Yes it was. The techies had stopped running around sheep fields looking for a errr....cuddle and had made Gerst's finest work. Prior to boarding we saw the motto of the trip on the signage. PERWIGGLE!

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    As we are both fluent in Welsh as well as drivel, gen and lies, this is how it is clearly pronounced. Anything after this that was dangerous was perwiggle. This followed with another sign that was misread as perygl rhew, clearly pronounced perwiggle poo was used for extreme danger situations, despite being about ice. Again we are fluent. Ish. Maybe.

    On with Speed and I wish I hadn't. Matt after the ride (being in a middle seat) proclaimed how perfectly cromulent the ride was whilst I, having ridden on a wheel seat, was considering going to find painkillers. Surprised by this, and the ride having a lack of queue we went for a swapped seat re-ride and this confirmed it. Middle seats are perfectly fine, outer seats are unrideable due to massive vibration and banging. The most Jekyll and Hyde coaster I've ever been on. Smiler may be a bit uncomfy at times but Speed was a whole new level. This was followed by a Disko ride for a reason we can't understand because they're still as boring as ever.

    Following this, we headed for another ride on Megafobia. This time 2 rows from the back and this was much, much better. Still a small amount of potholing but nothing like earlier and actually ran okay. Not spectacular but not unrideable. This is where the Zierer idiocy from before rears its head, in Megafobia's shop.

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    Yes that's a bogie off Treetops with a Megafobia cog supporting a wheel from Wild Mouse at Blackpool PB. Yes I'm that tragic. This is now my tidy for my workbench as I'm known to prat about with broken electronics/bits of car/watches in my spare time.

    After this purchasing tragedy and telling Matt that Megafobia restraint was probably a bad idea considering he had to get it on a train spate on the final day around East Anglia, we were done, Megafobia had a queue and couldn't be bothered to do anything else again. We hatched another ill advised plan: we could get to Barry Island, get the +1 or 2 and get back to Coney for opening. Brilliant. So we hopped in the car and went to Barry Island aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand. Nope. Closed again with no reason given. Fantastic.

    With this resounding success we headed off to Coney Beach. Following on from two visits to the dump that is Barry Island, Porthcawl was a clear upgrade.

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    We begun on the Nessi and in true trips of this style, we broke it. After the standard 2 laps the brakes failed and the bars released but the train stopped halfway out the station so we relocked them and went for another attempt. Same problem. Final attempt we got an e-stop on a Nessi. Never had one before, I doubt anyone really has as they have about 3 moving parts so one to fail is rare. We wisely ran away as fast as our bruised knees would allow to the Go Gator which unfortunately had an extra handrail fitted so we couldn't fit. So after wrecking one coaster, not fitting in another we went for a ride on the Wacky Worm which we fit in, didn't break or set on fire or even make it collapse, amazingly.

    We then wandered around the flat rides and came across this:

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    Matt bailed but I proceeded and ended up with enormous red welts on my arms for my troubles and bruises.



    A video from YouTube showing the extent of the lunacy. Following this we did the Afterburner there, a Waltzer we balanced so well plus their spinning meant it was nuts, followed by a Matterhorn. Then back to the car and a mad scramble to Taunton Ruishton Premier Inn because the Euros were on. Araf was not a word that was understood that night. +7 for me, +3 for Matt.
     
    Last edited: 13th Jul 2021
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  11. Rojo

    Rojo TowersStreet Member

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    Shwmae Poisson!

    Rwy'n hoff iawn o'r adroddiad taith oherwydd mae'n bendigedig. Dw in ddim yn hoffi Oakwood achos maen ei sbwriel.

    Da iawn ac iechyd da!

    ...seriously though looking forward to the rest of the descent into chaos. Love the report and your pronunciation is flawless (although we prefer perwiggle cachu) however celebrating beating TfW anywhere across Wales is a low bar :p
     
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  12. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    Wonderful reportage, the sort of account that makes me look back on my days of hardcore enthusiasm and think, "Boy, did I waste a lot of my life."
     
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  13. NuttySquirrel

    NuttySquirrel TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Oakwood, I have to say I'm in the 'not bad' category. It's obviously not world-class, but I do kind of have a soft spot for the place; it's one of the few parks we can do as a day-trip from where we live, and the last couple of times I've been it's been really quiet (albeit for pandemic-related reasons). I do like Megafobia; as a woodie I think it strikes the right balance between fun and roughness (but then perhaps I like 'em rough?) and it's quite appealing from a scenic viewpoint, curving around the boating lake as it does and giving views of the Welsh hills. I'll admit the one-train ops is garbage, and if you ride in a back-row seat at the end of the day when it's running fast you will probably need physio, but details... I actually enjoyed Speed a lot more than I remembered after a 10-year hiatus - think I'd remembered it as shorter than it was, and the double helix at the end is a good feature. The not-Roald Dahl area is pretty funny really, and Spooky 3D is so bad it's actually good. The water rides are also a good laugh if you're there on a warm day and/or are prepared to return to the car for a complete clothing change!

    Think the place just needs a bit of investment really, spruce up the existing coasters (Speed really needs a paint job), fix Bounce and maybe add one more thrill ride and you've got a decent park. Sadly I don't really see it happening, the location really isn't in its favour to draw in sizeable crowds except during the school holidays - and then a lot of families will just go to the beach anyway. It might hang on for a few years, but its best days are probably behind it.
     
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  14. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    Day 3: Brean, Crealy, Funder Park and Paignton Sea Front

    Day 3 dawned and we set off for breakfast in Weston-Super-Mare via Taunton station. I dropped Matt off at Worle station and this time I crushed GWR to take a resounding 3-0 lead on the train v car front. We then proceeded to the finest restaurant, otherwise known as a Spoons for food, with a nice view of the pier and the closed creds nearby (grumble grumble). This was followed up by a nice trip to Birnbeck Pier which is not only weird in being a pier to an island with multiple offshoots, but is also entirely ruined.

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    Kind of sums up my taste in trips really. Could be nice but instead is shameful. Speaking of shameful:

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    Did they steal a road sign and stick a logo on? The rumours of coasters being shut and the place being awful were suddenly cropping up in our heads again. First up was Astro Storm, a death cred that was modified by the worst company in the world, KumbaK. Yaaay. Actually was an acceptable ride. Not much themeing inside, just dark, but I've ridden worse coasters. Think like X:\ WTF Dead: The Ride at Thorpe Park. Not quite as bad as say Temple Of The Sleephawk at Phantasialand but not great. Then it was time for the biggie.

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    A looping Pinfari. Specifically a 40 year old one that arrived via Flamingo Land, Pleasure Island and some time travelling. Our first Pinfari looper too. This could only be either so bad its bad or so bad its good, right? It wasn't good. The seat had a lump between my shoulder blades right on my spine that it battered and the ride car tried to eat my knees. Sounds like a properly working Pinfari then. With this shining success we headed to their spinning mouse and wacky worm for some +1s and ran away from the school trips arriving.

    On with Crealy. A real surprise of a park. Naturally between us we got no good photos but it's actually nice enough. Not say Efteling levels of pretty but decent, effort has been made. The first ride was on Maximus, their Roman themed Vekoma Junior. Nice enough station and themeing attempts, nice enough to ride. This was followed by their odd SBF Visa Spinning Mouse. It had a hiccup just before we got on and they announced if the clouds above burst the ride was unable to operate in the wet?! The ride itself was remarkably quiet and smooth, not words I usually use with SBF Visa. This was followed by a ride on their Shark themed SBF Visa figure of eight and their nicely themed Rockin' Tug which amusingly had some HB leisure boats nicked from somewhere in the pond in front of the ride.

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    Of course the only usable pics makes the place look scruffy. Typical.

    After this we went via Starcross station to Dawlish Warren for Funder Park and their +1. A joyous ride.

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    Following this we had a spare token so Matt went on the Miami. He definitely didn't regret it.

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    We had a look at the station and prepared to move on. Then, whilst browsing a shop, Matt announced he had found my present for having the UK in the Eurovision sweepstake. After our fabulous performance I needed a fitting prize.

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    Amazing prize secured, we headed to Dawlish station.

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    And here the 4th race began. Car v train to Paignton, won by the train thanks to me being amazingly awful at following a satnav. More trains at Paignton to entertain Matt whilst waiting for me.

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    Following this we headed for the creds we had been told were there. We found that one might not be operating today, I didn't ask but was quite sure it wouldn't run for some reason.

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    And the other was a violent Spinning Mouse. I'd say it was good but I'd be lying.

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    This was followed by a look at the (closed) Goodrington station, Totnes station and another closed station in Totnes Riverside.

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    Saltash was the next planned quick visit, but neither of us had taken in to account the fact one of Brunel's large old erections would take our breath away, because we are tragic.

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    So blindsided by this we decided immediately we needed to ride a train on such a strong erection. Tickets were booked, an almost vertical hill was climbed and on we boarded to Plymouth and back, just to say we had and look at the views.

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    Our next destination was something we had to visit in the area. There are 2 halts on the entire National Rail network, they are 2 miles apart in Cornwall. YES said we, and on we went until we got to the turn off to head to the station from the A38. To say the road was narrow was an understatement. Grass growing in the middle and we had to fold the wing mirrors in. I was internally screaming for the rest of the journey. Finally we arrived:

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    Note the still folded mirrors. Crazy. A high quality station that definitely isn't just a brick shed in the middle of nowhere and a platform.

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    A car was bad enough, this is unsurprising.

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    Coombe Junction Halt was next to complete the set, featuring a creepy path. We were expecting an angry farmer with a shotgun at any moment. This was as well appointed as the previous halt.

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    After this was Colesloggett Halt on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway. This was even better as I couldn't turn around and had to do a very fun reverse around right angle bends over a bridge to get back to civillisation. The last two stations of the night were St Columb Road and Quintrell Downs. As you can tell, we absolutely went for the stations with stupid names instead of anything logical. Late on we arrived at the hotel ready for a rather early start the next day. We never claimed this was a sensible trip. We aren't liars. +9 each.
     
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  15. NuttySquirrel

    NuttySquirrel TowersStreet Member

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    Dying... :tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy:

    Brean Sands just looks tragic, it's on my doorstep but I've just never had any inclination to go there.

    Nice pics of the Tamar Bridge, pretty sure my father-in-law's boat is in there somewhere.
     
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  16. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Brean is only an hour away from me as well, but I’ve somehow never been! I really should go at some point…

    Great reports though @Poisson; I look forward to the next one!
     
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  17. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    3 down, 4 to go. The stupidity continues, or will do when I have time.
     
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  18. MattyH

    MattyH TowersStreet Member

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    Believe me there's a lot of insanity to come...
     
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  19. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    Can't wait to write up the next couple of days, they think they've seen the stupidest but they've barely scratched the surface. I'm away with work tonight and unsure my ETA tomorrow but hoping to get day 4 written up
     
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  20. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    Day 4: Flambards and Camel Creek

    We woke up far too early (just before 6) and headed out of the Premier Inn because, in our infinite wisdom, we decided we were close enough and an early start after a late finish was a brilliant idea. As you can see, smart is something we are not. However, we can be stingy so rocked up to Land's End before the staff did and visited for free with nobody else but the odd runner about. Which was nice.

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    Very expensive and commercialised normally so we ran away. We ran so far away we ran out of land again, yay for being terrible at running away

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    We then headed back to RNAS Culdrose for a mooch around to see the whirlybirds. At this point, on a cred trip, we should probably do some rides or something. Onwards we went to:

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    This slogan is so awful it's like I've written it. Only idiots would read some drivel that I've written. First up was Hornet. Matt was happy as he's now done both of them (the only other ride of this type is at Asterix) and we agreed it probably was significantly easier to get to Asterix than Flambards. +1 received we revisited a ride I've not seen in a while, the former Pendulus from Pleasure Island. It was way worse than I remember, I'm not sure it has been sited too well. After this and Thunderbolt we headed into the village and exhibitions they have.

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    Surprisingly really good. For a park with few rides, we really enjoyed Flambards. We didn't fancy hanging about all day and there was a +3 waiting for us elsewhere.

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    After arriving down some unpleasant lanes and being greeted by a dead looking cow next to the entrance road, we headed in.

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    This doesn't come out but it was neon red. So so so bright.

    First up was the Bulgarian cred, complete with Cyrillic writing still in the cars

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    An Interpark built Pinfari design. Was about as smooth as you can imagine, fun though. This was followed up by a former Oakwood resident

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    After running away before Yew tree turned up, we headed for a masterpiece of engineering. Ex Camelot and Tir Prince, refurbished by Garmendale and some....interesting reprofiling to fit the tall train in. Also the brakes lift the entire train and you can hear the running wheels turning after being lifted. Such an odd beastie.

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    Following a couple of rerides and the drop tower, we left and predictably found some trains

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    Following this time at Bodmin General station, we went via Launceston Narrow Gauge (closed) and Okehampton (also closed but for engineering works to reopen the line to freight from Meldon Quarry for HS2) and then found the roads were broken. Very, very broken. With the A30 destroyed, it was up to 2 idiots to find a way around the horrendous traffic. So in moronic style, we headed for Crediton station for a looksee, and it was like a preserved station on the main line. Very pretty. Roadweary we dived for a Spoons at Bridport to regroup and get fat.

    Following some liquid courage from Mike we ploughed on and accidentally found Crewkerne station whilst heading for a butchers at Stonehenge. With the main road past Stonehenge closed we had to go past and come back on the opposite carriageway as Matt had never managed to see it before. After 2 laps through the military base we headed for our hotel before we got 6 stars. Friday completed, just in time for Super Saturday. The real day of utter stupidity.
     
    Last edited: 20th Jul 2021
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