Posted by: Ian | October 16, 2012

JOGLE Day 4. “A” kit.

Last night I stayed in the Falls of Lora Hotel at Connel Ferry near Oban. It’s an imposing building and the decor of the public rooms has the same exotic grandeur that leads Miss Innes, with whom I corresponded when booking it, to style herself PROPRIETRIX in her email signature. There is long case clock in the lounge that has the most fantastic chimes, like something from Lemony Snicket. Upon inspection, I saw that it was from Cornwall: maybe it’s there to inspire JOGLErs.

The realities of running a commercial enterprise have led to some idiomatically variant economies. My room, for example, was a Spartan cell in the new annex. To get to it I had to walk past a number of rooms in the oak panelled original building whose doors had pointedly been left open to reveal opulent interiors decorated in flagrantly doubtful taste. The breakfast also exhibited the same mismatch between aspiration of image and economic reality: the italic font and lofty adjectives on the menu translated to a “full Scottish” of cartoon tininess. Even so, I’d certainly return.

But to my topic… I have two cycling kits with me. My “A” kit, which I wore for the first two days, comprises:
Assos Bib shorts
Long sleeve base layer (this and all following items is/are Rapha)
Long sleeve jersey
Touring shorts
Leg warmers
Wool socks
Rain jacket
Crochet short-finger gloves.

The ride today was again fantastic. I heard my first bagpipes this trip (in Inverary), saw two red squirrels (one of which was alive) and made early lunch at the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar. This afternoon’s riding through Argyll Forest to the seafront road at Dunoon was again beautiful on the large scale.

At Dunoon I took the ferry to Greenock. After so much fabulous cycling, turning onto the A78 towards Largs was like being hit with a cricket bat. It’s shit. (I struggled to find a better expression and I can’t.) The road has a constant stream of traffic, there are enough ugly buildings to detract from the few that aren’t and the air is laced with poison. Across the water the unspoiled islands are sadly visible. The civilization that made this from that must, you’d think, be like one of those inexplicably evil races seen on Dr Who. In retrospect, the ferry carried me from utopia to dystopia as if from reality to a dream: I’m not sure which is the direction of travel (and does it matter?). This may be the existential metaphor of my trip.

At least, due to me not accounting correctly for the ferry time on my route plan, I was in Largs sooner than expected. My B&B, once inside, is run by a Thai lady called May and is fine.

In Largs itself (Smiths fans will know the relevant song) it’s possible to take a nice photo by the simple trick of pointing the camera away from the town and out to sea. I should report that I managed to get a perfectly passable fish supper for £6.90. The restaurant carries a framed recommendation from 1988.




  1. […] wrote about this on my post the following day. I had my worst room, smallest breakfast and the second worst drying facilities here but I’d […]

  2. Fantastic post. Jealous of your trip, and congrats on completion!
    Thanks for sharing along the way.

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