Six am starts are a rarity on our trip. However, if we wanted to watch Rory Mcilroy play, we’d have to get ourselves up and out of bed nice and early as he was teeing off at 7am. Although, Its much easier jumping out of bed for something like this than it is to go to work, from what I can remember anyway!
The machine that is ‘The Open’ golf tournament rolls in to a course picked from a select number of venues once a year. This year, the little town of Carnoustie would be swallowed up for a few weeks, with thousands of people descending on it. We read in the press that the senior management of the golf club itself was questioning whether Carnoustie was big enough to host such an event these days. The chaos and disruption that ensues when hosting such an event was starting to outweigh the benefits. One of the sticking points is that event visitors are not allowed back in the arena and course once they leave, meaning the shops and restaurants around town have a reduced number of customers throughout the day than they would if people could nip in and out as they wished.
I appreciate that most people reading this blog won’t be too interested in golf, so I’ll spare the detail!
We had a fantastic day, walking all parts of the course, mixing with players and grabbing quite a few signatures for our programme. A nice memento for years to come. As the event was sponsored by HSBC, we even managed to get in to a special stand for their customers, where we tucked in to complimentary drinks and snacks.
At first we thought £30 each for a mere practice day was quite steep (reduced to £25 each of paid by mastercard) but when you consider we were there for almost 9 hours, its not bad at all really. The atmosphere was really relaxed being a practice day, unlike when the actual tournament starts on the 19th. Some of the players were friendlier than others but most were happy to sign stuff for the fans.
We’d been looking forward to watching Tiger Woods play all day and he had been scheduled to tee off at 1pm, only to then suddenly disappear from the listings. As we were walking out, we walked under the bridge which leads from the practice area to the first tee and hotel area and who was walking over our heads, none other than Tiger himself!! He didn’t hang around and by the time I’d got my camera out, he was already walking away..
We spent the night on the sea front 7 miles down the coast in Monifieth. A couple of other vans were parked up so we settled in. Our only excursion in to town resulted in a chip shop supper. The ten miles we’d walked were starting to tell on our legs so we called it a day and had an early night.
The next morning we set off on our way to Edinburgh. All of our apps were suggesting parking spots on the perimeter of the City. As with most capitals, parking is at a premium in the centre so we opted for a park and ride journey. Only the pub stop we pulled in at didn’t seem to know it was listed on an app and didn’t appear too impressed with the motorhome idea. The bar lady I spoke too suggested we park on the road as opposed to their car park. We had planned on eating in the pub that night after our foray in to the City but we decided to cut our losses and head somewhere else. I’m sure the economy of Edinburgh will just about survive without our dosh, but it was disappointing all the same. It does get to a point when it seems a bit too much like hard work finding somewhere to stop or park, so when these instances crop up we just usually head elsewhere. We have both been to Edinburgh before and will no doubt head there again at some point. When we can find it in our motorhoming hearts to forgive them that is.
Half an hour later and we were parked up on the coast in a place called ‘Prestonpans’ initially the spot looked fine. A few vans there already and no signs suggesting motorhomes were not welcome. We then spotted something rather strange. A gang of fellas in a make shift camp next to what looked like a partially wrecked boat. A small ‘ish’ fire was burning on the shore, up until the fire brigade turned up and put it out! When we walked up in to town, we spotted one of the news agents boards with a headline that read “boats captain given deadline” It didn’t take a brain surgeon to connect the story and the scene. On reading the story online we had to laugh. The Captain of the wrecked boat had claimed that on his way to Turkey, they had been rear ended 4 miles out to sea by either a Whale or a Submarine!!! The local council had given him a deadline as to when he needed to remove the boat by. The fire we witnessed looked to be his attempt to get rid of it! The full story can be seen via the link at the bottom of the page, it’s well worth a read.
The news paper story reported that the locals were not happy with the boat wreck, the camp that’d subsequently sprung up and also the motorhomes up in that area. Reading this and not wanting to breath the fumes from the charcoaled boat, we were on the road again.
This trip is many things, but dull isn’t one of them! Xx
The newspaper article for the shipwrecked boat: