Sunday, 29 June 2014

The 0420 Giraffe to Stupidville

derwent and victoria hotel fire drill evacuation belgrave road torquay german girls in hotpantsSo there I lay, snoring gently when my brain was sawn in half by the fire alarm. It was a quarter past 4 in the morning, a time that isn't supposed to exist on a Sunday.
We stumbled around the room for a while but the shrill insistency of the alarm drowns out even the obligatory "You are 'avin a giraffe..." and soon enough we had got partially dressed and were going down the back stairs and out into the street via the dining room. The many grannies did quite well.
Staff members showed us to one of the ballrooms in the Victoria hotel above the pub where we watched the match last night and lots of people were in dressing gowns and the half dozen German girls were in hotpants.
torquay hotels in changeable weatherThe roads were not empty - a trickle of taxis took partied-out revellers back to the street of hotels and we bleared at them. There was a real fire engine there and we guess that someone was having a crafty fag in their room or similar.
Breakfast was a subdued affair and they may have been more relaxed about what time it finished. From there began the long process of packing up the vast amounts of wet clothes and filling the car.
tlh hotel complex torquay views to brixham point torbayI had been promised a trip to Splashworld so I climbed the frames one more time and we found the seafront had been closed for the Ooo-Ar half-marathon. This put paid to an easy journey along the coast so we headed inland with lots of other lost cars. A diversion sign sent us all up a dead end and we struck out on our own through a nature reserve and tiny village down a single-track road and endless residential estates.
At last the tablet gave us a minute of battery life and we found Quaywest and Goodrington sands. This area looked very nice and it was a shame we didn't have more time to explore. SplashDown is a waterslide park and we all did the slides in order so we could keep track of our progress. Buying a 2-hour ticket, we started with the purple screamer which drops you in a big curve and gives you lots of tangential G-forces.
The mat rides are gentler, you just go round and round variously. The triple-dropper is a long straight slide with 3 drops on it and I got stuck.
quaywest splashdown paignton devonBut the most popular rides amongst the hordes of surfer dudes and bikini babes was the tyre ride section. You queue up and get a blow-up ring off the people exiting the slides and run to the top. Choosing your route, you slide down singly or in groups if you like and 3 times during each ride you capsize in a water bath waystation where you gather until the latest entrant pushes the first ones over the lip and down the next bit of slide.
This was pretty well it for us and we went round and round, I lost my ring at one point and slid down without it. The last ride is the death-dropper and again, it's a straight slide but vertiginous at best. In fact it looks like you're just jumping off a cliff from orbit, I refused to do it and even Bud had to try 3 times until I pushed him off. It was very fast and you get water up your bum.
I did have one bum-related difficulty on the rings, it's so small I fall through and get stuck.
We totally lied to Jof and said it was gentle and she'd like it. She capsized and lost her ring and bumped her head and her foot and went down the slide backwards and was always underwater and without poise or decorum at all, just like the rest of us. She elected to sunbathe instead until it started raining.
We didn't mind the rain, you're wet anyway and the water is heated so warmer inside than out. Eventually she told us we were half an hour past our 2 hours and the car ticket was going to run out so we dried off as best we could and drove to Exeter services where we bought food and watched planes land.
splashdown quaywest rubber ring waterslides paignton torbay devon
The journey home took us 5 hours in all, it's amazing how many A-roads and motorways double up as car parks just when we're travelling.

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