May 09, 2004 GMT
The Isle of Man

The ferry crossing from Heysham to Douglas (the capital of the isle) took just under four hours. I left the ferry at around 7:00 pm and began looking for accommodation. Douglas struck me as being moderately touristy, with a number of rather expensive-looking hotels on the promenade. I did not see any signs for B&Bs or for campgrounds or for that matter a tourist information office. Consequently, decided to try my luck in the countryside – without success. A friendly attendant in a gas station, with the help of some customers, suggest that I try Douglas again. As far as he knew, there should be a large camping facility near the grand stand and pit lane on the TT course. Okay – back to the city.


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"Douglas Promenade & Beach"



I took me another full hour or so, but then I was in luck: I did not see any signs riding through the centre of Douglas. It was by chance that I noticed this location:

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“TT-Course Grand Stand in Douglas”

Just behind this facility is a large camp ground (but not signs giving directions). The reception was already closed, but other campers said that the receptionist would back in the morning; these campground neighbours also gave me the code to the lock on the door to the shower facilities and toilets. That was helpful.

I spent the next couple of days exploring the famous Tourist Trophy course: 60 k around the island. A combination of country lanes, passages through small villages, and a good stretch through Douglas. The really interesting part is that most of the turns and bends are marked and the bales of hay which are to protect racers in the case of a cash are never removed. Must be part of the local tourist authorities’ marketing ploy. The TT course is omnipresent throughout the island. On the course, in the mountains there is the Isle of Man Motorcycle Museum. In my opinion a must. It includes numerous motorcycles memorabilia and it is a place of homage to Joey Dunlop, “Mister TT”, 26 times TT winner.


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"“Joey Dunlop – 26 times TT winner”"


(Click for the course outline)


Posted by Heiko Neumann at May 09, 2004 10:40 PM GMT
 



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