Southern France Revisited26th July 2008
Towards the end of last month we made our second attempt to track down the legendary R2000. This was sadly unsuccessful, but we found enough coasters in the area to justify a second trip in the same area. We mapped out four potential locations for this evening, one being a new location and three being a repeat of our earlier trip. Once again we didn't find the coaster we were looking for, but we did find six more credits for the collection, including a previously unknown park featuring a classic Schwarzkopf design.
Lunapark Argeles sur Mer26th July 2008
Our first park of the evening was scheduled to open at 8:30pm, but like so much else in this part of the world the time appeared to be a work of fiction. Some attractions were open when we strolled through the gate shortly before eight, but these were as always not the ones we were interested in. The first coaster to open was the family ride, Le Cobra (#1219), which we'd ticked off shortly before nine.
From there we made our way over to a ride which appeared to be totally nameless but for sake of clarity I'm going to refer to as Roller Coaster (#1220). This looked to be a fairly typical Pinfari design barring one major alteration; there were no restraints whatsoever. Passengers were invited to walk the length of the platform, and once seated the car would be dispatched by some unseen operator without anyone checking anything. We didn't see any test trains run before we boarded either, making the whole thing a slightly surreal experience. The coaster itself was pretty good, though (fortunately) devoid of airtime.
Lunapark de Barcares26th July 2008
Neither of us knew of the existence of Lunapark de Barcares prior to this trip, as it was not mentioned on any of the usual sources. As it was we found it completely by accident, thanks to the brightly illuminated spires of a reverse bungee ride that were visible from the autoroute. One might have expected that such a visible park would be easy to get to, but in fact the opposite was true; the first exit we tried led to a dead end at least five miles away from the park. Fortunately our second attempt led right to the place.
The star attraction here was clearly the aforementioned bungee ride, which was being watched by at least two thirds of the people in the park despite the fact that nobody was actually on board. There was nobody other than the ride operator in the vicinity of the imaginatively named Roller Coaster (#1221), a vintage Schwarzkopf Wildcat that could as easily have been brand new. If anyone can shed any light on the history of this particular machine I'd love to hear from you.
Pirat Parc26th July 2008
Pirat Parc has added a new coaster for this year, and unlike everything else on the site this one is not built on a base frame. Gold Mine (#1222) is fixed into the ground using proper concrete supports and footers, and the layout crosses over and around the ferris wheel, the carousel, and the midway. In short, it has clearly been custom designed for the space, and the result is superb, easily the best coaster of the evening.
Lunapark Carnon26th July 2008
Carnon was where we were expecting to find our target coaster, and it would be fair to say that Toboggan (#1223) was not much of a replacement. Having said that, it was easily the best such ride I've been on, thanks to some soft and forgiving padding in the car. It was still not a ride I'd be willing to repeat ever again, but it did at least gain a one out of ten rating!
Lunapark Marseillan-Plage26th July 2008
It was almost closing time when we arrived at Marseillan-Plage. The Big Apple had just been parked for the night as we approached it, but the Roller Coaster (#1224) was fortunately still open. One galaxi is the same as any other galaxi, and this one was a perfect way to finish the evening.