Europe 08/21 – Papéa Parc + Festyland
The second day was in theory going to be fairly chill, a calm before the storm of many, many late night ride establishments. As we started to head anti-clockwise around the country, the first park of the day was a humble affair by the name of
Day 2 – Papéa Parc
The names will definitely start to blur by the time we’re done, but the individual characters are at least holding for now. This place is home to
A poor #1 Chenille with a missing antenna.
A nice looking Tivoli Large, imaginitively named #2 Roller Coaster. Take care not to skim your hand in the stones as though it was the water at Tripsdrill.
Time to kill means time for small ferris wheels, made by Technical Park, of ‘Italian dinosaur log flume that may or may not be a coaster’ fame.
And cute little boat rides with Irish ride ops that play royalty free panpiped Lion King music.
Before the main event, more Soquet goodness in the form of #3 Train de la Mine.
This one had a bit of a stewing queue, but it was eventually worth it for some of that strong terrain game and unpainted finish.
Being the literal definition of ‘some creds’, I don’t have a huge amount to say about Papéa so I’ll ramble a little instead. It was an overall pleasant park and put another +3 under the belt. It’s located near the Le Mans race circuit and the Goodyear blimp likes to hover ominously around the sky. As we left, some sort of anniversary celebration was going on in the form of a middle aged man calmly DJing from a laptop to an audience of none, while what looked like his parents were sitting just to the side, texting and making orange squash.
Another very pleasant park. Seems I don’t have an actual entrance shot of the place, instead just this humongous tunnel which you get to pass through from the car park.
With back to back Soquets, #4 Drakkar had me worried that it was some sort of clone as the ending sequence near the station looked very similar to the previous one. Fortunately the rest of the layout was rather different and contained some decent landscaping of its own. I like to imagine the manufacturer used to just turn up on site with some steel and wing it on the day.
The real star of the show is #5 1066 though. I simply loved this thing. It’s a little more significant than most other Soquets and rides with a real vigour.
The face of the bull on the front says it all (I’m not even sure how he’s related to the battle of Hastings), as it just plunges down this big hillside and gets surprisingly intense in places. For one of these at least.
Time to kill means time for flat rides, in this case, Eretic, or ‘better Cyclonator’.
And time for water rides with a ridiculously violent trough spin on them. Seriously, watch out for the Kaskade.
This all feels too easy to me. Something isn’t sitting right. A look of concern had crossed my face as we left this ride and a sudden, horrific thought occurred to me – we’ve forgotten a park.
I’ve become overly complacent with knowing the itineraries off the top of my head these days (with how much fruitless trip planning I’ve done this year, it’s no surprise) and had somehow subconsciously fooled myself into thinking this was an easy two park day. In actuality it was meant to be a go-hard three park day.
What an amateur.
After racing back to the car and punching some numbers into Google, it simply wasn’t to be. Ange Michel, a name we would come to curse regularly throughout the coming weeks, would just have to wait for another day.
There was however now time for a bonus round instead. On a hillside down the road was our first of these weird contraptions.
A single rail Alpine coaster, #6 Clécy Gliss. These are manufactured by Wiegand’s Austrian rival Brandauer, who actually started the ‘mountain coaster’ game one year earlier, back in 1996, and have since been acquired by Sunkid, of ‘Butterflies and random new trains on dodgy coasters’ fame.
Single rail = terrifying. I’ve had my moments over the last few years of fearing various alpine coasters. Though you’re sufficiently upstopped on rails while riding of course, there can be something unnerving about the way the structures just sit on what appear to be loose rocks, I’ve still never been 100% convinced you can just no-brake every installation that ever existed and the relatively exposed feeling of sitting on a tea tray doesn’t often help matters either.
These things feel even more exposed and slightly more ghetto, which is an interesting combination. They also appear to have the ability to perform much steeper drops, an experience all in itself.
A solid last minute find at the very least and a warm up, perhaps, of what’s to come.