6.12.2012

TGOC 2012 Day 14 - Northwater Bridge to St Cyrus

Thu 24th May 2012 Day 14 - Northwater Bridge to St Cyrus

And so, all good things eventually come to an end, and this was to be the last walking day of this years Challenge.
As normal, it had been a CHALLENGE, but it had still been good.

So, where shall we go today then?











Obviously, I did not make 8.30.
I was in all honesty, pretty close.
But Al and Lynsey had gone.

Al waved from the road and said he would see me later.
At this point he did not know about the hidden beer, or he may have waited.

I was going to catch him anyway at some point I hoped.

So after finally getting everything ready, by about 8.45, and dropping the key off, I started out with Roger Hoyle for the final piece of the journey.

Up the road, and we crossed the nasty main road, with its many hurtling cars and even scarier hurtling juggernauts.
Survived that crossing, and went over the bridge by the river to pick up the road to Pert

Crossing the North Esk
At Pert, just after the little hut that sells fruit and veg, I left Roger, to turn left to Gallery.
He was heading straight on.

As I started to walk up this road, I realised three major things.

1. It was already getting bloody hot
2. I had forgotten to fill my water bottle
3. I had forgotten my water bottle

Point 3 was not a major factor, because I had a platypus
Points 1 and 2 were, because it was also empty.

Bollocks!

I decided to carry on, and see how things went.
There are a few odd houses on route, I reckoned I could bang on a door, and there would be one of three outcomes

1. No answer
2. I could get water
3. I could get arrested

The latter two points both provided water.

However, as it happens there was a fourth option

Shortly after this I was caught up by Sandy, and he had a big 1 litre+ water bottle and offered to let me share it.

So together, we carried on up the long hot road past Gallery, where there is that enormous house

So, about the window tax
We carried on together, talking and sometimes just walking, all the way to Maykirk.
Under the railway bridge and then turning right again.
I snaffled some more water from Sandy, and then we headed up that very very long road to
Canterland where that nasty little up and down hill is before Morphie

Perfect furrows on route
Finally, as we turned up towards Morphie, we caught up with Al and Lynsey, and I think Ian was also there.
We sat on the wall, for a bit of a rest, and we were soon caught up by Carl and Dave, or was that the other way round?

Anyway, we sat on the wall, and had a rest, and I aired my feet, and nabbed some more water.

Wood and flowerpot man model on the wall near Morphie

Morphie
Everyone but Sandy and I had rushed off, with Carl miles ahead by now.
Sandy had stopped for photo's, and I was buggering about with my shoes and laces, and just generally having a bit of a faff.
Oh, and taking a photo or two.

And then it was over the hill of Morphie to St Cyrus.

I caught Lynsey and Ian up on the way up the hill, and also Al, who was waiting near the top.

View from the hill

View from the hill a couple of years ago, when the rape was in full bloom

We had another brief rest, and then it really really was time to wander on down to St Cyrus.

Colourful
Finally at the top of the cliff, we made our way down that long long set of steps to the beach.
The bloody tide was miles out, and we could see even more Challengers there.
I cannot remember how many, but there were a lot.
Well, a few anyway.
Below are a few pictures of some of them

On the way down, I started the circle for signing


Starting the circle

Early signings.
If you have a picture at the end please forward it.
Just before the tide washed it away.
Picture courtesy Andy Williams


Dave, Rob, Ian, Sandy and Freddie taking the photo
Carl and Lynsey

Me
Me again (knicked of Al's blog


Al
Al and I in daft pose - Picture Courtesy Ian Cotterill
I love this picture.
Lynsey and Isabel
Looking up the beach
Sea view at St Cyrus
And then it was time to head up to the top again and get the bus.
It was a hot long slog to the top.
At the bench about 2/3 of the way up, Al,Sandy, Ian and I had a brief stop.
I brought out the can of beer, that I had secreted in my Croc.

Picture Courtesy Ian Cotterill

It was most welcome.
We drank the beer, and then headed up the final push, getting back to the bus with about 3 minutes to spare.

Then it was back to Montrose and to Park.

For some reason, none of the pictures I took of the campsite came out, which is a bit of a bugger.

So we had several teas and chats at the park, and collected assorted stuff, like T shorts and Fleeces and Certificates.
And chatted with Mr manning, and anyone else who would talk to us.
Had more biscuits.
Went and had a shandy.
Paid for the meal, and then walked down to the Montrose Campsite to put up tents.

There was a huge array of tents at the campsite, and more arriving by the minute.
There was also one big family tent and a car at the far end.
Completely enclosed by small tents.
There was no way in a million years they were leaving before tomorrow.
More people arrived.
Much conversation.

I went and had a well deserved, and definitely needed shower.
I say I went.
I started to go, but every time I arrived at a new tent I ended up in conversation.
It took me 45 minutes to go from my tent to the showers.
I also needed a descent sit down toilet.
Unfortunately, the first one I went into had no paper.
And nor did I, so it was bloody lucky I noticed at the start.
I also washed underwear and shirt and trousers.

Coming back, I hung clothes over the tent to dry, and then eventually, just put them on damp.
They were dry in about 30 minutes.

Then it was time to head back to the Park for more Shandy, and meal.
I had to go and get some cash out as well, because I had given my last £40 to Al on arrival at the site, as he had managed to leave his only (take 2 ok) card next to his phone, and it had erased his chip.
This happened to me about 2 months ago, and it is a complete pain.
Even more so when it is your only card Sloman!

So re-financed, I went to the Park for a final sociable evening amongst many friends old an new.
The speeches were short, and the meal was good.
And I only drank shandy all night.
OK and maybe a whiskey or three.

It was a splendid night, although Al went back early, because he was shattered.
I arrived back at the camp site about 12.45 I think.
Whatever the case, I was not the last one there.
Faffed around for a while in the tent.
Listened to music (it was better than the uncoordinated snoring), and went to sleep.

Tomorrow it was home.


So, our journey was over.
We had gone from Trench foot to Sunburn, 
And Hypothermia to Heatstroke.
We had seen glorious views
And felt a small bit of nature
We had battled through Sun and Rain
And Wind, and Snow

We had seen isolation
And a wondrous social life
We had been High
We had been Low

We had been on the Challenge

It had been fantastic

........................................................................................................................................................
In memory of all those Challengers we lost this year.
If I forgot any then please tell me

John Towers
Ann Maden
Kate Wood
Alec Cunningham
Jack Addison
Peter Hay
........................................................................................................................................................








<br /> <A HREF="http://www.helions.co.uk/mp3/Take My Hand.mp3">Simon McBride - Take My Hand</A><br />
Simon McBride - Down By The River


10 comments:

  1. Brilliant write up. I have a photo of the signing circle taken many hours later but for the life of me I can't find any way of posting it here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. email it to me Andy.
      My email is on my profile.

      Thank you :)

      Delete
  2. Great write-up Andy! Congratulations on completing! Maybe see you next year?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope so Laura.
      Going to apply anyway :-)

      Delete
  3. Well done for dedicating your post to the memory of challengers lost. A simple and lovely tribute.

    Have enjoyed your reports, Andy and your company was OK too. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many Thanks Carl. Likewise.
      And hopefully not for the last time :-)

      Delete
    2. Well then!
      What now, fella?

      I thoroughly enjoyed this: A smashing series of write-ups - warts 'n' all!

      Thanks for the company and for looking after me, too! Much appreciated, old fruit!
      Al.

      Delete
    3. Ah indeed.

      First the journey home.
      You may remember the fun we had.

      And then of course the kit review.

      And then back to everyday RANTS!
      I have built several up, they are just waiting to come out.
      ANGRY ME! YEP!

      Then a holiday at some point I guess

      And well, I need to find another hill somewhere!

      And then it will be September, and TGO will be out and .......

      Delete
  4. Thanks for writing this excellent series of posts. I really enjoyed hearing about your challenge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Paul.

      All done now for another year other than reviewing bits of kit.
      The Good the Bad and the Nondescript.

      Then it is just back to general blog for a while.

      Delete