11.07.2016

TGOC 2015 - The End is Nigh - Tarfside to Kinnebar Links via some other place

TGOC 2015
The End is Nigh - Tarfside to Kinnebar Links
via some other place
Days 13 and 14



Monkey3 - Icarus

The really important bit of this post is at the end.
But you need to read it to get there...
No skipping...

Day 13 - Tarfside to NWB via some place I've been before called Edzell

So I was up reasonably early to head to St Drostans for a rather lovely Bacon Butty.
Messrs' Sloman and Lambert were nowhere to be seen.
I thought they may meet up for breakfast but no.

I took the tent down and packed everything away, and headed on up...
I owed JD some money anyway (as usual)

"Morning, A mug of tea and a bacon butty please" :-)

"Sorry, we're out of Bacon!"

"WHAT ************ "
"But how can that happen"

"Mr Sloman had the last one, actually it was his 2nd"

That may not be strictly true OK, but after 2 years, it is now in my head as truth.
If it wasn't it was some other greedy ******
And I thought we were a BIG challenge family.
Well, it appears we are, and your DAD has eaten your breakfast....

Was I gutted?

Bloody right I was...

"Do you a fried egg sandwich, I think we may have a couple of eggs left"

I agreed to this, but don't get me wrong OK.

An Egg sandwich is nice, especially with a bit of sauce and a big mug of tea.

BUT

IT ISN'T ****ING BACON ALRIGHT!!!!!!!

Fed but mortified I bade farewell to the wonderful people at St Drostan's picked up my bag, and without the wonderful taste of bacon in my mouth, made a forelorn figure as I trudged along the road.

My thoughts wandered....

"Humans taste like Pork so they say...."
"Hmmmm, maybe I could beat the bastard to death with my walking pole and then eat him between slices of bread?"
"But No... It would take too long to smoke the meat"

And I headed to the Retreat for a second cup of coffee and to plot my revenge..

Oh yes


Carvings at The Retreat
So having hooked up with about 120,000 people all wanting to do the now infamous BLUE DOOR walk I set off up the road.
To be honest, there were so many I couldn't count, and after 2 years, there are names I can no longer pronounce, let alone spell or remember, but a few fold headed off along the road, and sown to the ONLY decent remaining bridge across the road, unless you want to carry on, walk through someones back garden, vault a fence, and then climb over an old Victorian wrought iron bridge that says danger and private and then clamber over barbed wire.

I had done that back in 2007, and did not plan to do it again.
Although, in 2016...We watched a man tumble nay fall doing same such, but I am already a year behind, so that will have to wait.
Some readers will by now have noticed, that NONE of my blogs are intended to teach anyone how to do this.
I spent years teaching bloody maths.
It was ok until successive pointless administrative governments ruined the bloody job by introducing paperwork at the expense of teaching, but that is a rant for another day too.
What I'm saying is this.

All these blogs are my take on what happened.
IF you want reality, then go elsewhere, because this is as real as it gets..

Where was I?

Oh yes, we bumbled down to the bridge and then across.

I think Mick was back with my now, and on route we were doing our normal hedgerow quiz.
This is where Mick tells me about stuff (he is a bit of a horticultural wizard), and says he will test me later under pain of death.

I have never passed this test, which is why I now walk with a limp..

No HONEST! He can be a cruel master

OK. Just Jokin', he's a pussycat.
He told me to say that.

Crossing the bridge, it looks very different by 2016


Heading up the Esk

Milden Lodge

There's that bridge.
NOT an official bridge


I have done this a lot.
Sometimes I think shall I go over the hills of Wirren again, and then I look at these valleys.

We wandered further round to find the cut off to the bridge of bullets and the short walk to the Rocks of Solitude and the BLUE DOOR.
It is easy to miss, because it is slightly hidden



Crossing the Bullet Bridge
Over the bullet bridge it is just a short pull up.
You can attempt the river from the bottom.
It is much clearer now than it used to be, or head up to the road and about 1km of tarmac until you see the sign for the Rocks of solitude.
You want the lower track that heads left.

It is a wonderful gorge and walk, with bit hewn out of the rock by Napoleonic prisoners of war.

There are pictures here, but not many as none do it justice.
See it.
And spend some time on the picnic bench in the carved out rocks.
A perfect spot for a rest and 11's







Lynsey will kill me for this one.
Everyone else looks NORMAL











Crossing the road through the Blue door, over the bridge right and then immediately left to follow the far side of the river all the way into Edzell.
Watch out for Salmon in the slow moving river.
Magnificent




And then it was Edzell, the TUCK INN for lunch and then down to the Butchers far down on the right, then back across to the shop with the red door to buy wine or beer or whatever to take to NWB.

A vending machine at NWB, but little else.
Get your stuff here or NOT at all.

The walk out over the bouncy bridge (see older posts for pictures) and then down through Chapelton, past cattle and fields to the road.
Watch out for the fence, it may be electrified. Zapped me one year big time










Once you hit the road it is a brief but dangerous walk to the crossroads at Northgate.
Hang a left off the road and take the parallel track down to cross just before the Campsite at North Water Bridge.



It's a nice campsite, and friendly staff, but despite new boilers (so they say), I wouldn't expect a hot shower.

I could put in campsite pictures if I took many.
I really must.
Maybe next time

Here are the lot...





Suffice it to say, that there was as normal a goodly gathering at NWB, and as the evening rolled on, and we ate our food and drank wine, and beer and whisky, and froze our nuts off, many folk went to bed happy.
Tomorrow would be the final day.



Yesterday it seemed an age, and now it was almost all over.

At least this year, I wasn't too drunk to stand, and didn't spend 20 minutes slowly finding my tent so as not to blunder through others past midnight.

AND NO, I wasn't the one at Montrose who fell through Bob's tent OK.

Day 14 NWB to Kinnebar Links

It was an OK morning, time to head to the coast.
The new cunning plan was to go via Hillside to Charleton Farm and Finish at Kinnebar Links.

The farm is an Oasis of wonders.

Kinnebar Links is The New St Cyrus

All was good except for Liz Robertson's ankle
Liz had taken a tumble or something a few days before.
Her ankle was swollen and in serious pain.
She was going to drop out.

ON DAY 14?????

No way, we would have carried her.
Folk divied up her stuff so she had only the pack.
Then it was decided by hook or by crook we would convoy her to the coast.

This was now SERIOUS FAMILY BUSINESS

Liz was going to the coast.
On foot
She would succeed.

And off we set.

OK, some a bit faster than others, but often stopping and then waiting and there was a rolling subs list to walk with Liz.
A NEW wreck of a car had appeared in the layby


The war memorial at Hillside


At Charleton farm we stopped for cakes and tea and coffee, and scones and stuff.
If you walk past here and don't stop you are either bonkers or really really anti-social.

Liz rested her ankle.
Just a short trudge to the beach and then that would be it.
Liz to get a lift back to Montrose having made it, and we would walk up the beach and through the dunes and the Golf Course.

And then, there we all were at the beach

FINISHED DONE, somehow elated and yet SAD.

So at this point I will apologise for bloody Mynott and his drink bottles.
That said, I did take it :-)


And to the beach










FINISHED

THAT WAS IT FOR ME AND JOHN JOCYS

NO 10 DONE AND DUSTED


ME, JJ, Carl and Lynsey

Me & JJ




Time to head back up the beach to Montrose.
Job done, and it had been MIGHTY FINE







Bo mucking about for me at the Park Hotel
This was NUMBER 10, I was in a room... My room, I had bloody earned it over the years.

A great time at the Park.
So many friends over the years, and a meal to attend

AND

a trophy to collect

This is of course what happens when you do it 10 times.
Dementia






A dreadful photo, but still Thanks Carl, of me getting my 10th.
I believe Mr Cotterill has the real one, but he's never sent it to me.
So,


IF you still have it Ian, can I have a copy please :-)

One last thing though organisers.
In 2014, I seem to remember 10 timers got a bottle of single malt.
OK, only a half bottle, but it was whisky.
SO, my expectation was high.
Well, imagine my horror when I got PROSSECO
Yes, not even bloody champagne
10 ****ing crossing, and sparkly bloody wine.

So, if you want to fill in that small omission, I will be back GOD willing in 2017

Other than that

AND WE HAD A CRACKING NIGHT AND WENT TO BED....

IT WAS ALL OVER

Well, almost!!!!!

BUT

I have walked with some bloody wonderful people over the years.
Nearly everyone I've met has been a diamond.

From my 1st crossing with Lucy in 1995
(CLASS of 1995)
when she was 20 weeks pregnant.
We got engaged on that one.
Yes, that's what bloody stress does for you

Here is the engagement Cat
Purchased in Braemar 1995


She finally got the ring 10 years later in 2005

Then I had 10 years off whilst our little ones, who we had pretty damned late in life, because I couldn't go away and leave them for 2 weeks.

But it doesn't stop here either

I cannot name all the people I have walked with and had a great time with over the years.
although, special mention to my neighbour back in 2006 who was a bloody nightmare

Other than that blimp though, all those people and all the VETTERS
Roger Smith, John Manning & now Sue and Ali
and all the ones who I now hope and feel are my friends.

Well, they tolerate me anyway

The new and the old.

All those folk who are

MADE OF THE RIGHT STUFF

You know who you all are.

I BIG THANKYOU
for all the memories and great times.

And yes Mick, you do feature in there :-)

I have to mention Bill and (Stan) from Callater & big Mick
always made me welcome.
I almost feel like family now
although many of my memories are vague
due to Bill repeatedly filling my glass with whisky despite me pleading him not to.

BUT NOW
I have to make special mention to a small handful

A very small handful

John Jocys, who made it his 10th as well.
He did his 1st the year I broke my leg in 2004
To be fair, I only did that so the bugger could catch up and we could finish our 10th in 2015

And then we move on to les deux autre amigos

Mr Alan Sloman & Mr Phil Lambert

A mighty duo, who adopted me several years ago out of the kindness of their hearts.
Despite their best efforts, I remained an idiot, but they tried, oh how they tried.
They certainly bloody tried me anyway.

They have been & I hope will remain friends for many years to come.
OK, best not to disagree with Al, and never ever, ever, discuss Religion or Politics with him,
and FFS don't say Wind Turbines are pretty.

AND FINALLY

I have to mention 3 special people this year who made my crossing such a joy

Carl Mynott
(The Cairngorm foot bridge club outing chairman) - It's an inn joke ok
Lynsey Pooler
& last but by no means least, the rock star roadie or whatever who is
Gordon Green

We had laughs and we had err. laughs :-)

You made it what it was people
You were immense

And IF I didn't mention you by name, it was nothing personal.
If I mention everyone, the bloody list will go on for ever, & I still have to write up 2016

But I love you all, young and old
You bunch of bloody scoundrels

3 comments:

  1. Mate, I damn near shed a tear there. Once or twice from giggles, and again from the sweet tinge of sentimentality. It was a fine crossing, and the company was for me, what made it. You GG and Pooler(ess).

    See you soon, Mr W.

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  2. Some trip reports I can or have to take a break from but yours whisk one along on a whirlwind of fun and a distinct insight into the Challenge spirit. Some gol's were had (guffaw out loud) that had some work colleagues looking at me askance (reading these on my breaks). Doing away with Mr Sloman for human bacon but no he would take too long to smoke! You would have been entirely justified in my eyes πŸ˜‰ Poor Lynsey - the only one who doesn't look normal πŸ˜‚ I'll try not to engage Alan on the subject of religion or politics should we meet. However, wind turbines...😁

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  3. Happy memories, usual excellent write up Andy 😊 Margaret

    ReplyDelete