North Water Bridge – St Cyrus
Distance 13.6 Km Ascent 208 m
Dave survives and Roger retires
We rose to another pleasant morning.
Although we had a lot of time, it was nice to get away reasonably early, although a lot of people had gone by the time we left.
We had a chat with the owner.
He apologised for the showers, but we said it was fine, and there should be no repercussions, and we set of along the road.
I had planned to go to Johnshaven, but you know how it is, somehow, St Cyrus beckoned.
So we set off via the Hill of Morphie.
Dave’s surges from the previous day appeared to be over or so we thought.?
After a gentle start, it soon appeared that Dave was in pain.
Actually just after the first left turn near Pert.
Al and I were shambling along at a very sedentary pace when we realised that Dave was not there. We waited for him to hobble up.
Then Dave and I walked for a bit.
Ian C caught us up just near here, and was soon heading into the distance on his self destructing shoes. Ian seriously motors on roads. I mistakenly in 2010 tried to keep up with him on the way to North water Bridge, just after electrocuting myself on the electric fence at the end of the track at Chapleton, and he destroyed me.
But it appears Dave could not take this, and Dave not being competitive remember headed off in hot pursuit of Mr Cotterill.
We should have warned him, but he would not have listened.
I carried on, and caught up with Al.
It was road, so we were again walking in softly softly foot mode.
We needed to turn right at the railway bridge to go towards Marymill.
We had no idea where Dave had gone, he was riding on the crest of agony in his feet,
and the competitive need to track down and beat Ian, or something like that.
We thought he might have gone straight on towards Montrose, possibly in a hallucinogenic state brought on by blister induced endorphin or maybe adrenaline overload.
However, as we got to the bridge, Dave had stopped just round the corner.
Ian was long gone!
So we headed over the bridge and off to the hill of Morphie.
That nasty little sting in the tail of the road walk to the Coast.
I walked with Dave for quite a while after this.
Al in the meantime had long abandoned his schoolboy chum and was gone.
As we headed up the track at Morphie I left Dave and headed off to try and catch Al, so we could go to St Cyrus together.
It was not to quite happen like that, but I just needed to get over that hill.
It is a long way over the hill.
One of the really noticeable things this year was the Rape fields, or rather lack of them.
Normally the fields are bright yellow on the east, but this time because of the earlier good weather (not I hasten on the Challenge), they were very patchy.
The field below is the view from the top of the Hill the first time I went over this way.
This year there was hardly any yellow at all.
View from Hill of Morphie 2007
We stopped at the top to wait for Dave, and then headed off across the road and the final run down to St Cyrus.
Al had gone off again, and I was doing a bit of shoe adjusting and Music selection.
I was feeling good, and in no time flat had Al in my sites.
Dave did not have to go to the beach, having only been here for a few days, (painful days admittedly).
And then we had arrived.
We left Dave at the top and headed down to the beach.
Now, I have to say that I fely very very guilty at this point.
On the way from the Hill of Morphie, I had motivated Dave with talk of excellent Coffee shops and cakes and a delightful rest.
So when we got there to discover that the Coffee Shop had closed down, it was not a good thing.
Dave wandered off to find anything, or maybe just console himself, and Al and I headed off on the long walk down to the beach.
To take the pack down or not is always a subjective decision, but we were both of the pack must go down school which is what we did.
And it is a long way down.
At the bottom we walked to the sea for photo’s.
In the past I have done the full immersion thing, but this time I was just going for moist sand.
I took a picture of Al first, and then he took one of me.
The hair is still $&1t
Mates! How far had we walked together?
So he waited and waited to take the photo.
He waited until a wave came in and washed over my shoes and feet!
I then drew the customary finish circle which Al and I signed.
Waves on the Beach
Time to head back up, collect Dave and get the bus into Montrose.
We set off up the path to the little seat half way up.
We still had quite a while until the bus, and I needed a pee, so we sat down.
Now I do not mean I sat down for a Pee. I mean we sat down after I had had a pee, nowhere near the seat. Anything else would have been vandalism and a bit uncouth.
Al found some fine Ginger cake he had bought the day before, and I spirited a cunningly hidden can of Lager from my rucksack that I had carried from Edzell.
So cunning, that it would have fooled a Fox who had taken an O.U. course in cunning.
It’s the little things you know!
I shared this with Al, despite the fact he deliberately waited for the wave to soak my feet!
We didn’t tell Dave about the beer! It would have been unkind.
Refreshed, and with a bus to catch, we set off to the top, collected Dave, and waited briefly for the bus to Montrose, which strangely when it arrived was full of a lot of scruffy looking individuals with great big rucksacks.
In next to no time we were in Montrose.
I grabbed some cash from the machine on the way, and then headed down to the Park Hotel.
The old and the New guard at the Park (Roger and John)
I collected T Shirt etc, and then after a cup of tea or three, headed down to the bar.
Shortly after this, Dave headed off home.
His car was parked in Montrose, in fact at the Park, and he had a long way to go, so we said farewell.
Only time will tell if Dave comes back for a full Challenge
Time and forgetting the pain!
Al and I had to find Humphrey, so that I could hand over the Strathcarron collection, and signed card that had travelled across with me, and they could sort out all the other details.
I won’t go into these here because Al has it all documented far better on his blog and 2011 write up.
But a goodly sum was collected and more importantly, a lot of signatures.
Eventually it was time to head off to my B&B.
This was a bit of a trek out of town.
I had stayed there last year, and it was an excellent B&B.
When I arrived it was time for a long shower.
I got my stuff set out in my room, and also hung Wendy up for an airing in the garden.
It was pretty windy, and she needed to be tied down well for fear of ending up in Montrose Harbour.
She was pretty wet, on the grounds that there was quite a lot of rain last night, and she had not had a chance to dry out. In fact she came out like Tent Soup.
Showered and clean, in fresh clothes, and with Wendy all nice and dry and packed, I headed back into the Park Hotel at about 6.00 to the meal, and a bit of socialising.
On arrival, Al said, get your coat in there on a seat, which I duly did, and then after a chat with a few folk, it was time to go into the meal. An important meal, it being Roger’s farewell.
So bottle of wine purchased it was time.
A pleasant evening spent, many speeches and all round congratulations.
Apart from the splendid presentation to Roger, there were of course all the new Legends, and the paintings.
Heather, Ron and Phil
Denis’s brilliant picture
And then it was suddenly rather late, and time for a long walk back to my B&B.
I watched TV for a while, not being able to get to sleep and then it was over!
One Day you are a million miles away and it seems like forever, and then it is all over.
Some say that it was the worst ever weather, and a hard Challenge.
But really it was just a Challenge with a bit of weather.
It had been another excellent adventure.
Once upon a time many years ago I had said never again.
But I was already thinking of my next start point!
Many Thanks Roger!
And, Many Thanks everyone I met who yet again made this such a fabulous fortnight!
See you again soon I hope!