Saturday, 28 May 2016
TGO Challenge 2016 - Day 13 - Tarfside to North Water Bridge (campsite at NO 650 662)
Route: as planned, leaving out the short climb to the masonic tower at
Distance: 27 km (Cum: 303)
Ascent: 300 metres (Cum: 9800)
Time taken: 9 hrs including breaks
Weather: sunny periods, cool
We took the 'trade route' via breakfast at The Retreat and lunch at the Tuck Inn café in Edzell. Before that, a stroll beside the River Esk past the Rocks of Solitude. This is the Blue Door Walk, one of the most scenic passages of our entire Challenge. It ends with a blue door before a final stroll along the right bank of the river to Edzell. (We took the slightly rougher left bank last year.)
Our decision to leave out the off-road path to the masonic tower was brought upon by our failure to notice the turn to it whilst we were happily chatting to others in our little group that stayed together more or less all day - Sue and me, Ian C, Alistair P, Andy Walker, Rob Jones, and Barbara Saunders. We were joined at a closed footbridge near Millden Lodge by a chap called Martin, who made a dramatic entry to our group by falling off the bridge. Luckily only his pride was damaged. Jennifer from Altrincham promptly turned round and went by the public route that we'd followed, despite the assistance being offered by an estate worker to get them across the closed footbridge.
Jon Metcalf was waiting for us at North Water Bridge with some interesting beers (eg salted caramel - smooth and powerful, Brewdog), the best part of a bottle of Bourbon, and the news that he is soon to retire. Alison also arrived from Montrose and we spent a happy hour or two communing at a picnic bench, gradually accumulating more Challengers around the bench in the cool of the evening.
We observed a moment of complete farce when a nearby picnic table collapsed when the occupants of one side of it all stood up at once, sending four people on the other side of the table and the entire contents of the table, on which meals were being cooked, into an undignified heap underneath the upturned table. Luckily nobody seemed to be too badly hurt or burnt.
It was a late night, with no time to contemplate drafting this entry, which task was left until the journey home, or even later.
This was a classic day spent on a standard route towards the end of the Challenge in the company of good friends and like minded participants.
Slideshow for the Day
Click on the first image, then click 'slideshow'.
Next Day - Day 14