And a mug of tea too.
Others missed out because they were tardy. It was their fault. Right, Andrew?
I don't really remember what time I got going after breakfast but it wasn't early for sure. I'd been warned about bridges over the River Esk being 'a bit iffy', and the first one I reached confirmed those reports, the sign was very clear. It pretty much said "Cross and you will die". They were wrong.
With wanton abandon I walked, gingerly, across the decaying planks. They creaked a little, but I managed to escape with my life.
In spite of my very clear memories of the preceding day, the detail of this section is hazy at best. I find myself needing to look at my maps now, just to remember the route. I followed the route on the south of the Esk, pretty much hugging the banks after the bridge at Woodhaugh.
|Leaving St Drostan's|
|The banks of the Esk|
I 'leapfrogged' with several challengers along the banks. Many of them were folk I had not seen before.
Every now and then, I would see one of these traps. They don't make me happy.
|I think this is a 'Martin bank.|
|I thought this was a nice bridge.|
|Other than the hills, it is a lot like Suffolk.|
|My Dad would have liked to see this.|
|Eddy and Alastair Hunt in that order.|
|I told you. She had a cucumber.|
|Still can't remember the name of that pub.|
|Ngomu aka 'Charles' - a very great man.|
I messed around getting supplies, including some Tennants Super, for the evening at North Water Bridge, for I had heard that there was no boozer nearby and what better than 9% rocket fuel? Right, Lynsey?
I drifted off after a few beers at the pub whose name escapes me, walking alone over the impossible to find bridge and along the roads, through farmland and here and there, finally strolling into North Water bridge with some challengers whose names escape me still. I wish I had written notes after Braemar. Next time I will.
|Encampment at North Water Bridge|
|In case anyone needed proof that we do actually walk...|
I established myself at one of the picnic benches on site, and set my cans of 'Super' on the table. There were gasps all around, and the mockery began. I was forced by Lynsey & Alastair to drink a bottle of real ale to redress the balance, and Ian Cotterill convinced me to sample some of his 'cask strength' Laphroaig. Now, I don't usually like those peaty western malts, but the setting seemed to make it go down much more easily.
Having no booze to return the favour, I later recalled that I had carried 5 or 6 100g bars of Lindt chocolate from Strathcarron and had hardly touched any of it. I opened the packets and laid them on the table, breaking them into pieces for all to share. After Jane Egg had had her fill, the rest of us picked a few crumbs for ourselves.
As you can see from this photograph of an Akto, there was a stiff wind that evening.
|Lynsey was running out of Nature Valley bars.|
Tomorrow would be 'St. Cyrus day'.