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TGO Challenge 2007 day 12 - 13

Wednesday 23 May - day 12

distance 27,9km - ascent 310m

Glen Esk

Another lovely sunny day. Is this Scotland ? From the Tarfside field I had to retrace my steps for a couple of hundred yards to get to the bridge that crosses the River North Esk. Ahum, a bridge ?a notice says the narrow footbridge is in a dangerous state and you cross at your own risk. Often a sign the owner doesn't want you to be here. This time he was right. A storm would probably blow the bridge away. Its wood is rotting and parts are completely missing. I crossed nevertheless and survived and what followed was an easy stroll on the south side of the river. The tarmac road follows the north side.At first I walked alone but it turned out there were quite a lot of Challengers preferring this path to the road.The area near the eastcoast is dominated by little hills and a lot of farmland for mainly sheep and cattle.Definitely less entertaining for the spoiled hillwalker and not an area to refill your bottle unless you want to catch some microbiological disease or chemical poison.Walking and chatting go perfectly well together and make the miles go very fast. I met familiar faces I'd seen in previous days. After the hills routes tend to convergeuntill the last day when people aim for their planned finishing point.Edzell was reached early in the afternoon and a big pileof rucksacks showed the hotspot in town : the Tuck Inn.Almost all places were taken by Challengers havinglunch and ending with icecreams or other delights. The bridge crossing the River North Esk in Edzell was in much better shape then the one near Tarfside. The road to North Water Bridge is soon reached and you plod on in a straight line to the North Water Bridge campsite. Soon another Tent City was erected and Challengers got working on their suntan in the afternoon sunshine. Tomorrow the final day and for me a short stretch to Montrose.


Footbridge Edzell

Thursday 24 May - day 13

distance 12,7km - ascent 110m

A late start

this morning. A little group crosses the busy A90 with risk for life and limbs and after a few km everyone went their own way for their final destination. Some Challengers were aiming for St.Cyrus but my goal was Montrose. I had my car parked on the campsite. I was looking forward to a hot shower and clean cloths.Shortly before Hillside my last companion, vetter Colin Tock, left me. Colin was on his 10th crossing and thus would become a Legend. His goal was the Scurdie Ness Ligthouse, the original finishing point of the Challenge.I was on my own again.Coming through Hillside and Montrose people cheer you up. "You're almostthere " and "Well done" and things like that. Scottish hospitality is rather like a hot shower : you 'need' it at the end ofthe day and you don't want it to stop.I crossed a deserted golfcourse and you definitely feel the change of air and you get the distinct feeling you're reaching the end of the world. At noon I reached Montrose beach. A cold strong wind was blowing from the south and I had to protect myself for the sand that was hitting my face. The beach was deserted and like several times before during this Challenge I felt like a day behind anyone else.I didn't put my feet in the Northsea and I didn't do any skinny dipping. I had walked from west to east, from Atlantic Ocean to Northsea, and the movie was in my head to be repeated whenever I wanted.A short walk to the Montrose campsite brought me to the welldeserved long and hot shower.More Challengers were arriving. I reported my safe arrival to Roger Smith at Challenge Control in the Park Hotel.Later in the day I did some shopping in town and had a look around. I joined the famous Thursday night dinner at the Park Hotel with countless other Challengers and every participant was congratulated by Roger in order of numbers of crossing. This one being my first I had to stand up and take a bow at the beginning of the ceremonies. It was great fun.After dinner people mingled in lounge and bar to share their crossings and adventures with new and old acqaintances.I didn't feel a day behind anymore.

TGO Challenge 2007


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