Thursday, 3 October 2019

Knipe and Knipes' 2019 TGO Challenge. Roadwalking to the end

 The last bits of a TGO challenge usually involve quite a bit of roadwalking. However, we had cleverly planned a route over some heathery moors to take us to Fettercairn, a plan which went wrong in it's early stages. We rolled up at a cottage up a side road where a friendly old chap described the two deer fences we'd have to cross with our big packs on (that is to say , we'd have to climb over a 12 foot high wobbly fence) - and gave us an alternative route avoiding the trouble. So we set off on the new route and promptly decided to go a different way missed the turning and ended up walking along the road all the way to Fettercairn. This wasn't as bad as it sounds and we found a nice place in some woods for lunch and a woman stopped her car for a chat. This kind of thing often happens on a TGO Challenge by the way.

 We got to Fettercairn in good time and got a lift with a woman and her dog into Johnshaven where she allowed us to use her shower, took us to the pub, let me walk the dog and gave us comfy beds for the night. In the morning she returned us to Fettercairn. Her name was Mrs Knipe, which was an outrageous coincidence as my wife has the same name. And, oddly enough, she had a collie/staffie cross mongrel which answered to the name of "Lucky", just like my dog. Remarkable. Worra small world.

 Back at Fettercairn the next morning, we marched off to Laurencekirk where we broke the cardinal TGO Chally rule by not stopping at the tea room nor doing any shopping at the supermarket. We managed to get off the road for a bit but returned to it to cross the hill to sea the see, or even to see the sea...

 This is dangerous country in a morning, folks. This is riskier than the wind up your tartan in the Cairngorms. The roads are quiet and empty. This encourages the local drivers to consider that as they've been driving the lanes for the past thirty years without spotting any pedestrians, that there won't be any around those blind bends.  We made it to Benholm which was closed. The only thing moving was a fluffy kitten. We navigated to the "beach" (it's a lot of rocks)

 I found some rhubarb growing wild on the shore and picked some to take to Johnshaven.  We were invited into a bungalow for a cuppa, which we accepted. They were the Mum and Dad of a TGO challenger who had finished the previous day but had not  apparently yet visited challenge control..  We wandered along the coast path to Johnshaven where a Mrs Knipe agreed to give is a lift into Montrose to check in. So that's what happened.

 And that was the end of that. We went to the Friday dinner at the Park Hotel. I took Mrs Knipe's little dog for a walk or two. We dined at the Anchor in Johnshaven. Mrs Knipe let me sleep with her and took me and The Lad home to County Durham. We'd done 192 miles. It was James's 4th TGO Challenge and my 15th. I ought to try for 20 now, I suppose.


Meanqueen said...

Jolly well done everyone. Love your witterings, most amusing. Think I'll come with you next year ;o)

John J said...

If you come we'll be a team of four....should be fun!