Saturday, April 12, 2008

Walk 173 -- Johnshaven to Inverbervie

Ages: Colin was 65 years and 340 days. Rosemary was 63 years and 117 days.
Weather: Grey and cold, turning to driving rain head-on. It was horrible!
Location: Johnshaven to Inverbervie.
Distance: 5 miles.
Total distance: 1458 miles.
Terrain: Some concrete. Mostly grassy/muddy/stony tracks. Flat.
Tide: Going out.
Rivers: No.108, Burn of Benholm, which we crossed on a little wooden bridge.
Ferries: None.
Piers: None.
Kissing gates: None.
Pubs: None.
‘Historic Scotland’ properties: No.12, Edzell Castle and Gardens. This is situated several miles inland so we didn’t have to visit it, but we did because it was interesting.
Ferris wheels: None.
Diversions: None.
How we got there and back: We were staying in a holiday cottage in Montrose. We drove to Inverbervie and parked by the seafront. We walked up to the main road and caught a bus to Johnshaven Harbour.
At the end, we were relieved to get to the car because we were horribly wet and cold. Fortunately today’s Walk was quite short and we finished at midday. We had a quick cup of tea, then returned to the cottage where we put our lunchtime pasties in the oven!

Edzell Castle and Gardens
We visited Edzell Castle on one of our ‘rest’ days. It is an interesting place, even the town has an entrance arch that looks as if it is a folly!

The castle was built in the 16th century, and is now a ruin. It saw little military action, and was built and used more as a country house than as a castle. We were able to climb one of the towers and look out over the garden.

The gardens were more interesting. They were laid out in the 17th century, and restored in the 1930s. Very formal and good to look at, but personally I couldn’t keep up with all that hedge-clipping!
I was fascinated by the silhouettes of the still-leafless trees against the sky. I just love looking at things like that.
I think Colin was suffering from a severe attack of navigational aberration when I found him with his head stuck up a chimney! (He said he was looking for birds’ nests.)

It was a horrible morning when we did the actual Walk. The sky was so grey it was almost dark. We walked the north-eastern arm of Johnshaven Harbour, then continued along the coast to the north. The one saving grace about today’s Walk was that the terrain was flat and easy, in fact most of the time we were following the track of the disused railway to Inverbervie.
We passed a caravan site, and commented that there was nothing to stop the sea encroaching during a stormy high tide. Then it started to rain, and we had hardly walked a mile. We donned overtrousers — I was already wearing my Gortex coat and Colin put up his wretched umbrella. In that wind! It was freezing, and blowing directly into our faces. If I pulled my hood down to guard my face, I couldn’t see where I was going. Colin walked into his umbrella, gently swearing every time it blew inside out. I’ve given up trying to persuade him to buy proper wet-weather walking gear.
We noticed some garish helium balloons, almost deflated and caught in weeds by a stream. That is the problem with these balloon ‘races’ or balloons released as some kind of celebration. They’ve got to come down somewhere, and when they do they are LITTER!
The rain got harder, and was really blowing in our faces. It was HORRIBLE! There was no scenery nor anything of interest to look at — at least, if there was we didn’t notice it. We were not enjoying ourselves at all. It’s at times like these that we do begin to question our sanity!
We met two separate groups of walkers going the other way, so we weren’t the only crazy people about! The first group were about our age, but I reckoned that their group was much depleted in numbers because of the weather. The other group was just two girls who giggled a lot. They all looked just as wet as we were, but at least they had their backs to the wind. Walking head-on into a cold wet wind is not easy, and we found it impossible to remain cheerful.
The rain eased a little as we reached Gourdon, but it never actually stopped. In fact it picked up again before we reached Inverbervie. We walked the harbour walls at Gourdon, but had to take the photos from under the umbrella so as not to ruin our cameras. Even the gulls looked miserable!
We trudged on. I was so wet and cold, my body seemed to give up. It was a real effort to put one foot in front of the other. Thank goodness today we had planned a short easy Walk. We came to Inverbervie, noticed an artificial waterfall next to a chateau-type hotel, and went straight to our car parked in the seafront car park.

That ended Walk no.173, we shall pick up Walk no.174 next time in the sea front car park in Inverbervie. We only hope the weather will be better when we do so! It was twelve noon, so the Walk had taken us two and a half hours. We had a cup of tea, then returned to our cottage in Montrose where we put our pasties in the oven and ate them hot! We changed our clothes, put on the heating and watched a lot of telly — could have done all that at home!

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