TGO Challenge Day 14 – Heatherhaugh to Stonehaven and THE END
This is the final blog post of my TGO Challenge, I hope I havent bored anyone to death but i’ve tried to keep the typing to a minimum and concentrate on the amusing bits of our crossing. So far the last time….here we go
Breaking camp for the last time we all actually managed to be ready at the same time, it only took 14 days but we were now a tight unit of super experienced hikers, erm okay.
The walk to Stonehaven was mainly through conifer plantations, finding the right route can sometimes be tricky as the tracks constantly change each year. After an amazing crossing weather wise Scotland had one final trick up its sleeve, in the middle of a lovely hot sunny day we were hit by a hail shower that took us all by surprise(see here for the weather forecast).
Freakish weather aside the walk to Stonehaven was pleasant enough and seeing the coast gave us all the energy we needed to reach our goal. When I reached the coast I broke off from the others and splashed about in the waters of Stonehaven, it’s a great place to finish and the setting couldnt have been better.
We stayed at the local campsite with a few other challengers and headed off to find some drinking establishments. Waking in the morning the real world came back with a bang, some local vagabond had stolen a persons bike from the campsite and ruined the guys weekend, it’s no fun attending a cycling event without a bike.
We caught the bus to Montrose, sitting on the top deck lets you take in all the sites of the East Coast finishing points and gives you plenty of ideas for future crossings. We headed for Challenge control and with a handshake from Roger Smith it was all over. We hung around challenge control for an hour and then our thoughts turned to the evenings events.
The local campsite at Montrose was a big let down but seeing all the other challengers more than made up for it. At the challenge dinner our table flowed with banter and wine. Our new friends Ken and Shap joined us at our table. Gill made an emotional speech to all the challengers and I had to wrestle her away from Roger after pulling the short straw with Pete and Paddy.
Back at the campsite Mike Knipe joined us for the last wee-nip of the crossing and it was late, real late when I put my head down for the night. And so ends my account of the TGO Challenge 2010. I will be back, but not in 2011, other challenges beckon and I now have a more the able side kick in my son to continue the fun. I hope someone reads this and decides to sign up for the Challenge, I had an amazing time and the spirit of the event lives up to every inch of its reputation.
Whats next for me….The Great Glen Way in October then who knows !!