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Tuesday, 2 November 2010

The 2006 Challenge, Final Day: Back Burn of Arnbarrow to Inverbervie

I woke early, broke camp, and followed the track (not shown on my map, but well made up and obviously well used by keepers in their Landrovers) which follows the burn down and then climbs to meet the road by the ruins of the old inn south of Redstone Hill. Turnign south east, I followed the road to Clatterin Brig, where it was apparent that some other Challengers had been allowed to camp in the grounds of the tearoom there, and were now enjoying a hearty breakfast.

I lingeres a while at the bridge, then took the road through Strath Finella. I had thought that I might take the track that weaves its way under the power lines through Garrold Wood; but I couldn't see where it left the road, besides which the hill looked like a stiff (and unnecessary) bit of ascent for so early in the morning. So I stayed on the road.

I'm glad I did, as I should not have been able to visit Glen of Drumochty kirk had I been up in the woods. This was a lovely, lonely place to spend a few moments in quiet reflection. Then it was away agin, through Auchenblae (a delightful little village) and Monboddo, past the old airfield and on to Balfeith where I had noticed when planning my route that there appeared to be a little brdge passing beneath the railway and the A90.

Wrong!

There is a little bridge under the railway ... but the A90 has to be crossed on the level. Then there is a ... how shall I put this? ... interesting bridge over the Bervie Water into Leithfield, after which I strode out along the road to Arbuthnott, where I sat on the green and ate my lunch. This was the Wednesday, and I had originally intended to finish at Bervie and stay the night at Bervie Bay camp site before making my way to Montrose the next day and enjoying the Thursday night knees up at the Park. However, sitting there in Arbuthnott this began to look like a silly plan, so I rang teh Park and checked that they could change my room booking from Thursday to Wednesday night (no difficulty doing it that way ... but you just try doing it the other way!!!) then I rang Challenge control and said that I planned to be with them a day early.

From Arbuthnott, through Mains of Allerdyce and down into Bervie does not take very long at all. As I crossed the bridge and rounded the bend, however, I was more than a little taken aback to see a small memorial garden with the unmistakeable figurehead of the Cutty Sark proudly attached to a wall. I knew the Cutty Sark well, my parents having lived for several years just across the river from Greenwich, and I felt that I had to investigate further.

Bervie, it transpires, is the birthplace of Hercules Lynton, the designer of the Cutty Sark; and this little memorial garden was put there to commemorate him. The figurehead was a duplicate - an exact replica - made from the same plans.

Leaving the garden I made my way down to Bervie Bay and, having finished, I caught a bus into Montrose. The bus journey was most enjoyable, and was made memorable by the fact that it was shared with Lou and Phylis LaBorwitt and their delightful granddaughter, who had just completed her first Challenge (and, I think, had gained a new respect for her sprightly grandparents into the bargain!!)

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