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Saturday, 13 November 2010

The 2009 Challenge, day 12: Banchory to Stonehaven by the Slug

After breakfast I left my B&B in Banchory, and headed for the coast. Roads all the way. Bridge of Feugh, Blairdryne, then the Slug Road all the way to Stonehaven. (Yeah, yeah ... I know I'd said I was heading for Aberdeen - but I changed my mind and decided to finish where I was supposed to finish, OK?)

At Rickarton I stopped for a chat with a man who was fixing his car in his front yard, and kindly agreed to refill my water bottles for me. As I was about to leave, another Challenger came by. He was in almost as bad a way as I was but, like me, he was determined to finish. So we hobbled on together. At the bridge over the Cowton Burn we stopped for a little refreshment, and then we pressed on for the final few kilometres.

As we crossed the bridge over the A90 we congratulated one another: we had made it! All that remained was to get down to the shore. My companion wanted to stop en route for a pint, and who can blame him? I just wanted to get finished, so I left him to his pub, bought myself an ice cream, and was soon standing on the beach, in the pelting rain, the waves gently lapping at my feet as I licked at an ice cream.

I made my way to the harbour and found a hotel with a room going begging. So I booked myself in, treated myself to a really nice meal, and turned in for the night. The followign day I would take a bus to Montrose. But that night I slept contentedly. Despite everything, I had finished my Challenge!

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