TGOC2013 – Day 13 – Meg’s Craig / Auchmithie – The End

I’d arranged to go for breakfast at 7:30 but I’d been awake since before 6 so I packed up my gear and went down early.  Being farmers, everyone else had been up for hours.

It was roads all the way to the coast.  The navigation couldn’t be simpler – apart from when I misinterpreted the sign to St Vigean’s and walked all the way into Arbroath rather than skirting around the North of the town.  I could see that my compass was showing South, rather than East, but I assumed it was just a bend in the road(!)

A man stopped his car to speak to me.  He’d never done the Challenge but looked forward to May so he could have a chat with the rucksacked hordes.

I’d chosen Meg’s Craig as my finishing point.  The trouble was, I didn’t really know what it was.  A rock?  An unmarked point on a cliff?  I had Auchmithie as a standby, just in case.

The wind was howling as I approached the cliffs South of Auchmithie.I wanted to get close to the edge, but the wind was fierce and I didn’t fancy going for an unplanned swim.

Using my GPS, I walked up and down the coastal path looking for anything that could be identified as Meg’s Craig.

Maybe these rocks?Or this cleft in the rock?

There was a narrow, steep path down to the water – but I didn’t fancy my chances of ever climbing back up.

I felt frustrated that I had reached the East coast but I didn’t feel that I had finished my crossing.  I hadn’t realised how important it was to me to have a paddle in the sea.  I walked back to the road and went into Auchmithie.

Now this was more like it ….

…. a walled harbour with a roadway going down to it.

I explored the pebble beach and chatted briefly with a diver who was rushing to catch the high tide. 

After my paddle, I climbed the steps back up to the village.  Slightly sad that my Crossing was over, but with a feeling of satisfaction at having completed what I set out to do.

I’d seen some sort of eating establishment on my way down to the harbour so I went back to have a look.  Not only did the But ‘n’ Ben serve food and beer, but the landlady gave me a lift back to the bus-stop!

So, there you go – the end of my 7th TGO Challenge.  I’d wondered how interesting such a Southerly crossing would be, but this walk took me through some beautiful countryside with hills right up to the penultimate day.  I had very little company, but experienced unexpected kindness and hospitality.  This had been a great crossing.

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18 Responses to TGOC2013 – Day 13 – Meg’s Craig / Auchmithie – The End

  1. Theo says:

    Hi Judith,

    I enjoyed reading your story.
    Regarding Meg’s Craig : I like geographical puzzles and immidiately opened my Anquet maps, found Meg’s Craig and checked Google Earth. It’s a crack in the coastline just south of the building at NO 6819 4400. I suppose it’s the cleft you took a picture from.
    See : http://www.panoramio.com/photo_explorer#view=photo&position=57&with_photo_id=60064892&order=date_desc&user=4744602

    Theo

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  2. Louise says:

    Brilliant Judith, your route, successful crossing and write up. I look forward to that feeling next time, 2014 if given the chance in that sorting hat! See you next time.

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    • Judith says:

      Thanks Louise. I had a tough time during my 2012 Challenge, so was glad that this year was enjoyable. Nothing too exciting, just a nice walk. Good luck in the draw – unless I miss out 😀

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  3. Laura says:

    Most enjoyable journey – must try this TGO Challenge it might be just what I like to do! (Te-he!)

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  4. AlanR says:

    Most enjoyable route Judith. OK no biggie’s but still a very enjoyable, scenic journey. Well done .

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    • Judith says:

      Thanks, Alan. Yes, it was a nice walk. I wondered whether the South of the TGO Challenge area wouldn’t be as good as further North, but it was just different rather than better or worse.

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  5. Colin Bennett says:

    Very informative write-up. You didn’t bump into many Challengers though. I spent last week planning a route which turns out to be very similar to this. I’d hoped to go primarily along the railway from just before the bridge at Ballathie (NO150372) all the way to Arbroath (bet the bridge is closed!). I know, partly from geograph, partly because it is obvious, partly now from you, that there would be places where it becomes very difficult. However you can still see much of it from satellite photos. Did you try hard to get back on it or did you just settle for road walking?

    Colin.

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    • Judith says:

      Hi Colin. No, I gave up quite soon. I’d spent ages looking at Geograph before I left home but I decided it would take a lot of time to keep finding that the way was blocked and having to use the road; so I decided to take the most direct route using the roads. Good luck in your quest!

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  6. Andrew says:

    Another great TGOC Judith.
    Always like your routes, they give me ideas for new ones.
    Except I have to go via Callater 😉
    Soon be time to apply again eh…
    Soon be time for Carl to finish his 2012 write up.

    OK, that last sentence wasn’t true 🙂

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  7. alan.sloman says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed your stravaig, Judith.
    I haven’t decided if I’m going to do a solo in 2014 – it depends on the next month’s recuperation, really. But, if I do, then I fancy a southern route, with a bus ride to Braemar in the middle to visit Bill and the boys and then a ride back again to where I left off.
    Your excellent write- up has given me plenty to think about.
    Thank you
    x

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    • Judith says:

      Thanks Alan. I was wondering where you were; you’re usually my No 1 Stalker, er, I mean Reader 😉 I hope the Kidney is behaving itself. All of my crossings have been solo, but this one was particularly solitary. There’s enough interest and excellent scenery in the South of the Challenge area to keep most Challengers entertained, but I suppose people stick to what they know. If you’re happy with your own company then I’d say a Southerly route can be a wonderful crossing.

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  8. Martin B says:

    Nice write up Judith, bringing back memories of this and other years’ Challenges.
    We start from the Harp at 7.30 on Thursday, if you are interested, but I expect you’ll be busy…

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  9. Billymaca says:

    Judith, that was an engrossing read, you rely have a way of pulling the reader into your walk.
    How do you keep yourself motivated, as a solo walker, over miles of featureless peat hags? I have to chastise myself verbally all the way, that’s why nobody will walk with me, plus my snoring.
    Well done, a fantastic read.

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    • Judith says:

      Thanks Billy. I laughed when I read that you “chastise” yourself, but I suppose that’s what I do too. “Come on, Judith, it’s only a bit of rain – for the 8th day in succession – and a bit of rain never hurt anyone, so stop whinging and keep walking.” Also, it’s a bit like banging your head against the wall; when you stop, ie when you’re clean and dry in your tent and tucking into your dinner, it’s a really good feeling!

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