My plan had been to continue along the Water of Dye and then go South on the road to Clatterin Brig. However, as I knew I could rely on Keith’s navigation and sense of direction (having followed him out of a confusing forest a few years ago) I just tagged along with the group and barely looked at my map all morning. I presume we continued South along Water of Charr but the map shows only a gentle climb yet I was soon huffing and puffing – so I used that old excuse of wanting to take some photos so I could catch my breath.
As we reached even higher ground we got our first glimpse of the sea; always a good sign on a coast-to-coast walk.
I wanted to see the Deer Dykes marked on the map West of Clatterin Brig. I was expecting to see some sort of obvious major earthworks – so was slightly disappointed that I couldn’t really figure out what was natural and what had been built, but it was still a nice walk.
We had an extended lunch at Clatterin Brig. No need to rush or we’d still be full by the time we reached the next Tea Room.
Past a very big tree ….
…. and a very grand church.
The Auchenblae Old Post Office Tea Room and Shoppe had the most amazing cakes. Unfortunately I was still stuffed to the gunwales so only managed a coffee. The “and shoppe” is a wee walk down the road so I called in there for some fresh food for my tea – and I seem to recall buying a can of pop which I swigged whilst sitting on some stone steps in the sun.
My Challenge colleagues were all intending to camp at Brownmuir campsite, a short distance off to the South. The campsite was officially now closed but there were rumours that basic facilities would still be available. (I heard afterwards that basic meant no toilets!)
I, instead, went North and – after getting lost in a housing estate and having to backtrack to the main road – followed the road through Glenbervie towards Drumlithie.
I needed to find somewhere to camp so kept a canny eye on any copse or hillock which could hide a small green tent. As expected, this was farming and sleeper town territory and I saw few opportunities for a surreptitious camp.
The Drumlithie Hotel isn’t. I wandered past a couple of times – partly because I realised I’d missed the Drumlithie Steeple and wanted to go back for a glimpse of it over the rooftops – and could not see any signs of them having rooms for hire. I did not want to draw attention to myself by going in and asking.
The map suggested a small patch of woodland which could be just what I needed; past Drumlithie and next to the railway. I checked it out and, once I’d passed the part which looked like a popular dogwalking route, I found a pleasant-if-damp spot between the trees and pitched my tent.
I soon got used to the trains whizzing past my front door…
… and the lorries visiting the sewage works just along the track hardly disturbed me at all (although I did decide not to drink the water!)
Not too long after settling into my tent Nicole arrived. She’d called into the Drumlithie Hotel and asked if they had any suggestions for where she could camp…. and they’d said here. Nooooooo! Now everyone knows we’re here! So much for wanting to be stealthy …. but it turned out that everyone in the pub had seen me walk past anyway!
By now, it was raining again and there were a few midgies looking for their dinner so we both turned in for the night. We were both finishing in Catterline so I knew I’d see Nicole again in the morning, whether we walked together or not.
We did not spend the night alone, though. The Angus Corvid Society was holding its Annual Convention in the tree tops above. With a busy agenda, they continued their noisy business until at least an hour after dark and were all up bright and early in the morning. A Murder of Crows? I could’ve murdered every last one of ’em!