The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Day 7 - beyond Lossiemouth to Findochty


Thurs 15 May (0730-1450)
Distance: 15 miles (Tot: 132.5)
Weather: a dry day, after overnight rain. Overcast but relatively warm

Yesterday we walked all day into an easterly wind (a very gentle breeze, really). When we came to pitch, that wind had died, but as it had been coming from the east all day, we pitched accordingly. Half an hour later it picked up again - from the west. We gave about 2 seconds contemplation turning the tent around, but we were comfy as we were, so we just put our faith in it not picking up to a strength that would bother us.

This morning, which dawned dry after an unknown amount of rain in the night (I was too busy sleeping to notice it more than for a couple of brief periods), we continued along the beach-side of the dunes which run from Lossie to Kingston.

The anti-landing defences marked out our approximate path, with the occasional pillbox and (rather larger) gun emplacement buildings. Of more interest (to me, at least) was the undulating great mounds of stones, washed up by the tide, that lay between us and the sea.

We couldn't possibly have kept count of the vast numbers of shoes, gloves, tyres (almost all with holes cut through and threaded with rope - i.e. used as fenders) and bits of rope that littered the path and its margins. The gloves, tyres and rope were obviously from boats, but surely fishermen and sailors in general aren't that careless with their footwear?

The beach ended where it met the Spey at Kingston, sending us inland for a short while to take a decaying old railway bridge to the far bank. There we picked up the Speyside Way for a short while, until it wanted us to walk along a road, whereas we prefered to take to the grassy land behind the beach (another huge-mound-of-stones beach).

Having passed Portgordon, a convenient bench enticed us to elevenses. It was a fine choice of bench, as we sat there watching the seals frolicking just a few feet out to sea.

Buckie was the next settlement on our route, where we needed to pop via the Co-op. Handily there was a coffee shop right across the road and the intention of Mick having a cup of tea and sitting with the bags whilst I shopped morphed into two pots of tea, to which we then added two orders for lunch, then to top it off we selected cake from their fine selection. Then I went to the Co-op. It was a long old break, but we were hardly in a hurry.

I didn't pay much attention for the first mile out of Buckie, as I took the opportunity of a good walking surface to read the blogs I had downloaded in town. There are quite a few journeys I'm following just now, including 3 other Challengers.

Then, before us was Findochty (which, for those unfamiliar with the place, is pronounced Finnechty). It's a nice looking fishing village, and the campsite is right on the water's edge. Alas, it's that annoying layout that has the static caravans next to the toilets, with the touring caravans next nearest, then the tents (i.e. the only units without in-built sanitation) right at the opposite end of the site. We couldn't be any further from the facilities.

(Completely forgot to take a blog photo today; the one above is looking down on last night's pitch.)

(Conrad: we've dashed the average mileage with today's 'short' day.
Hannah: our route on this occasion isn't taking us in the direction of Aberlour, but we have passed through on other trips.)

Click here for Day 8

Whilst I’m editing this post to put in the clicky-link for the next day, I can’t resist adding a few more photos:IMG_6896IMG_6905IMG_6907IMG_6910

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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