Distance 27km Height climbed 217 metres. 6 hours 30 minutes. Weather: Much the same.
|The North Esk just down from Tarfside|
|Day 12 Route: Part 1|
|Day 12 Route: Part 2|
"Why did you eat so many bacon rolls, mister?"
"Because they were there, that's why".
The bridge over the North Esk has been closed by the landowner who claims it is dangerous. A cynic might think he had other motives. Some Challengers, I understand, now ford the river here. I saw no point in this, there being a perfectly good bridge a couple of miles downstream, so I set off along the road towards the Retreat. Soon after a miracle occurred. I actually caught up with another Challenger who was walking even more slowly than me. It was Gordon Green, and it wasn’t really a miracle. It was simply that Gordon had a very poorly and painful foot. Oh yes, I can walk faster than a man in intense pain. I walked with Gordon for a while, until Seb Coe and Steve Ovett arrived, and I then broke in to a sprint and tagged along with them for the rest of the day.
|John and Ian crossing the bridge over the mighty North Esk River. Ian is poised and ready to sprint on along the track.|
Edzell was reached in good time, with its renowned café, The Tuck Inn, and an early lunch / third breakfast beckoned. There then followed a trip to the butcher’s shop, which sells pies to die for. Fortunately, we didn't need to, we just got our wallets out and tucked in to another lunch.
|Eating fried stuff before we hit the pie shop|
|Day 12: Route Part 3|
|What a change a day can make to the scenery|
|North Water Bridge campsite|
|How do I fit in that tent?|
|Alan Rayner rubs his hands with glee at spotting an unattended hip flask|
Then it was along more tracks, and that long straight road, and more tracks to the camp site at North Water Bridge, to be joined by a fair few Challengers over the next couple of hours. That evening we all sat around a roaring camp fire singing songs. I made that up. We sat at the picnic tables and chatted and had the odd snifter until Zebedee sprang up and told us it was time for bed.
Finally, on a serious note, I have to express my gratitude to readers who have expressed concern and support for me over my possible addiction to Primula Cheese spread. This is no laughing matter. Like many substance abusers I have found myself covering this up for a long time, whilst secreting tubes of the stuff around the house – in the bottom of my sock drawer, in the toilet cistern (Primula tubes are watertight) and so on. I believe that the first stage of treatment is to admit to the problem. Hence these blog posts. I have done some extensive research on the Internet and think that fellow sufferers would benefit from the following information from the webbed thing:
"The cause, apparently, is casomorphins - protein fragments, derived from the digestion of the milk protein, Casein. The distinguishing characteristic of casomorphins is that they have an opioid effect. Dependence can develop, leading to withdrawal syndromes with abrupt discontinuation. Opioids are well known for their ability to produce a feeling of euphoria, motivating some to recreationally use opioids."
There it is. Out in the open. I confess. I am a recreational user of Primula Cheese.
For those of you worried that you might be following on that same sad footpath of physical and psychological degeneration from which I am now seeking escape, here is a useful link to a website in which you can learn more about this terrible peril. It catalogues the stages of addiction, which include a desperate need for more cheese, a rejection of other food stuffs, nightmares, hallucinations, a belief that everyone else is walking faster than you are, and an obsession with alpine cow bells. My simple advice is, therefore, vary your lunchtime diet, do not eat Primula on more than two consecutive days, and seek help before it takes control of your life. Hey, and let's be careful out there.
|JJ, Johnboy, Alan, Ian and Rob Jones|