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  • Chris Jones

Day 59, 60. Wed & Thurs 5th & 6th April. Barry Buddon to Lunan Bay.

I'm going to start with a rant... Not because I had a bad nights sleep because I slept like a log but what is the most natural function we generally perform when we've completed said nights sleep ? Exactly, so why is it, that whenever I manage to wake up anywhere close to a building site bog, some cretin has put a big padlock on the door preventing my evacuation plan ??? 🤬 Perhaps they are concerned that someone might enter and steal the contents of the treasure chest onto which the seat is fixed, perhaps someone might actually use the facility for it's intended purpose but then use the paper and the soap and water to wash their hands !!! Beggars belief, why lock them up ??? Back in the day, it was normal to nip off into the woods for a 'shovel recce', the one rule being that nothing is surface laid so a small whole excavated, contents deposited and the whole filled in. We also used to dig huge latrine trenches if we were staying in one place for a while, the contents of the trench were set on fire before the trench was backfilled. I guess with the vast numbers of troops using so few ranges and training facilities, that practice had to stop so nice little blue thunderboxes are strategically placed all over the training areas, which are then locked forcing you to make like a bear !!! Yes, if you weren't aware, they shit in the woods too !!!

When I realised I would be walking right past Barry Buddon, I became more and more interested to see if the construction projects I worked on back in the 90's were still in use. I think I was up here for about a month in the summer of 1993 and when we left, we were told that the Camp Commandant was going to have signs made up to show who had constructed the facilities. There were 2 bricklayers in our Squadron, Vic Newton and myself so each of the brick troop shelters were to be named after each of us and the other tasks, mainly heavy plant tasks were to be named after the guys that IC'd those particular jobs. Walking along the road in the rain, It's always bloody raining when on the ranges !!! I was amazed to see a couple of signs tucked into the undergrowth. Tim Bird and Andy Shipley immortalised for the work they had done looking after the lake construction task they watched over.

I was intrigued to see if the Jones or Newton Troop Shelters had faired as well so checking the map I started walking into the ranges to discover. After a few minutes, a snotty little range warden appeared in a big white 4X4, jumped out and started having a go... Not very polite and definately feeling the need to make up for his lack in stature by talking to me like a 13 year old, he proceeded to give me a hard time. I pointed out that the signs signs clearly indicated no vehicles were admitted on the roads when the red flags were flying but there were no signs restricting access for pedestrians, only signs warning not to pick anything metal or shiny up off the floor.... There was no talking to the moron and he was starting to get on my tits, I contemplated either walking past him and just carrying on with my intended task, knowing very well I would be perfectly safe on the road, I had no intention of leaving the road and wandering onto any of the ranges, or, giving him the slap his mother should have given him to teach the jumped up little git some manners, and then carrying on with my intended task. Being a grown up, I realised I wouldn't win when he got on his radio and cried to his boss so I informed him politely that it would be advisable to continue roaming the woods in his big white truck like the caveman he clearly was and not to consider a public facing career any time soon as it probably wouldn't suit him. "Manners costeth nowt", my mother would often be heard saying, while beating said manners into me !!!! 🫣 That was a joke mother, you never used to beat me, that often.... 😍

Anyway, I never did get to see the troop shelters but google maps clearly showed they were still there and hopefully being used, I'm proud to have been part of a team creating structures that will have kept squaddies dry and out of the wind for 30 years... Can you imagine the gallons of range tea that will have been endured and the thousands of hot locks full of steaming, festering range stew that would have been consumed in all that time !!!! 😰😂🤢

Check this out for a breakfast !!! I never got one of these served to me after a wet morning on the ranges back in 1993, The Tea Hive in Carnoustie served up a real feast of a fry up, tea served in the best china cups and they wouldn't allow me to pay for it. Thank you guys and it was lovely having a chat with the patron, keep smiling my friend and keep up the excellent work.

Past the world famous golf course at Carnoustie, the one with 18th green just in front of the hotel that you always see on the telle and just as I was leaving the town heading out onto the coastal path I passed this interesting monument. Look at the dog foot prints walking into and under the huge piece of stone... 🥺

Dedicated to the Airedale Terriers who were the first dogs to be trained on the beaches at Barry Buddon to serve on the front lines in World War 1 carrying out a range of military tasks. Dogs wearing purpose made respirators, carrying first aid kits and ammunition pouches, amazing....

An uneventful walk along coast to Abroth, a campsite on the outskirts of the town, no idea why these places still call themselves campsites when they are only parks for static homes, no tents allowed so arguably no camping takes place. 😡 Nothing for it but to walk into the town and find the local Office de tourism... Or as we walkers refer to it, the first pub that we find that is open.... another 14 miles in the bag so a deserved cold pint while I got the lay of the land. I passed a pub that had sadly seen better days, back in the 1970's, the last time they had had their windows cleaned, the next one I found was a Spoons. I set myself up on a table near the wall with a plug socket under it so I could charge my phone, IPad, battery packs and torch !!! Great that none of this kit needs batteries and it pays to keep it all charged as I never know where I might get the next chance. I got my boots off, sat down with a nice cold pint and a few minutes later a bear of a man came over and said "I've ordered you fish, chips & mushy peas and a pint, enjoy Bro" and he walked off !!! Sure enough, my meal and pint appeared which I devoured gratefully and went over to thank my new freind. A man of very few words, enjoying his own company while having a drink listening to his own music through his earphones. He wouldn't let me buy him a drink and wouldn't open up in any way, just said he didn't like to talk about himself but I could look him up if I wanted to, he was called 'Roger Moore'... I thanked him, realising he really didn't want to talk and thinking his was pulling my chain, Roger Moore !!! I sat back down and got onto Google...

Roger Moore, or the Saint as he is sometimes known. The youngest ever Prop forward to play for the Rhodesian National Rugby team, spent time in the army but nothing said about that, Rhodesian, English Army I don't know. In 2020, he decided to do a sponsored walk to raise money for the Doddie Weir Foundation, he knew Doddie after playing rugby against Scotland back in the day. He walked the West Highland Way which I will also walk when I get over onto the West Coast, 95 miles long, Roger walked it in 36 hours and here's the best bit, he walked it in bare feet !!! 🫣😬 There was a picture on a press release of the soles of his feet, not a pretty sight and can't even begin to imagine how sore they must have been.... Oh, and he raised 10's of thousands of pounds for the charity, what a guy, a real pleasure to meet you Roger, your father once having been a Freemason, possibly something you should consider Sir, truly a Worthy man indeed. 🥰 After reading up on my new mates exploits, I looked up to go over and congratulate him but he had gone. He hadn't walked past me to leave the pub so he must have sneaked out the back so I never got to say goodbye and good luck. The man was clearly in pain, not from his feet although he was still wearing flip flops, I really would like to have chatted some more...

I wandered out of the pub, considering walking up out of the town and pitching up for the night, I'd got down to the harbour when these little beauties caught my eye so I stopped to have a chat with their owners.

I miss my Westie Ted, I miss my other Westie Ralph who we lost in 2019 even more so when I see a Westie, I can't help but stop and have a chat and make a fuss of them. Their Owners, Michelle and Keith, both from England have a guest house on the harbour front and when I explained what I was doing they insisted i come back with them. What a beautiful place they have, they have completely gutted it and started again and the quality of the work is excellent. I had a shower and was in bed for just after 8pm, i think I turned my light off before 9 and slept right through until 8am the following morning. A fantastic breakfast set me up for the day and I was off, not before paying for my stay... I wasn't sure what the arrangement was as I was just whisked up on the street but they did give me a good discount and it was a luxury nights rest so thank you guys for your hospitality. Michelle was from Yorkshire, just saying !!! 😬

It was a lovely walk from Arbroath up to Lunan Bay, some beautiful cliff top scenery and a very noticeable change as the weather is warming up ever so slightly. Lots more birds on the rocks and the blossoms and flowers starting to bloom transforming the coastline into into an orchestra of birdsong and colour.

I'd walked for just over 14 miles when I arrived at Lunan bay, I had a look a around the very old graveyard and walked up behind the old Manor House which is now the Lunan House Hotel, very posh... I was heading down towards the sea where I intended on wild camping for the night by the waters edge, when I noticed a very non descript door in the middle of the back wall of a building. Imagine my surprise when I looked inside to find a bar !!! Genuinely, I didn't expect it, not attached to such a posh looking establishment but then I hadn't realised that there was lovely campsite and various other enterprises going on. A real campsite, one where you can pitch a tent and this one very kindly allowed me to pitch up for free and to use the showers. It would have been rude not to have a cold pint or two and there's one think you will never accuse me of, and that's being rude... 🙄🍺

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