- Chris Jones
Day 61. Friday 7th April. Lunan Bay to Montrose Bay, St Cyrus’s.
After a bacon butty and a coffee in the shop at Lunan Bay campsite, I said my thank yous and good byes. I had accepted the free night on the campsite but possibly should have wild camped, I would have had a better kip. There was a group of teenagers in a tent just across the field from me and although they were well behaved, they were very noisy... the last time I looked at my watch it had gone 2.30am so I was a bit groggy eyed when I got up at 7.30. Don't worry though, I returned the compliment and made as much noise as I could banging and shouting good morning to my fellow campers, and singing a few of my favourite show tunes quite loud, while packing up my tent... the kids were all soon awake and not looking happy as they individually dragged their knuckles over to the toilets... 😂🗣️ 'all I want is a room somewhere, far away from the cold night air, oohhh wouldn't it be loverly' !!! Very childish I know but it cheered me up no end...😆
A lovely walk up to Montrose, more beautiful scenery and the weather was still holding out, a cold wind but bright and occasionally sunny. I got to Montrose just before lunch, crossed the bridge to the town and a chap in a big red truck pulled up, he had seen me walking over the bridge, his name was Billy or Jimmy, so sorry mate !!! a Freemason and the boss at the RNLI station where he invited me in for a brew. We had a good chat and listening to some of his stories, once again it brought home to me just how brave and selfless these guys are. Storm Arwen in 2019 which I referred to earlier for destroying acres of forest, naturally caused havoc on the open seas. Seas so rough that the waves were 25-30 foot high and when the crew were crashed out at at 11.30pm to assist a cargo ship having engine troubles being driven towards the rocks, as coxswain of the boat he still doesn't understand how he never lost his life that night. Brave men indeed... Thanks for the brew and a real pleasure to chat with you.
I wandered into town in search of a pub, this isn't going to wash I know but this time, for reasons of research, honest. It was only lunch time, on Friday so I didn't fancy a pint. 🙄 the pub to which I refer is called The Royal Arch.
The highly decorated plaque above the pub is said to date back 300 years and was put up by the captains of French sailing ships. The Gallic mariners were Freemasons and used the building, then a coffee shop for their meetings. Unfortunately the pub inside had no further reference to its former use and to be honest, I'd have looked a right twonk walking into a pub, looking around at the walls and walking straight back out, so I had a pint... 🤭 I actually had 2 pints as thd second pint was purchased for me by an old fella who had at first been quite reticent to me being a Freemason. In his own town, somewhere out west, the Freemasons were all a bunch of Clowns... he didn't actually say clowns, his descriptor was somewhat more blunt, beginning with C and actually it did rhyme with blunt...'s !!! Not wanting to miss the opportunity to learn more and possibly change his opinion that we are not all clowns, I joined him for a chat... what an incredibly sad life this old fella had led, his son took his own life, then his wife, both with drug overdoses. Their other son was then killed and he himself had attempted to kill hmself, more than once. Eventually he was sectioned for his own safety and the doctors managed eventually to calm his demons with the right measure of prescribed drugs. Billy is now in a relatively good frame of mind, no longer suicidal and I think I left him thinking that actually, them Freemasons aren't all clowns...
It was only 1pm, the lodge was closed and wouldn't be opening until 7pm for the Friday night bingo so I decided to move on. Up through the golf course and back onto the costal path.
After what seemed like a long afternoon, the wind had picked up and it was very cold, I was undecided as to whether I should wild camp at the bottom of the huge cliff line that I'd been walking underneath or to accend the cliff.
I could see on both my Ordinance Survey map, and on my google map, there was a small campsite, just up the road from a.... ??? I'd walked 16 miles, I was tired and emotional and, it was Friday night... we all love Friday night don't we.... what would you have done ???