The weather wasn’t very promising today as we set out from Arbroath. We intended to have a cliff top stroll but the low cloud and persistent rain seemed to rule out that plan. Our plan B was to take our old friend cycletrack No 1 instead. After all what is the point of a cliff top walk if the track is wet and slimey and visibility is nil? In some despondency we set off, passing sheds from which emanated the smell of smoking fish.
What a delight it was to find that the path had been surfaced and was dry and smooth. The cliffs are not high, perhaps 140 ft at most, but being sandstone have been sculpted by the action of the sea into interesting shapes. Of course there is the other side of the coin. The sea has made loads of inlets and bays so that the stroll isn’t a straight line by any stretch of the imagination.
The cliff stroll is very easy to follow as there are no sensible choices to be made. The path follows the top of the cliff with, on one side, a netting fence and on the other a drop to eternity. The plant life was very abundant. There were vivid flowers of all sorts and long grasses. The rain had made this abundant plant life overhang the path. As the path narrowed we started to get really wet feet from the rainy grass. Wicking socks are great usually but do wick water into shoes as well as out. We started to get a little tired of the footy discomfort so were delighted to see that the path went down to the shore and to a shingly surface where we should be able to walk dryly.
Silly old us again. The beach had large pebbles and lasted only for about 50 yards so we had to wade through more long wet grass and climb back up
A cyclist had told us of the But ‘n’ Ben at Auchmithie where the food was excellent. Auchmithie was on our route and we started to dream about a log fire where we could toast our toes as our shoes gently dried. On entering the But n Ben it was obvious that our drying feet wouldn’t add anything to the enjoyment of the other diners, so we decided to just eat instead.
If you like fish then the But n Ben is for you. When walking we don’t usually eat very much at lunchtime as it makes us want to sleep but looking at the menu I had to make an exception. Should I choose lobster? Perhaps …..? In the end I went for buttered Arbroath Smokie and Janet had a bowl of smokie soup. We soon forgot our wet feet when the nosh arrived.
The rest of the stroll was a delight too We started to get drier feet as the sun came out. Of course this was too good to last another long lane filled with long wet grass got us more or less where we were as we arrived at the But n Ben. In order to put things right again we stopped at the Lunan Bay Diner for a cream tea. Thus restored we could press onwards towards Ferryden
From Ferryden to Montrose took no time at all. As a person coming from the largest inland county in England I am fascinated by docks and harbours and the hive of activity which takes place there. It is all so foreign to my experience and looks very exotic. It probably seems odd to those working in these places to see me hanging about taking photos of everything and nothing.
Montrose is a town of statues. I can understand why Montrose’s statue is in pride of place but I’m not sure about the others.
The rain has gone away and our Montrose microclimate is sunny once again. Tomorrow we press on once more in a northerly direction. Perhaps I can allow myself a dram now after a wonderful day.