We strolled for just 6 miles yesterday and were exhausted on arrival in Ellon. We knew that today’s stroll was to be about 20 miles so wondered how everything would turn out.
Although breakfasts at the New Inn start at 8:30 on Saturday we were able to get stuck into stroll fuel at 08:00. We made our way to the start of today’s stroll, up the old railway, with a black pudding induced spring in our steps.
Once on the track we ambled along much as we had done yesterday. The strolling was very easy as was navigation. It was a bit like following a canal in that the track bed is an obvious pathway. Along the sides of the track were a multitude of plants. My favourite is the wild raspberry. The season is just beginning so the odd ripe red beauty was there ready to be plucked from its brambly parent to be stuffed into my cavernous mouth.
First stop was at Auchnagatt for some lunch. Lunch was the usual fare of bacon salvaged from breakfast, gruyere, nuts and some oatcakes. All this washed down with water from the bedroom tap served up in an old coca cola bottle. We had hoped for a pub at Auchnagatt but the mug symbol on our map proved false. A chap was setting up stuff for a football match at the village hall so allowed free access to the facilities thus adding hours of comfort to the stroll.
So, on we went. The wind kept the flies at bay making our stroll very comfortable indeed. These cooler climate conditions suit me very nicely for strolling.
Onwards to Maud and our second rest stop. Maud has a museum which celebrates the history of the railway. The last time, or maybe the time before that, that we visited Maud we also visited the museum. The custodian gave us quite a complete tour of the museum so we didn’t feel the need to visit it again. It was enough to visit the external remains of the station.
A light rain began to fall as we approached Maud so we were delighted to find that the Station Hotel was open. After some coca cola, crisps and a pickled egg we felt able to continue.
The scenery is not dramatic, as has been some of our strolling, but it is very enjoyable to stroll along chatting about this and that through this fertile land. The fact that the sun came out and blue skies appeared added quite a lot to our enjoyment of the landscape too.
As we tucked into our suppers tonight we had difficulty in believing that this particular stroll is nearing its end. We shall have to return to the real world I suppose. A world in which there is no planning tomorrow’s route. A world of not washing knickers and socks in the bathroom wash basin every evening. I shall miss it very much indeed.
I think that tomorrow’s leg is a mere 12 miles. After the last few days this will be a mere stroll in the park.