TGO Challenge 2014 Day 14

North Water Bridge to St Cyrus

Thursday 22nd May

Start 8:00, finish 11:00,12.7km

Day 14

The last day. How would I feel at the finish? After breakfast and packing, I had a quick chat to Ian Cotterill and then I left the camp site by a “secret” back entrance. The first obstacle was to negotiate crossing the ferocious A90 without getting run over. In the event, it was easy as there was an immediate gap in the traffic.

DSC01937River North Esk

I was quickly on to a minor road. I overtook one Challenger. Next I met Kate Kowalska and I decided to be sociable. I slowed down a bit and we walked together to St Cyrus. One of the joys of the Challenge had been to walk with a random selection of people from all walks of life. I couldn’t have picked a better companion for the last few miles. Thanks, Kate.

DSC01940Catching Kate and Mick

The walk to St Cyrus is not very exciting, taking minor roads through agricultural land, but chatting with Kate made the miles go quickly. Just after the railway viaduct we were passed by Mick Hopkins, who looked like a man on a mission.


We bimbled along happily past fields of rape seed and barley. As we approached St Cyrus, the weather looked threatening so we put on our waterproofs. We turned into St Cyrus and quickly located the cafe and bus stop.

DSC01954St Cyrus beach

All that remained was to find the cliff path and get on to the beach. Fortunately the rain held off and we were able to take the obligatory end of Challenge photos. That was it. The end. The Challenge had been a major focus in my life over the past few months and getting to the end had been the focus of the past two weeks. Suddenly, I’d done it. There was no leaping up and down, just a few smiles.

DSC01958The end!

I experienced a mixture of a feeling of achievement and relief. Even for someone who is a relatively experienced backpacker, I still felt a sense of pride in having achieved my objective. I also had a feeling of relief. The disappointment of having to retire from the Challenge in 2012 had been expunged. All that was left was to get back to the cafe for a celebratory tea and cake, then get the bus to Montrose to sign out at Challenge Control.


16 thoughts on “TGO Challenge 2014 Day 14”

  1. I know just what you mean about mixed emotions as you approach the end of the Challenge. You wish you could stretch out the experience and maybe carry that ‘bubble’ forward into your daily life for a few days; on the other hand you know the end has to come and you want to get it over with particularly if you’re walking the lanes and meadows of the coastal strip alone so you crack on (in my case rolling two days into one from Feughside to Stonehaven). Sharing blogs and photos continues the emotions and memories for a while, then what ? (Cue: Les and Issy).

    1. It’s a funny feeling. You want to get home to see your family but at the same time you don’t want it to end. It’s a shame we didn’t overlap. It would have been good to see you again.

  2. I have really enjoyed reading your enthralling account of your crossing over the last week Robin. Its a great feeling to finish but tinged with slight disappointment that it’s over for another year. Thanks for the time and effort so we could read it. Until next year?

  3. Robin an enjoyable series of posts and well done for finishing. You seem to be the first to finish the challenge of the TGO write up! I look forward to your gear debrief.

  4. Well done Robin – a moment to savour and be proud of. Your coverage of the walk has been exemplary and has really provided an insight into what the TGO entails – thanks for all the hard work 🙂

  5. Well done Robin, just been having a big blog post catch up. It’s a great feeling reaching the east coast.

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