Marcial’s day 61: Stonehaven to St Andrews

Day 61
Date Wednesday 22nd August 2013
From Stonehaven
To St Andrews
Mileage 74
Weather Cool and foggy
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  56.342067, -2.791643 Marcial\'s day 61: Stonehaven to St AndrewsDay 61 Date Wednesday 22nd August 2013 From Stonehaven To St Andrews Mileage 74 Weather Cool and foggy Well, Gary, you were right about the weather – not a breath of wind, and a cool temperature, although it was so damn foggy that for parts of the day I could hardly make out more than a couple of hundred yards around me, let alone see across the calm water to headlands beyond, or enjoy the various castles dotted along the shore which, on a clear day, would have made for some fantastic photos. (Directions)
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Well, Gary, you were right about the weather – not a breath of wind, and a cool temperature, although it was so damn foggy that for parts of the day I could hardly make out more than a couple of hundred yards around me, let alone see across the calm water to headlands beyond, or enjoy the various castles dotted along the shore which, on a clear day, would have made for some fantastic photos. I passed the RAF base at Leuchars, built there because (I was told by some posh London type) it’s got the clearest skies in Britain. Well, not today!

It’s mostly rolling country roads here, Gary, you’ll be pleased to know – although the 2-mile off-road cycle path between Gourdon and Johnshaven along the shore is so stony that it felt as if I was on the cobblestones of the Paris-Roublaix race, or on the scree of Ben Nevis. My shoulders are still juddering. But you’ll also get the 8-mile pine-needled forest track of Tentsmuir, beside a sandy shore and not a soul in sight. Perfect.

You’ll also go past some golf courses – St Andrews and Carnoustie. They certainly look after their land – there doesn’t seem to be a leaf or a blade of grass out of place – and a massive contrast to the wild, impassible, unruly MOD-owned firing range, right beside the Carnoustie course. It’s clearly what the golf links used to look like and I must say I preferred it! They were playing ‘Danger golf’ and ‘Caution golf’. At least that’s what the signs said (danger golf in progress). Maybe danger golf is where you line up some Yankee jackasses in front of a tee to see which bit of them you’ll hit? Caution golf must be where you case your club in bubble wrap in case you hurt the ball …

I ended in St Andrews, a good 74-mile ride, the town where our blessed king-to-be (yea, let us praise him) met his suburban princess. And I must confess that, as I scoured the town looking for amiable drinking company, I found it hard to choose between the chinless Home County types in monogrammed polo shirts guffawing into their wine, or the plump, balding, permatanned Americans and their painted wives reliving their holes in one on the St Andrews Old Course.

When we meet, Gary, I’ll tell you the rest – the toilet woman of Arbroath; the philanderer of Montrose, and the woman in the Tayport corner shop who just needed the straw in her mouth and the flies round her head to have come straight out of a Wild West movie..

Marcial

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