Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Day 22 Scotland begins


Day 22 Scotland begins

The road noise had grown through the night and into the morning, but lucky for me I sleep soundly. Lynn reported a good night, no doubt the wine had helped sedate her. And even better, tonight she would have luxury as we planned to arrive into Dundee later this afternoon, and no more camping for this year....
She had survived a week with me and numerous nights of me kneeing her in the back and snoring and f.....
The girl has a strength and a sense of humour....lol

Anyway what better way to leave the project with a brisk walk and more random meetings. I made a point of asking the universe to whip something up for her and I, that would give Imagine a lasting impression.

Along the road about two miles I spied what I believed at first to be a Gothic house, off to the right hand side. It proved to be a small chapel, inside a cemetery called Vicarsford. The John Leng Memorial Chapel erected 1895-97 following the death of his beloved Emily Leng in 1894, is built from Caen stone all the way from France. The Hull born businessman's tribute to his true love and incredible pain to his second wife.

As with all good stories you need a happy ending. Not for John Leng unfortunately, but for Lynn and I. As we walked the graveyard investigating mysterious irregularities like the lone grave to a 6 year old child, who died in 1885, that is still being tended regularly, a man came along and asked us if we wanted to visit the chapel inside.

Of course, we would, and what a rare treat it proved to be as Alan showed us into the Chapel that only opens to the public once per year. Last Sunday. After we had been inside for a while and Alan had completed doing his checks of the humidity, we said that we were off to find a place to get our first cup of tea of the day. Without a blink, Alan invited us to his house which was close by and Lynn looked at me curiously. I thanked the Universe for being so promt as I smiled all the way to his home.

He had a couple of lovely hairy or was it fluffy cats ? He made tea and entertained us with many stories of travel the world over, especially the vast canyons of the American west. He was a very well read and learned man and kept us on the edge of our seats with tales about the local area as well as his love of history. It was no surprise to me that he made us so welcome but it was noted that he glowed with a happiness from within. We had to make some headway on the walk so we made our grateful farewells, and he gave us biscuits and cold drinks to take away with us. With respect to his privacy he asked not to include a picture of him on the blog which we totally understand, but it goes without saying that we praised the chance to meet Alan and meet the short haired Persian cats.

Soon we were motoring along the highway again and coming into the village of Newport on Tay. The Tay is a wide and powerful river, and we sat watching her flow out into the sea from on top of the banks near a war memorial. We briefly visited the Starr cafe in the High St. speaking with Gordon the boss before making for the massive steel bridge that sloped down towards Dundee. I say sloped down, as it visibly falls towards Dundee from a higher aspect on Newport side. Good for us then as it will be all down hill.

That was until we arrived at the climb to the bridge and then fought bravely as the wind harried us all the way across. It felt strong enough to blow us over the railings into the turgid waters below, but someone had thought of this in the design and put the foot way in the center of the two carriageways. A few cycles literally flew past, and Lynn made comment that they hadn't acknowledged us giving way to them. It was a bit rude of course, but then they, like us were fighting to stay on board their cycles too, and so I explained that some people are way to interested in getting somewhere, than to pay attention to the journey. Which in my observation is the wrong way round. The journey is the thing we should be concentrating on enjoying, the scenery and people, rather than the destination.

We arrived happily into Dundee and Lynn said it was a bit sad that she couldn't walk on further, as she was beginning to love the experience rather more than she had thought she would. She has to go back to her work next week though, an assignment she didn't know where at present. We wandered along the shore towards the city and went into the tourist information office next to the huge old ship 'The discovery' in the old dock port.

The lady was very helpful and offered to ring some of the b&b's for us and rang the back packers hostel to see if there were rooms which there weren't, only beds in a dormatory. Lynn was not feeling like the wonderful experience of sharing with hundreds of strangers a crowded dorm, so insisted on a little more privacy. I quite fancied the idea actually, as meeting people is one of my favourite hobbies. We walked along the Perth road for some time checking in at the accommodations, but nothing was vacant. In the end, almost in desperation Lynn chose the Best Western Hotel, and booked us in for a couple of nights.

I have to say the luxury was wonderful, and one I am most grateful to Lynn for. Hot showers, warm towels and a plush lounge and restaurant, where we ate our dinner. I felt a little guilty at enjoying such decadence after having slept most nights in my tent in the wild blue yonder.
The staff were very cordial and we had a wonderfully relaxing meal before thinking about soft luxuriant divan heaven. The walk had been shorter today than most, but it had still been an incredible part of the adventure, one that was now at an end for my friend. The end of the day was as deep as the Tay and I drifted off in seconds bringing day 22 Scotland to an end.

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