Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Day 41--A Castle, and Peter Pan

I planned to visit Dunnottar Castle this morning. It didn't open until 9:00, so I wasn't in too much of a hurry. I had a lovely conversation with Barbara in the dish washing room (I was eating my breakfast--warm cocoa, a Buttery with PB and Honey, and a banana). Barbara and her husband were moving to Edzell to be closer to their son, daughter-in-law, and only granddaughter. They had sold their home and had been living in their caravan for the last 8 weeks while they looked for a new place in Edzell. They finally found one, and will get the keys on Friday. Barbara said it was a good thing, because she was about to go crazy from living in the caravan so long!

As I was leaving, I asked Maggie and Richard (the owners of the Caravan Park) about where I could get fuel. They made a call to McDougall and Masson, a hardware store in Stonehaven. They had what I needed. Maggie told me how to get there, and off I went.

Fuel purchased, I headed for the Castle. It was conveniently located right on the North Sea Cycle Route (yep, following Route 1 again). I locked up Betsy and walked down to the castle (well, really it was down a bunch of stairs, then up a bunch of stairs). It cost £6.00 to get in. I paid the man and started my exploration of the Dunnottar Castle Ruins. At one time, the Honors of Scotland (the Crown Jewels) were kept at Dunnottar. It was also the location of the filming of "Hamlet" with Mel Gibson. Here's some photos.
The entrance tunnel.
Various buildings.
Where the kitchen and dining rooms were.
The Countess' Suite.
One of the current local residents.
One of the views.
The interesting stone patterns on the walkway (kind of tricky to walk on with my bike sandals).
From across the way.

The squawking of the current residents, the Seagulls, was pretty loud and constant. I even saw a Seagull chick. One had to be careful to not get crapped on.

I spent about an hour roaming around the Castle. It was time to be on my way. I returned to Betsy and continued following the Route 1. It was up to its usual tricks of taking narrow roads close to the Coast. Most of the roads were barely wide enough for one car. At one point I had to pull over to let a garbage truck go by. It was kind of tight! Just as I would come back out to the bigger road, the route would go off again. I knew this made for more miles, but I had done a chunk of today, yesterday getting to Stonehaven. 

I went through a couple of small towns. In one, there were two route signs, one said off-road, and the other on-road. I took the on-road option. After leaving the town, I was thinking it was getting about lunch time, and started looking for a suitable place. Ahead, I saw what appeared to be a food truck of sorts. When I got to it, I saw tables outside. I thought it would be a perfect place for lunch, and I could get something to drink. I ended up getting not only something to drink, but also a "Tattie" (baked potato) with hot chicken salad on it, and a salad of lettuce and tomato. It was delicious!

I continued on, and, once again, the route went off the main road. It led down a very steep hill closer to the water and by the St. Cyrus Nature Reserve. They had some Scottish cattle.

I named this one Hairy Harry.

I was getting close to Montrose, when I thought to check the Garmin about getting to Kirriemuir. I wasn't sure I had to go all the way into Montrose. I was right, and just in time. I made a course correction and was headed toward Kirriemuir. At this point, I was no longer following the North Sea Route. I was headed inland to go across Scotland toward Glascow. 
Already away from the Coast.

When I got to Kirriemuir, I stopped and asked where the Drumshademuir Caravan Park was. The first guy gave me directions which I did partly right, but then didn't understand what he meant by "take to the one-way ring". I was going along (the wrong direction) when I saw the birthplace of JM Barrie, author of Peter Pan.
If I'd gone the right way, I wouldn't have gone by this! 

I asked another guy if I was going in the right direction to get to the Caravan Park. He said no, and gave me clearer directions. I now understood the "one-way ring" (it's a one-way road that goes around the center of town). Also, he said, "Turn left at the Peter Pan statue." Ah, most helpful!
Pan himself.

With those directions, I made it to the Park. As I was registering, I noticed they had Dr. Pepper. I told the guy (Stuart) to add a Dr. Pepper as I hadn't seen it at all in Europe. When he heard how long I'd been cycling, he just gave me the Dr. Pepper! He said what he wishes he could get in Scotland, but can't, is Peanutbutter M&Ms. Perhaps I'll have to send him a bag when I get home.

Anyway, all my tasks are finished and it's getting kind of chilly. Time to retire to my tent for the night. I've got a long day tomorrow, and I'm not entirely sure which direction I go from here to get to Killin. I'll ask Stuart in the morning.

Total miles for today: 52.5

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