Day 263: Rosehearty to Peterhead
Distance: 27.00 miles
Ascent: 1193 feet
Weather: Very Windy, Heavy Rain Morning, Sunny Spells Afternoon
Accommodation: Static Caravan LIDO Caravan Park (Kindly OFFERED by OWNER)
I could hear the wind battering the building and in fact it was strong enough that rain was being blown under the door. It is always slightly harder to persuade yourself to leave on days like these but once fully waterproofed up I was off. The first part followed pavements through Sandhaven with its extremely damaged harbour before reaching Fraserburgh. This is a big town and I had to pick supplies up here so I headed into the Tesco’s superstore. I dumped my bag in the café went and bought some supplies and then had a tea to warm me up. One issue that has arisen is that my waterproof rucksack cover is not really waterproof anymore, I will have to decide the best course of action for this when I get to Aberdeen.
When I left Tesco’s the rain had actually stopped but the wind had got stronger. It was strong enough to knock me about, and I followed a road and then across the golf course before crossing a bridge and then taking a dismantled railway track into Inverallochy. From Inverallochy there was a tarmacked track to Charleston/St Combs.
I was actually worried about the next part as it was essentially following the sandy beach for over 12 miles. I was worried as this would be very mundane and hard mentally to keep going without any reference points. On top of this the strong wind was blasting the sand along the beach though fortunately the wind was behind me so it was hitting my back and not my face.
After a couple of miles there was a river that I had presumed I could wade across but it was too deep, maybe because of the stormy conditions, so I had to walk inland a bit and though there was no bridge shown on the map fortunately there was a farmers one only a few hundred meters inland and even better on the other side there was a 4x4 track which headed through the dunes for a while making for a change to the flat beach. In fact these seemed to be the highest dunes I had seen on the walk even if the stats say otherwise, and they were stunning and you felt so remote in the middle of them (no footprints at all.)
I reached the lighthouse cottages and rejoined the beach from here, the Rattray Head Lighthouse looked so impressive being battered by the waves and wind we had today. From here I followed the beach, though unfortunately the sand at this point made for hard walking, in front of the large gas terminal and onto Peterhead.
I was glad I had reached the end of the beach, having been absolutely battered by the wind and having sand blown into everything from my boots, to my bag and even all over my face. At Peterhead I saw a Morrisons and decided rather than buy and cook dinner I would use one of the vouchers they had given me to get a cooked meal in their café. This was lovely and then I carried on to Lido Caravan Park, Peterhead.
They had kindly offered to let me pitch for free and with the forecast for tonight being very windy I took a while to decide on the most sheltered spot. Just as I was pitching a lady came up and kindly said that her neighbouring static owner (Stacey) had offered to let me stay in her static for the night. Everyone was so kind on this site; having a chat, giving me supplies, and even kindly giving donations, they even said if I was still here tomorrow night there was a 80’s themed party on the site which I had to decline.
A tough day due to the wind and sand, but the kindness at the end and a warm shelter for the night has made me very content.