AILEEN’S birthday – Carnoustie

We had planned to meet Ken and Ray at Cafe Montmartre on Dundee for lunch on 23rd July to celebrate Aileen’s birthday but unfortunately, the restaurant was closed as the owner was in hospital for a planned op.

Ken and Ray kindly asked us to Carnoustie for an overnight stay and a meal out instead (or did we invite ourselves?!)

The weather over the last few days had been either nice or torrential… usually both on the same day! We landed very lucky with the weather again. When we go to Carnoustie it always seems to be a scorcher. We must be the lucky charms ?.

It started off with a nice drop of fizz and a lovely salad in K&R’s re-moddled back garden (they have done a great job with it). Ken is a dab-hand with the BBQ so he conjured up some sausages. A lovely lunch.

Ken cooks a mean BBQ sausage and, Ray a fab salad!

K&R also Brough out a birthday cake for Aileen with one candle…. very diplomatic ?

We want out for a walk over the famous Carnoustie golf-course via a packed Carnoustie beach. K&R had never seen it so busy!. The golf course adjoins the Barry Military Firing Range. The red flags had been flying in the morning meaning shooting was in progress so no entry was allowed. When we got there the flags were down so we decided to explore the Range!

It was an explore for K&R too as they had never entered the Range so far along before. A new experience for us all!. We walked on tarmac roads towards the Barry Lighthouse. The whole landscape of the Firing Range and golf courses is effectively wild meadow so a great home for wildlife, flowers, butterflies… and we saw one unidentified bird of prey too!.

The golf course and driving range has acres of meadows

I was surprised how close we were to Dundee as we could see the Tay Bridge and the Rigs in the city centre.

From the lighthouse, we then took grass paths back towards Carnoustie and the sea-shore. We came across some remnants of munitions use (didn’t want to touch anything in case it exploded!)

Action man!

We also came across some metal “human” targets which must pop-up to surprise troops on exercises!

Are you sure this is a good idea ?

A was going well…. until the path ran out! There were signs up warning us not to enter the area ahead of us at all and the route to the beach was across a gully. We had walked about 8km by this stage so didn’t want to go back!

Ray used her commando skills (no not that type!) to cut down a hill through long grass, through some shrubs and onto the beach. Don’t think Aileen was too impressed wading through waist-high grass and getting bitten alive by flies (drawing blood bitten alive!)

Un-trodden beach at the military firing range!

The beach was empty with no footprints as we were now parallel with the Firing Range. Lots of “danger” / “keep out” signs though!

We eventually made it back to the “safety” of the golf course!. A quick refreshment at the hotel on the 18th Green was a necessity!

Carnoustie championship course

Ken, unfortunately, had a bit of a stumble on the conservatory step and hurt his ankle. From sprinting around our 13km walk earlier on he was reduced to hirpling with a stick at night!

For dinner, we all used our free old-foggy bus passes to take us onto Broughty Ferry. Ray had booked a table at Sol y Sombra Tapas Bar. The food was outstanding and was great value.

Top Tapas!

A £24 dinner menu. You were asked if there was anything you didn’t like or were allergic to…. other than that they just brought out lots and lots of tapas!.

A cold selection to start then a hot selection to finish. We had to give up before all the food was polished off. Spanish wines, Spanish beers and other drinks and Manzanilla, Amontillado and Pedro Ximenez sherries in 50ml or 100ml measures at sensible prices. Aileen and I both indulged in a “PX” (Pedro Ximinez)

We bussed it back. Aileen and Ray persuaded the nice bus driver to wait as I accompanied Hopalong-Cassidy to the bus stop!

It was a lovely day and evening in great company and great weather.

True to form the rain started at night. It was torrential!

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