Sunday, 2 September 2012
Day 17 Scotland begins
Day 17 Scotland begins
When I awoke, the room was cooler, Lynn had been up in the night and switched it lower, but the tent was dry but for a tiny spot at the bottom where it had been touching the floor. Hanging from the curtain rail was a great idea but Lynn said that she had thought Batman was in the room with us. I had slept well but Lynn said her night was not as calm, her feet were beginning to hurt with the blisters and the sores. Of course walking is going to do this to you initially but once your feet harden and get into condition it is pretty well plain sailing. That said, as you know I have just changed my boots (the Goretex ones leaked and all but fell apart) and now the new shaped boots had rubbed one of my small toes over the past few days. Before we set out for the day I had to do some pretty heavy surgery on Lynn's blisters and dress them in thick sticky plasters. Despite this she was still ready to go on, and walk some miles. I knew that although I often walk many more miles per day, having my friend along would help me to slow down and also take in the view whilst discussing many topics. Like for instance El Camino de Santiago.
Once we were ready we headed down to the coast and took in the magnificent views across the Forth, back in the direction of North Berwick. There was lovely sandy beaches here to walk along, but not many tourists to be seen. We hiked up the coast northward and stumbled almost upon the tiny villages of Lunden Links and Lower Largo, which meet crossing the river flowing into the Forth estuary. It was incredibly picturesque and we decided to have a sandwich here at the end of the pier/seawall. People were walking their dogs along the sandy pebbled beaches, we met and spoke briefly with a lady from Canada on holiday here. As with all good seaside bays, there was a pub, which we visited for a drink as the wind had slightly chilled the air. Hot tea and a chance to write something more on the blog. It was very quaint inside and many people were having lunches as I got my laptop out to write. Lynn offered to type for me if I wanted to dictate to her, but she soon said that she wasn't fond of being dictated to. (What woman does ?) Seriously, she began to write what I was recalling about the previous days' journeys and the adventures we have had together. She made comment about the lack of detail I was saying and that she had wanted it to be a bit more exciting as the actual experiences have been very good so far. What I concluded in the end was that I am unable to think the same as when I am typing myself. This is how my brain works I guess. I have noticed that the way I am able to create links of thought is not as easy dictating as actually writing it myself, so I sacked the P.A. to go and do more observational things instead. (Seriously, thank you Lynn for trying to help)
following a brief break we set out to tackle the beach and tracks of the coast. Shell beach was in front of us but we had to make our way out over the series of huge concrete blocks left by someone which led out towards the beach. It was like giant stepping stones. the sand on the beach was soft underfoot but we persisted and soon arrived at the point where a river cut into the Forth and we had to cross on a series of small bridges spanning the back waters. Later we were in a caravan park and Lynn asked me to climb on a concrete block for a photo, women...
I did as my told and we laughed at the resultant photos. As we crossed the caravan park we met a mature couple out walking who owned a caravan here. They were happy to tell us all about the area and guide us towards the path that would lead to Eeli. Here the coast was following a very in and out aspect, and the rocks had to be scrambled over sometimes. Shortly we met a small group of people out walking who stopped to speak with us. Again they were hugely impressed by my walk and the distances I had covered. Heather, Bryan, Mark and Tracey local people said that they were walking for fun and had been enjoying the chain link walk which was a little further up the path. Heather asked what it would take to become part of the Imagine project and I simply said that all she had to do was e-mail me and arrange a time or day to come and walk with me. If she was serious that was as simple as it could be. I hope that she takes the time as they said, to have a look at my website and ideas.
Lynn and I said our farewells and carried on along the path climbing into the afternoon and a bit closer to Eeli, where we passed a lot of old wartime gun embattlements on the cliff tops. Overlooking the village of Eeli and the golf course was very impressive from the top of these cliffs. Down at the beach we saw jelly fish washed up and stranded, some very interesting colours too.
Before long we were walking into the small seaside village and looking for the pub and a place to eat that had been suggested by the older couple from the caravan park. The Ship Inn opposite the harbour was a quaint and old place. It may have been a bit more expensive than I was used to, but they served great food. The land lady told us that there was places to put up a tent very close to the path leading out of the village, which was super as the light had gone when we set out later. I had to help Lynn climb the rocks off the beach before we found the track towards the old arch on the headland. I spied a place and Lynn held a torch whilst I set about erecting the tent in the long grass. It wasn't ideal but at this hour in the almost pitch black I felt as though I had done a grand job.
The rain was due to fall so we settled in and found our sleep fairly easily as day 17 Scotland came to an end.