Thursday, 6 September 2012

Day 18 Scotland begins


Day 18 Scotland begins

Lynn reported that she had been a little cold during the night, despite taking my warm sleeping bag and had also been sliding down the small incline on the hill all night despite my best efforts to erect it on flat ground. I on the other hand had not slept better. I did warn her that it would be a rough experience.... Shame...!!!

Seriously though, a man out walking his dog came along the track and informed us that he had been scraping ice of his car windows this morning, so I took back all that I had said about her whinging....

It had been a bit parky to be honest and I was surprised that she hadn't taken a bus back home already, what with her feet and the discomfort of camping.

It had rained in the night and now the tent was still wet but I had to roll it up again hoping that later I could get it dry. We were very close to St. Monans east Neuk after an hour so looked for a cafe and a chance to have a breakfast. 

The Harbour Howff cafe seemed to be the only place available, but it was a super place, for several reasons. It was a small locally run locally funded and locally populated place. It was worked in by volunteers on behalf of the local people and the odd tourist. It is part of an initiative to get local people to support the needs of local people and groups of less able citizens. It seemed like an amazing idea put into practice. We let with a lady called Eileen who was one of the organizers and she gave me many details about the project, run by ENeRGI. She worked across the road at the drop in centre which was also run by this community based company.

I had decided to do some typing and Lynn was reading, but we soon got into conversation with several of the other customers who came in. One group soon handed me over a very charitable donation, in support of my ideas to help Shelter the housing for the homeless charity. The group were from the Sterling side of Scotland holidaying here for a week and had thoroughly enjoyed the small seaside village and especially this cafe. They were very interested to know how far I was going to be able to get with my project, and Iain was an idealist much like myself which made me warm to him and his wife Carol. Lynn my friend works in the care industry as a live-in care worker and Iain who had also worked extensively with this area of care so had much to discuss with us, which I admire very much. This is an area of the real world that many of us get to forget about or sweep under the carpet, but thanks to lovely people who are dedicated to supporting others, a balance is restored. I listened with eager interest, and saw how particularly kind and generous were the people working here and at this cafe too. For society to function properly, the efforts of many caring and devoted people are needed to help the less able and the marginalised. Peaceful Warrior and the Imagine project are big fans of the efforts to bring better balance to the daily lives of everyone, not just the rich.

We said our farewells to the lovely Iain, Carol, Isabelle and Stuart from Sterlingshire, as they left, and the staff at the cafe when we were ready to leave after our brunch. Our target would be Anstruther today, some further 6 miles along the east coast following the Fife coastal path. Every tiny village we walked in to had it's own charm, and ports or harbours full of colourful boats and fishing nets, quaint houses and alleyways.

Arriving into Anstruther we found the Craws Nest Hotel and I noticed that they had free Wi-Fi for internet, so we popped in for a drink and to upload what I had written earlier this afternoon. The lounge was spacious and airy so we sat admiring the views across the Forth but I found that the coverage for internet was almost nil. I went to speak with our bar person Gemma but she directed me towards the reception for better information. Charlotte was very helpful, but apparently the signal was strongest in the reception only and so it was almost impossible to sit here and upload the blog information without being in the way.

Craig Thompson the manager however suggested I could connect directly to ethernet cables from behind the reception counter which was very kind and I finally got something put on to my blog. Sometimes the pragmatics of getting my entries out here for you all to read is quite tiring and problematic, but I do try to be consistent, and hope that you all appreciate it.....!!!

Lynn had thought it would be a good idea if we found another accommodation in the town. I am sure she felt the ill effects of the last evenings chilliness, I on the other hand don't really have the funds to be able to chose this option very often. She said that for the sake of helping me with the project that she was happy to pay and support me, which is a most generous gift. Another proof of the kindness of people, not only strangers but friends. I accepted the thought and we walked into yet another public house to ask about reasonably priced accommodation.

The Dreel Tavern didn't have any rooms but they did help us to locate one, the lady at the bar rang around and passed the phone on to Lynn to arrange the booking once one had been found. We said that we would pop in later to sample the ale and the atmosphere and thanked her for her helpfulness.

We followed the instructions given by the guest house and arrived soon to find a very nice luxury place as described. The Outhouse, ran by Sandra Hodge was a welcome site. Set in the gardens of her home it offered comfort and peacefulness and almost complete self sufficiency. As she would be attending a wedding tomorrow we had agreed with her not to require the breakfast service, but this was great for us as she made and allowance in her price. This luxury was not something in my scope of attainment, but again it was a very welcome distraction from the cold and hardness of floors, so thank you Lynn.

After a shower we went off to see the small town and its sights, which were numerous and ended up back at the Dreel Tavern for a chance to look at the goings on of this seaside place and her people. Lynn and I were talking a lot about the Camino de Santiago. Lynn has decided to save up and go and do the 500+ mile walk next spring, and I was helping to prepare her for the mental and emotional roller coaster that is part of the experience, and slip in all the possible scenarios about the physical pains too. Though she is beginning to understand this already, here on my Camino Great Britain, (Scottish leg).

Back in the Outhouse sleep came easily, the sea air pushing us over the edge into dreamland, as day 18 Scotland came rushing to an end.

1 comment:

  1. Check out the film "the Way" about the Camino De Santiago. here;