The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Day 30 - North Berwick to Musselburgh

Mon 18 April (0825-1555)
Distance: 18.75 (Tot: 530)
Weather: sunny intervals with high level cloud, turning to heavier cloud later
Number of golf courses passed: 43 (I may be exaggerating slightly)

Yesterday was a day of three parts, and today was a day of two halves. The first half (using the term loosely, in that it comprised the first 14 miles) was from North Berwick to Longniddry and was absolutely superb. It made me very glad to have picked the longest of the three potential routes I'd plotted to get us to Edinburgh.

Getting out of North Berwick was a little bit of a tour of the streets (although we weren't fooled where someone had pointed the JMW sign in the wrong direction), but it was a worthwhile street-tour. North Berwick is obviously a place with money and being able to gawk at so many big old houses was a joy.

The path then took us around and about a bit, but it was a pleasing route, with sea views, a blue sky and the links.

Second breakfast came at Dirleton, on a fantastic village green overlooking the castle (or at least it would have been had it not been for the big trees obscuring the view) and with the sun beating down it would have been easy to sit there for a long while.

But we went on, passing more and more golf courses, which being so well-kept was a pretty sight. Even prettier was the town of Gullane when viewed from across a particularly busy course.

Great lumps of concrete confounded us as to their purpose for a while, until we popped out of some woodland onto the sea shore and Mick came up with the theory that they were anti-landing defences from the second world war. The concrete lumps only went on so far, but we followed the coast all the way into Port Seton, sometimes shaping our ankles in deep sand in the dunes.

Although the day was warm when moving, it didn't strike us as being warm enough to jump in the sea, but there were children paddling on the beach where we stopped for lunch, and at Cockenzie they were jumping in off the harbour wall. It made me shiver just to think of it (obviously, spoken as a nesh southerner).

From Port Seton the day became more of a road walk (even where the path left the road it was a hard surface running behind houses rather than in front of them), and the surroundings far less enticing. Still, you can't go for a walk of this length and expect every minute of every day to be pretty, and even through these towns, when on the waterside, we had the views (albeit very hazy) to the lumps on the other side of the forth.

A good turn was completed right at the end of the day when an old dear requested help to catch her dog, and then we had arrived (the campsite being up the only hill of the day).

Pitched and showered, we were soon off out again, to investigate the local bus service and to go and have dinner with TVPS. An excellent evening was had (thank you once again TVPS - very much appreciated; you are still a star of the first order!), but we did feel like naughty stop-outs as we returned to our tent in the pitch dark.

(Note 1: we weren't as late setting off as the timings above suggest. We actually left the campsite at 0740, but only went a few hundred yards up the road to Tesco where, somehow, I managed to spend so long buying a few provisions that it was 0825 when we got going again.
Note 2: I'm not doing very well with blog photos am I? Of all the things worthy of photographing today I failed to get the phone out, so you'll have to make do with another rather uninspiring snap of not much)

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1 comment:

  1. And this is why I need to make time to read folks' blogs. I lived in Port Seton for 15 years and the coastline between there and North Berwick is well known to me.

    Bus to Dirleton, breakfast at the castle and then walk back was a favourite.

    Great stuff and all the best when you set off again. (When you get to Aberdour, check out Lonies the baker next to the station for the carb's)