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]

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Day 32 - Edinburgh to Inverkeithing

Wed 20 April (0645-1135)
Distance: 13 miles (Tot: 556)
Weather: fog

With only two tents in a camping field (sitting on opposite sides of that field), what are the chances of an occupant of each getting up to use the facilities at exactly 2.24am? He apparently didn't see me leave the tent, though, and when we both left the toilet block at the same time and I found myself following him, he kept looking back over his shoulder, apparently nervous of this shifty looking person who was following him into an almost empty field. I suppose that dressed as I was, in black trousers, a black top and with a black beanie pulled down low, I possibly did look a bit threatening on a dark night.

Just a few hours later we were getting an early start to our day as we wanted to be in Inverkeithing by just gone noon, and so at a quarter to seven we were heading out of the campsite in quite dense fog. At that point I hadn't much contemplated the implications of that fog on the day's walk, other than to think that there wasn't much value in taking the coast route for the first couple of miles of the day. Instead, we took a cycle route slightly inland, which took us through the suburb of Barnton. Well, there must be a lot of noughts on the values of the houses around there! We oggled massive houses on massive plots as we went by. I rather like oggling houses in such neighbourhoods, so I was happy.

Having crossed the River Almond we reverted to the coastal route when we entered the Dalmeny Estate. An information board talked of excellent views. We'll have to take their word for it - although the weather had cleared enough to see a very short way off-shore for the last couple of miles. (Incidentally, had I thought that there would be so many campable spots on the Dalmeny Estate then we would have walked on yesterday - but, in the absence of prior knowledge, I hadn't thought we would be able to discreetly tuck away so close to the city.)

The implications of the weather only really struck me as bits of the Forth Rail Bridge came vaguely into sight (as shown in the photo above). What an absolute shame that of all the good weather days we've had, we had awful visibility today and thus didn't get to appreciate the engineering magnificence of these bridges.

Even pausing at a cafe for tea and second breakfast just before we got to the road bridge didn't prompt the fog to lift, so when we found that we were obliged to use the west-side walkway on the road bridge it was no great loss. The rail bridge wouldn't have been visible even if we had been on the right side of the road bridge for it.

Inverkeithing only lies just over a mile the other side of the bridge and there was nothing exciting about that last mile and a bit other than the fact that there was a train station at the end of it, and that was our walking destination of the day...

(Chris: what a shame to have been stuck in the office on such a glorious evening! It would have been good to meet you.
Maria/Hannah: after days of awful photos (or that's how they looked on the little screen of my phone) it was nice to get some pretty ones yesterday.
David: you're not wrong - it's been a fantastic stretch of coastal walking. So much nicer and prettier than I would have imagined. I can't believe we've been so lucky with the weather for it too - at least until today.
Maike - we've not run out of dehydrated food (you'll not be surprised that the food is all organised and set out on a spreadsheet for the entire journey!). But, those meals are only for the evening. We also have to get breakfast, 2nd breakfast, elevenses, lunch, afternoon snack and after-tea snack. After a month of walking, hunger can verge on being a constant companion, hence the fixation on food!

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