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 31 - Musselburgh to Edinburgh

Tues 19 April (0825-1430)
Distance: 13 miles (Tot: 543)
Weather: rain in night! Day: high cloud clearing to wall-to-wall hazy sunshine

I didn't expect the walk into Edinburgh to feature passing through a beachy sea-side resort; it was yet another pleasant surprise that this walk has given me.

The day started on rather a more industrial note as we passed the 'ash lagoons' followed by the current ash mounds. In the 1960s, Cockenzie Power Station started dumping its ash in this area and whilst the older dumping grounds have now been landscaped with large ponds and wooded areas, beyond the green haven there are fresh mountains of grey.

A few miles later, second breakfast was had a tad earlier than would ordinarily been the case. We'd stopped at some immaculate toilets, sporting many 'Loo of the Year' certificates (but no fresh flowers...), and what should we find next door but a snack wagon. The queue suggested that it was a good one, and so it was. The bacon and egg baps went down a treat.

And then we were walking along the promenade at Portobello with a big sandy beach to our right. That was the bit I didn't expect. All it was missing was candy floss and ice cream vendors (the obligatory amusement arcades were eventually found, but they were quite subtle compared to other places). The views across the forth were also missing due to a heavy haze, but on our side of the estuary all was very pleasing.

Things didn't stay quite so fantastic all day. I would have been mightily shocked if they had, given that we were skirting such a big city. But, it was only a couple of miles of unattractive walking before we passed the Port of Leith, where modern developments (including the Scottish Exec building) gave the place a fresh and up-market look. There were harbours sporting mill-pond water reflecting the moored yachts too, which looked even prettier with the blue-skied backdrop.

A small trog through an industrial estate took us onto another wide esplanade, where our first proper glimpse was seen through the haze of the Forth Bridge. We'll be crossing over the road bridge tomorrow (although not before we come to it).

Based on the distance we had to go at 1pm, my estimate was that we would arrive at the campsite by 2. Usually my estimates are reasonably accurate, but not today. That we stopped for lunch overlooking Cramond Island was one delaying factor (as it struck us that a picnic there would be far nicer than lunch in a camping field), but more significant was that we overshot our destination by a quarter of a mile and had to walk back. Sack the navigator, I say. At least it was a nice day for an extra bit of a walk!

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  1. Welcome to Edinburgh!

    I am stuck in the office working late unfortunately otherwise I'd pop over and see you!

  2. A beautiful area and a great stretch of coastal walking. I am *so* jealous, it makes me want to nip onto a train tomorrow!

  3. I have to say, food seemed to feature heavily in the last two blogs...are you running out of your home made stock?is any of that left now?maike

  4. Ohhh, pretty pics of the seaside. Oh, how i do wish i was beside the seaside..