Day 13: 22 September 2012
I had decided earlier in the week that the weather forecast for Friday, Saturday, Sunday showed light winds with almost none on Friday or Saturday – so these were beach and visiting days – I have my fingers crossed that tomorrow will offer enough wind to get in a few flights … anyway what of today? I had a day at the seaside … and what a beautiful day it was too!
I wanted to return to Elie and Earlsferry for several reasons but first I stopped off in Anstruther specifically to see the Isle of May trip set off – I would love to take this trip sometime and love being in boats – but my vertigo especially over moving water challenges me when it comes to embarking and disembarking. Having seen them board the RIB Osprey I know I would have struggled with the long narrow stone staircase … I would have to have someone with me that I absolutely trusted to go in front of me. Anyway I got some pictures of the RIB leaving harbour.
Whilst I waited for the next bus I took some harbour and wildlife shots – even being proud of the fact I walked most of one pier to take some of them. Weather guru … just look at all those boats … don’t dream … DO!
Today is the first time in the fortnight that I have experienced delays in bus services – the next 95 bus was 10 minutes late at Anstruther Harbour. I took the bus virtually to the end of the road at Earlsferry because my first aim today was to photograph the other side of that headland that kept cropping up in the pictures from Largo, Leven and Kirkcaldy; secondly I wanted to scope out the walk over the headland to Shell Bay. Much of the coastal path is not doable for me on my own since it involves rough tracks near cliff tops. But this path looks a steepish short climb over a narrow saddle well away from the cliffs – so in a few weeks the walking boots will be on and I will try.
I followed the coastal path back round to Earlsferry – another golf course sign making me smile enroute
I had a fantastic view across to Elie and the Isle of May beyond from the headland. The tide was still not fully out but the sweep of golden sand was an awesome sight.
I found my way down and walked from one end to the other on the damp sand, taking pictures and looking into rock pools. There were families running in and out of the water, digging sandcastles or just cosied up in the sun enjoying some peace and quiet.
I also wanted to repeat the scoping exercise at the other end of the bay and see if I could find my way onto Ruby Bay. I achieved both and I think that is another section of the coastal path I can tackle at low tide.
This is only a small selection from the over 200 photos I took today – I will make a gallery of the others rather than choke the post.
I decided to return to Anstruther an hour earlier specifically to have fish and chips from the famous Anstruther Fish Bar. I already knew the price was not dissimilar to our local chipper and it just felt like the appropriate way to close my visits to Fife this week. The queue turned out to be about 30 minutes; the staff were immaculate in their uniforms and there were all the newspaper clippings and certificates you might expect. By the time I got mine I only had 20 minutes to eat them before the bus was due. I hurried over to the East Basin (the outer harbour) and was just getting settled for lunch when the lifeboat was launched.
So the food got shut back up and the camera came out. You can read about the unique launch method for the Anstruther Lifeboat here. It was fascinating to watch and I do not know whether it was a launch to answer a distress call or an exercise; but certainly my local chipper doesn’t organise such an event on the rare occasion I call in for a fish supper.
After this I managed to eat my fish and half the chips and head across the road to catch the number 95. It was 10 minutes late. So I had had the fish and chips and I decided to go all out and get a two scoop cone at B Janettas in St Andrews – this involved getting off the 95 at the Byre, walking round the corner and across a road and then eating the ice cream while I walked up to the next bus stop to catch a 99.
Only when I rounded the corner I saw this … sorry no – one 30 minute queue per day is quite enough!
I walked on to the next bus stop and enjoyed one of the sweetest encounters of my travels. An elderly couple slowly approached along the pavement. He arrived first (he reminded me very much of the actor Graham Crowden) and then his wife arrived a few moments later clearly in considerable discomfort. They were each using a stick to lean on and she said she was just going to lean on the lamp post and burst into song. I said I had been about to offer my arm to lean on and she said no thanks but could I help her when the bus came with a gentle push on her back.
Anyhow since St Andrews was chaos and busyness all the buses were running late so we had a good few minutes to chat. I know not their names but I do know that it is people who are at the focus of what I want to achieve on the big journey on which I shall embark shortly … and this couple will remain with me as I start that journey – such serenity, such dignity and such faith in their ability to be there for each other and to continue to be mobile and independent … thank you both so much.
This photo is not a good quality (taken from my phone as I crossed the road bridge but could weather be more serene than this?
- Achieved the aims I set out with;
- Planned how to continue this journey in a few weeks time;
- Lost a little serenity in frustration with the buses – late running and just generally slightly rougher driving than during the week;
- Really felt comfortable with the camera;
- Saw the lifeboat launch – exciting is the wrong word since it is not exciting for those in need of rescue but it was fascinating to the engineer and photographer bits of me; RNLI you do a fabulous job against the odds and that is inspirational. Overcoming the limitations of the harbour for launches demonstrates diligence and commitment; and
- Got so much from a short conversation with two people at a bus stop.
Today’s statistics: Cost £0; Miles travelled: 120.91; Steps taken: 11,880; Photographs: 206
Hopefully tomorrow is windy enough for a final day Kite Flying – if I want to go to Easthaven it is a bit of a walk so I will see what the conditions are like. If there is not enough wind for flying I will be looking for a sheltered grassy spot to park myself with a book and a picnic … Co-pilot’s welcome to apply and if it isn’t kite weather please try not to trip over me!