Sunday, 7 March 2010

A Fife Beach Day.

It had to happen sometime.For once the weather forecast got it wrong.Watched it night before.Dry and sunny out east,dull and misty in the west.No surprise there then we thought.
We headed east intending to park at Dollar and climb that steep narrow gorge leading up to Castle Campbell then follow the horseshoe of hills above.
It was dull and grey when we left Glasgow and stayed dull and increasingly misty as we progressed east.Soon break into the sun we thought smugly, our success rate thus far giving us no reason to doubt it.We arrived near Dollar took one look at the mist shrouded Ochils and carried on,neither of us having any desire to trudge about in a peasouper for hours on end.
It didn't get any better though.

After a quick eyeball at the maps we decided to head for Wormit under the Tay railway bridge,a very modest trig there catching Alex`s fancy as it was also a stretch of coastline we hadn't done yet. We parked and headed down to the shoreline via an old railway tunnel then along an atmospheric shore towards Balmerino Abbey.

It was still and eerie in the mist,old buildings and wrecks of boats sticking out the mudflats hearabouts.

Shingle and flat rocks made it not too bad to walk along,low tide mud flats and sand banks stretching further out into the Tay.Sure as Death Bank caught our eye on the map which could mean a good stepping off point or a very bad one in a boat.

The trig Alex wanted to bag was between Wormit Bay and Jock`s Hole.A very pimply 74 metres,even I thought it small so we walked for a couple of kilometres along the coast before we backtracked then climbed up to the summit.

Two friends seemed to have fallen out near the top.
Misty views of Dundee across the firth just visible in the murk,much clearer views of Newport on Tay on this side.

Alex phoned his wife on the mobile about another matter and was stunned to be told it was a glorious day now in Glasgow,warm and sunny.He had to sit down for a selection of muffled curses.Ah well ,we were here now.

Back at the car another swift conversation found us heading to St Andrews to bag the famous West Beach and River Eden,another area neither of us had explored,although we`d both independently visited the Tentsmuir beaches and its sand spit seal colonies on the far side of the Eden.
We parked at the very end of the road at a spot called Out Head then followed the sands along the Eden intending to walk to Eden Mouth.The tide was well out and it looked a long way across miles of flat featureless sand.This is where sand cycling comes into its own as you can cover great distances with ease.Frankly it looked a bit boring on foot.

Not having bikes today we didn't attempt it and cut away to where more interesting events seemed to be taking place.A large section of the beach was being used for sand yachting by a crowd of young folk.

This was more like it though not as exciting or with the same go anywhere freedom as say- "SAND CYCLING!"( Ah go on. Try it, it`s a fun day out if you stick to firm sand)
The good folk of St Andrews seem to be keen on flying bits of fabric and tossing things at each other,a fine assortment of kites,spinners and Frisbee's on the beach here.
After a spot of people watching we headed back to the car, then ,as we were here anyway, I parked outside the Botanic gardens, a place I`ve always been curious about.Alex sat in the car reading his paper while I had a quick look round.Ok glass houses,nice necklace of descending pools and a good close up view of a heron.

Normally they fly off as soon as my hand goes for the camera like a one sided quick draw contest but this time It stood its ground waiting for a fish.Winter is not the best time for any garden so It was not in its full glory yet.
We then headed back to the sun in the west.A complete reversal of our usual day out.
Ah well makes a change I suppose.


The Glebe Blog said...

Great post guys.One childhood memory of Balmerino was when we were picking tatties close by,and the Tay looked close enough at 'Piece time' for me to go over a field or two for a closer look.It was further than it looked,and needless to say i was in big trouble by the time i got back.

I was eight or nine when i was first taken to the motor bike racing on west beach.Great memories.I've just found this link,i wonder if i'm in the crowd ?

blueskyscotland said...

That,s what I like about Fife.There is always something interesting going on as its a good mix of wild hills,history and towns.Bob.

Anonymous said...

I was able to trace part of my family tree to the area around Balmerino and Gauldry. I think I got as far back as the late 1600's in that area.

Having visited I reckon some of the ancestors could still be around! It's an out of the way sort of place.

I used to amble along the beach at Wormit looking for agate way back in the mid 70's.

Anonymous said...

Hay guys its the 2 dogs Ben & Hamish here we were looking for our swimming picture from the river ayr and were dissapointed to find wer are not yet famous :( aw well soon we hope

Kind regards Ben & Hamish

blueskyscotland said...

Behave yourselves or you`ll go back to the Home for Bad Dogs..!
Bob is having a few pc problems this week.Should be up tomorrow night :o)