Monday, 1 October 2018
John Muir Way. Seton Sands.Cockenzie. Prestonpans. Part One.
Seton Sands is a destination I've never arrived at so when I noticed the number 26 bus from Edinburgh city centre went to there as it's final stop from Clermiston on the Seven Hills trip with Anne I decided there and then it was a bus worth taking. This is Seton Sands beach here, popular with holiday makers....a large caravan site and a sandy beach are the main, if not the only attractions available to arrivals. The caravan park was doing reasonable business when I got off the bus as the terminus is right beside the front reception to this site. It's around 18km or ten miles from the centre of Edinburgh to Seton Sands and it takes around an hour to get there as it goes via Portobello and through several other coastal towns with dozens of stops on the way. Add another two buses and just over two hours to reach Edinburgh from Glasgow's western outskirts and you have a 5 to 6 hour round trip depending on traffic and the inevitable roadworks. I didn't fancy doing it after the clocks changed as it was a fair distance away- a full 12 hour day- and the Perth trip at Christmas proved to me that it was very easy to miss the last bus and be stuck in the dark in sub zero temperatures in an unfamiliar location. Staying in hotels or pubs are very definitely a last resort for me and an option to be avoided if at all possible. Half the Perth trip had been in the dark, and even wrapped up it was pretty cold as soon as the sun departed and the wind increased.
I've met many people like this over the decades, usually males (strictly platonic relationships I have to add :o) but it did give solo folk like me an opportunity to meet new people you may get along with and discover a shared interest. That appears to be increasingly a thing of the past, sadly. Not even a 'Brief Encounter'....it's something of a tragedy for the human race I believe... and my personal bug bear- i.e. smart phones...albeit for purely selfish reasons in my case which increasingly keep us locked within mental cages.... as in think of all the films of chance encounters on public transport or in the street, good and bad, that might never happen now in today's society including the one I've picked for this post set in 1980s Dublin. I suppose there's always Tinder or silicone based attractions now for young people. Annoyingly, I've always relied on face to face encounters with my unsuspecting victims ...er potential weekend walking companions, to home in like a guided missile and get acquainted so I'm out of step with modern society. A relic of the past that actually prefers to talk to people without gadgets as a facilitator.
In the above photo you can just see the white tower blocks of Leith and Edinburgh in the distance from Seton Sands.
My walk for today was along the coast from Seton Sands, then Cockenzie and Port Seton, then Prestonpans, then Musselburgh- all coastal towns on the John Muir Trail. Around 14km of coastline walking with inland sections added. The father of American conservation was born in nearby Dunbar and spent his childhood in this district.
I've done most of the JMW in day sections before it had a grand title and this stretch is a real highlight. It's now a multi day 134 mile, 215km route taking around 10 days from Dunbar to Helensburgh. So basically up the east coast to Edinburgh then across central Scotland towards Glasgow then ending at the western seaboard.
One of the best things about a walk like this is that you never know what you might see on it. Great variety of subjects.
There's been some very good films on TV recently and some of the best have had little hype or fanfare so it's even more enjoyable when they turn out to be real gems.
This is one.
Sing Street. An Irish musical. Funny- great songs- good story and acting throughout. If it's on again its worth seeing. Oh, and good coastal scenery in this as well which is another reason why I picked it.
Another great TV series Ireland has produced is Red Rock. Onto its third season now and the standard is still very high. Well worth catching from the start about two feuding families in a seaside town near Dublin. Great acting, great cast- fantastic believable storylines- easily as good as The Bodyguard and Killing Eve but less well known.