Friday, May 20, 2011


Today's soundtrack:
Arrested Development

Yesterday, during a fit of writer's block, I went for a walk out east. Miguel has been running along the Fife Coastal Path and I decided that if he could run it, I could probably walk it. Still running over a particularly tricky theoretical argument in my mind, I ended up at the Caiplie Caves before turning around and heading back home.

I woke up today determined to make the 6 mile (roundtrip) hike to Crail. The weather had other plans. After the second rainstorm, the skies seemed safe enough, I grabbed my camera (which I'd forgotten yesterday) and set out. After I passed the pig farm, the sheep (sheep!), and the few houses at Caiplie, there are empty rolling fields (well, the odd herd of goats) on one side, the North Sea on the other. It's still too early in the year for tourists, so the path was mostly empty. Well, aside from the aforementioned goats and ridiculous number of droppings (what are they feeding these beasties?).

There were rock walls with built-in steps (no unladylike straddling of fences today!)...

and wee bogs with stepping stones...

all before I even got to the Caiplie Caves.

These caves were once underwater, but were uplifted (along with the rest of Fife) after the last ice age. There are Christian carvings on the walls of the caves from when The Coves were used as a settlement of sorts for Christian missionaries, possibly around 800-1000AD, although this cannot be confirmed (Site Record for Caiplie Caves). Judging by the litter, the caves look more like a convenient place for a bush/beach party. Still, they are stunning.

After the Caiplie Caves (and the goat droppings) are the ruins of an old salt works and salmon bothy.

It was at this point that I started humming the music from Lord of the Rings in my head. I alternated between thinking I was strolling through the Shire, Rohan, or Braveheart. How can you not feel part of an epic walking through open fields, past ruins, beside the sea? Well, epic aside from orcs, hobbits, and deranged Australians. Of course, that epic feeling could have been the result of dehydration, so it was probably good that Crail was around the next bend.

I wandered into town, grabbed a bottle of water, and set back off again. I was determined to make it to Crail and back in two hours. The wind, however, was now fiercely southwest and my legs, which really didn't need the resistance training at this point, weren't at all impressed with me. I attempted to appease them by taking a few more photos on the way back, the result of which is that I think I may have captured the Scottish green (Lady J, I think this is the verdant those Romantics kept going on about):

If west of Glasgow looked like this, my ancestors never would've left Scotland.

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