A midweek microadventure in 2 parts.
So there is a concept called a microadventure. It doesn’t need much time or money. Then there is a midweek microadventure. Finishing work, gathering your stuff and sense of adventure, heading off into the wide blue yonder, but back in time for work the next morning. Then there is a midsummer midweek microadventure, which Ben and I set off to have last midsummers eve. This being Scotland the weather forecast kept changing, but ultimately it looked good and we went for it. We set off around 4pm from Edinburgh Castle (built on the core of an extinct volcano) in hot sunshine and headed for Arthurs Seat (more extinct volcano)(are you seeing the theme yet). The sun had gone behind clouds and it was sort of misty but still warm. We walked up (and down) Arthurs Seat, my legs were a bit wobbly as I’d already been standing up at work for 8 hours. Then it was time to get on the bikes as we headed for Hopetoun Monument, 32km away. Earlier at work when explaining my plans my colleuge casually mentioned we would need torches for the tower, I mentioned it to Ben but didn’t think any further. After cycling about 15km it started to drizzle, but that was fine because it was ment to dry up in time for our final climb up Berwick Law (volcanic (of course)(everyone likes a themed adventure)) and camp.
Arrived at Hopetoun Monument, drank some chocolate soya milk, remembered torches (bike light in my case), and set off up the hill. We got to the bottom of the tower as it started to rain. 40000 steps (or similar) later we reached the top in a sleet storm! (remember its midsummer!). Lucky that my collegue mentioned about torches. Ever climbed pitch black spiral stone steps, with a bike light in your mouth and no handrail? We saw enough of the view to appreciate on a clear day it would be a grand view before we retreated inside and back down 50 million steps. We set off for our final destination in steady drizzle. This soon turned into a downpour. At which point we put our heads together and decided that actually we would just call it a night and get the train home. Adventures are ment to be fun and neither of us fancied a sodden night in a bivvy bag for no reason.
Fast forward 9 months to last weekend; the weather was great, we were both off for 2 days, and we planned an adventure round the Fife coast. Sadly it wasn’t to be. However we decided it was an ideal opportunity to complete our 2017 midsummer midweek adventure.
After work on Saturday, we caught the 5.15pm train to North Berwick intending to have a pub dinner, instead we sat on the seafront in the sunshine and I had a wee paddle, I considered a swim, but the North Sea is just so.damn.cold! As it was such a nice evening we decided on a picnic, picnic duly bought, we headed along the beach to find a camp spot.
Washed up all along the coast are wooden planks than have fallen off a ship. People can not take them due to salvage rules (they must be reported to the Receiver of Wreck (best job title ever), but clearly the local kids have been using them as a giant meccano set and someone had built a series of wind breaks. It made a perfect bivvy spot. We ate our picnic, set up camp, had a drift wood camp fire (well away from our bedding) and then settled down for the night.
I woke around 4 am to find a sky of brilliant hues, took myself for a wander down to the water (tide was way out), woke Ben up by trying to quietly get back into my sleeping bag (I somehow ended up too far down it, which required a lot of wiggling) having woken him up I made him sit up and look at the sun rise. I would have liked to watch for longer, but I was too cosy and I drifted off to sleep again.
We awoke around 9am (with sand in everything) to a warm but slightly overcastday. I should really have learnt by now that this still means I need sunscreen! Packed up camp, and headed to Steam Punk in North Berwick for breakfast, coffee and cake (don’t tell my mother that I had cake for breakfast).
Spent the day walking round the East Lothian coast to Tantallon Castle as I had never been. It still has 6 floors standing and must have been the tallest building for hundreds of miles when it was built. Well worth a visit if you are not afraid of heights. Tired now we got the bus back to North Berwick and caught the train home. A great after work microadventure, sometimes working Satudays ain’t half bad.