A week on the Fife Coastal Path – Day 2

The second day of a walk is always a hard one. At this point the body has had a bit of a shock, it’s done something a bit out of the ordinary and been used a bit harder than normal. So after a day of walking it seems to go “ah yes, time to take it easy, heal up, build muscles and replenish energy stores”. Most people can go out and do one day of walking on a hard route, or with a heavy pack. The next day they may be suffering (or not, for the super fit), but they get that rest which the body is ready for. Of course, on a multi-day trail the body is in for a bit of a shock and won’t get into the swing of things until at least day 3 or 4. So an easy day is what’s called for. At least, that was the plan.

Day2

The day started easily enough. Awoken by a train on the railway 10m behind our tarp and shortly thereafter by a parade of local dog walkers, we hauled ourselves out of our sleeping bags, packed up and started hunting for breakfast. It wasn’t the best night’s sleep either of us have ever had outside, the trains didn’t stop running until almost midnight and Lauren’s sleeping bag proved a little on the chilly side. On the plus side, we’d had a lovely view of a huge number of bats fluttering around the nearby trees and a bright almost full moon to view them by. In any event, a breakfast roll and some coffee in the Waverly Cafe in Burntisland proved to be just what the doctor ordered to see us on our way.

And then disaster struck.

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A week on the Fife Coastal Path – Day 1

May of this year was a little bit special. I took my first real holiday in 5 years (and technically that was an academic conference which I tacked on some tourism to, so it’s probably longer). I’ve been wanting to do a decent long distance hike for a while, having bailed on a couple of attempts over the last few years due to blisters and weather.

So all that was left to do was to pick a route!

Requirements:

  • Somewhere between 1-2 weeks maximum (Lauren had a maximum of two weeks off left).
  • Somewhere reasonably flat (Lauren hates hills)
  • Somewhere we could be reasonably confident of good weather (Bob hates rain)
  • Somewhere with decent geology to look at (I didn’t tell Lauren this one in advance)
  • Somewhere we could camp easily, and resupply easily (these latter two proved trickier than you would expect)

 

After having a look around at walks in the 80-150 mile length I settled on the Fife Coastal Path. I’ve done parts of it before, given that it was my undergraduate mapping area and that I’d returned as part of an industry facing PhD field trip that I’d been on (which I, as a climate researcher gleefully crashed). It’s also variable and interesting enough to be an exciting trip with lots to see and do.

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The long overdue “so how did the new year’s resolutions go?” postmortem post.

What do you mean I haven’t posted a blog post in over a year? Lies. I’ve just blocked you. That’s why you can’t see them. Yes you.

 

Well yes, obviously it didn’t go that well given that my secret extra resolution was to blog a lot more. In my defense though it’s extremely hard to motivate oneself to write after completing a massive soul-destroying project (now available for anyone to read here, should you dare) which crushed both my self-confidence and will to get out of bed in the morning. It’s also doubly difficult to blog when you’re technically homeless and sleeping in your boss’s garden like some sort of medieval serf (cheers though Tom!).

 

Still, let’s go through the list and see how I did shall we?

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12 Nights in a Hammock

I don’t really do New Year’s Resolutions. Most of the time I think they’re just setting yourself up to fail – they’re an all or nothing proposition usually, and they’re often forgotten the moment you have your first stumble. How many resolutions to go to the gym every Saturday survive that first weekend away in late January? How many times does someone declare “no more chocolate” right up until discount mini-eggs appear on the shelves? Not many, I would wager. It’s also very hard to just decide to change based on a whim, rather than by being forced to through circumstance.

This year however, I am going to set a few long-term goals. I’m hoping I’ll have a little more luck than most since they’re things I actually want to do anyway – not chores in service of fitness or self-improvement (though handily they won’t hurt in these areas either).

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Climate, travelling, and the ethics of the round the world plane ticket.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the relationship between climate change and travelling. Part of this comes from finally handing in my PhD. I’ve been cooped up behind my desk for a good few months, and it’s been a long time (barring a couple of weekends and field trips) since I’ve really had the opportunity to go anywhere or do much exciting. The last decent trip I did was a pre-conference field trip around parts of Australia, a week long road trip from Sydney to Melbourne two long years ago. Even though it was a work trip (and thus spent almost entirely underground), we had a fantastic time doing some quick exploration of the Blue Mountains and Kosciuszko National Park. Kosciuszko in particular was an absolutely stunning locale, true wilderness in places with stunning vistas and wild horses and kangaroos roaming freely. I would love to go back there (spiders aside) and spend a few days or weeks wandering around.

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