Monday, 14 October 2013

A Dreich Day.

The word 'Dreich' is Scottish for miserable, cold & wet weather but although it was dreich it was still an enjoyable day for a 'Stravaig' out on the bike, stravaig is another Scottish word meaning to wander about, so with the choppy salty smelling sea & colourful foliage of autumn it's worth being out in the damp, wet, windy cold days rewarded for your efforts by a nice warm home on return for a nice mug of hot coffee, so today I decided to start of by the coast & then head for the higher ground into the countryside where the trees & hedgerows are a variety of autumnal colours...

Leaving the village I headed for the coast passing through the sprout field that I am keeping an eye on with the one & only red / rogue sprout plant in the whole field ! Crossing over the old A1 road & down through a field track to Barns Ness to follow the John Muir Way into Dunbar.

Barns Ness lighthouse was constructed by the engineer David. A. Stevenson between 1899 & 1901, taking approximately 2 1/2 years to construct & it was illuminated in October 1901.
The stonework of the lighthouse proved resilient during WWII when the lighthouse was machine gunned but sustained no damage.
The lighthouse was manned by 2 keepers until 1966 when it was electrified, it remained semi automated requiring only 1 keeper until 1986 when it was fully automated . In 2005 the U.K. & Ireland lighthouse authorities decided that Barns Ness lighthouse was no longer needed & it was deactivated in October 2005 it was sold on & now belongs to the LaFarge / Tarmac cement company.

Blustery sea conditions stirred up by the northerly wind, Dunbar lifeboat fighting it's way through the big swell, watching it for a while I was amazed at how steady it was it just seemed to battle along without any effort at all heading back to it's mooring at Torness power station.

Some shots taken from the east beach in Dunbar.

The dredger 'Shearwater' digging out & deepening the harbour, I am told that this is being done in preparation for the wind farm that is proposed for the future out in the Firth of Forth.

A 25lb gun looking over the coast in Dunbar.
Belhaven brewery which claims to have begun brewing in 1719. By 2005 Belhaven had become the largest & oldest surviving independent brewery in Scotland, but in August 2005 the brewery was taken over by the Suffolk based company Greene King.

 A couple of the brewery's old days beer mats with the character 'Belhaven Bill' & the top picture showing Belhaven Bill enjoying a pint of ale down at Dunbar harbour. For some reason a few years back the brewery decided to stop using the character of Belhaven Bill for some reason which I think was a real shame, as a young boy I remember all the pubs in Dunbar & surrounding areas all having Belhaven Bill wooden signs standing outside of their establishments.

Leaving the coast behind now making my way for the hills I passed through Lochend woods, as I mentioned in a previous post 'Finding My Past' Lochend woods has went through an amazing transformation from a dumping ground of old washing machines, carpets etc etc to a place of natural beauty, with lots of nice paths throughout & the local cycling group & community woodland group have built a small pump track for the kids to enjoy, brilliant stuff.

Along another recently new walking path, under the railway & A1 dual carriageway stopping for a couple of bike pictures en route to the Brunt hill.
Crunching of sycamore leaves under the tyres.

I love this little route that skirts around the bottom of Doon Hill heading up to Brunt Hill, I can't seem to find anyone or any books that mention this old ruined house, to me it's like an old lodge gate house with the road passing by it especially with the pillars on the eastern side. Note on the top picture of this set the old fireplace with the tree growing where I like to imagine at one time someone's chair sat next to the fire, and the third picture showing how destructive tree's can be with the Ash tree growing out of the pig sty bursting through the walls & breaking them apart.

Nearly at the highest point of the cycle now going uphill to Brunt Hill with it's amazing views...

...what view !
 Still looks good even in low drizzly cloud cover :-)

The fruits, berries & nuts seem to be in abundance this year after the washout summer we had last year, I don't think I have ever seen so much on the tree's & hedges.
Another one of the many road signs that have been used for target practice.

'Conkers' a traditional playground game using the seeds from the Horse Chestnut tree. The game is played by two players each with a conker threaded to a piece of string they then take in turns to hit one another's conker until one breaks.
Bottom picture is of the Horse Chestnut tree which is one of the first tree's to display it's autumn colours.
An enjoyable day out on the bike but glad to be home where there was more than one sun shining today, even if the big orb in the sky failed to make an appearance anywhere else on my journey.

Anyway thanks for looking & I hope you enjoyed the tour :-)
Cheers for now.