Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The John Muir Festival

Monday 21.April.2014 was the centenary of John Muir's death & to celebrate his life's work & achievements a brand new & extended long distance walking / cycle route was officially opened by the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond here in Muir's birth town of Dunbar.
The John Muir Festival is running from the 17th-26th of April along the 134 mile route from Dunbar, Muir's, birthplace in the east coast to Helensburgh on the west coast of Scotland where at the age of 11 years he departed for a life in the U.S.A. The festival has all sorts of activities & events throughout this time.

I had booked a place on-line to be a flag carrier along the first section of the route from Dunbar to North Berwick along with walkers & runners. As part of the celebrations people were required to carry the flags to advertise & publicise the long distance JMW route grand opening. I registered in the morning, received my flag for the trip, wrist bands for myself & my bike & was then required to meet at a gathering point in the afternoon for a group photo & after the opening of the route by the First Minister the flag bearers would start their journey to North Berwick...

...that was the plan...

I ended up meeting up with family & spent the early afternoon with them watching the street parades & the First Ministers speech outside John Muir's house of birth instead of cycling the first section of the route & once everything had died down I went on a cycle of my own homeward.

This is the on-line form I printed off for my registration.
One of the High Street shop windows joining in with the celebrations.

The start / end point of the route at the John Muir as a boy statue outside the Town House.

Registering & receiving my flag.
After registering for the flag carrying role I took a trip down to the harbour to see this boat being rowed to the beat of a drum, but other than that it was still a bit early as stalls etc were still in the process of setting up for the day. So back up to the High Street it was.

East Links Family Park 's clydesdale horse Kitty sporting the JMW tartan.
An eccentric odd flower garden.

Some of the street performers doing their thing along the High Street.
There were a lot of John Muir's going about.
A temporary sign for the opening ceremony, I can't understand why this was so & why the opening was not done on the High Street at the John Muir statue outside the Town House which is the official Start / end point of the route ???

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond giving a speech after he had officially opened the route, and although he is at the helm fighting for Scottish Independence I have to admire the man for not using this occasion to bolster his campaign & he gave a top class speech & even threw in a bit of humour too.

Anyway I'd seen enough by now & went for a pedal to see my old Gran to wish her happy 89th birthday before hitting the hills on the way home.

After a visit to my Grans it was off to the hills I go passing Eweford farm & then one of my favourite pigeon doocots at Bourhouse.
Farmers making the most of this great weather & planting the tattie crops.

 This is more of my kind of scenery, out of town & in the bosom of nature away from the crowds.
Anyway time to call it a day on this post, I'm quite disappointed that I never managed to do the route but I'm lucky enough that it's on my door step & can do the local sections of it any time & I plan to get the train to Helensburgh & cycle the entire 134 mile route back home, but that's after a couple of other long distance routes I planned to do first.

Thank you for looking & cheers for now.