Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Redheugh Salmon Station & Siccar Point Revisited.

A weeks holiday & for most of the week we had nothing but fog, fog & yet more fog, but for one day midweek there was a clear day for a cycle & I fancied going back down to Redheugh Salmon Station & Siccar Point just along the coast in the Scottish Borders, so taking advantage of the fair weather I hit the road & took off.

Leaving Innerwick heading east taking the hill roads towards the village of Cockburnspath.

And in no time at all I had passed through Cockburnspath & under the A1 to Cockburnspath Tower a mere shadow of it's former formidable presence.

Over the Pease Bridge & there is most definitely a sense of the changing seasons, in what seems to be in the blink of an eye the trees are starting to lose their leaves, turn autumnal in colour & an earthy smell of damp decaying vegetation fills the air.

 Passing through Redheugh farm & I can never resist stopping to take pictures of the 'Lurvshack' holiday chalet on the way down to the coastguard cottages also now holiday cottages.

Himalayan Balsam or Snap Dragons which ever you prefer to call this invading weed are everywhere just now & I just had to stop & give them a shake & squeeze their seed pods to watch them explode their seeds.
Hard to see amongst the long grass but there is an old road which leads down to the shore once used by the horse & carts for access.

 Today I made sure that the tides were in my favour after my last visit here which could of & nearly was my last when I got cut off by the tide & had to scramble over giant rocks with the waves battering over the top of me.

 Plenty of time to explore today before the tide comes in.

Fossilised beach.

Crazy rock geology down here the way the rock elevates out of the ground & the rock colours are really vivid red, orange & even turquoise blue but the camera does not highlight the colours brilliance. 

Worn away through time & tide.

Here you can see how the rock has been carved out for the horse & carts to pass through & you can even see the cart track ruts.

Un-stable cliff face where huge chunks of rock just give way & fall below onto the ground.

   A foragers feast at low tide.

Safely around the cliffs to the bay of the salmon station & bothy's where I come across this bogey which seemed to have the same gauge of wheelbase that the tracks have, so I'm not sure if this bogey was maybe used for winching up a boat or something or other.

In a state of ruin now but in their day these buildings must of looked tranquil & idyllic in the summer months & hellish during the cold winter time.

It's quite unbelievable the amount of rubbish strewn along this sheltered & very quiet bay, mostly stuff from the fishing industry from rope, creels, nets, buoys & fish boxes and also household waste as you can see from one of the pictures above of the German toilet cleaner ! If only it wasn't such a hike back up as I would of took the fish boxes back home, they are brilliant, robust & stackable boxes for storing bits & bobs in the shed.

I even found Popeye the sailor man's pipe !

Gigantic slabs of bright red sandstone scattered here & there & huge rounded boulders which now explains that when I was last here at high tide during stormy seas, the noise was deafening with these monster boulders rolling back & forward.
A recent rockfall due to the sea battering the base of the cliffs.

Heading back taking a stroll further along the shore to the water falls, I found evidence of otters as I spotted what must be a favourite dining rock where there were a few chewed up crab shells & a half eaten fish & along a bit further a poo very similar to my ferrets which are also in the mustelidae family as are otters.

So after a steep climb back up the hill with the bike on the shoulders it was back through Redheugh farm & off towards my second destination of the day to Siccar Point.

 Cool garden sculptures, an interesting alternative to gnomes.

A huge bulk load of wood chips for biofuel.

Siccar Point the place of James Hutton's proof of 'unconformity' the geological phenomenon marks the location where rock formations created at different times & by different forces adjoin as the diagram explain above. For Hutton however the unconformity provided evidence for his theory that the age of the earth was far older than thought of at the time.

Leaving my bike at the top I made off down the first part of the very steep hill...
 ...and then down the even longer & steeper second section, holding on to the fence & ensuring as stable a footing as I could get.

Amazing to see this place down at this level Iv'e only ever looked down to it from the top before, but I have to say that it was well worth the awkward climb down, the geology is utterly amazing & so varied. Some of the vertical layers are as thin as a sheet of paper & are built up layer upon layer upon layer & must of taken thousands if not millions of years to form before being turned on end, worn down & then for the process to start all over again. 

And these rocks are very sharp, jaggy almost glassy with a brittle feel to them but they are far from brittle they are like magma that has solidified. Some of the gulleys & pot holes are very deep I could of jumped into the pot holes & not even touch the bottom, some parts are very dangerous as the rock has been undermined by the erosive sea & has created cornices, so sure footing & an observant eye is a must, if you fall in here your not getting out !

Exploring a bit more & I found this really cool cave which is larger than the photos depict, quite an eerie feeling when I went inside as the acoustics of the crashing waves were very loud echoing around me, looking up I spotted loads of rock climbing gear suspended from the cave ceiling.
 Well after a good look around it was time to head back up the hill where a reward of a drink & cereal bar awaited.

 Fed & watered off I went back along the field track stopping for a picture of one of the Llamas in a field with a few more of them hiding behind tree's & bushes shying away from the camera, I could of done with him  or her for a lift up the hill from Siccar Point !

Heading back home the route that I went in the morning & again passing the ruins of Cockburnspath Tower & for the first time today the sun made an appearance just as I was about to enter back into my home county of East Lothian.

 Stopping on the bridge looking down into Dunglass Dean showing off it's beautiful shades of green.

I always think when the farmers start to plough the fields that it's a sure fire sign that the long days of summer are finally over, as is this post for today I hope you enjoyed the ride, until the next time cheerio for now.