Tuesday, 27 October 2015

A Bridge Too Far.

A beautiful fresh autumn day & I thought I'd go down to the coast crossing the river Tyne over an old Victorian bridge to Tyninghame that was chained & padlocked, but I received a message from a viewer a while back to say the padlock had been removed, this was confirmed by workmate Davy who crossed the bridge himself. The bridge is a brilliant way to gain access over into Tyninghame eliminating having to cycle along a fast stretch of road & also cutting a good couple of miles off the route...So off I went on my way.

With the return of the parasitic gypsies parked up across the A1 my routes out of the village down to the coast are for the time being limited, so it was through the field alongside the A1 towards Pinkerton & then up the road towards Doon Hill.

Stopping to say hello to the cows before treking up a field track, the hedgerow's at this time of year are abundant with berries & many small birds feeding ravenously on them before the frosts come. 

All that's missing is haggis, whisky & a bowl of porridge.

Around the edge of Doon Hill then coming into view were these four tankers moored waiting to dock at one of the ports further up the Firth of Forth, often ships moor off our coast as if they continue further up the Forth they have to pay docking fees.

Over the Canongate bridge just outside the village of Spott & up along the decommissioned road towards Wester Broomhouse. The road was closed a good few years ago now due to subsidence.

The pigeon doocot of Bowerhouse surrounded by autumnal coloured trees.

Dropping down to the coast now over the Biel burn headed for John Muir country park.

There was an eerie sound of silence as I rode through the tree lined trail until the East Links FamilyPark resident red deer stag started it's bellowing which was echoing through the woods. Spoiling for a fight to the mating rights of the females during the rutting season, but for this big guy there will be no fighting since he's the only stag on the park, a bit of a shame it would be great to see one of Scottish natures biggest battle.

Emerging out of the trees at the west end of the park over the Hedderwick burn or as it's known locally the Skittery burn to the trail covered in rustic orange fern leaves dying back for winter.

So opposed to following the ware road which ultimately takes me onto the fast North Berwick road I rode along the overgrown Buist's embankment.
Buist's bank is a man made earth wall built to reclaim the salt green's a tidal marsh for agriculture around 1850. I was once told that it was built by one man, a Dutchman called Buist hence the name, how much truths in that I don't know & I can't find any literature to back this up.
While making my way along the Buist's bank I spotted a little egret, a one time rare sight around these parts & I suppose it still is, this could be the same returning bird from year to year.

Taking leave from Buist's embankment & down a very faint trace of another former pathway to the old Victorian bridge which spans the river Tyne. I don't normally come down this was as the last time I did I found the gate in the middle of the bridge chained & padlocked along with many wooden tread boards rotten & missing, but someone posted a message on my blog to say that it was accessible to cross once more & workmate Davy confirmed this when he crossed it...
...my access across was scuppered by you've guessed it bloody coo's !

Just as I opened the gate on the bridge to cross they saw me & went into...
...'Oh here's that guy who is scared of us lets chase him mode'... they spotted me straight away & started running back & forth in a frenzy excitement. I started cycling close to the fence line within their field to try keeping out their way but their curious nature started to bring them closer to me & with no safe refuge from them & a good few hundred yards to a safe zone, I bottled it & went back the way I came !
Gutted as I really wanted to go for a ride through Tyninghame woods. I really hate this persistent fear I have with these bovine beasts !

Fed up I head back along Buist's bank with my tail between my legs longing for the cold weather when all the cow's are taken in for winter.

In the short time I was along at the bridge, the tide had turned & was rapidly coming in.

So it was back along to John Muir Country Park via an alternative route.

The tide quickly rising & swallowing up the sand I stopped at the bridge to nowhere always a busy local hotspot. Access to the Belhaven bay beach now cut off, I got something to eat out from my backpack just observing what's going on around me. Iv'e seen this old guy down here many times before, he seems like a very eccentric old dude, I normally see him with his top off enjoying the sun & I've posted a picture on a previous blog post walking over the bridge on the rails just below the hand rail stopping in the middle then performing exercises ! But today after sunning himself he must of still been dreaming & thought he was worshipping in the River Ganges :-) Good on him I say, the world needs more eccentric characters.

A lovely calm sunny day with a real autumnal feel in the air I set off around the outskirts of Winterfield golf coarse making for the cliff top promenade.

A bit of rock sculpturing going on.

A really crisp fresh clear day & the surrounding colours were really vivid from the red sandstone cliffs & rocks to the bright fresh blue of the sea.

The harbour these days seems more busy with sight seeing tourists than it did when I can remember coming down here as a bairn to watch the big boats come in with their catch. The seals in the harbour are always popular as are the kittiwakes which have now migrated back out to the Atlantic.
Pigeons sunning themselves.

Inland again to the countryside where the salty smells of the coast have now changed to the damp decomposing vegetation smells of die back. 

Quite happy to cycle through a field of sheep as I climbed up the track to the bottom of Doon Hill on my way back along to Pinkerton before arriving back home, happy but slightly disappointed that I never managed to get over the bridge to Tyninghame woods but today it was just a bridge too far !
Anyway I hope you enjoyed the cycle in the autumn sun with me, thanks for visiting.