Monday, 25 April 2016

Old Habits & The Same Old Haunts

Well it's only been a short time since I promised myself not get back logged with blog posts again & what have I done !
 Spare time is something I don't have much of so new posts which take ages to do seem to always get put on the back burner :-/
However I'm doing it now so here goes.

There was a new geocache hidden down at Hedderwick near to the John Muir Country Park so that was my plan for today to grab the cache, but I didn't fancy making my day just riding down the coast there & back so I thought I'd hit the hills & then drop down to sea level. I love cycling up hills for a good punishing workout on the legs & lungs, I can't be doing with flat level cycling it does nothing for me & I love being high looking down, so with a full drinks bottle & a couple of cereal bars I head for the hills on a grey damp morning.

The weather was mild, humid & damp with the dark clouds loaded I was expecting a drenching but the bright yellow gorse bushes were like rays of sunshine.

A bit of restoration work about to start here at the Brunt steadings, nice to see these old buildings being renovated probably into houses but time will tell.

Stopping half way up the steep hill that will lead me up onto Brunt Hill, having a breather & looking out up onto the grey & gloomy hills which looked very bleak today...

...but as I neared the top of the hill the sun was starting to break through the low grey murky clouds down on the coast.
 The moored ships looked weird from up here, they looked higher than I was, the sea was flat calm further out so they looked as if they were floating in the air... ships ?

Making off towards the coast through Spott estate I always stop to say hello to the donkeys.

Cycling down the driveway from the big estate house to Spott village passing the estate doocot which has been restored to it's former glory, I have a real love of pigeon doocots & have got a rare & brilliant book about them that one of my daughters gave me one Christmas. There are a few different styles of doocot & each can vary slightly from others of the same type, this particular doocot is what's called a lectern doocot.
I'll leave it at that for now because this is not a bad idea for a future blog post, cycling around photographing the local doocots close to where I live & writing a little bit of history about them etc.

A few hundred yards east of Spott village is the witches stone, the script on the stone reads:-


Marion Lillie, the Ringwoody Witch was burnt here in 1698.
The stone is reputed to stand on the site of the burning of the last witch in South of Scotland.

Near to this site the Birley Tree stood, under whose branches the local Birley Court was held.

People place coins & other items on the stone including me & my family we always have done but I'm not sure of the significance of this ? A right of passage or something I don't know but it's tradition :-/
Often at certain times of the year there are more sinister offerings left on the stone, I once saw melted candle wax & incense sticks on the stone so I'm guessing that the practising of witchcraft is still present in this day & age.

Pleasantly cycling along the quiet country back roads with the company of birdsong from the hedgerows & I soon came to Pitcox where I'd get back off road again as I entered into the grounds of Biel estate.

Along the farm tracks passing by another pigeon doocot this one belonging to Biel estate & sadly it's in bad condition, but this doocot has a potence still inside it for collecting eggs from the nesting boxes, again I'll go into more detail when I do this doocot route I'm planning.

As I was bombing down Biel drive something caught my eye through the trees in the field, I stopped & stealthily sneaked through the bushes & trees to spot a white pheasant feeding along with a roe deer, I can't ever remember seeing a white pheasant before but I can imagine at an organised shoot day there would be a prize for bringing down a white pheasant, a bottle of sloe gin or the like to the successful gun.

And finally as I neared the end of Biel drive the sun decided to make a much welcomed appearance.

 A little jaunt along the cycle path then back off road again as I near the coast.
A fairly new & always improving attraction to the town is this wakeboarding centre called "Foxlake Adventures" it has many activities for families to partake in & it's good to see the place becoming more & more busy with thrill seeking customers, the lake is far bigger than the pictures suggest as it goes much further behind the trees.
The main attraction is obviously the wakeboarding but there is also ringo rides which are giant inflatables which you ride on & get towed up & down the lake, also there is a rope assault coarse over water called foxfall, frisbee golf through the stunning woodland & also an outdoor gym, segways & a cafe.
I have included a link below to the website. 
Foxlake Adventures

My reason for heading down this way was to find a new geocache which has recently been placed here, so armed with my GPS device I honed in on the co-ordinates & quickly found the hidden cache & I was pleased to find a geocoin inside the cache which I took & registered as well as logging my visit on the geocaching website that I have picked up the geocoin & will move it on to another location. Often you find what's called 'trackables' in geocache containers which can come from all over the world, some have missions like staying close to the sea or to be placed near historical landmarks etc or even there could be a matching pair that are in a race to reach a certain destination, I have a trackable of my own & I can follow it's travels to where it has been left in geocaches, at present it is in a place called Groditz in Germany & all in all has travelled 2304.9 miles.

Frisbee golf anyone ?

Passing by the sleepy hollow tree & a short ride along a field track I was soon was looking out over Hedderwick Sands to the sea beyond.

Through John Muir Country Park I went & with the warm sun there was a strong pine smell emitting from the trees, unusually it was very quiet down here today as normally there are loads of folk out walking their dogs.

Stopping off for a wee look down in the Biel burn where I used to fish all the time when I lived here as a bairn,
 great memories but it all looks so different now.

There is a massive new housing boom going on right now in my local town Dunbar, houses seem to be popping up like mushrooms & have more or less doubled the size of the town with many more planned in the adjoining fields. They're not my cup of tea as a house, too sterile, no space, small gardens, no character & too many people, but each to their own.
But this is a new build that I do like,
Mmmmm...I'm loving it !
Some bridge art ! :-/
Beauty & the beast.

Off down to Whitesands now & the moored tankers had came back down to sea level.
As you can see the local council are doing a great job at keeping the dog poop bin empty !

From Whitesands it was along to Barns Ness on the way home, the yellow flowering gorse bushes were really pungent giving off the smell of almond.

As I left the coast the murky grey clouds that were hugging the hills during the morning were starting to break up letting the hazy sun shine through as I neared home.

Coming this way up the old decommissioned Dryburn road I have to cross the dual carriageway which I really hate, sometimes you can stand & wait a good 10 minutes or so just to get across.

Back home in Innerwick to glorious sunshine what better way to end the day :-)

Thanks for visiting & come back for another ride soon when I get round to posting...
..."Operation Trig Point - Dunter Law"

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Thanks for visiting & keep the wheels rollin !