Journey to the Kingdom of Fife

Last Wednesday we went off on a special quest.  We journeyed to the faraway Kingdom of Fife (which isn’t really far away from us, but that’s not the point!) with three magical little creatures to protect on the perilous journey.  The magical creatures can walk on a vertical pane of glass!  They can walk upside down on the ceiling too, that must be amazing.  We wish we could do that; it would be so much fun if we could run around on the walls and the ceiling as well as the floor!  Though we think it would drive Katherine crackers...especially if we sat on the ceiling staring at her!  There is a whole colony of these special creatures, called mourning geckos, living upstairs and three of them were specially chosen to head off to the faraway land to start a brand new colony of their own, like little mini-pilgrims.

The journey was long and perilous – well, the weather was terrible and there was a lot of standing water on the road!  But after an hour and a half of travelling through the stormy conditions in the warmth and safety of the car – our three little pilgrims with the additional warmth from a hot water bottle – we reached the site for the new colony.  There we bade a sad farewell to the little geckos we had travelled with and wished them all the best in their new home.  They were just eager to get out of their travelling tubs and into their new vivarium.

Now free of our charges, we decided to set off to explore this new kingdom starting with a stop off at a place called East Weymess, which wasn’t too far from where we left the geckos.  Here we travelled along part of the Fife Coastal Path, passing by dangerous caves that contained ancient cave art (though we didn’t see anything in the caves but bird poo) and heading up to the ruins of MacDuff’s Castle.  We like visiting castles, especially the ones we can go inside and explore!  There wasn’t much left of MacDuff’s Castle at all, but that didn’t stop us running over to take a look inside of what was left of the tower.  The ruins are supposed to be haunted by a Grey Lady, but we didn’t see any ghosts.  Not that we’re interested in seeing ghosts anyway, we guess they won’t be very good at throwing the ball!  We continued along the coastal path, turning back when we started to approach the next town.  Walking through urban areas is no fun.  On the way back the sun came out!  It was out for maybe a minute, but at least we saw some sunlight!  It was to be the only glimpse of the sun we got the whole day.

Returning to the car, we travelled further along the coast to the town of Elie.  Here we headed into town in search of some refreshment, eventually finding a bakery and hurried back to the car with our supplies as it was starting to rain heavily.  Sitting in the back of the car we watched the rain fall and the waves crashing over the lighthouse and Lady’s Tower while eating our lunch.  We got half a sausage roll to share between us!  Not often we get given things like that, though we would have preferred a sausage roll each!

The rain continued to fall with no sign of easing off at all, yet still we left the sanctuary of the car for another walk.  This time we were tackling the stretch of coastal path between Elie and St Monans.  It was cold, wet and windy but we weren’t put off, as long as we kept moving!  We did not approve of Katherine stopping to take photos!  Slipping and sliding along the muddy trail, we came across another castle called Ardross Castle.  This was another ruin, but we didn’t approach this castle.  We could see the spray from the waves crashing into the bottom of the cliff going over the castle so we thought the better of getting too close to that one!  Maybe save going up to that castle for a more pleasant day.

We continued on our way following the coast and seeing several coastal birds including oystercatchers, turnstones and redshank.  They don’t seem to mind the rain too much; most of them were busy feeding by the sea.  It was hard going at times, especially on uphill stretches where we kept slipping backwards on the slick mud!  We weren’t allowed on the beach, the sea was too rough to go too close and even on the coastal path we felt drops of spray from the sea among the rain.  In the distance, we could see another castle on the edge of the cliff – Newark Castle, our next target. 

Eventually we reached the castle and had a little look inside, though we were kept on the lead as it was right on the edge of the cliff so we never got to have a play around in there.  We then followed the alternative route along to St Monans (the coastal trail from this point was underwater!) through some farmland, including some pasture where cattle are grazed but fortunately there were no cattle in the field that day.  If they had been, we’d have ended our walk there at the castle and headed back!  We had a little wander around St Monans following the coastal trail past the harbour and a welly boot garden.  St Monan’ is only a small town so we soon reached the other side where there were the remains of a windmill.  At this point it started getting really dark, despite it only being 1:10pm!  So we decided it was time to start heading back to the car.  Here we had a choice to make –to walk back along the coast, or along the road.  We chose the muddy option of slipping and sliding back along the coastal path.  Towards the end where there were no steep sections, we were let off the lead for a run around on the dunes - and a chance to roll around and get even muddier than we already were!  We even found a blue glove to play with for a little while!  All in all, it was great fun despite the terrible weather, though it was so nice to get back to the warmth of our home and the comfort of the sofa!

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