having slept not too well (i never do when having to use silicone earplugs) we have an interesting breakfast (my breakfast menu dates back to the birthday party of mr dunbar on the 16th september, mrs d’s breakfast menu is for a wedding — interesting but not really offering any clues as to what might be available this morning), pack our stuff, try to explain to the young woman doing breakfast and reception duty that our luggage should be forwarded to dundee (she finally fetches her boss who has no idea where our bags should go to, but she agrees to call contours to have things sorted) and leave for the coastal path…
our original idea had been to take a bus back to leuchars and to pick up the coastal path there, but it seems we’ve just missed the bus and the next one is not due for another 40min or so. thus, it’s walking along the A road that we’ve come to know so well during the night. interestingly enough we come across a couple of b&bs looking quite nice and one of them even quite some distance away from the road — which makes it all the more puzzling why contours thought that an inn right on top of a busy roundabout at the end of a 20-30min walk along a busy A road would be nice for walkers who enjoy walking the quiet countryside?
in leuchars we visit the [very interesting and well maintained church,][leuchars church] have a cup of coffee and a chat at the church tea rooms and then are off for real.
[leuchars church]: http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/leuchars/leucharschurch/index.html
well, almost: we end up walking quite a detour because we seem to have missed that crucial FCP sign in leuchars…but appear to be not alone with this: a kind soul has posted a couple of hand written sign directing us back to the coastal path! we pass leuchars RAF airfield and eventually arrive at the eden sanctuary and its fantastic dunes landscape. the weather has become a bit volatile, and we do get a couple of short showers every then and again. around noon when we reach tentsmuir forest we have lunch — accompanied by between ten and twenty RAF fighters returning to base, flying and banking steeply right over our heads! interesting to watch…
the walk through tentsmuir forest is quite nice and we make good on what we had “lost” when plodding through the dunes. at the ice house we notice a strange howling coming from the east, from the north sea — remembering that colin allison had told me that they had observed seals around this area on sunday, we investigate — and, sure enough, a colony of seals is having a choir meeting on one of the sandbanks! cool!
we reach tayport shortly before 15:00, deviate from the coastal path by not following it through tayport but rather sticking to the shoreline until we reach the harbour: which gives us a last chance of walking on the shore and avoiding the dreaded street walking.
once through tayport the coastal path takes us on the track of the dismantled railway line up to the tay road bridge linking fife to dundee: the last section of our walk!
the pedestrian walkway takes us under the bridge and then comes up in the middle of it: flanked on both sides by rather fast moving heavy traffice we commence our traversal of the tay road bridge. from the shore it had looked like a short distance, on the bridge itself the pedestrian lane stretches seemingly into infinity. and with all the traffic rushing past us on both sides, it does feel like infinity passes before we finally reach dundee — **and the end of our walk on the fife coastal path!** my GPS unit shows **120km,** wow!
a last view back to the other side of the bridge and then we make our way to the railway station which is near the tay road bridge to make reservations for the 10:30 train from stirling to london kings cross on friday, and then fetch a taxi to our last contours booked b&b of this walk (after the tay road bit i cannot face another 30min of A road walking).
our b&b, [ash villa], turns out to be on a busy B road — and this part of dundee appears to have been designed for cars, not pedestrians. after checking in (yes, our bags did make it! hooray!) we make our way to the [taychreggan hotel] (recommended by our landlady) for a fantastic dinner! (and we find out that the hotel not only does a very good dinner but would also have been a very good choice for staying overnight at a reasonable £ 60.00 per night, oh, well).
[taychreggan hotel]: http://search.visitscotland.com/sitemakescotland.asp?executepage=ProviderInfo/EATproviderpage.asp&providerid=MCLBIQWLDE&templateextension=EAT&sortorder=random#contacts
[ash villa]: http://www.visitscotland.com/listings/City-of-Dundee-BBs-Ashvilla-300496.html
another — and final — silicone earplug night.
> **a nice cup of tea at leuchars church, a great walk through the dunes of eden estuary, fascinating fighter plane maneuvres, & a really enjoyable walk through tentsmuir! and a nice dinner!**