Sunday, August 30, 2009

Balbirnie to Star

It was fair when we left the church today and we were determined to get our walk in before the r*** which had been forecast for this afternoon. We started off at Balbirnie and walked through the town of Markinch taking a wee detour to look at the Stob Cross and read the plaque which explains it's history. Then off to the countryside taking the gentle incline to Cuinin's Hill (137m) through the woods. Just as we were about pecht, we reached the top and the view opened out to a commanding 3000 view stretching from the East Lomond to the Pentlands across the water. We had to stand for a few minutes and soak up God's artistry. Over the last few weeks the countryside has changed from being a lush patchwork of many shades of green to the beautiful yellows and gold of harvested cropfields today. There was a discussion about the changes of seasons and how we love each one whenever it arrives. It was definitely autumnal today and we were lapping it up. It was at that point also that Irene, Hilda, Rona and Dianne felt rather fortunate to be Fifers and bragged unashamedly about our home county. We reached the wee village of Star and admired the well -kept gardens and the well-fed cows. Yes, there's a farm right in the middle of the village. We didn't actually see any human beings though, until we got to the Plough Inn where we had coffee and a heat by the log burning fire. On our return journey we took a slightly different route past North Lodge, Brunton where the owners have taken great care and effort to create a tree-lined drive and made use of broken down drystane dykes to create lovely flowerbeds. One last look at the stunning view across the Forth - Rona even spotted the dry skislope at Hillend, Midlothian - before we began wending our way downwards, sampling the wild blackberries en route. Back in Markinch again we looked at all the buildings, old and new, and headed for the church spire which all agreed was a comforting sight on the landscape of any town. I thought I felt a spot or two of the wet stuff on my cheeks so picked up the walking pace a little to get back to the car. There's never a lull in the conversation on these walks, and today was no exception. That's the world put to rights once again.
And as we were driving out of Markinch I switched on the wipers. Prayers work.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Lochore Meadows

At 11.00am it was doubtful if today’s walk would go ahead as it had been raining steadily for several hours and the skies were many shades of grey. Faith is the name of the game though, and so we turned up at 1.00pm as did the sunshine and what a beautiful afternoon it turned out for Sandra, Greg, Hilda, Colin, Bob and Dianne to walk around Lochore Meadows. There were no inclines to challenge us today and so we were able to walk at a fair skelp. It was pretty warm but a balmy breeze prevented our temperature rising and we talked about the diverse weather conditions we have had today and recently. We also took time to appreciate the beauty of the loch and Benarty which was at its best today. What a great resource Fife has here for water sports, children’s play and picnic areas, fishing and other outdoor sports. This week is Fife’s Outdoor Access Festival, and here at the Meadows many people were taking advantage of the events on offer. We stopped for a photo shoot at a wee pier and Bob remarked that the walk had just come to an abrupt end! You can see the result above – I was praying that the pier would actually take our weight. As you can see, we were still dry in the next photo. Chatting and listening to others while we walk is important and there were no lulls in that respect. And so we were ready for our cuppa at the Lochside cafe at the end of 3.5 miles and all agreed that it had been a pleasant, cannie way to spend an afternoon with friends.