Hiking the Fife Coastal Path, part 1

Day 1 – Friday, 14 miles

We came here to escape the midges.

midgeforecast

Look to the far right of that map. Isn’t it beautiful? All those 1’s. Best of all – no midges.

We’d experienced enough midges from the West Highland Way and Skye. As far as I was concerned, I’d had enough bug bites to last me several lifetimes. That was our main motivation when Austin found the Fife Coastal Path while we were staying in Glasgow.

map

The Fife Coastal Path runs along eastern Scotland. Now, where the midge map is and where we went is not the same, but nevertheless: there were no midges on the eastern part of Scotland. The Fife Coastal Path starts in Kincardine (no, not “Kim Kardashian”) and ends in Newburgh.

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We didn’t hike the whole thing – just 50 miles starting in Burntisland and ending in St. Andrews. Burntisland (which I believe is pronounced like “burnt-eye-land”) was a smallish town and we had some trouble finding the path at first. Nice posts marking the path (as pictured above) were a little less common on the Fife Coastal Path than they were on the West Highland Way.

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This is how we finally figured out we were on the correct course – this tiny pole

I didn’t realize how much beach I’d be walking on – this really was a coastal path.

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Low tide! I didn’t realize the tide could get this low
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The wind was pretty bad on the first day

We started hiking after lunch. We walked on beaches (checking some nifty available signs for the tide) and would go in and out of grassy dirt trails and back to sand. Due to the poor marking of the trail, we often were double-checking our guidebook that we had bought just for the trip.

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We took the leg from Burntisland to Buckhaven, which is about 14 miles. We passed by MacDuff’s castle (I didn’t even know MacDuff was a real person), but there were a lot of people there and I was tired so we just kept on going until we found a reasonable campsite. It was approximately 8:30 and I just wanted to sleep, so we set up our tent and slept on and off until it was time to get up again.

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Not MacDuff’s Castle

This day sounds as gloomy as it looked – but trust me, it was a nice day. It was just a weird, awkward start what with us struggling to find the trail and transitioning from sidewalk to beach to dirt to sidewalk – but the rest of the trip was nice! I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.

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