The forecast for the mountains looked wet and windy so FD and I went to the seaside instead. This proved to be a good call as we never saw rain all afternoon. I had the grandiose idea of repeating our January walk by strolling all the way to Kincraig Point overlooking Elie, but with our sedate pace and late start it was obvious early on that we didn’t have enough daylight for that length of walk. Instead we scaled down our ambitions and settled for a stroll along the sand to Ruddons Point at the east end of Largo Bay with a little bit of geocaching thrown in for entertainment value.
In fact the start proved to be slower than anticipated. We were only 300m into the walk when FD “had to go” which meant trailing back to the appropriate receptacle in the car park. We had no sooner walked the 300m again when another dog appeared and swiped her ball. That meant a walk back to the mutt’s owners to retrieve her toy. We started off once more…same dug appeared and swiped the thing again. I stuffed the ball in my pocket. We had been on the beach 20 minutes and had walked the same 300m…3 times!
I sized up the “sculpture” unenthusiastically. Rummaging about in a heap of debris that even the Forth Estuary refused to hold on to had little appeal. Somewhere in all that festering junk was a geocache. If I’d read the previous log entries properly I’d have realised that the cache was not where it was supposed to be which would have saved me a grumpy 10 minutes or so. I didn’t mind the driftwood and the miscellany of beach debris which comprised the bulk of the structure, it was the little things inserted at lower levels that made me increasingly hesitant. The presence of beer cans and bottles instantly suggested there could be much worse to come. I tentatively eased a few bits and pieces around using the finger and thumb method thus ensuring absolute minimum contact, but quickly realised it was a needle in a haystack job and lost interest. I contemplated sending The Fatdog in by convincing her there was a Bonio lurking in its midden like depths, but you have to draw a line somewhere.
I’m sure it’s being a walker that prevents me from becoming embroiled in a full scale, ripping apart, of a cache locale to find the wee plastic tub. I want to be covering ground, not bogged down in a time consuming random search. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy short breaks of 10 minutes or so looking for geocaches, but after that I feel the need to quickly move on before I convince myself that slitting my wrists would be a preferable alternative to pulling away a few more clumps of grass.
The Fatdog appears to have no strong views on this particular matter. When I stop…she stops, when I move…she moves…and so it has been since we started our serious walking three and a half years ago. So, as I stomped around the multicoloured rubbish pile, FD lay down and went to sleep…dreaming of slitting her paws.
It didn’t help that there was a strong wind whipping in from the water. The sculpture swayed precariously as various bits of plastic objects, loosely attached to even looser supports, caught the breeze with a view to escaping the rubbish monster’s clutches. I stepped back. It was only a matter of time before this beast grew to the point of structural collapse and I didn’t intend to be under it when it did. Cache-less we moved on.
The next cache was at the east end of the wide sweep of Largo Bay next to a wind break of low pines. This narrow band of conifers ran part way out onto the rocky peninsula that is Ruddons Point. At the flattened remains of some old brick structure the GPS beeped insistently, demanding we start digging now that the audible X had marked the spot. In reality my GPS is a contrary beast which, when questioned further, is always a bit vague as to where it really meant to beep. According to the flighty GPS this cache might possibly be under this old brickwork – almost anywhere within a 10m radius! It looked like the walls of this old building had been pushed over and abandoned in large pieces some of which was now partly hidden by long grass. The plastic tub had to be hiding under one of them. It was time to get down and dirty and rummage about for a clue.
Geocachers never learn. If you know what to look for many caches can be found by scanning the site as you approach. The classic indication is a stone or stones placed in front of a cache filled hole. They always look out of place. On the other hand some cachers are devious little buggers and hang them from trees (cleverly disguised I may add). But the last group are few and far between so, in my limited experience, I would say at least 50% of the time you could guess where a cache might be from about 20m away.
In this case we found the out of place brick covering a significant looking hole…but we were not alone! There had been an invasion.
We pillaged the cache, signed in, and moved on towards Ruddons Point. As we skirted the narrow strip of grass between the tree band and the beach, off to our right a figure shot into the air dragged upwards by a colourful “sail”. The kite surfers had come out to play.
I couldn’t believe how close they were to the water’s edge as they scudded along. I would swear they were operating in about 300mm of water. The speed was impressive as well. On one of our previous visits I remember talking to one of the “surfers” and I recall him saying it wasn’t often the wind was in the right direction on this beach for a good run. It certainly was today.
Between us and Ruddons Point was an old barrier. It might have stopped a tank in it’s day but The Fatdog and I just ambled between its teeth. Standing to attention 70 years on, old WW2 concrete defences lurked in the pines still waiting for a war that hadn’t required them.
Once past the trees we strode out onto Ruddons Point as the tide began its inward march. There wasn’t much to photograph at the point, it being a low lying rocky promontory separated from the shore by a narrow stretch of beach which disappeared every tide. As the tide had turned this was going to be a quick visit.
Getting to the Point – done!