The past few days have seen me making considerable efforts to stay ahead in my group of the Turf League, however, one day yesterday not making that effort and all is now lost. Today, I’m 25,000 points behind and now in third position. And to be honest, I’m actually glad in some ways that I no longer need to keep on turfing the same old zones day after day and can get on with other turfing activities.
With a free Day Pass and access to the car, initial thinking this morning was to take the newly rebuilt, powder coated and resplendent Surly Pugsley fat bike down to Aberlady and make a turf video blog taking the zones along the coastal paths and on the beaches towards North Berwick. The tide times were good but Easter Weekend means busy, busy, busy, and I prefer some peace and quiet when making videos. And who knows what will be going on in the dunes this sunny weather. So, I needed something else instead.
One area on my list to visit for uniques is East Linton and surrounding area, with a few zones in Dunbar also requiring my attention. So, East Linton it was. Might as well be a “turf tourist” and go and annoy the local turfers, JarvMobile and Drylaw13, to name a couple. I actually have quite a wide spread of uniques out that way. Firstly, we have zones in East Linton itself, then zones between there and Haddington, and also towards Dunbar as well as those in Dunbar itself. There’s also a loop of zones up towards North Berwick, some on the John Muir Way. I would not have the time or energy for all today but should certainly take a good number of them.
Plan A was to follow the River Tyne downstream to Dunbar, however, Plan A was foiled by JarvMobile out turfing his/her* local patch, so Plan B was put into action. Plan B was to complete the fish pond loop, taking in zones ThePath, PencraigStone, FishPondLoop and Permit Zone. All were taken fine other than PermitZone where I failed to spot any obvious path to Markle Fisheries. I left that one for another visit and will make use of some useful tips from Joyce via Turf Scotland on WhatsApp.
The paths here were fairly dry but I could see they would be fun in wet conditions. A style across a dry-stone wall was easy to negotiate but getting through a timber swing-gate was another matter. Not enough space for back-wheeling the bike through and awkward to lift the bike across. A point to note when considering purchasing a heavy-lump e-bike. And good enough reason for purchasing that lightweight sub-10 kg carbon fibre turfing bike!
Next, uniques in the north side of East Linton then down to the River Tyne and off for Dunbar. But spotted a lone zone in Binning Wood, so thought might as well grab that while I’m here. Over a mile for one zone but hey-ho, it is what it is. Odd placing for the BinningWood zone, in a boggy patch by a small ditch about 10 meters off the track. Cannot see why it could not be located on the actual track?
Followed the path along the River Tyne/John Muir Way, picking off zones. Must say the path along Hedderwick Sands is fun, all up, down, twist and turn, clunk on hidden rocks, avoid the prickly gorse and stopping to avoid other cyclists, runners, walkers and young ladies with prams, yes prams! Glad the mud was dry or it would be slither, slither, slip and slide, as I’m running touring tyres on the Surly Ogre. Odd thing on the turf app. Zone SeeSpikeIsle was showing as unique but I was certain I’d taken it previously. But, cycled out there anyway, and low-and-behold, it changed to not unique. I had been here before. Not the easiest zone to reach across boggy salt flats.
Dunbar had 10 uniques for me and it was surprisingly cool here with a sharp wind coming off the sea. One minute bloody cold, the next scorching hot in sunny areas when sheltered from the wind. Amazed at the sheer number of new houses and new housing being built in Dunbar. Lunch was taken at The Glebe, beside the 25 pounder QF Mark II field gun and overlooking the Firth of Forth, then a final unique zone, TheRocks, along the coast path to finish off all uniques in Dunbar. Next stop zone WearTheFoxHat at Foxlake Adventures, however, some temporary fencing prevented me getting the zone. I was so close but not close enough. Left it for next time I’m passing.
Back to East Linton for a final flurry of uniques. Met turfer ELO_PY and we chatted while waited for our respective next zones to unblock. One final unique was left untouched, zone CowBridge. The farmer was actually drilling seed and it did not feel right tramping across the field while he was there, though there might have been a track to the zone from the road. Anyway, I’ll be back again as I still have zones between East Linton and Haddington to get and also a loop up to North Berwick on the John Muir Way.
A good haul today, 58 zones in the bag, with 14 of them revisits. The majority of the zones taken from local turfer Drylaw13, who I’m sure would have been keeping an eye on my activities. Interesting point from today’s session and that’s all the zones with John in the name, for example, JonBonJovi, JohnTravolta, JohnDenver, JohnCleese, JohnCena, JohnMcEnroe, JohnWilliams, JohnAdams and JohnLennon. Must all be on the John Muir Way.
Overall, in East Lothian I’m now 550 zones out of 659, some 83% complete. Just another 109 unique zones to go with about half those in North Berwick and the remainder scattered about the region. I see there’s six isolated zones scattered across the Lammermuirs. That will be fun. Bye for now.
*Often difficult to know the gender of turfers! Not that it really matters.
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