Saturday the clouds rolled back and I finally got to make my trip to St. Andrews. The original home of golf is about a three hour cycle from Dundee. This took longer because I got lost in Tentsmuir Forest. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The first tragedy of the trip occurred in Tayport, a retirement community along the river. When I pulled my camera out to take a picture of a boat, it mysteriously failed to work. So no photos. Just when I was about to be in the middle of more kodak moments than a honeymooner in Venice (well maybe not really), the darn thing goes kaput.
In Tentsmuir forest I started following the wrong signs. This turned out to be a providential error. Tentsmuir is mostly pines. Pine is the aged wine of scents, ancient yet sweet, with a bite in your nostrils when you breathe it in deeply. As I went through the forest the ram-rod straight pines they were joined by the slender jolly maples, their courtesans. Further in, the pines grew so thick that the needles fell off on their lower branches and only the ferns could survive in the undergrowth. The court gossip was replaced by brooding ancient grudges, hatred for man and his grinding blades. Out the other side, where the trees thinned again I knew I was lost. Fortunately with the help of two birdwatchers and an old Scottish farmer, I found my way back to the cycle path.
Finally back on track, I passed through Leuchars Air Force Base, the only place up till that point where I didn’t think I wanted to live. Lovely rolling countryside gave way immediately to barbed wire and fighter jets.
Eh, more on that later. I need to go to bed. It’s past midnight here.