The Grand Tour: Fife and Beyond

Ramblings of an inveterate cyclist

The Ceaseless Plough

I watch as the gulls chase after the plough,

Turning over land bare and barn now,

No longer school children stoop in the field,

a potato monster now gathers the yield,

We are loosing that infinity,

We once had with the land,

To simply ignore, is to not understand.

I peddled my way along South Street and onto the Anstruther road, however, Anstruther was not my destination. My iScot magazine had dropped behind the door and between its pages was a story by Lorna McLaren, telling a tale of how she had visited Dunino Den, I had heard of it of course but it was still to be visited, there would be no better time than the present. The little village of Dunino lies about 3 miles south of St Andrews.

Behind the churchyard, you will find this magical little woods. Alas, the wonder of Dunino Den can only be awakened in those that still have the curiosity and imagination of childhood. Stories abound about this enchanted wood, from fairies to ungodly acts and secret societies. I was transported instantly back to my childhood, I played as a boy in woods, not unlike this small den. Where I would battle the beast that lived in the caves and guddle for fish in the burn, only returning home when the belly told me it was teatime, looking a sorry sight, wet muddy, and carefree as only a boy can be. No harm could come to me from warlocks or witches whilst guarded by my very own guardian angel, Fluff a three-year-old Border Collie.

I sat awhile by the well, carved into solid rock, my lethargy could be called contemplation like a hermit of old, I dreamed old men’s dreams.

Then went off to explore down the steeped stepped passageway, it is clear from the numerous coins set into crevices in the rocks and hammered into trees that this is a well-visited wood, whose visitors have left mementos and coin in the hope that luck will come from their offering, I left none, believing that my life is under a much greater authority than that of mere luck or chance. Names too, inscribed in the trees and rock face, alas this seems one place that Killroy didn’t make it too.

Leaving Dunino church I turned left onto the B9131 and left again at the crossroads for Kingsbarns, this little unclassified road is a joy to ride on so smooth and free from overburden or potholes that you just have to give the bike her head. Kingsbarns and onto the A917 for home.

Another pleasant day awheel, what has it been, three months since I started on this reintroduction to cycling and progress has been assured, I feel real strength in my legs once more, certainly, I feel fit enough and could happily cycle in the company of CTC members once more on their Cafe to Cafe Sunday runs, I really should renew my CTC membership, well worth it, even if only for the free insurance and free legal advise if (God forbid) I was ever involved in an accident.

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