2021

Day 18 – The Black Island

North Berwick to Port Seton, 23Km

When John Muir made his 1000 mile walk from Kentucky to the Gulf of Mexico, he chose “the wildest, leafiest and least trodden way”. Here in Scotland, The John Muir Way, which opened only 7 years ago, is far from that. It’s a pleasant enough walk through the heart of the country but he’d probably look to the Southern Upland Way as a more fitting tribute. Muir carried Milton’s Paradise Lost with him; I have Tintin on The Black Island.

Today’s walk was mostly along the coast. It didn’t photograph very well so you have to imagine the wide vistas, the sound of seagulls and smell the salt on the seashore to appreciate it.

I reached little Gullane mid morning. The place had a good selection of shops including a vintage guitar shop but no cafe. However, the newsagent had a Costa Coffee machine so I went in. My iPhone and the machine had a quick chat, I was asked to put the cup under the dispenser and then the cappuccino appeared. A marvel! I sat outside in the sunshine. I’m not missing my lost thermos flask just yet but I will need to replace it before I head north.

I arrived in Port Seton and found my B&B down by the little harbour. It’s called The Anchorage and it’s one of the best. Everything is spotlessly clean. Gina wanted to measure my core temperature but the battery in her thermometer had failed so she promised to check me after her husband replaces it. She’s washed all my clothes and they’re now drying in the garden. In addition to the teabags and biscuits, there’s a tube of KY Jelly discreetly hidden behind the bed. So thoughtful.

Looking backwards at the John Muir Way
You wouldn’t be surprised to find Paul Simon tuning up at the back.
The seaside
Port Seton

7 comments on “Day 18 – The Black Island

  1. Have you purchased a kilt yet, for those windy days?

  2. Looks good Tim – you will need these relatively easy days – from what I have read you have some tough days ahead. Your doing well with the weather too – much better than here on Exmoor these past ten days. David

    • The weather has been perfect for walking but this is Scotland so cannot last!

  3. Vicky Williamson

    Kia Ora, Tim, I’d recommend trews to protect your nether regions from being chilled, exposed or scraped! Kia kaha, Vicky

  4. Rebecca and Jeff Wilkinson

    Wondering if you are familiar with the author John McPhee and his book The Crofter and the Laird? If you’re in need of an exceptionally good read about the Scots and specifically, the island of Colonsay in Scotland, you might go to Amazon and “Take a Look Inside” this one. I’m now on my fourth of McPhee’s many books. It was his connection with John Muir that alerted me to his existence and caused me to read The Survival of the Bark Canoe. I’m aware of the popularity of the the Tin Tin series, but haven’t read them. I guess I could try them next.

    • Thanks for the tip. I’ll take a look. You might struggle with Tintin if you weren’t brought up with him!

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