Adventure Versus Recovery

Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Pete Heck

Pete and I ain’t spring chickens anymore, and we acknowledge that fact with increasing frequency. Having just finished a formidable expedition of kayaking and camping, and then snorkeling and ice climbing, we arrived in Scotland with shoulders knotted and backs aching. Our plan was to park our outdoor gear and spend a large chunk of our first few days in full recovery – snuggled deep under blankets with our feet elevated.

But then, at our first stop, this was right outside our front door.

Fife Coastal Path Marker

Literally. Less than ten steps from our cottage in Pittenweem was the Fife Coastal Path – a 117km route that runs through rugged coal towns and bustling metropolises, by castles, churches and monuments – and all the while with a view to the rippling North Sea.

Our bodies were so incredibly tired and worn down, but our adventurous spirit was invigorated at the sight. Our boots got to walking.Β 

As the path wound gently up and down the coastline, we stopped for views of waves tumbling ashore, fishermen transferring their catch from boat to dock, and artistic displays set up solely to please patrons of the route.

Our adventurous spirit was invigorated at the sight.

Scottish Coastline

Pittenweem, Scotland

Tide Out Fife Coastal Path
Lobster Trap


St. Monans Church

Our introduction to the path was a brief one – our fatigued feet eventually won the battle and commanded their rest – but conquering the entire length of the route is a challenge we are definitely considering. Given my recent declaration of (partial) disdain for mountain hiking, this moderate coastal path with such a lovely variety of views may be more my scene.

Not just yet, but someday. This old body still demands some reprieve.

Fife Coastal Route Sunrise

Where We Stayed

For our first two stops in Scotland, the lovely folks at Embrace Scotland arranged apartments for us to enjoy some of the less visited beauties of the region, including our stay along the Fife Coastal Path. You can read the review of our stays at both places here.
28 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • October 7 2013

    Although I’ve only done a bit of Scotland, your photos capture what I love the most about it: its wild countryside, where everything is imbued with an eerie ruggedness that reminds me of old folklore, mystical creatures and Macbeth. Thank you for sharing and good luck!
    Lunaguava recently posted..Travel Website Statistics: September 2013

    • October 8 2013

      Scotland does have a certain allure that we’ve never found in other countries – a strong “mystical” quality about it.

  • October 7 2013

    Sunshine in Scotland?! LIES. YOU LIE.

    (Also, very jealous of those photos.)
    Eurotrip Tips recently posted..My Favorite Pubs in London

    • October 8 2013

      Haha! It was there! For reals!

  • October 8 2013

    “Pete and I ain’t spring chickens anymore…”

    Oh, puleeeeeze. You two are still but babes (well o.k. shall we say “autumn chickens”?) πŸ˜‰ compared to this dodderin’ lass (who… just finished 6 weeks of backpacking in 3 new corners of Asia, but still…)

    But seriously, each of us does have to heed our aging aches and pains and temper our pace a tad as the years go by. While (thankfully) I can still endure more than many 30-somethings, I’ve learned that I must acknowledge my physical limits, slow down some, and turn my back on on… trekking to Everest Base Camp for example.

    But oh my, that Coastal Path in Scotland looks utterly divine! And your photos are (as usual) truly wondrous – no doubt one day soon, you’ll both be up for the entire amble.
    Dyanne@TravelnLass recently posted..I’m BAAAAAK! (from Nepal, Borneo and Brunei)

    • October 8 2013

      Dyanne, you are Superwoman. I can not compare myself to you, but instead just bow in awe. For reals.

  • October 8 2013

    Ooooo, seems like you’re having some lovely weather. I hope you two get the rest you need. Looking forward to more posts from Scotland. How long do you plan to be in the UK?

    Happy travels πŸ™‚
    Lauren Meshkin recently posted..Wanderlust Wednesday: An Italian escape in Southern California

    • October 8 2013

      We are actually out of the UK now (we typically stay about 3-4 weeks behind on our blog). We were sad to leave, but we’ve got to keep moving! πŸ™‚

  • Alex | Partial Parallax
    October 8 2013

    Scotland has some awesome walks that take you through the untamed countryside and always prove to be a lot of fun. It looks like Fife has a wonderful coastal path that although long I’m sure it offers many great sights, just get some rest before attempting it
    Alex | Partial Parallax recently posted..Kyoto – A Brief Introduction

    • October 8 2013

      We’ve never done a hike of that kind of length, but this one looks like it might be one I could handle. We might just return for it. πŸ™‚

  • Renuka
    October 8 2013

    Marvelous, simply marvelous! Scotland has limitless beauty. And there’s something different about its hills – something very classic.

  • October 9 2013

    such gorgeous photos. We’ve been to Scotland, but I seriously have been wanting to go to the Isle of Skye. It looks so pretty. And, you know what, Scotland is so pretty, you both just keep on moving. =)

    • October 14 2013

      We made it over to the west and saw the Isle of Skye across the water! Next time we’ll actually make it there. So much to do, so little time…

  • Sam
    October 9 2013

    Man, I need to do more hiking in Scotland; this looks absolutely gorgeous! Add it to the list, right?!

    • October 14 2013

      The never-ending list…yes!

  • October 10 2013

    I’d take advantage if the sunshine and blue skies too! We’ve not been to Scotland yet, but I do know that it’s not a country known for it’s sunny skies.
    Jennifer recently posted..How a Bear Became the Symbol of Yaroslavl #gAdvRussia

  • October 13 2013

    You make it look most inviting. I haven’t been up to that bit of our coast, though it’s been on the back burner for a long while. Definitely not this winter, but maybe in spring. πŸ™‚

    • October 14 2013

      It is absolutely so inviting. I love coastal walks, so this is one long hike that I could actually see myself doing!

  • October 13 2013

    Oooo, so pretty! I love the little details, like the bike and the boots. It looks like a gorgeous walk. I’m so bummed I didn’t make it up to Scotland on this trip!
    Amanda recently posted..Photo of the Week: Florence

  • October 14 2013

    These photos have made me very nostalgic for Scotland! What a beautiful country (at least when the sun is shining.)

  • October 14 2013

    How beautiful! Now that I know about this path, I want to walk it, too! Stunning landscapes.

  • October 14 2013

    I stand behind my statement: There is no more beautiful place in the world than Scotland.
    Camels & Chocolate recently posted..Photo Friday: Berkeley, California

  • October 17 2013

    All that gorgeous scenery must have been hard to pass up, but I’m sure you’ll be back some day!
    Heather recently posted..A Brief Introduction to Yunnan Cuisine

  • October 19 2013

    Scotland is beautiful! Northern Ireland and Scotland are high on my list. πŸ™‚
    Juno recently posted..Runaway Photo: Plants at Finca Argovia, Chiapas, Mexico

  • How wonderful to have such a long, beautiful path to walk everyday just outside your door.

  • Really enjoyed your post and photos!
    We at the Fife Coast & Countryside Trust hope you come back and decide to walk the Fife Coastal Path which we look after.
    We’d love to hear any further feedback if you’d like to offer any.
    If you do come back and attempt the 177 miles then do come along to our HQ at the Harbour Master’s House in Dysart where you can pick up a map and our official guidebook to the area!

  • October 30 2013

    I’ve noticed with my messed up knee that I’ve wanted to get out and about more. It is crazy how you don’t notice things until you are tired and sore!

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