Old Portlethen and Findonmountain bike

A quick spin along the coast today. Low tide showing lots of rocks in Greyhope bay


And this old boat wreck part. (turns out it’s the boiler from the the SS ‘G Koch’ which was wrecked by 40-foot waves at Girdleness on 12th January 1913. Twelve crew were rescued but sadly seven men died)


A boat steaming towards Aberdeen at Cove Bay


South of Cove bay there’s a patch of wild land with a few trees planted and some paths heading coastward. I follow one down to see where it goes and spy an unexpected big wall in a field


Quite a sturdy structure


I blether to a passing dog walker. It’s an old dam, many years unused, that was for the nearby fishmeal factory. It’s empty currently but aerial photos show water held at some point in the last few years


The old fishmeal factory propped above the cliffs at Colsea Yawn, operated between 1894 and 1937


The rail line prevents any further investigation. Slightly to the West are large embankments, which surround Black Hill quarry, which is very much still in action. The dog walker says the embankments are not fully effective in that dust and noise from within still intrude into Cove bay on occasion


Continuing South, a planned exploration of the ‘caves’ around Red mantle and Earnsheugh Bay is abandoned heading past Findon Quarry. The sound of shotguns gets louder near a small pine plantation. I guess from the rapid and sustained fire there must be clay pigeons as such a small wood couldn’t have enough beasts to take pot shots at. The way to the coast goes through there, best to turn around. Onwards to Findon village, where the smoked haddock was invented, East of which is some moorland sloping down to the sea


Looking South through the haze


A muddy path gradually gets a bit more rocky


There’s a bench from where one can carefully descend a bit further, there’s a steep cliff gully directly North (possibly known as ‘Doo cove’ or maybe the ‘cave’ marked on OS maps, and further is Findon Ness


A path of sorts goes a bit lower



Bright yellow lichen covered outcrop at the bottom



I could have clambered lower down to sea level but being alone thought better of it


To the South it looks like there’s a cave, I think this is known as the oddly named ‘Pow Kebbuck’


Back inland for a bit then under the railway and past the Mill of Findon


A couple deer down beside the burn




There’s a wee foot path heads downhill back towards the Sea, to Broad Haven. From there you get a good view of the field of survival vessels  lying on the hillside


One wonders how many of these will remain here permanently what with the current down turn in the North Sea oil industry


The path turns right and after skidding down the slippery muddy path, Broad Haven (also known as Muckle Shore) appears, a nicely sheltered cove with one of the few shallow sloping beaches amongst the crags along this coast. On the left side high up you can see one of the world war 2 tank traps still remaining, on the right promontory, there’s a circular depression that may have once been an ancient fort


Loads of seaweed here. Unfortunately no ziplock bags today to forage some. Always have ziplock bags :-/ This kind of kelp can be used as a pasta substitute in a vegetable lasagne


Close up of a tank trap


Running low on daylight, onwards to Old Portlethen. Unlike new Portlethen which is the definition of anodyne, bland semi-detached MPV suburbia, the Old has some really quaint cottages and lanes. Down the winding lane to the harbour


Steps curl around the cliff


A brightly coloured fleet nestles safely


An anchor now at rest points stands pointing out to the sea beds of old adventures, and in salute to Neptune


Pebbles n rocks n sunset


Back up


And round


And looking across


A cave of flotsam


Homeward bound. Delayed by attempting a short cut through one of New Portlethen’s recent hosuing estates, which turns out to have a single entry, rows and rows of pristine 3-bedroom mediocrity, surrounded by wire fences like a gated community. What an awful soulless place. Better progress made along the causey mounth roads, with a sneak across dormant AWPR workings cutting miles off convoluted diversions. Aberdeen in sight at Tollohill, but too late for a circuit there


At the Brig o’dee a ghost bike reminds us cyclists of the dangers of the road, RIP Milena Gott-Konopacka. The story is also a reminder of how society gives an almost free pass to carnage inflicted by irresponsible motorists – the lorry driver who was charged with careless driving for running her over? Fined £340 and had five penalty points added to his licence.


In the low light I try a photo of the brig with the camera propped on a wall


And another long exposure


Looking down behind the wall, despite having been past it dozens of times, I notice something new to me, there’s some kind of passage


Mystery tunnel


Almost home and passing through Golden Square, a brief flash of light appearing above the houses catches my eye. With extremely low light, and a long zoom hand held, it takes quite a few goes before lucking upon a reasonably sharp shot – It can’t wait for a return visit with a tripod because this is the very last evening and the last hour or so of the ‘winter fair’ in Union Terrace, and a few brave souls are still braving the precipitous lunging of the carnival ride. The LEDs on the basket make nice patterns scanning across half a second or so, and join nicely with the rotating colours on the floodlights on the statue of Duke of Gordon





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