The Third Epic Tartan Trail Tour Journal

30th August 2011 by

Why hello there, Tartan Followers

We last left you as we made our journey towards the big bright lights of Edinburgh. Whatever happened we hear you ask??

We were welcomed immediately by Ali (an Otesha alumni) and her other wonderful housemates. We rejoiced in sharing their very cosy house with them and pitched our tents in a higgildy-piggildy fashion in their garden. By the end of our stay most of us had migrated inside with our sleeping bags because of everyone’s generosity. We also enjoyed the rare luxuries: a stove, oven and easy access to a well needed shower.

We had traveled to Edinburgh as the Fringe festival was dominating the city, and the highlight of our agenda was that we were going to have our debut performance on the Royal Mile.  This prospect began to fill us all with excitement and fear and we got on with rehearsals, occasionally interrupted with thunderstorms and hail. Staying with Ali meant we were a short cycle ride away from the city centre so on the day of our first performance we donned our Otesha t-shirts and cycled into town, a tangible feeling of being a part of something bigger struck the group. The Royal Mile was bustling with performers all strutting their stuff and working hard to keep a crowd. We found our spot, did a classic Otesha energiser (the banana game!!) and started the day. Our energy was fantastic but given the setting we found we had passers-by strolling right through Gilly’s bedroom. We set to work on adapting the play to make it a bit more Fringe friendly.

We found help with this challenge from a surprise source – Ben- a friend of a housemate was keen to get involved and debuted his song ‘we’re all gonna die’. Some were dubious at first but the whole group became enthusiastic to the irony and we invited Ben to join our play and bring his musical talent.

Ben also brought the rain; the next day the rain poured down. But in true Tartan trail fashion we sang, acted and danced through it, having an amazing uplifting time.

We grabbed our free time where we found it and ventured out to see what else the Fringe had to offer. We found comedy, street performance and free events. Somehow we found time to also visit a city farm, a stark contrast to Whitmuir’s values and approach to farming. The city farm’s main purpose is to allow diverse groups to see animals in their environment.

We left Edinburgh with a fond farewell to our hosts, armed with an amazing herbal first aid kit from Ali, almost taking one of them with us for a jolly. We traveled over the Forth bridge and to new ventures. We spent our next night at the Ecology Centre and Earthship at Kinghorn Loch. Our home for the night was a yurt! A new experience for many of the group. The Ecology Centre was a project originally set up to engage young people with their environment, run by voluntary members of the local community. The earthship itself was the first of its kind in the UK, made from tyres to be super insulated, running on solar gain (no heating needed) and renewable energy.

After a night’s sleep in the yurt we embarked on some work exchange at The Ecology Centre to help out our hosts – weeding was their task of choice but weeding ragwort quickly turned into playing in a massively idyllic field by the sea with two very very cheeky ponies. Later that night the playing continued as we went to a BBQ of a friend of the centre. The vegan diet was not entirely maintained by all…

After the BBQ we cycled on a few short miles to Kircaldy, and took up residence in a vast church hall, we were all hyper at the thought of turning the rooms into bedrooms and again using the luxury of a kitchen. The mood was particularly high given the news that Arthur had got his A- LEVEL results and would now be going to the University of East Anglia (well done Arthur!!)…

Here we must leave our adventures but please read on in the next edition of the Tatarn Trail adventures! Love from Luciana Banana, Leah-Pop, Jenny Tree, Jenny A, Lucy Colbiz, Zoe, Kimberley (Eco), King Arthur, Colin-der, Dina the Dinosaur, Andres, and Catherine xxxxxxx

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