Wednesday, 21 September 2011

What a ba**ard

I am used to hard walking. I am used to ankle-deep mud, paths that double as streams, slippery stones, barbed-wire fences and all the things that nature and landowners combine to throw at walkers.

Yesterday, however, I discovered one of, if not the, worse stretch of path I have ever encountered. To make matter worse, it was on a National Trail. The section of the Speyside Way between Cromdale and Ballindalloch is hideous, a real ba**ard of the highest order. There is no geographical reason for this: the ascents and descents are all easily manageable and the terrain offers some good, if not stellar, views down the river. But the landowners have forced the path between two narrow fences for mile after mile, with frequent ankle-biter stiles. So many stiles, in fact, that there are often three in a few yards, and I counted five within view from one location.

Because it has been forced between the fences, the ground between is frequently boggy and churned up. To ease this problem, boulders- not slabs - have been placed in the worst stretches. Unfortunately they are uneven and slippery, causing your feet to slip off and into ankle-deep water and mud. Again I am used to such stones, but not hundreds of yards of them.

There is something seriously wrong with this stretch of trail. My guidebook states that the double fences are to protect walkers from cattle; in which case I wonder what sort of genetically-enhanced super-monster walker-eating cattle exists in the fields? 

To make matters worse, one particularly boggy stretch of double fence protected... a corn field.

It is not good enough. 


Alan R said...

Sounds cap. Hope you have copied this to the Speyside way rangers.

Alan R said...

Sorry David,
I meant to add this link to my previous comment but clicked send to soon.