Although I enjoy a nice walk in the countryside I am not a 'walker'. A walker will climb every mountain in the Lake District or Dale in Yorkshire or Derbyshire.
I like to tootle off down the road and maybe across fields near where I live, breathe in the fresh air, see the birds, the flowers and the insects. So it came as a bit of a shock to my system walking 5 miles up hill traversing steps going up and down in North Yorkshire last Sunday!
The http://www.ingletonwaterfallswalk.co.uk/>Ingleton Waterfall Trail was awesome. The rivers have cut steep paths in the rocks which I think are Gritstone and are slates that we use for roofing.
We started the adventure by passing through a large tall gate place, which was once a railway to carry slate to and from the quarries. We paid £4.50 each!
Parking up I just knew that the gardening the day before had taken it's toll on my legs and they felt like lead. Getting out of the car, I put on my sensible training shoes sensing that this could be quite an experience.
We sauntered off along the path with a small map specially printed, the size of a postcard. Not sure whether you are aware that steps, up and down, are often used to get fit.
Walking up the valley along the river we soon came across our first waterfall on the trail and yes it was pretty. However the path wasn't. It was strewn with stones and slate and quite uneven, so we weren't just traversing the steps but the uneven paths as well.
Much of the walk had wooden hand rails and a lot of the beautiful countryside had been covered with concrete to form a 'safe' path. This made it accessible to many different kinds of tourist.
They were all there in there thousands, sitting in the pools created by the waterfalls. There were many dogs wading around playing in the freezing cold water.
We walked to the top of one river to find a shed selling hot dogs and ice cream! We walked on resting regularly.
As we peaked at the very top I looked down the valley and there was a village in the distance. I said "Where's that then?" and Mutley said "Oh that's where we have come from!"
I looked at him in horror, it was then that he showed me the map and the distance of the trail was printed on the bottom. I read a loud "Four and a half miles" and "takes between two and a half and four hours to complete".
I felt scared. We were high up in the mountains by this time, they were towering around us. Mutley kept getting attacked by flying ants and huge flies, they kept landing all over his shirt.
He was getting mightily shirty at this!We bought an ice cream.
Then we started the long journey down the other river valley, which was even more dramatic than the first. It was a long tiring walk.
At the bottom of the valley nearing the end we came across a field and I just lay down flat for half an hour to recover.
There were a lot of disgruntled people walking by complaining at spending money on such a grueling experience.
The National Trust 'own' this land and have created the trail and are raking in lots of money. What was distressing was that I saw no wildlife (except for the pesky flies and ants) which I put down to the dogs and the amount of people that have been attracted to the trail because of the concrete and wooden railings.
I was left wondering what it like before the National Trust turned it into a jurassic park.