By: Blonde Two
I have a pair of walking poles that are quite well travelled. Not only are they quite well travelled but they have done that travelling in most excellent company – namely the Two Blondes.
Blonde One took them (they definitely didn’t take her) up Mount Toubkal in Morocco. She and they didn’t get on so well, so when she came back, I adopted them.
I have had mixed feelings about using them on Dartmoor. They certainly make a difference to my knees (less sore) and my falling over ability (reduced) and make excellent bog-pokers. In fact, 20% of my body weight (I have nothing else to say on this matter) is taken by my poles when I am walking down hill, this has to be a good thing when you take into account a heavy day sack and a whole day walk. The problem on Dartmoor, I am ashamed to admit, is one of self image. I don’t like looking like I need to use them (which is crazy because I actually do). If you tried to find a Dartmoor picture of me with my walking poles, you would struggle because I usually put them out of the way before I let anyone point a camera at me.
They came to Austria with me this year (I told you they were well travelled) and, to my pleasure, I discovered that, in the Tirol, walking poles are quite the thing. In fact, I was hard pushed to find anyone, big or small, going for a walk without them. It was not hard to see why, you needed the poles to push you up the mountains and I defy any knees to survive more than a couple of months of those downhills! There may have been other reasons; maybe there are bears in Austria that will fight you for your strudel, or perhaps marauding ski instructors who have nothing better to do in the summer than sneak up and raid your rucksack … both of these could be easily dealt with by a pair of walking poles and a swift blow to the nose.
Whatever the reason, the multi-pole presence suited this Blonde. There are plenty of Austrian photos of me and my poles. I used them with pride and they were very effective. I will no longer feel concern for my Dartmoor self image, everyone will just have to presume that I am a European abroad.