By: Blonde Two

The Two Blondes had a diverting walk around the St Ives area the other day.  All went well as we left the lovely Treloyhan Manor but the outing (too long for a Bimble) was not without incident.

We have fought our way through overgrown footpaths before.  I don’t really mind these, it must be a huge job to keep footpaths to keep them clear and farmers are quite busy people with all those cows and tractors to look after.  One thing I really hate doing though is following footpaths that go straight through farmyards.  It just feels wrong – after all, I wouldn’t like someone tramping through my back garden (this would take approximately six seconds).

I have said this before, we are very, very lucky in this country to have such great countryside access.  I have never been a farmer but I have spent enough time on Norm’s farm in New Zealand (see this Summer’s blogs) to understand the nuisance and damage that lack of understanding from walkers might cause.

Blonde One and I negotiated such a farmyard on our Cornish walk the other day when we had an unusual footpath related incident.  The footpath was clearly marked and our compass confirmed the path we were taking.  We were stuck between wanting to make sure that we got things exactly right (so as to avoid making farmers grumpy) and wanting to leave the farmyard as quickly as possible (so as to avoid making farmers grumpy).  It was also, to be honest, a bit smelly what with the haylage (fab and real word) and the cow poo.

Once we had, rather uncertainly, picked our exit route, we marched rather than walked towards it.  The sun was shining directly in our eyes (weirdly it did that for just about the whole walk) when Blonde One uttered a cry and flung her arm across in front of me.  It was just as well she did because we were both centimetres away from walking into a temporary electric fence.  Now I don’t know if you have ever had a shock from a fence but on one of my first New Zealand trips, I once had to make a quick choice between a bull and the electricity.  I choose the shock which hurt quite a lot but didn’t do any lasting damage.

Of course then, we had to have a full Two Blondes meeting about what to do next and what we would advise the kids to do.  It was just about possible to get around the wire or we could have unhooked it and let ourselves through.  In the end though, I think it was the fear of meeting the grumpy farmer (other farmers are available) that made us turn and head for the long route round by the lanes.  What would you have done?