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Aidy
2015-09-22 21:17:07
"Always competing with the landscape for attention." from Aidy Expand pics
Always competing with the landscape for attention. (Expand pics)
Cuilcagh Boardwalk
When I first saw photos of the boardwalk on Cuilcagh, my first thought was "Don't be taken in, this is a photoshopped practical joke." I was horrified to see it was real, as I suppose what most of us enjoy in the mountains is the feeling of wilderness, at least as much wildnerness as you can get on a small, heavily populated island. I thought that when I got round to Cuilcagh, I would approach via Benbeg and avoid the boardwalk. So when my sister asked me go along with her on the boardwalk route, I only very reluctantly agreed as she'd had a "bootcamp" that morning and wanted an easier walk.

I can sort of sympathise with some of the arguments in favour of the boardwalk - we all want to protect delicate environments. And, I don't want to be selfish and deny the pleasure of the hills and mountains to people who might have difficulty accessing them otherwise. But, did the solution really have to be so intrusive? Its still a long walk in on the Legnabrocky Trail to even reach the boardwalk, and would still be beyond a lot of people. Surely a stoney path would have been a possibility, and just as suitable for those able to manage the long walk.

There are benefits no doubt. I saw a lot more people out enjoying the hills that day than I have on most Irish mountains (even if 90% of them were turning at the top of the steps and not taking the extra short walk to the summit!). I also, hypocritically, was guiltily glad of the boardwalk after a long day, when I didn't have to slog through the bog on the way back. But, I'm sure this could have been better managed.
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