Summer is great for the walker.
The warmer weather and longer days allows for some really enjoyable days on the trails.
Week 19 of my walking challenge saw me take full advantage of the lighter evenings as I headed out to walk some more of my favourite routes.
I really enjoy walking in the evenings especially after a hard day at work. I find it really helps me to unwind and leave the stress and strains of the day behind. The feeling of freedom that having the open sky above you and a trail ahead of you is really beneficial to your mental health especially if you have a demanding job.
To the hills!
At the beginning of the week and as soon as I finished work I headed out to walk along the paths near to where I live but I soon discovered that many others had the same idea.
The trails were packed with walkers, dogs, runners and cyclists and I found it too busy to enjoy. I have to admit that I like peace and quite when walking especially if I have had a busy day in the office so I thought that I would head to the hills instead in my quest for tranquility so the next evening I jumped in my car and headed to my favourite little hill range – the Ochils.
Many people have asked why I always seem to head off to this small but mighty hill range instead of taking advantage of Fife’s own little hill range – the Lomond Hills – which is a fair question given that this blog is hosted on the Walk Fife website.
I really enjoy walking across the Lomond Hills and I have done since I was a teenager but they do tend to be quite busy in the good weather and when I am looking to unwind and get 10+ miles logged then the Ochils are my first choice especially when I am limited for time.
An aerial pest…
The hills were bathed in sunlight and looked stunning and more importantly there wasn’t a soul in sight or so I thought. After an hour of walking up into the hills I started to hear a buzzing noise but couldn’t locate where it was coming from as there was a light breeze blowing over the ridge.
I didn’t think too much of it but as I continued to get higher the buzzing noise grew louder and I was quickly surprised by a huge drone flying above me with it’s camera pointing directly at me. I stood and stared at it as it hovered there like a giant robot wasp. I thought initially that perhaps the operator had put it in holding position ready to be called and I had simply stumbled upon it but when I went to walk on past it, the drone began to follow me.
Now I am not keen on drones in the hills at the best of times but having one follow me is something I am not at all happy with so I waved it off with my walking pole. I could of easily swiped it out of the sky (it was that close) but I decided against doing that as I really thought the operator would get the hint and buzz off. Instead it just gained altitude and continued following me for ten more minutes before zipping off presumably back to it’s owner.
What’s the point?
Now I am not the world’s most photogenic hillwalker and I would be the first to admit I don’t stride across the hills with the grace and power of a mountain god so why the interest in following me?
I carried on with my way with a my dark cloud over my head instead of a pesky drone and when I got back home I dropped my fellow Walk Fifers a line to tell them about my experience on the hills and it tuns out I am not alone.
This is becoming more of a issue for walkers as wannabe aerial filmmakers scan the countryside for interesting subjects for their YouTube shorts and it sadly seems, that unless you catch or can identify the operator, you can‘t do much about it.
Week 19 lessons
The experiences of this week have been both positive and negative. For the majority of the time my evening walks have been very enjoyable and very relaxing but the end of the week was sadly blighted by the intrusion of the flying pest. A pest that I can honestly describe as being more annoying than the dreaded Scottish midge. If you have any suggestions what action walkers can take when facing a similar problem then please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apologies for the rant – Week 20 promises to be a better week for walking as with my day job I will be based in the East Neuk of Fife for a few days and I will hopefully get to enjoy some of the fantastic trails that can be found there.
If you have any questions about this challenge or anything Walk Fife related, then please drop me a email at email@example.com or direct message me through my twitter account @SDMakin.
Catch up with you again next week.