Wednesday, 27 August 2008
I can just imagine the multitude of reasons that have caused people to erect a barrier, wall or fence over the centuries and I can think of a few us. I am also aware that there is probably valid justification for the millions of km of fences that zigzag our country. However on this journey I have become, let’s say, rather peeved with all this wire and pole stuff, sometimes quite sharp to the touch and others shocking, on occasion I have felt a bit of vertigo creep in scaling them.
The diamond areas on the west coast started my little spat with the wire, and it has evolved. Early one morning running into the sun near Paternoster, I was suddenly stopped in my tracks as my breath was forced out of my lungs, a burning pain covered my ribs as a taught single strand of wire played chopsticks over my ribs. My forward motion was suddenly halted as the wire reached maximum stretch and flung me back in the direction I had come.
Rounding the Cape I encountered the next menace, trapped taking the wrong path from Llandudno we ran straight into a mesh fence covered with Razor wire – this is hectic stuff. Luckily there was a tree overhanging the fence and managed to pull my self clear of it, getting away with a minor butt nick, over and on we went.
There has also been the odd, sensitive or closed area, these have the really big double trouble fences, But somehow without realising it the next thing we know we are inside looking for a way out, normally with haste as we try to convince the not so understanding personnel to believe us, that we just happened to end up inside by accident.
The coastal air seems to play havoc on fencing and we are constantly tripped up by pieces of rusty discarded barbed wire as the fences are repaired and the old wire is just left to rust in the bush. But there is a new fenced area that is the most prevalent now, the conservancy or private nature reserve. Most of the coast consists of this, and the fences are more frequent and higher, some areas they are 2.5m high, fenced with Bonox fencing which has postcard size squares and you cant climb through but only over.
It was one of these fences that now lay between us and rest day, or a detour and a few hours extra before the coveted rest. There is only one way now and that’s over, so up I went. The fence was fairly old, but high. The wire was a bit rusty, but still tightly strung. Up I went block by block. Getting to the top, it was a bit scary, perched on this thin wire wobbling about 3 meters above the sandstone and thorn bushes. As I swung my leg over to descend, the added weight was just too much for the rusty wire and down I came, all I could hear was a high pitched twang as my foot broke through each rusty strand picking up momentum, spraying bits of rust and wire all over. About 11 strands later I finally hit a solid one. This gave my body time to catch up with itself and relaunch into some crazy twisted missile trough the gaping hole in the fence and straight into a floral wreath of spring thorn flowers, but to my added delight I was stopped short from my wreath, as I hung dangling from the fence by my left leg, Braam stepped through the gap, using me as a ramp, but thanking me for being so considerate.