The Clyde Walkway | Day 2
First an apology. I said yesterday that I was worried about appearing negative in my writing, but today I’m even more concerned about negativity so please accept my apologies before you read on.
We have never yearned to get to the end of a days hiking as much as we did today.
Eve said to me something that I can’t ever recall her saying before “I don’t want to be here, nothing about this is good, I just want to go”. For Eve that’s huge! Massive! She was really struggling.
I will tell you what we struggled with first and then move onto the better stuff and finish on a positive note!
Parts of the Cycle Walkway were okay today but far too much of it was just horrid.
I didn’t take many photographs on todays section as there really wasn’t much to photograph and even less that we wanted to remember.
We have never walked through so much rubbish and the smell was nauseating. We came across so much dog excrement smeared into mud from countless other people walking which made avoiding it near impossible. There was drug use paraphernalia, rusty bikes, broken bottles, even a burned out car, the list goes on 😞
There were sections of the trail that simply did not exist. There have been lots of building and construction but the maps do not correspond to what’s on the ground anymore. Also (which is my fault as I should have crossed referenced them) the GPS routes that I have all said different directions all of which were wrong. Most of the paths we simply couldn't follow as they crossed rivers or railway lines in places where there was no crossing.
We added about a mile of hiking onto today because of taking the wrong trail or finding a path that reached a dead end. At one point Sarah was ‘live tracking’ us to give us left and right directions using google and other maps to help us get through.
We didn’t stop at all today and ate our snacks walking. It made for a very tiring day.
The last section of a mile or two followed motorways. Eve was either locked to my hip and holding hands with me or had her fingers over her ears because the noise was too much.
By the time we reached the end of the days walk Eve was nearly crying, mainly because of the amount of rubbish saying things (both to me and to herself) like “how can people do this” and “this is disgusting”. I was also feeling a sense of both anger and upset.
Today was a seriously tough day emotionally. I don't get intimidated easily but I felt very vulnerable today walking through the wastelands around the housing estates and I think Eve could either sense it or felt it herself. We haven't had that conversation yet.
Today we both (I definitely did) felt autistic and I think it showed. Sarah however I think has it the hardest and I think one day she will write a post for the website about her challenges of being married to an autistic adult male and having an autistic daughter! The voices of the families of neurodiverse people are very rarely heard and I think that really needs to change!
Some of the good points from today however was that our route started at a Morrisons so we have a nice dinner this evening that I carried with us. Also we’re staying at in a lovely motel this evening on the side of the motorway. The room is lovely and we get breakfast in the morning!!
Not all of the trail today was on tarmac which did take some of the stress off our feet and knees.
There is a section of trail that runs from Uddingston along the banks of the River Clyde which was very pleasant. The trail is soft, sandy and undulating with some very impressive, knobbly trees. We even found a small area of rock that had an engraving on it from a flood in the the 1700s. Eve was very impressed!
The David Marshal memorial bridge is awesome and gives brilliant views up and down the Clyde including the weir. I have heard of the bridge but never seen it. It was a lot bigger and higher than we expected.
The new motorway layout was also impressive in a strange way. Driving along you never really look (obviously) at the amount of work that it takes to build the motorway and its infrastructure such as bridges. We walked over a high pedestrian bridge that Eve did enjoy, more because I wasn’t enjoying it and she thought it was funny! She did offer to hold my hands so I could close my eyes which was very sweet. It’s not the bridge or the height, it was just too busy, noisy and too much going on.
As I have said our thoughts, feelings and opinions are just that, they’re ours. If you have walked the trail before you might think ‘what’s all the fuss about?’ and think it’s the best trail out of all of them, and that’s fair enough. If you disagree with anything please do not hesitate to tell me, after all we are privileged to live on a country where free speech just about still exists. I actually like to have my thoughts challenged as it’s makes you think and stops me (and others) becoming polarised.
Anyway we are in bed now in our hotel room with Eve cuddling up to me as I write this. It feels good. I hope and have little doubt that tomorrow will be a better day walking as we will be leaving the urban areas of Glasgow behind.
Hope you’ve all had a good day
See you back in the trail in the morning.