We’ve wandered along castle parapets and Roman mule tracks, climbed hills and walls and not once in Spain or Italy have we seen a sign like this:
It was on Rob Roy track in Mount Aspiring National Park just before a bit of a slip that was so old the many feet which had walked over it since had worn a new track.
Near the start of the track was a newer, bigger slip which did require considerable care but it was too fresh for anyone to have put up a sign.
No doubt some time someone who is responsible for such things will discover the slip and provide a sign, but is it really necessary?
Is the motivation for such warnings safety or just to preclude any blame being laid?
And do warning signs and other precautions make life safer or more dangerous because it encourages us to stop looking after and taking responsibility for ourselves?
Skinny dipping is one of life’s pleasures and given a warm and secluded river, lake or beach it’s one which can be enjoyed without scaring the horses, or people because should someone come upon the naked swimmer any body bits likely to cause offence can be kept under water.
The appeal of naked tramping isn’t quite so obvious, especially given the danger of sun burn, and I can understand why the people of rural Switzerland have voted to ban bare walkers.
The cantonal government recommended the ban after citizens objected to encountering walkers wearing nothing but hiking boots and socks.
“The reactions of the population have shown that such appearances over a large area are perceived as thoroughly disturbing and irritating,” the government said in a statement.
One of the interesting points is that the walkers are German but baring it all in Switzerland. Don’t they dare do it at home, or is there something about the alpine air which lends them to shed their inhibitions and their clothes?
UPDATE: NZ Conservative posts on this and has a photo too.