consuming a place
consuming a place
Next morning Margaret and Trevor asks us about Oban and our meal at Lime Tree and helps us plan our day’s adventure. In the morning we are going to travel through Glen Nevis and walk to Steal Falls as recommended by a few of the friends we mad on our travels. Margaret warns that the walk to Steal falls is a bit challenging and there have been a few fatalities on the walk. Trevor gives us clear and concise directions.
It is still reasonably early and the car park is quite empty and we begin our walk to the falls. The warning sign at the beginning of the track confirms Margaret’s concerns. The first part of the walk is undulating, heavily wooded; the path is about a metre wide; it is rocks and clay; some parts of the path where the water ouzes from the mountain side above are quite damp; there are also a few horsetail waterfalls. There are parts that are quite tricky and care is needed, however, if you just take it nice and steady the path is fine. We meet people of all ages on the track. There is a friendly conversation always a greeting, regardless of the language and generally a few words of encouragement – it is easy to fall into the spell of the track. There are a few young children all kitted out for the walk, mini backpacks and adventure gear, and we marvel at their skill.
An Austrian couple, who were travelling Scotland in a camper van told me that this is typical holiday and they always take their children with them – he explains that they are used to it, she adds that “we try to avoid fun parks” – I hasten to add that the children looked like they were having fun to me, so I believe she was referring to commercialized theme parks. We also encounter a group of late teenage males who were training session, one told me he had just done the Glencoe Challenge and was preparing for the Braveheart triathalon; they are able to negotiate the path like high speed mountain goats and made me feel a little old and creaky boned indeed. At the other end there were people who are 70 and above and generally they have all the right gear and seem to make trekking a hobby. Clearly, trekking is and important leisure activity and a generator of jobs.
The scenery changes as you cross a wooden bridge and suddenly the falls are in view. The falls are still quite a way off and the noise of the falls becomes quite a roar as you approach. There is a wire bridge that crosses the river and it appears in a few YouTube videos; crossing it is a bit of fun – although a little care is needed. The cascading waterfalls are around 100 metres from top to bottom; they are spectacular. It is easy to linger and hard to turn your back on them and begin the long trek back to the carpark. It is interesting when you choose what to do on vacation you sometimes think – will it be worth the costs in time and effort – money is not the only cost and you form expectation and select the option that you believe will give you the biggest reward.
Sometimes when you make choice decisions, consumers make the wrong decision and regret their decisions. Other times what someone expects is dwarfed by what is received – the trek to Steal Falls was one of those occasions when the financial costs are small, the time and effort costs are greater, however, in total costs are small in comparison to what is received.
Some time later we arrive somewhat tired at a carpark that is full and chaotic; adding to the problem are a few large campervans that have just discovered that it is easier to go forward than reverse – somehow the drivers in the carpark self organize and they are accommodated.
Task: After considering the Austrian family. How do Values and life styles [VALS] influence consumer choices?