What could be nicer than a Boxing day hike with my wife Karen and my hiking buddy, Andrea in Paradise Valley.

We have not been here for about 10 years but were a bit shocked at the changes to the area …. also the sheer amount of rubbish that had been dumped. The last time we went here, it was really beautiful and unspoiled, with clear running water and no rubbish in sight.

We quickly descended down the first section, through the myriad of small shacks that have appeared, and headed up the valley, hoping things would improve.

As we climbed up the ridge, we noticed an array of graffiti tags, which are terrible in an urban setting, but not acceptable out here.  The other thing was that all the pools are green and smelly now – no crystal clear running water as it used to be, so we avoided the smelly water rather than getting Typhoid!

We walked as far as we could go off the normal tourist routes and found some amazing waterfalls and pools but they were dry but very beautiful which saved our hike, but it’s a shame that it is not much of a paradise as it used to be…

Anyway, it was nice to be out and have a good stretch anyway – the dogs had a ball exploring new places so were nicely tired out by the time we got home.

FOOTNOTE: Shortly after I published this post on Facebook, a local action group descended on the area and did a massive clear-up operation, removing tons of rubbish – all volunteers from the nearest village, so if nothing else this post contributed to the clean-up. Well done guys – respect.