By: Blonde Two
After last week’s bunkhouse bonanza, my three friends set off to their much anticipated Duke of Edinburgh’s Award meeting. They had done the breakfast washing up (because they are lovely) so this left me with some ‘what to do now’ options:
1. I could have driven straight home and got on with some freelance writing work.
2. I could have had my second Dartmoor Bimble that week.
3. I could have indulged in a wild swim.
One of my bunkhouse friends is a keen wild swimmer (she goes all sparkly eyed when she talks about it). She had been extolling the virtues of wild swimming with the mantra, ‘A swim is never wasted.’ I took this as a challenge and headed for the very cold-looking River Dart.
Upon my arrival at my chosen chilling-place, I wondered if I had arrived at a luxury spa because the water was spread with stunning autumn leaves in all colours. Well, I didn’t actually see any blue ones, but my toes and fingers were blue fairly soon after!
After undressing, I discovered an important fact: Luxury spas are warm with heated floors, rivers in November are cold with icy rocks.
I would like to tell you that I luxuriated in the refreshing crispness of the water… This would be untrue. What actually happened was that I got in (shoulders covered but not head) for approximately one minute, got out again, called myself some rude words relating to being a wimp and then got back in again for probably three minutes.
I haven’t seen my friend yet, she will have to tell me if this venture counts as a wild swim; I did manage to wave my arms and legs around in the autumn confetti.
I was back in Newton Abbot before my toes thawed but I can confirm that my (nearly) swim wasn’t wasted!
Brave! Can’t get over how clear that water looks.
Really not very brave. The water was stunningly clear, the Dart usually is.
What a lovely thought that is – in the sixties one of the few instructions we were given for Ten Tors was not to drink the water out of the heavily polluted East and West Dart rivers. Not everything changes for the worse!
I don’t know where you get these masochistic tendencies from, but I love the colours in the top piccie. I’m quite happy to love them in a photo in my nice warm kitchen, though!
I looked up the river pollution when you told me about it. You were right, lots of work has been done since. Not sure about the masochism, there is a slight madness in the gene pool though 😉
You know from experience that the shock is temporary. Even so, as one gets older I fear, there are those occasions when you feel sure your heart came within two beats of stopping. For good. I’ve reached the stage when I have to take that into consideration but you’ve got decades to go and it’s an impressive gesture towards those well-clad aldermen standing in the dry, ambiguous expressions on their faces..
My heart was fine but I think one of my toes fell off!