I stood, in just swimsuit and wetsuit boots, ankle deep in numbing water on the edge of a natural waterfall pool. And I wondered just how exactly I’d got to this point?
It was a Tuesday, early in December and I was playing hooky – turning off the computer and heading up onto a misty Dartmoor. Driving along a ribboning road and across a tawny moor, I met with an ace bunch of women with a gleam in their eye and swimsuits in their packs. We walked to an enchanted spot where the stream tumbled down moss-smothered rocks and a mini waterfall pounded into an emerald-green pool.
That’s the physical journey, what about the broader one into mini-adventures? Perhaps they evolve by joining people who think creatively about what can be done. So that the unthinkable becomes achievable – and, before you know it, done. A pretty good approach to life, really.
Which means it’s time to actually get in. Get changed in ankle-deep oak leaves, take tentative steps in the stream and feel moss that’s spongy to the touch. Then it’s plunging shoulder deep into water that’s gleefully, gaspingly cold. There’s whooping, laughing, chatting and planning – because all this is actually a reccy for a January night hike and swim. Un-thought of? Improbable? Not now. Thank you swim chums 🙂
Be aware: Dartmoor’s waterways can be very dangerous; seek out expert, local advice. Devon & Cornwall Wild Swimming has good overall safety information. Visit Dartmoor is an excellent source of info on exploring the moor.