Monday, 9 September 2013

Pool plunging (with an emergency rescue thrown in)

We were off to (new for me) territory: the East Okement river near Okehampton. Lynne led us through ancient woods which bristled with sunlight,  and up along the river past a series of pools and cascades.  The river ascended like a wonderful watery staircase, and culminated in a spectacular waterfall. We'd just got changed, ready for our dipping extravaganza, when we noticed an old man crawling along the path a bit further down.  He seemed rather incongruous, dressed quite smartly in a jacket and carrying a sodden newspaper, with muddy knees. We went to help and it was soon obvious he was very bewildered; to cut a long story short we called the police and some of the party escorted him back; it turned out he'd been reported missing a couple of hours earlier.  Good deed done for the day, we started our swimming at the pools above the waterfall, where Allan, Helen and Deb frolicked in a double cascade.  There was a bit of bravado from Lynne as she contemplated sliding down the huge waterfall; sensibly she decided against it and the party scrambled down and swam in the pool below it before climbing up and standing in the falls for some serious head and shoulder massage.  Further down the river we found a lovely bowl of a pool, lined with pale grey and green stones; it felt calm and womb-like.  From there we swam down through a series of small almost rectangular pools which felt like rooms; some lined with thick green moss to rival the finest flock wallpaper.

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