In our ‘connected’ multi-media world we are constantly having images of far flung places shoved in front of us; mostly it has to be said by those who would benefit financially from us going off to visit such places, and the temptation is always to speculate how nice it would be to go there.  But surely it must be the case that people in those far flung places would like to be here.

Now, to be fair I would love to see an exploding volcano but whilst it may look great in the travel brochure I’m fairly sure anyone living within lava flow distance of Mt. Etna right now has a different take on the situation.  Similarly, I like pictures of clear tropical seas beneath waving palm trees, paradise day in and day out, but there is something to be said for living somewhere you don’t know quite what you’ll get from one day to the next.  Take this week for example.

Thursday morning there was frost on the shed roof, Saturday was sunny like mid-summer, this morning there was thick fog that blanked out and obscured aforementioned shed.  We had decided yesterday evening to take the van off to Slapton and I was reasonably sure the fog would lift and the beach would be clear.  However, driving down through Totnes and on to Halwell it was impossible to see more than 20m in any direction until we climbed up to the top of the hill and burst through into sunshine.

As beaches go Slapton is on the one hand not much of anything, just a long curve of fine pebbles and sand, mile after mile lapped by clear sun dappled sea throwing up a bright line of surf.  On the other hand Slapton is just a long curve of fine pebbles lapped by clear sun dappled sea etc. etc.  I suspect there are a lot of people who would far rather be looking at that view than the one they have currently.

Wild Swimming
Wild Swimming

The pebbles slithered and crunched underfoot and in the surf we had no choice but to push forward into the chill water as the waves were quickly undermining our feet anyway.

Wild Swimming
Wild Swimming

The seabed shelves off very steeply so there’s no point going out too far, beyond a certain point it is all the same and rather gorgeous it was too.

Fifteen minutes was perfectly enough to have kicked fountains of spray against the sun and dived down for a dose of ice cream head, a little reminded that it is only the second week of April.  Time now for a coffee and a bacon and egg butty.

All I need now is those palm trees.

Wild Swimming Map: Devon & Cornwall



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