Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Two Falls

In another diversion from the African story, a fishy tale from the hills...

Last Saturday, I returned after a hiatus of some years to an old haunt in the hilly country which lies 50 miles or so south west of The City - a pair of swimming holes filled by waterfalls which lie hidden in a cleft high in the hills. After several weeks of good summer weather, I arrived on a hot and sunny afternoon to find the water even clearer than I remembered it; minutes later, I was in it, giant-striding in from 5ft above, video camera rolling. It was all just as I remembered - below the surface, the peat particles perpertually suspended in the water warm the light into the most amazing shades of yellow, orange and brown: closer to the air, the ripples on the surface cast dazzling networks of caustics upon the rock and pebbles beneath.

The lower falls

On to the lower pool, entering from treacherously slippy rocks at the lip of the lower falls. A moment of anticipation in the air, as my body accelerated towards the water; then I am through the interface, into the other world, where gravity is no longer relevant, gliding among swirling storms of silver bubbles which gleam in the black of the deepness below the falls; is this what it would be like to swim through Guinness?

In the calmer reaches, I saw the flickering tail of my old friend the trout, hanging in the current beside a shady rock. In the shallow river which drains the pool, I floated motionless as a shoal of juveniles flashed all around me, even swimming right up to the glass port protecting my camera - amazing!

Coming soon, if technical difficulties can be overcome: the video version of this post

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