Hello Watery Followers,
Ben’s Watery Travels is back for 2014! If you’ve wondered where on Earth I’ve been since the dark days of January; perhaps you assumed I’d been eaten by a shark or maybe drowned myself in a river; I’ve been ‘away’ taking part in a Creative Writing course, and due to the terrible weather I haven’t been on the water very much. However, I’ve a whole series of adventures planned for this year which I hope very much to share with you, beginning with a mini-series from Northumberland, England…
The Breamish Valley, at Ingram in Northumberland National Park, is the ideal place to while away a sunny afternoon by the river.
Broad, verdant pastureland steepens and darkens as the valley ascends into the Cheviot Hills, whose craggy slopes are patterned with grey scree and coloured in bright, blooming yellow gorse. Startled sheep skipped across our path as we selected a nice flat spot to rest high above the crystal clear stream, on one of the warmest Good Fridays I can ever remember.
An assortment of nosy chaffinches, scarlet red under the sun’s glare, hopped about in search of crumbs as I paddled among pink rocks in the perishingly cold April river, filtered all winter down from the wild Scottish borderlands.
In fact, the water was so chilly I don’t think I would have survived a full submersion; such is the custom at Linhope Spout waterfall a few miles uphill, the scene of our next adventure in Northumbria.