“Adventure is a state of mind, a spirit of trying something new and leaving your comfort zone. It’s about enthusiasm, ambition, open-minedness and curiosity.” Alastair Humphreys, Microadventures.
Since I read Alastair Humphreys’ Microadventures, I tried walking in my city in the middle of the night, I tried camping, I tried cycling long distance. We’ve done mountain walking pretty often now it almost doesn’t count as an adventure anymore. However, I have been waiting for an opportunity for wild swimming. Finally here’s the moment.
Ullswater will always be my number one favourite lake and now I give my number two favourite to Buttermere. We walked all the way around it anti-clock wise, with an ice cream break.
…playing Pooh sticks…
It wasn’t a hot sunny day but it was clear and calm. Everybody asked me if it was cold. It actually wasn’t that cold after I got water over my shoulders (though it took a while for that to actually happen).
The water was clear. The pebbles were covered in moss, hard and slippery under my feet. It was so peaceful and quiet. But I can’t help imagine big fish biting my toes, alien creatures looking up from the deep or monsters emerging right in front of my eyes (Lord of the Rings?).
I found some information when I searched about “swimming in Buttermere”:
– Recommended by Lake District National Park official website for swimming for less boat traffic (totally true, when we were kayaking in Derwent Water, I constantly worried I was about to get squashed by angry ferries).
– One of the cleanest lakes in the country.
– Swimming competitions are organised here often (though full wetsuit is compulsory).
– Shallower than some of the lakes and not quite as cold, but still deep enough for pike and char, a salmon-like fish also found in the Arctic.
Hmm, no mention of spotting of monsters. Maybe I can go slightly further in next time…
An older couple walked past smiling, having just come out of the water themselves around the corner. A few other people strolled past as well. I wondered what they were thinking when they were obviously looking at me. It was the highlight of my weekend in the Lake District. I felt a bit different. Maybe it was the excitement and satisfaction from being a bit adventurous.
I didn’t expect to try kayaking this time. But I did! So another micro adventure item ticked. It was an amazing experience. I have never been so close and in the middle of such a big expanse of water. Now I’m thinking of going hopping between Scottish islands by kayak. I remember reading there are beaches you can only reach via water. Imagine cooking on a campfire and sleeping on an enclosed beach under a cave! Just like Porco Rosso. Yes, I can think of problems aplenty: rain, wind, midges, (monsters…). But you would rarely go anywhere if you wait for a clear sunny day with no midges. Right, I need a GoPro. (I haven’t got any photos unfortunately but for obvious reasons…)
Thank you Dan and Becky for taking me!
The next adventure might be cooking an a camp fire, wild camping and ultimately, wild camping in a bivvy bag!