Everyone rose late today on purpose.
Apart from Angus, Mr Moore, Tom and his mate Matt. Those guys are machines and want to walk and climb everything. The climb and walking yesterday had been tough on my knees, so today Laura took us to a spot nearby with a cool dark waterfall and little river to relax beside.
It was another scorcher today. Sun immediately high and strong from dawn, like it had sprung out of bed into the sky and then lazed around noon for a siesta. We packed a lunch and lazily piled into Scotts car for the short ride into the nearby shadow of a hill.
The water had dug a deep cleft into the hillside here where a vertical layer of slate was joined by a 45 degree slab. The V pool created was deep and black and very cold. The water must have been coming down from the mountains behind but it felt like it was coming from glacial melt water! Laura used to come here as a kid with her family and promised us that it was safe to jump into the frothing dark pool. I preferred to let everyone else take her word for it before jumping in myself. Each person shrieked when they hit the water and going last, this built my apprehension to a point of near backing out. In the end I went for a boulder along the steep banks and explored the water from without before committing myself to jumping within.
Kayto, who had been watching with trepidation from the rocky bank, must have seen each person screaming with pain as they disappeared under the water. I don’t think our reactions helped him get over his fear of the water. I held him in my arms and lowered him into the water slowly. It was like he lay down on an invisible force field, stopping his legs touching the water before I dipped him into it. The immediate panic and paddling towards the bank told us he wasn’t going to be swimming today. He can do it, but doesn’t like it… and to be fair, it was so cold, that none of us stayed in it very long.
Heading down to the grassy banks lower down the river we spotted the chance to build another dam. Everyone piled in and we started shifting rocks and dredging silt and stones to plug gaps. We must have worked for about an hour on this dam and by the end it had raised at least 10 cm of head. We were all quite proud of our team effort. And it was a nice thing that it came so naturally and easily. No one bickered or said they could do it better or that anyone was doing it wrong. We all just worked the best way we could to achieve the goal of blocking the river as best we could. I don’t think many groups of friends would do that, just because it can be done.
We got out and dried and had our sandwiches chatting about the week to this point. Discussing all sorts of things and generally catching up on what the gang had been doing. We are now 6 years out of university, settled and progressing along our chosen career paths. And that’s pretty much how the rest of the day progressed. Lolling about on the grass, alternating between the sun and the shade, feet in or out of the water as we heated up or cooled down. At one point ice creams appeared, but I couldn’t tell you where they came from.
Eventually, tired of resting, we headed back to the campsite for a good sit down and to catch up on the far more energetic day the rest had had. I mean, I say we had a restful day, but really we had bouldered around a black pool of water, swam around and then moved rocks… moved rocks, to relax… yes me and my friends are a bit strange but I love them all!