One woman's wild swimming adventures in the west country

Sparkly Sharrah

We meet up with some visiting wild swimmers from Dorset to show off the enchanted jewel of Devon wild swims, Sharrah Pool.  The sun has fought through the clouds by the time we arrive; the river’s surface sparkles above amber shallows and dark depths. A Dipper flashes by.  The water is noticeably chilly, and once I’ve acclimatised I dive under, swimming along the bottom through an aquascape of tumbled rocks, blurred through saffron silt and goggle-less eyes. My hair drifts like a hydra around my head.

A camper leaps in to join us, followed by another couple whom we don’t know. The two boys with us are grinning, effervescent as the bubbles they swim through. Their mum is perched on the edge of the cascade like the birth of Venus.  We float and shoot the rapids, swim upstream, and sun ourselves on rocks. A Beautiful Demoiselle darts around the bank, flashing deep turquoise.  The Sharrah virgins are predictably entranced.


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