River bathing in Montseny

It was hot today – around 28 C which doesn’t seem much but in the sun you felt the heat.
So what with the temperature and the fact that it was Sunday we headed for the hills rather than the beach. There are mountain pools for bathing on the wooded slopes of Montseny

The best ones are near the Piscines de Montseny but they get very busy at the weekend and you need to walk a long way along a rocky path to arrive at the biggest and best pool. And even that can get crowded.
So we went to a place on the Riu Tordera – more hidden – less well known

It is lovely to walk along the cool wooded paths, searching for wild strawberries, smelling the herbs that grow along the way.
As I dipped my toe into the icy water I saw a snake – it had zigzags on its back. Pep was sure the water snakes are harmless. But it made me pause before advancing further.
Later we saw another swimming across the water – in its element.
Here is another water spirit – soaking away the cares of the week in this beautiful place.

Wild swims


Before I left Cornwall last year I read a book called Waterlog by the late Roger Deakin and I find it has stuck with me – memories of some of his wild outdoor water adventures have become permanent images in my imagination and they help me when I am hesitating to take the plunge. If he could fling himself into an icy lake in Cumbria then surely I can do the same in the Pyranees? Over the past year I have swum of course many times in the sea but also in mountain rivers, lakes, woodland pools and, for sometime in the future, there is the tantalising dream of a dip in a totally wild unspoilt natural hot water mineral pool.This favourite pool is deep and mysterious and isolated – you walk a long way up river to get there and are rewarded with a magical setting. I am sure Les Dones D’Aigua live here. That strange shape is my reflection in the water – it was totally clear.A deceptively gentle looking river – it was impossible to swim upstream against the current. Had to wear my bathing costume here so it lacked that ‘je ne sais quoi’ of wildness.Duna’s first long swim – like me she prefers calm waters.These last pictures are of another hidden pool in the mountains of Montseny. Almost too cold even for me – but I did it!
And the dream of an open air natural hot spring? I heard of one close to the Bains of St Thomas in Catalunya Nord but we were leaving that day so it waits for next time….