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It was clear that Summer was over! The last day of September brought torrential rain, blown almost horizontally by a very strong Westerly wind. Walking in the rain is one of Andrea’s favourite pastimes, and so she parked her car by the local river and strode out into the terrible weather, wearing Barbour wellies, a pair of spray-on brown PU pants, a waxed jacket and a tweed cap.
She could feel the rain pelting the backs of her legs in the waterproof leggings, and within 5 minutes it was beginning to soak through the shoulder seams of her jacket. The temperature wasn’t particularly cold, but this was a proper Autumn storm. After 10 minutes she could feel that her feet were getting wet in her wellies as the pouring rain trickled down her waterproof leggings inside the boot shafts, soaking her socks in the process. Her shoulders and arms were now very wet inside her jacket but, with the exception of her feet, her bottom half was still completely dry.
She ventured from the path onto the foreshore and slopped through a very muddy backwater that had been left by recent floods. Large acorns, dislodged by the gale from the huge oak trees above her head, were falling continuously into the muddy pond water, making large splashes all around her. As she stepped off the fallen tree trunk that she had been resting on, the water was too deep for her wellies, flooding them instantly, and as she slogged forwards through the muddy water the level soon reached the tops of her thighs.
Her waterproof leggings did their job admirably, keeping her bottom half completely dry, even when she was up to the middle of her buttocks in muddy water. Because of the mud, walking through the backwater was such hard work, and so she clambered back up the bank to the footpath and continued her soggy walk with feet squelching deliciously in her mud-filled boots. Nearing the next village was her cue to turn back, because this is where the footpath ended, but not before she’d slid down the riverbank onto the shingle shore for a bit more fun. As she waded through the knee-deep water to access a bank of shingle in the flow, she got that same old urge: to get completely soaked!
Without hesitation she rushed into the deep water, which soon reached her breasts. Of course, this was now too much for the waterproof leggings and she revelled in the slow ingress of cold water that she experienced as she waded forwards. After swimming and floating for a couple of minutes, she clambered onto the pebbly shore. All this time she’d been carrying a one-piece Ilse Jacobsen waterproof suit, and this was why: swimming in the river was chilling and she was starting to shiver a little because of the wind. Even though it was sodden, pulling on the waterproof suit cut out the windchill and enabled her to run back into the water for more swimming fun.
Eventually, she scaled the bank and headed back towards her car. Of course, she could not resist a quick roll in the 6 inch deep sloppy mud of the footpath, and because the rain had briefly stopped she continued down the path with her suit and hands completely plastered in mud. What would she say if she met another walker? She’d just say ‘good morning’ and smile; they could think what they wished…
Passing the pond that she’d been playing in earlier was an ideal opportunity to get the mud off her suit before she reached the car. She waded back in to the muddy pond and sat back in the neck deep filthy water. This did wash some of the mud off her suit, but it still required that she plunged into the deep, flowing river to clean up properly. She laughed to herself as she swam around in her one-piece waterproof – it was such great fun.
What a brilliant wild and wet walk this had been.