Tuesday, August 14, 2007


One of the advantages of living in the sticks is that when it comes time to do those summer holiday activities like getting in the river, or going to the sea, you don't have to get in the car to do it. You just pack your Thermos flask of water and your snorkels in a bag, get on your bikes and ride for 5 minutes. And you're there.

The Tateiwa River is perfect for those baking hot afternoons of mid-August. Excitingly cold when you first get in, it's shallow enough not to be freezing. It's clean, clear and full of different kinds of fish. And it has deep pools where you can actually swim. After an hour immersed in the river, the exhausting summer heat is gone from your body, and everything is cool -- especially if you haven't bothered with swimming gear and just got in the water with your normal clothes.

And if you want a bit of saltwater for a change, the Tateiwa River runs straight to the sea with a nice cycle path along its bank. Another 5 minutes and you're there too. If it's too cold to swim, there are always rock pools to investigate.

During the summer holidays we took the boat across to the island Kashima which we can see from our house. We made our way round the base of the island, jumping in the sea wherever it looked good.

The water here is really cold, but there are some largish fish to be seen swimming around the rocks, so it's worth putting up with it.

It's strange to think that we used to have to travel for a whole day to get somewhere like this.

August provided some fantastic rain and thunderstorms. The thunderstorms are hard to capture with a camera, but the squalls over the sea can be seen in this pic.

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