Tuesday, 23 October 2012

A Painfully Glorious Swim...

... and no doubt the last this season although only a day or so ago. Very cool water; clear and slowly moving, with the lapping waves corkscrewing along the pebbled beach.

The sensation of cool water awakening after the perspiring strimming of steep Arab gardens up the mountain slope. Was I getting more numb or just becoming used to the low temperature?

I parked the van, and with bag in hand walked down to the lake edge, through the trees and along the path above the beach, the sunshine of mid-afternoon October autumn glinting on the soft water. One or two yachts could be seen out towards the middle of the lake; a sailing school of small dinghies being towed by an instructor in inflatable boat and a rushing Navibus commuting across the water from Thonon-les-Bains towards Lausanne in a streak.

Further up the beach a white board sign announces or warns, the plage thereafter is given over to naturist bathers, one or two of who I could see in the distance, all men, standing strategically behind low bushes. In the height of summer this must be rather nice but I felt this was neither the time nor the place for me. I was here to swim and not to lie naked in the low sun of late afternoon. I changed between the thin strip of pebble beach and the large autumnal leaves of the rough vegetation shielding the beach from the paths behind and walked out into the water. It was liberating.

I lasted barely 10 minutes...

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