The river heads west across the land just north of the town, and sometimes we go with it. Today was warm and sunny again, spring is here. The bicycles were ready, so I persuaded Mrs Hickory to join me for a ride along the bank. Both banks, as it turned out. There were small herons on the water, storks, large seagulls and hawks circling. A surprising number of tortoises were sunning themselves on the banks, and slid into the water as they heard us approach, not quite with the same speed and grace with which frogs react, but the spirit of the thing was broadly similar. The water is high still, an enduring effect of last years rains- because of the way the river is fed- and the surrounding land is quite bright green at this time of year. If the camera hadn't turned out to have a flat battery I could have shown you what it looks like, but decription and imagination will have to serve.
The real pleasure is just in passing through the country, beside the water, under the hills, and into the valley, such as it is. There is an old hydroelectric plant, crumbling like all abandoned buildings here (the only stone available locally is limestone, which takes a lot of looking after), and a couple of sprawling old mills, also crumbling and half-reclaimed by the river in intersting ways. A bridge which, supposedly, once existed, doesn't any more, and we had to ford the river at a suitable point. Mrs Hickory takes these things in her stride now. All the way back our feet squelched on the pedals and shed algae at irregular intervals.
Life is a journey, but a journey is not necessarily life, in that it doesn't have to mean anything. it can just be itself, a chance to do nothing but enjoy the act of living. That was what today was.
The map at the top left is today's ride. The one on the right is from a few weeks ago when we went to the same area. And the photo is of one of the mills.
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