Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Lower Lakes

The lakes below the village that gives them their name are less visited, less well known. Those upstream are fed directly by the water table, whereas those below depend on the water that flows down from those above. This doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but the fact is that two of them are boggy at the best of times, and this year are completely dry, and smelly.

Immediately below the village is a channel that leads, in a few hundred yards, to a waterfall. It’s a rather beautiful waterfall, appearing to spring from nowhere and splitting into a number of jets that jump and tumble 100 feet to the pool that receives them, spraying the rocks behind and beside them and allowing greenery to flourish when everything else is barren and dry.

There is an easily reachable spot from which to see it at its best. You have the water falling from above you to below you, only 30 yards away. You can see the rocks, the plants, the seething river as it flows away beneath you through a little rocky valley, and that is all you can see. The village and everything human is hidden at that spot, and you are left with nature, powerful and beautiful.

It will soon be dry, I think, until the cycle comes round again.

The river then flows on to the other lake, not muddy at all but large and still full. There are a few houses on it and it’s a good place to swim or fish or just muck about on a boat. But for some reason no one thinks of going there, except those with the foresight to buy dirt cheap land on the banks years ago. There are no bars, but surely that could be fixed. On the other hand, why attract more people there. It is not exactly my secret, but the crowds that fight for towel space on the upper lakes don’t realize what they are missing.

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