When Claire and I left Bude, yesterday early afternoon, it was very sunny. Lovely weather. But the closer we got to Liskeard, the more clouded the sky became… We were on our way to explore the Golitha Falls.
Golitha Falls is a nature reserve on the edge of Bodmin Moor and carries the River Fowey. The river runs through a steep-sided gorge and a number of falls. It is known for its white water. White water is formed in a rapid, when a river’s gradient increases enough to create so much turbulence that air is entrained into the water, and forms a bubbly, aerated, unstable current. Then the frothy water appears white.
The falls have a magic of their own. Some people think it’s because of the woods. The dripping, fern-filled, lichen-lined woods that cloak Golitha Falls like a green velvet glove. In a heatwave the moss-covered rocks of this ravine would make an ideal location for a cooling picnic.
We met several other walkers, most of them accompanied by their dogs. The dogs looked happy, jumping in and out the water, running around. We spoke to a lady with two dogs who told us that she lived just around the corner. She still was fascinated by the place. What does it do to your mood? I felt strangely excited myself. Not because of the woods, though. I felt excited because of the sound of water falling down. It’s a bit like the sound of the waves at the seaside, but different.
In 2012 a man died after falling out of his canoe at the Falls. A Search and Rescue helicopter from RAF Chivenor winched the man from the river but he was found to be dead. The dark, brooding mystery of Golitha Falls. Stories.
It reminded me of this great quote by Hermann Hesse, from his book ‘Siddharta’:
“Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time? That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.”
Yes, that’s more like it. It’s a perfect description of what I feel when I am sitting in front of my beach hut, looking at the sea, listening to the sound of the waves. Water, bigger than life. It’s partly why I love Bude so much, the ocean, the river, the canal: water. One day I might even have a swim.