Last summer I decided to follow an urge I had for adventure. Now I mean adventure with a small ‘a’ I don’t mean the likes of swimming the channel or walking across Europe. Not having a track record of anything like this the inspiration had come from Alastair Humphreys, his mini films and book ‘Microadventures’. With a growing sense of frustration at reading and not experiencing I decided to bite the bullet and plan an outing under the stars.
I had very little equipment and so I used my birthday money to buy a decent rucksack and bivvy bag. (A bivvy bag is as it sounds, a bag to place over your sleeping bag so that you don’t need a tent to stay dry). I wanted to stay local and to test Humphreys theory that adventure is right on your door step. So a friend and I packed our rucksacks and walked to the shore side literally a half mile away from the road, found a spot and set up camp for the night.
Enjoying our little stash of treats, we talked and watch the sun go down and as darkness fell we were captivated by the stars and the ships as they went up and down Belfast lough. The beauty amongst the silence was amazing as I drunk in all that was around me. The smells of dusk as all the flora and fauna stopped for a rest whilst the sea lapped against the rocks was hypnotising.
Sleep was in short supply as the canopy of stars above us kept drawing my attention. To waken at dawn with a yacht sailing a couple of hundred yards away from us was such a delight. As we munched on our breakfast and guzzled down our hot tea I knew I had experienced something special.
We packed up and headed off to rendezvous with a local group of open water swimmers known locally as the ‘Donaghadee Chunky Dunkers’. As we swam, the previous night and its fatigue washed away. This is what I had longed for; a journey out of the humdrum and into nature. Inspired further I am planning to do more of in the spring. This time we will head to the mountains, bring a tent and swim in a lake. Adventure is my friend, who knew?
What could adventure look like in your life…