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Wild Swimming Wonder
on 23 April 2012
Sitting in my rocking chair looking out through driving rain over a chilly grey Dartmoor landscape, I opened Daniel Start's latest book: Wild Swimming France. I was immediately entranced and transported to a dream-world of sun and turquoise water cascading into fairytale pools. Each new page elicited gasps and little excited dances, to the point that my neighbours must have wondered what I was doing. This book is pure wild swimming porn.
I have two of Daniel's other, British-based books, Wild Swimming; and Wild Swimming Coast which have proved invaluable in my explorations of local swimming spots and so I fully expected Wild Swimming France to contain similarly wonderful photos and useful information. I wasn't prepared for the range and beauty of the watery environments across central and southern France, which Daniel has spent three years discovering and swimming in.
The book covers every type of inland waterworld a wild swimmer could wish for: voluptious, turquoise Corsican river pools nestling in white rock; wide, leaf-shaded Loire tributaries overlooked by Chateaux; cascades falling straight from heaven into deep, dark basins in the land of the Cathars; aquamarine Pyrenean tarns surrounded by mountains; and a host of other rivers, lakes, watery caves and canyons to explore.
Daniel incorporates a wealth of practical information which includes lat and long coordinates for each spot together with directions and ease of access. Safety is discussed comprehensively with sensible warnings and suggestions on how to mitigate any risks, plus translations of French signs relating to swimming. There are also summaries of popular water-based activities like canyoning and canoeing, hints on where to look for your own wild swimming spots, basic maps, and details of campsites and restaurants.
As a keen wild swimmer, this book will certainly inform my next foreign holiday; it would also be fantastic for anyone visiting France who fancied making a leap into some safe or more challenging water-based activities as a part of a family holiday.
A book to give you sparkling, watery daydreams, and which will help to make your wild swimming dreams come true.
I received a free copy of this book to review.