Start Location: Shrewsbury
End Location: Atcham
Distance travelled: 16.17km
Exercise Duration: 7hr:00mins
GPS Track: //connect.garmin.com/modern/profile/RossSwims
We woke up at 5:30am in the morning, as we checked the weather forecast the following evening, and it said that torrential rain was scheduled for about 2pm. We wanted to get on the river at 7am. We started started on time and was faced with the Shrewsbury Weir straight away. We decided to go around the weir, even though I’m sure Patch and Charlie would have loved to have gone down it.
The water was very cold. It was that feeling I used to get back in Ireland when we used to start openwater swimming during early May. It was freezing! We brought the tea in a flask today, which I knew was going to get fully used.
Our plan today was to get to a place called Atcham town. We thought this was about 14km away. I had to stop more often and have some hot tea, in order to heat up my core body temperature. We sat on the boards and I said to myself “how the hell did Kev Brady do this in October? He is bonkers”. I said to myself, “if Kev can do it in October, I can do it in June”. It certainly spurred me on.
The water for the first time wasn’t very clear. It was clean, but it was just full of silt. I could see the bottom of the ground over the prior days when swimming in under 4-foot of water. Now I couldn’t see the bottom at all. Everytime I stretched my arm out to glide along the water, I wasn’t sure whether I would crash into shallow areas. Charlie and Patch can’t see anything from there point of view, the water is just too murky.
The swim was very stop-start, with a lot of shallow areas to encounter. I bought neoprene shoes from amazon before the start of this trip, and they were useless. I bought cheap, and it bit me in the ass. They had a very thin rubber sole, and it was practically like walking barefoot across the rocks. I couldn’t help get frustrated with these shoes. But I was gritting my teeth and pushing through the pain when walking over these shallow areas. Some stones would just catch me perfectly under the arch of my foot and would make my leg gave way from underneath me.
We saw Caitirona in the distance and this meant that we had reached Atcham town. I asked Patch what the distance was, and it was only 11km. I told the team that we have to carry on. I felt so bad doing this as Caitriona had organised us a place to stay, showers, toilets, electricity and wifi. I wanted to go about another 5km downstream. We had a short day yesterday, and I didn’t want to follow that with another shortened day. So on we went.
We had a plan B sorted before the start of the day, which was where I wanted to head to. It was a single house on the riverbank with easy access. We motored on down the river and were encountered with shallow area after shallow area. Today had been a day of travelling through shallow areas.
We had reached this house, and they kindly left us pitch up on their garden. It is a majestic place, right on the bank of the River Severn. We have gotten very lucky with this place. Caitriona made a great dinner as usual, which consisted of brown rice, vegetables, sweet and sour sauce and barbequed chicken.
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