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Following the aroma of coffee and fluffy scones Part 3

Following the aroma of coffee and fluffy scones Part 3


We deftly manoeuvre through the crowded car park, jump into the car, key in, the engine already humming, I have my hands at the wheel and we move away. Next stop on our trip is Bellever Woods by East Dart River, the YHA Hostel is just right nearby. Some sharp uphill driving, a left turn and we are back on track, the images we have already seen come at us again just like in the movies. Wide open space and some huge pastures stretching out further away, a herd of rams, dozens perhaps hundreds of them standing out there. From here they look just like some tiny clouds. We drive by some farms, few and far in between here, all surrounded by stone walls just like picture frames within which keep showing up new works of an invisible artist who created all this wonder of Nature. Gently accelerating we keep on moving forward, mild curves swaying us gently to the sides every now and again. We negotiate a large piece of road at the end of which we see a band of spruces stretching all the way along the horizon. Somewhere down the middle small herds of wild horses are galloping, a young black colt vigorously capering about. This whole scene looks to me as if I was watching a scene from a movie, where the line of spruces looks like an army at the hill preparing for a battle and the herds of horses are scouting the terrain for them, preparing the battlefield. We move along and there are more turns, neckings and steep roads sliced up with narrow creeks. Everything around us is just like a true nature show. We drive through another picturesque village. One last straight drive and we turn into the car park located in the middle of huge, gangly and slender trees with green needles and covering almost all the sky. It takes us by surprise to find out that the parking is almost empty this time so we go all the way down to the end. Taken aback by the small number of travellers, I glance at my watch. Well, that somewhat explains it – it’s quite late and most of them must be on their way home already. Wanting to make the most of our time, we jump out of the car and pace quickly towards river Dart which can be seen quite well from the car park. It really is quite late and the only chance of taking some pictures is probably at the end of the woods where the shallow and wide river runs along. The water is crystal clear and embellished, so to speak, with round and flat stones, jumping on which you can get to the other side, surrounded by little spruces and gently leaning over branches as well as some small bushes and grass. The swaths of short, smooth and bright green grass on each side remind me who is the king in this painting studio of Mother Nature. Every photographer knows that pictures like light and you simply cannot take a perfect picture without it. I feel slight nervousness for the lack of time with the relaxing atmosphere of this place stirring up inside me. “Come here, quick”, I shout out to Sylvi, “Look, we may be able to catch a few good angles there”. After a short deliberation, for the last location of our photo shoot we decide to go over to the crossing of the old forrest and the small narrow bridge made out of grey stones. The river Dart is briskly running along underneath it. I simply cannot believe what I am seeing. As we approach the bridge, the sky behind it is split into two parts. Dark, menacing and thick clouds on one side, and pristine baby blue sky and a colorful rainbow on the other, united all in one like in a wedding ring. The rainbow spreads all its luscious colors above us, pure madness. I don’t know what to do. Greedily, I look around trying to capture all these moments and possess them with my camera. A practiced photographer can easily recognize the golden hour when the best pictures are taken. We stand at the bridge, right in the middle of this movie scene. With the corner of my eye, I see a flood of light approaching from the right, devouring everything in its path. I give Sylvi a gentle nudge. “Look, we only have a few minutes”, and from experience we know that these moments sometimes end in a blink of an eye. We remove lens covers. Then it’s just like a war movie: our cameras shoot whole series of pictures just like machine guns. Sadly, there is little professionalism here, we follow our gut and take pictures from all possible angles and directions, trying to pocket as much from this wonder as possible. Emotions are running high. Oh no, not now! The nasty blinking red light on my camera tells me: Peter, your battery is running out... Hastily I take the backpack with gear off from my shoulders. Quick, quick, I berate myself and plunge my hand in the little pockets. I got it. The spare battery is my lifesaver. I am safe. Quick replacement and in no time I am snapping away again. Well, that was not the end of surprises. Suddenly the little rain that had just begun earlier gains in strength, wetting my lens. I still manage to take a few more photos. I know, I know, that’s it for today, I admit to myself. We remain there for a while longer, feeling the gentle rain drops trickling down our faces. A quick reflection, total calm. Time to go back. We are back in the car and leave the car park. It’s the last part of the journey – return home. Tired but happy we return, appreciating again the beauty of this area, bathed in the sunset and getting ready to delve into the darkness coming up at the horizon. It really never gets boring, you can never feel too much. It is only thanks to the pictures stored on the memory cards of our cameras that we will be able to indulge ourselves again with all this, when we are already at our studio editing them. Some, we will use to paint pictures which will definitely immortalize these wonderful moments from today in our heads. Then, when the Nature calls, we will embark yet again on the road to discovery of new places. The roads are empty at this time of day so our return home is quick. Right before going to bed I stand at the doorstep with a mug of hot lime and ginger tea, looking up to the sky. The calmness and concentration in my my mind is completed by the feeling of satisfaction, just like the last drop of coffee falling back into the cup.