Finally I arrived at the bottom of the old stone stair case where a rusty metal bridge crossed over to a ledge and pathway which lead down to the bottom of the gorge.
I have never been in such a place as this before. The gorge walls towered vertically above me for almost one hundred feet. The width was around twelve feet at the narrowest part. The walls were made of red sandstone but were covered in vibrant green moss and other lichens. The burn was in spate after the heavy rain we have been having lately. Huge trees were jammed in the narrows.
Due to the depth of the gully and the dense woods on its banks, the light was soft and diffused giving the place an eerie, unworldly feeling. It was a perfect place to take photographs. I wished I had brought my tripod as there was hardly enough light for hand held shots.
The water was blood red which added to the atmosphere and feeling that this surely was a place where faeries, goblins, dwarfs and orcs would live.
I paddled around a little in the icy cold water but didn’t go far. Then I saw what I had come for. Ahead of me was the Devils Pulpit. That is the name given to the rocky outcrop on the gorge floor. I had seen enough. It was time to get out before Old Nick himself came looking for me.
Back at the top of the gorge, I edged forward to look down into its depths. From here, I could see why it is so dangerous. Not only are the stairs in a very slippery condition but the edge of the gorge was soft muddy earth. I had chosen a spot where there was a bit of a slope ending on a level platform before disappearing into the abyss below. I slipped several times trying to get back up the slope. Had it been at the edge.. I may have met Old Nick quicker than I wanted.
However I will say..the place fired my imagination and Im certain I will get some good paintings from my adventure. It is also like a magnet.. I feel the pulpit drawing me back already..next time with my waders and a tripod.