I had a very special day trip to the Secret Water. Hamford Water National Nature Reserve is the area where the Arthur Ransome's eighth book, "Secret Water", is based on. I've read the book and gazed on the map on the end paper for so many times since I was a child. I even copied the map by myself. And yesterday, I was actually standing there!
アーサー・ランサム全集の「ひみつの海」の舞台になったエセックス州ハリッジ近くのWalton-on-the Naze自然保護区を訪ねて来た。火打ち石島につながる外海に面した半島をバードウォッチングをしながら歩き、アマゾン水路やマゼラン海峡、ツバメ島を眺めた。Kirbyle Sokenの集落から伸びるIsland Laneをたどると、道は紅海の真ん中へと続いていた。満潮を少し過ぎた頃に着いたので、渡渉路は完全に水の中で、ティティとロジャ、ブリジットが立ち往生して捉まっていたであろう杭にニシセグロカモメがとまっていた。
We walked on the Naze watching birds. There were many waders: Avocets, Ringed Plovers, Turnstones, Black-tailed Godwets, Curlews, Oystercatchers, Redshanks and Peewit(Lapwing), of course!
It was amazing to know that we could actually point out most of the places mentioned in the story. And I noticed that it was the sense of place and reality that made me love his works. Their adventures are not something only happen in the book but we can try it in real world. We can drive (walk?) across the Red Sea when the tide is low and stay in a cottage on the Swallows Island, for example. It will be wonderful to read the book with children and spend a holiday there.