When I sold my boat and was no longer able to take long wilderness pilgrimages at sea, I wondered where next to turn for teachings from the wilder world. I decided to follow the course of the river Avon from its source in South Gloucestershire to Avonmouth, where it joins the river Severn. I met with my friend David for our first exploration in late November, near where the Avon is said to rise just north of the village of Acton Turville. It was a cold day, with a clear blue sky and bright sun; the fields were covered with frost. Leaning on a farm gate, we drank coffee laced with whisky and shared ...


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