THERE are few prettier places in England in springtime than the Wye Valley.
Pip and I have relatives to see in the Cardiff and Bristol area and a bed-and-breakfast spot on the banks of this gorgeous Welsh river is ideal for visiting both sets.
The river rises in mid-Wales near the little village of Abergwesyn and enters the Severn estuary a long way south at Chepstow.
Most people associate it with the Hay-on-Wye book festival, or the spectacular Symons Rock and oddly-named Yat.
It’s a clean river and, if you have a licence, you can fish for salmon in it.
One such man was fly-casting what is known in the trade as a double spey as we watched from the breakfast bar window.
Suddenly he scrambled out of the river with some urgency and stood on the bank.
Had he seen a crocodile? It seemed unlikely. Perhaps it was just a very big salmon.
But then we noticed a very strange thing.
The river, which had been running north to south, had stopped flowing.
Before our eyes its waters rose in depth and began slowly to move north.
We were witnessing a rare phenomenon, the Wye Bore, little brother of the Severn Bore.
All the websites I visited seemed to suggest the Wye Bore was about as common as hen’s teeth, the Loch Ness Monster and rocking horse dung.
In fact, you were more likely to see all three first before catching a glimpse of the Wye flowing backwards.
I feel quite privileged to have seen this, and am now hoping that all is set fair to spot Nessie next time I’m in Scotland.