Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hunting for Mollusks

Zach and I have established the following morning pattern:

8:00 a.m.--wake up to local radio station and try to listen to the local news, weather, traffic
8:30 a.m.--turn off the radio alarm clock after determining that the DJ a.) has a charming regional dialect that b.) moves at the speed of light, which is c.) too charming to be intelligible
8:31 a.m.--Jenny must wake Zach up again because he's fallen back asleep during the charming news, weather, and traffic reports
9:35 a.m.--succeed in waking Zach, then get out of bed and go for a jog

We've been pretty dedicated to this regimen and have been able to map out a very lovely route through Sandycove. We do a warm-up walk down Sandycove Road, going most of the way to the old remnants of a castle and fishing dock. From there we do an about face where we then commence with the jogging.

We pant and puff our way down to the Martello tower which overlooks the expansive Dublin Bay. It's called Joyce's Tower only because Irish poet, James Joyce, was shot at in that tower. 

The bay is some days serine, some days stormy and soupy with seaweed and kelp. Up and over a hill we pump or legs and then we pass the swimming area. Yes, in next to freezing temperatures, the locals like to go swimming in the area around the tower! We marvel at them as we continue around the sidewalk to where it joins up with the main promenade or boardwalk. 

We jog this flat expanse of concrete--lined on one side with a grassy copse and on the other with huge granite boulders and the sea--as locals walk their dogs or push baby carriages. Meanwhile, the gulls giggle overhead. Who they're always laughing at, we've yet to determine. Is it the Yanks out for a jog? Is the semi-shameful dog owner who fails to pick up their spaniel's little brown sculptures? Or are they laughing at the unfortunate few who step in one of those little works of pup-art? 

Who knows...but those birds laugh the day away.

Zach and I reach the end of the promenade, which actually terminates near the marina in the neighboring town of Dun Laoghaire (said Dun Leary). We touch the wall and turn back. Most days we jog all the way around Joyce's tower and back home where we stretch and then make a yummy breakfast of (sometimes) eggs, spicy papitas, tea, and toast.

Today, however, we stopped off at the swimming area because the tide was very low. We descended the stone-paved ramp to stand on the soggy sandy beach. We discovered the ocean's little trinket treasure trove full of little bits of kelp, cockle shells punctured and fractured by the birds, abandoned spiraling periwinkle shells, amazing conglomerate and metamorphose pebbles, and lots and lots of cone-shaped limpet shells. 

We picked through the unguarded treasure like a couple of hens rooting for choice worms. We filled our thieving pockets and then returned home with our nautical plunder! All the way back we--two self-ascribed "desert rats"--reveled in our new coastal home.

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