Friday, March 8, 2013

Back to our favourite beach walk

After all the weather we've had lately, it was lovely to have a warm and sunny day. Time to go for a long walk on the beach at St. Pere Pescador. We parked in our summer spot near the beach restaurant, Marlin. Although the restaurant doesn't open until Easter, the owner was there with her two dogs that enthusiastically greeted us.

Our usual path out to the beach was covered in water. When we eventually reached the beach the dunes had been all but obliterated with some small packed hills reminding us of what had been there before. The dunes at the back of the beach looked as though someone had cut into them with a bulldozer. This was the result of Wednesday's storm. Fortunately for us the sand was packed down very hard, which made walking much easier than usual, allowing us to move along at a speedy pace.

At one point there was a new stream coming down to the water with a two-metre high bank carved out of the sand. We negotiated this right down at the beach with not too much difficulty. Finally, we reached the bridge that would take us to the path leading to Sant Marti d'Empuries, our destination for lunch. Disaster. The bridge had been knocked askew and workers were using two huge earth movers  to get it back into place. We couldn't use the bridge over a fast running river. Finally, I went closer to the water took off my shoes and socks, rolled up my pants and ventured into the water. I used a stick to make sure it wasn't too deep and to anchor me in the fast running current. I made it. Seamus took a longer route right down where the river met the sea. Now we could go for lunch. It was worth fording the river.

We had our well deserved lunch sitting outside in the sunshine, a lovely green salad with smoked salmon followed by some sea bream. After an espresso it was time to make the return journey back along the beach. We approached the bridge to find that the workers had disappeared for lunch. It was easy to negotiate the repairs and we were on the other side. Now down to the water's edge where we removed our shoes and socks and paddled our way back to our starting point in very agreeable water.

There was no one on the beach and the water was very inviting. I've been reading, Pondlife by Al Alvarez, a journal by an older man who swims most days in the cold waters of the men's pond at Hampstead Heath in London. This has given me a lot to think about and much inspiration. I decided that it was time to literally take the plunge and in I went. Lululemon take note. Instead of advertising clothes for hot yoga or running, your bikinis make a lovely impromptu swim suit. The water wasn't too cold, probably in the sixties, and I did have a bit of a swim. I wasn't even cold when I got out.

Dried off and back in the car, we decided to drop in at the Aiguamolls, which was on our way. How did the birds fare in the storm? We only visited the first blind. Here the water was much higher than usual but that seemed to suit the mallards who were enjoying chasing each other and leaping about in the water as if they were swimming butterfly. The herd of deer were resting on their usual strip of land. A large group of gulls in the distance looked like they were at a political meeting. Two sparkling white European swans were enjoying a swim while the flamingoes foraged in the water in the far pond. Everything was back to normal after the storm.

Now it was time to return home where I enjoyed a lovely, hot shower.

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