Today, I went for a run. It has been … well … a long time. I haven’t run since I left the states. I’ve been on the road for seven days, tomorrow. I don’t think I’ve ran since I had a home in Iowa City. So. It has been at least a month.
I question why I waited to so long. The obvious answer is that I’ve been in transit. When living out of a backpack (or a camper!), it is tough to follow any sort of a set schedule. As I write this last sentence I realize that I DID run while living out at the Res – a couple times, but the deer were honestly to friendly for my likings. Either way, I ran today along Galway Bay and it was great. It was cool and cloudy. Since I’ve been here, I’ve yet to experience an Irish rain. Last night, after we left the pub, we were kicking it with the Aussies next to Abrakababra (a food joint. I’m bringing one to the states), and it misted – but still not rain. I’ve seen the sun a couple times which is really enough for me. I’ve always said that in Iowa I love cloudy, rainy days. Every day has been cool, cloudy, and threatening rain. The run. I ran along Galway Bay towards the ocean. I never actually made it out of what is classified as the bay, but I ran along rocks, beaches, and clear ocean water.
As I was running, I approached a rocky peninsula, and on the end of this I found a thirty or forty foot tall cement structure that jutted out into the bay. There were people swimming off said tall, cement structure. There were people jumping off of said structure. (I put my feet in Galway Bay yesterday. The water came up to my knees. It was cold. At the time, I couldn’t imagine actually swimming in the water.) I somewhat confusedly walked around the benches that surrounded this swimming area. It was really a shocking sight. It was firstly shocking because the first thing I noticed was the arse of a seventy plus year old woman drying off after a swim. There were ten or fifteen people toweling off after their swim in the bay. There were older folks swimming back and forth along the bay and younger kids jumping off of the cement structure. I made my way to a lifeguard who was on duty. “Whats the water temperature?” I asked him. “17.5 degrees,” he let me know. I’ve stopped trying to make the translation from C to F. They deal in C, so I’ll try to do the same. I stripped to my running shorts and made my way up the stairs to the top of the diving platform. Looking down, I could see the bottom of the bay that I was preparing to jump in to. On my way I met a guy who had just got out of the water. “Hows the water temperature?” I again him. “I think its lovely, meself.”
After making the 25 foot leap for the first time into the bay I realized, a) that 17.5 degrees C is cold and b) that lovely to me, and to a local Irish lad are distinctly different adjectives. The water was really spectacular though. Very cold, extremely salty, vividly clear, and refreshing after a two mile run. I would hazard to guess I will make my way to this cement structure again soon.
Brian and I left the hostel around seven today with the hopes of finding some grub for our one, substantial meal for the day. We stopped at five or six pubs along the way and found some great pints of beer, but no food that struck our fancy – most importantly, nothing that fit with our budgets. We opted to pick up some food at the grocery store/convenience store on our way home. Our meal – better than the assorted, pickled vegetables from last night – cost just over Eur9.00. Penne pasta, white ravioli sauce, and … drum roll … black and white pudding. Black pudding is an Irish sausage that comes with a traditional Irish breakfast. Have you read my linked Wikipedia article yet? It wasn’t good, but a cheap addition to our pasta. If nothing else, it served as a fantastic conversation starter at our common hostel kitchen.
The job / accommodation search is in the air as Brian and I wait to hear from a fundraising organization we sent our resumes to today. I’ll keep you posted.