Friday, November 14, 2008


We've migrated north a couple of hours to an 800-acre ranch with sheep, horses and wild boar. We've done some exploring on and off the property. Two miles west and 2,000 feet down is the ocean, where we spent a lovely 80-degree day today climbing and picnicking on sea cliffs, misted by the salt spray of massive frothy waves exploding on the moonlike rocks.

As if that wasn't enough, we looked out a few hundred yards, past the swath of reddish seaweed, and whales were playing in the water, flipping their tails and dorsal fins and blowing spumes of water in the air. They had black backs and white bellies, which led us to believe they were killer whales, but then we don't really know a whole lot about whales except that we want to get out closer to them and see more! What a treat!

We spent the whole day at the oceanside (though the whales only stuck around for about an hour) and downed some fish 'n' chips and a cold drink while listening to an animated conversation about land rights from some leftover hippies at a nearby table at a little roadhouse. We were seated on the patio overlooking an inlet where a small seal was swimming around, and the staff said he had been entertaining them all day. We watched him and some pelicans doing a funny water-bathing dance while the sun set in the most unusual palette of violet water, sea-green sky, and blood-red clouds. We stopped on the way back to take pictures that we knew would never do it justice...see?!

Pulling back into the yard after dark at the ranch, we had to brake as two deer ran across the driveway and bounded off toward the barn. It was a nature-filled day, the kind that we used to wish for when we got tired of the pace of city life. We noticed how the crash and echo of the waves against the rock walls reminded us of the percussion of fireworks echoing off of downtown buildings on the fourth of July, and thought it strange that it would be the natural sounds reminding us of the manmade ones, instead of the other way around.

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