Tra Mor beach is rather a redundant name, since ‘tra’ means beach and ‘mor’ mean big, but it helps to understand it, right? This beach has been taunting me since I arrived here at Corcreggan Mill 3-1/2 weeks ago. I can almost see it from here–it’s just over the dunes past New Lake–but you can’t get there that easily.
Yesterday, Marina and Denis invited me to tag along as they walked to the beach through those dunes with the dog, Danu. First we had to drive to Dunfanaghy, turn off onto a little lane just before hitting the town center, then parked just beyond the 12-arched bridge. Danu was put on her leash to cross the road, but once we climbed down the stone steps into the cow pasture, she was let off to run and sniff and roll around in cow patties (which she did multiple times!).
The first part of the journey is through the pasture past some cows which looked at us with interest. They aren’t interested in being petted, but they are pretty much used to people wandering by. Marina wanted to get close to one, and held out a bit of bread to entice her to let her approach. It was funny seeing the cow stretch her neck out, nodding as she sniffed the air. There’s a picture below of this.
Through the pasture, we climbed a stile over the fence and began our real journey up into the dunes. The ground was all grass, dirt, and sand, and really easy to walk. I went barefoot for the entire journey, almost. In fact, I was wearing my cargo capris, barefoot, a hooded jacket, PLUS a heavy winter coat. The wind was ferocious and it really isn’t that warm. I looked funny, I know, but I care more about comfort than fashion these days.
There’s one really big dune we had to climb up, and I was panting when I got to the top, but recovered much faster than I have in the past. I’m getting in better and better condition, huzzah! The views were stunning, and of course, I took some pictures of Muckish Mountain and Mount Errigal, too, which is the highest mountain in Donegal (that’s not saying much, it’s not even 3000 feet high, but so beautiful).
Our trip was filled with antics with the dog and taking endless pictures, and generally being silly. What fun! When we got to the final dune, I was disappointed to see a lot of trash before we spilled out onto the beach. Denis told me the tide washed the trash ashore. There was a line of smoothly rounded, mostly black rocks at the edge of the dunes, and then we were on a beautiful sandy beach.
Determined to not lug around a bunch of rocks, I only picked up about five small ones. I’ll probably only keep a couple of them. Managed to go wading in the surf before we headed back. Denis and I wanted to go to the stone circle, but Marina said I’d probably had enough for the day, and she was right. I was getting really tired by this time. We wandered the beach for a while, looking at the rocks and trying to convince Danu not to bring us rocks to throw for her to fetch. There weren’t very many shells on Tra Mor.
When it was time to leave, I put my flip-flops on to traverse the rocks and the trash, then took them off when I got back to the sand of the dunes. Denis found a huge pole that he decided to take back to Brendan. It had a huge nail in it, which he used to brace his hand on as he carried it across his shoulders. It was really heavy, and we took a lot of breaks for him to rest, including one where we sat and shared the beer he brought along. Note the pics below of Marina and me toasting each other in Russian. We look like we’ve been drinking a lot, but no, we were just tired and silly. Denis got the brilliant idea of tying the empty can to Danu’s collar, and she carried that can all the way back home, proudly! Denis called her the ‘beer doggie.’ Danu thought she’d done something really great. As you can see, more silliness. Laughter really is healing.