For weeks in advance, I was hoping for some really stormy weather. Big waves, wild wind, maybe even some thunder! After about 2 years in the woods, I was longing for some salty air and the sound of the sea and that’s why we rented a holiday home only a few minutes from the beach.
For walking hours and hours a day, the Danish coast is a unique spot. In many places, you can even go for a drive on the beach! While nothing beats a quiet walk to clear the mind, it did save me once!
Every day I had been walking the rather narrow beach which was guided by a foamy sea on one side and high cliffs on the other. And always when I go out, I keep in mind: “Only a fool doesn’t fear the ocean,” so I checked tides and kept an eye on wind and weather. At this particular beach in Løkken, the sea eats away about 2 meters of coastline every year. This results in small landslides, bunkers from WWII hanging struck dumb halfway a cliff, or remains flooded with every high tide. This is the reason that in another village close by, they decided to save their landmark, a lighthouse, and move it 70meters inland. Still, when going for a walk, you can see some holiday houses, only a few meters from the border of the cliff- and in a few places, wonky wooden stairs are built to climb to the dunes.
For many days, the sea shaped a natural border for me. Stop here it said, by dramatically bouncing into the clay walls of the cliff. A big piece had fallen down and I used it as a landmark to turn back.
Then one day, the weather changed completely. While I had been dressing as I would at -20 here in Sweden, suddenly the wind was gone, the sky turned blue, a bright sun came out, it was freezing just a bit and suddenly the beach was open en wide. I went out, vibrating in the beautiful sunlight, full of energy and I couldn’t get enough of the air, the light, and the fact that I had found my very first piece of amber. In the morning I did one side of the beach, came home for a quick lunch, and then went out again to the other side. At one point, the light was turning red, I had just been stuck in the mud with my boots almost completely sucked in, jumping around on my socks trying not to get them stuck too as I suddenly realized that I was lost. Well, lost is a silly idea when you’re walking just up and down the beach, but I noticed that it had been a while since I saw any of my anchor points. The stairs, the clay, the cove with the small rocks, … I looked around and there was nobody at the beach, reached deep inside my pockets to check my location on my phone… no connection- and my battery was dying.
As fast as I could, I started walking back. Lizzie was happily by my side- she was probably relieved that I was finally getting some speed haha. In the meantime, I tried texting Joeri, and when I realized that everything started to hurt while it was getting darker and darker, I asked him to pick me up. “Find me on the beach! Phone almost dead.”
And the great thing about these Danish beaches is that he was able to just jump in the car and drive all the way to one of those stairs where I just managed to drag my tired legs to :-). Oh, I was so thankful that I didn’t have to walk all the way back! Oh, and I slept like a baby that night! 🙂
Why I was hoping for stormy weather? Not just because I like hot chocolate while it rumbles out there. No, the perfect moment to go beachcombing is after a storm when the sea throws anything and everything back on the beach. Not all finds are equally fun. Some are disturbing, like dead seals, dead birds, tons of plastic and other junk. It’s heartbreaking.
At the same time, I wouldn’t be some kind of weird treasure hunter if I wouldn’t find some beauty too.
For the beachcombing, I was often out on my own with one or two dogs. Curious about everything there is to see, Joeri would freeze while waiting for me :-).
In my experience, it’s really the unforgiving wind that makes winter so tough at the beach. It’s hard to dress for biting rain and tireless wind. One really has to cover up as much as possible and try to stay dry. Once water leaks into your gloves or boots, the fun simmers down equally.
– backpack with lamp, food, water, plastic bags (for treasures).
– different kinds of gloves: warm/soft, plastic, rubberized.
– raincoat and waterproof trousers.
– rainboots (with double socks for both warmth and cushioning).
– many warm layers.
– phone (although I did experience some trouble with my phone, I think it’s getting old…)
Except for the find that I share in these photos, I also collected manymanymany rocks (for tumbling), shells and some other random objects that I found (like a Jelly Belly air freshener that still smells lol).
Oh I can’t wait to go back to Denmark or perhaps another beach!
And if you like beachcombing too, I’d love to hear what your favourite find has been. Or perhaps the weirdest/most fun/ moest surprising?
My inner Blackbeard greeting you,