Friday, October 23, 2009

Boy, this is deer country...

A pet peeve of mine is the lack of bins in the Phoenix Park. At times I end up running around for over 2 miles with an empty water bottle in hand waiting for that elusive bin to appear.

Yesterday I found a new gripe - lights! There's shag all in the park, and lots of them that are there simply don't work. At one stage I went by six lights in a row, both sides of the road, not working. I'd never noticed it before but now with the main road closed to cars in the park, no lights from traffic coupled with a lack of working lights, the visibility after 7 o'clock is non-existent.

With no cars around for company, and not being able to see more than 10 metres in any direction, that park becomes an eerie place. On my final 2 miles I suddenly noticed deer crossing the road right in front of me in an orderly line. I stopped, looked to the right and couldn't make anything out. I had no way of telling how many there were or when they'd finish crossing as I was the only one with the decency to have lights on! I then spotted daddy deer hanging back, not crossing the road, staring straight at me. Mexican standoff.
Bugger, time to take a detour

What I didn't realise was that my new route to escape the deer was completely light free - that's wrong, there was one light. To add to that I entered right into deer country. In the dark, with no cars, this was their territory, even if I was on a footpath. What noise do deers make? Is it braying? like bray the place? Anyway, it sounds like a growl slash grumble, and is pretty damn freaky when you don't know if it's directed at you. I had this sound in my ear for the next 2km, almost like one deer was stalking me. I kept passing signs with warnings of deers crossing on them, convinced that a deer was going to shoot across the road to the field on the other side and crash into me.

All in all, the 10 minute detour jog that brought me away from the initial deer encounter was an altogether unpleasant affair. Until cars are back in the park in the evenings, increasing visibility, it looks like I'm out of there. Once back on the main stretch of road, complete with traffic all I had to deal with was the occasional ninja cyclist and runner.
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