Monday, August 30, 2010

Mud bath

The Saturday before I left on my African adventure, as a part of my 30 ways in 30 days campaign, I decided it was high tide time I did something that had been on my wish-list for well over a year.  So, please indulge me for a moment while I take you through a little geography lesson.  The Netherlands, a large portion of which is located well below sea level, is located next to the North Sea.

Along the northern coast, a part of the country is made up of a series of islands, one located right behind the other as they work their way in a North/Northeasterly direction.  Between the chain of islands and the mainland is a belt of the North Sea called the Wadden Sea.  Throughout the months of March-November, the tide is low enough to allow one to walk on water (or on the lack thereof) to one of the previously explained islands.  It is how the Dutch came up with the term Wadlopen, (directly translated: walking the Wadden Sea).  

The urge to walk on water (or the lack thereof) tugged on me for months on end.  It seemed exotic, exciting, and unique.  I was constantly drawn to the idea of Wadlopen, a magnetic pull so strong even other people started sending me links to the website (which I frequented regularly) and asked if I had given it a try.  When I finally found someone as crazy as I was to be willing to walk knee deep in mud for hours on end, my dream of crossing a sea (other than by boat or swimming) became a reality.

Anouschka and I left Amsterdam earlier than should be allowed on a Saturday morning, and made our nearly 3 hour journey to Holwerd, located in the Provence of Friesland. An hour later we began our 10 mile (3.5 hour) hike through knee high mud and, at times, waist deep water to the neighboring island of Ameland.  The feel of fresh, stinky mud between our feet (that threatened to suck us in, or at least pull us down) is better than anything a girl could have asked for.  Especially when it included multiple viewings of people falling on their faces, while the both of us stood victorious... (mostly).

1 comment:

Kristi said...

How fun and crazy! I love hearing about all your adventures, keep it coming!