Student - June 14, 2007

‘Covered in mud from head to toe’

The Wageningen students’ sports association Thymos organised a wadloop for students on Monday 11 June. Eighteen people of six different nationalities went to Holwerd in Friesland, the starting point of the 13.5 kilometre walk to the island of Ameland.

Students walked to the island of Ameland on a wadlopen excursion with Thymos last Monday.
So exactly what is wadlopen? Well, it’s an activity that requires the tide to be out, so that you can walk through an area that is usually under water. Wad is the Dutch name for the tidal mud flats where this takes place. The walk has to be completed before the tide comes in and submerges the land again. It is possible to do wadlopen between the north coast of the Netherlands and the West Friesian Islands, and it is particularly worthwhile if you are interested in the unusual wildlife there.

‘The first bit was through an enormous area of mud, where lots of people got stuck and fell over. The upshot: students completely covered from head to toe in mud and lots of laughter. Our guide, a striking man with long silver-grey hair, knew lots about the wad and stopped us regularly to look at all sorts of things like wad spiders, wad snails and shrimps. He also opened oysters for us to eat, but only Ramona, from Germany, was brave enough to try one. We were really lucky with the weather: it was sunny, not too hot and hardly any wind. So it didn’t matter when we ended up in a gully that was so deep that the shorter people had to walk with their bags above their heads,’ Djûke van der Maat of Thymos describes the day.

The good atmosphere was helped along by two bottles of sun cream. But even though everyone rubbed lots in, some calves got burned.

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