Friday, March 16, 2007

Mud People

As shadows lengthen, groups of kids are out on the mud flats.

As Ken has mentioned in his blog, lots of people venture out onto the mud around the Mont-Saint-Michel. They don't go far without a guide because there are spots where the mud is actually quicksand, and you can get into big trouble.

Rubber boots are de rigueur on the tidal flats around the Mont-Saint-Michel.

Many of the groups we see are school-aged kids. They usually all have similar mud boots on, which makes me think their walks are organized by people on the Mont. Ken and I haven't looked into doing that, but maybe one day...

During our visit, two young girls got stuck up to their thighs in quicksand (above - click on the picture to see a larger version). It took a couple adults about 15 minutes to dig them out while the other members of their group looked on. I wonder how often that happens ? Makes you realize that you don't want to be out there alone.

Random patterns of people dot the expanse of mud and water.

That's the last of my entries for the Mont-Saint-Michel for a while. I hope you enjoyed them !

3 comments:

  1. I've enjoyed seeing your MSM photos, Walt. I suppose most of us had a photo of the mont on our high school French class wall. I know I did and it was a must see for me from then on.

    I bet those kids love playing in that mud...

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  2. Bonjour Walt,

    J'adore cette photo de l'ombre du Mont-Saint-Michel, elle est géniale :-)

    Years ago, a couple of friends organized a trip to the MSM by coach to celebrate their birthday (I think both of them turned 40 that year). So we joined them and their other friends (54 people in all...) and we walked across the "Baie du Mont-Saint-Michel" with a guide. It was in April and we were lucky because the weather was fine, we had to wear shorts to cross the Couesnon which was still quite cold at that time of the year... At times, the guide asked us not to move and wait for him while he went ahead of us and saw where we could walk without getting into quick sands areas ("les sables mouvants" in French)... Then, we had to follow him and hold another person's hand to walk across some of these areas, we then could feel the ground "branler" (the French term which means that the grounds kind of moves under our feet), it was a very strange sensation... But the guide who was very interesting and gave us plenty of info related to the climate, animals, etc. one finds in the Baie/bay told us that only animals could really be kind of "buried" in the quick sands of the bay... Anyway, this experience of crossing the bay on foot was very strange and great. We could feel a bit like the pilgrims who did this in the past. When we got close to the Mount, under the walls, we didn't enter the Mont not because it was packed by tourists but because we had to walk back to the place where we had left the coach, across the bay we had crossed... I'll never forgive this experience but don't think I'd like to do it again, it was really strange, at least for me, I had the impression being in the desert and it made me feel a bit ill at ease, but most of the friends who did the crossing with us loved it and Francis did like this "expérience" :-)

    Years before, we had spent, like you, a night in a hotel inside the Mont at the Toussaint holiday (end of Oct./beginning of Nov.) with our 10-year-old daughter and it was great waking up in the morning and seeing the sea all around th Mont. Since there were not many tourists at that time of the year, we had the impression the Mont was only... ours :-) especially at night when we could hear the bells of the Abbaye ringing !!! I loved this impression... I felt as if I was living in the Middle Ages... Bises. Marie

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  3. Evelyn, merci. Yes, I think there was a photo of the Mont in one of my French classes over the years !

    Marie, great story !

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