Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Hip Hip Hooray! We crossed the Bay!




And we lived to tell the tale......

On Sunday morning the sleepy sea-side village of Arnside awoke to more than the screech of gulls and the scuttle of crabs, as hundreds of bare-legged hikers gathered on the beach, poised to cross Morecambe’s alluring sands. From far and wide Theresa, Katharine, Nick, Emily, Tsiry, and myself gathered on Arnside sands - the intrepid MfM team!

The sun shone, the wet sands shimmered, and the distant mountains beckoned across the bay. But where was our guide? I thought the tide would wait for no man, but perhaps it would wait for the Queen’s Guide to the Sands. Just as I was wondering whether I should have packed a inflatable ring after all. Our guide, ‘The Sandman’ Cedric Robinson sauntered into view, and we were off!

The rest of the day was a brilliant blur of sun, sea, sand, and truly stunning views. Banishing thoughts of sinking sands from my mind I revelled in the beauty of the Bay and the chance to stride out in the company of great friends.

I was awoken from my reverie by a blow on Cedric’s whistle. It was time to cross the deepest water channel, which was now at least thigh high. Our guide had marked out a safe place to cross by sticking branches in the sand on each side of the channel. ‘When I blow my whistle, everyone cross between the two branches!’ Just as these words were leaving Cedric’s lips a dog bounded gleefully towards the nearest branch. A vision flashed through my mind of the quicksand-marker disappearing in the dog’s jaws. But instead, a burst of laughter rippled through the crowd as the dog cocked its leg (belly deep in water) to mark its new territory.

After a close encounter with a Flat Fish we emerged at the far side of the channel. Cake at Kents Bank was now calling in the breeze!

The final stretch of balancing on muddy banks was reminiscent of treks across rice fields to reach remote villages in Madagascar. As our flip-flops slipped into sludge we smiled to think of the money raised and the new hope it will bring to children imprisoned in Madagascar.

The day was so great, both for the MfM team and for the kids in Madagascar that we are planning to do it all again next year with tens or even hundreds of MfM supporters. Do let us know if you fancy a stride into the tide!

To see how much we’ve raised so far, please visit our Just Giving page.