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During my travels newspaper columns were published weekly in the Dutch daily newspaper
Dutch newspaper Spits

This project has been supported by these great and warmhearted companies:
Netherlands: Paping Buitensport, ODLO,, AVRO Dutch Broadcasting Org., Travelcare, TunaFish, Book A Tour, StadsRadio Rotterdam; UK: Lazystudent, KissFM, The Sunday Times, The Guardian; Isle of Man: SteamPacket/SeaCat; Ireland: BikeTheBurren; Belgium: Le Temps Perdu, Majer & PartnersAustria:; Norway: Scanrail Pass, Hurtigruten, Best Western HotelsSouth Africa: eTravel, British Airways Comair, CapeTalk, BazBus Spain: Inter Rail, Train company Renfe; Australia: Channel 9 Television, Bridgeclimb, Harbourjet, SeaFM Central Coast, Moonshadow Cruises, Australian Zoo, Fraser Island Excursions, Hamilton Island Resort, FantaSea Cruises, Greyhound/McCafferty's Express Coaches, Aussie Overlanders,, Travelworld, Unlimited Internet, Kangaroo Island SeaLink, Acacia Apartments; Malaysia: Aircoast; Canada: VIA rail, Cedar Springs Lodge, BCTV/GlobalTV, St. George Hotel, VICKI GABEREAU talkshow, Ziptrek Ecotours, Whitler Blackcomb Ski Resort, Summit Ski & Snowboard Rental, High Mountain BrewHouse, Cougar Mountain Snowmobiling, Whistler Question Newspaper, Snowshoe Inn, First Air,, Canadian North Accommodations by the Sea, DRL Coachlines Newfoundland, The National Post and Air North.


Monday, 7 May 2001
--> s Hertogenbosch (NL) day 1

About how I got from Breda to 's Hertogenbosch by walking through high green grass farmlands, handing over the guitar to my hostess Tamara, eating out at a Greek restaurant and deciding to stay another night.
Frank and Helie had already left their home to go to work and gave me the opportunity to sleep out longer than usual. At around 11 am I woke up in a deserted house and made myself some coffee with a sandwich.

It's very unbelievable for me that they trust a stranger to stay in their home, I had never heard about that before and it was the first time I gained so much positive trust that they let me stay. It felt very special to me.

In the same room I slept in I used the computer with an cable internet connection to write some reports. On this day my website was still a mess and was only showing reports of the first 3 days, all due to database problems.

At 12.30 I closed the door behind me, with my backpack on and an accoustic guitar in my hands, ready for the road to the city of 's Hertogenbosch!

On a tourist board I studied the local city map to find the best exit to the highway. I decided to take a bus to the nearest highway off ramp, but when I got there it took me over 2 hours to realize that wasn't the best stop to hitch-hike.

Looking at another map again, my only solution was to walk to another highway point where the road split up to 's Hertogenbosch. That had to be the best location! But therefor I had to take a hike of almost 3 kilometer through somebody's farmlands with high grass. That wasn't the biggest problem - but the farmland also had some little creeks halfway...

Imagine this guy walking through a green grass field with a backpack and a guitar. Just walking. Then see me take everything off and throw it one by one to the other site of the little creeks and see me jump over the creek, and continue this a few times. Man, this was exhausting! Sweat was crawling over my back...

But the best achievement was to get a ride within 5 minutes of standing at the right spot. The man giving me a ride, stopped me off in the city of Tilburg, where I easily got a hitch to the next city: my destination.

I arrived in 's Hertogenbosch around 5 pm in the afternoon and my hostess for tonight, Tamara, gave me the instructions to better take a bus to the Central Trainstation, where she'd pick me up. The public transportation strip cards I had did have exactly enough to make it there.

It was really nice to see how Tamara looked up with big eyes after I told her about a little present I had for her and I handed over the guitar. She had never expected a big thing like that.

The little note that came with it, from Frank, said that she only had to renew the strings and she could learn to play the guitar herself. She promised me that whenever we'd ever see each other again, she'd play some songs on the guitar...

Tamara lives some 5 minutes walking from the Central Station of 's Hertogenbosch, and she looks out at the buildings of the University of Brabant (the name of the current province I was in).

After I dropped off my stuff at her 3rd floor room in an studentflat, she took me out to town. 's Hertogenbosch is a very clean and old city, almost everything architectural from the previous centurious is preserved. Even the little canals that go under the city are still there and is a big tourist attraction (make reservations 2 weeks before and you'll get to sit with the eighty elderly in those canal-boats - so no chance for us to get in it).

I told Tamara I was kind of tired and even my legs heard because of that little farmland walk. So very soon we sat down at a terrace, looking out at the big Saint Jan Cathedral of 's Hertogenbosch.

Here we had some nice chats and I was overwhelmed by questions from her about my travelling around the world. She was very proud that she could participate by inviting me over.

Around 9pm that night she looked around for a nice good restaurant in the center of the city. Most of them were closed because it was just Monday, but we found a nice looking Greek restaurant called "Sirtaki" and the balcony had a great view over one of the canals disappearing underneath the city.

While talking a lot during this excellent dinner I had to speak up freely and I told her I was a little tired after 7 days of touring through the Netherlands, even after sleeping long this morning. And then she convinced me to stay another night in this city. I could sleep out the next morning and take a walk through the city in the daytime, while she had to go to work 'till 5 pm.

I didn't think about her gesture very long and decided to stay another extra night at her place tomorrow - the first time during this project!

When she put out the couch into a bed, back in her room after dinner, I crashed on it and burned away in the night...