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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, IPtower.nl, 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: OhmTV.com; 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, TravelAbout.com.au, 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, Nunanet.com, Canadian North Accommodations by the Sea, DRL Coachlines Newfoundland, The National Post and Air North.


Reports

Saturday, 21 July 2001
Inverness --> Fort William, Scotland (UK)

Today I travelled from Inverness towards Fort William, passing the twenty-four miles long and a mile wide Loch Ness, unfortunately without any monster sightings…
As Per had to work until 3am this morning, he needed a good sleep in. With me behind the laptop in the morning, Tonje left to work, saying goodbye to me.

Around twelve Per was present again and we had a good rich breakfast, which could get me as far as Fort Williams today.

Per offered me to bring me halfway Fort Williams, which is 64 miles from Inverness.

We drove along the Loch all the time and it is a strange experience that this hyped monster-lake attracts so much tourism. Of course, every investigating boat around here, will never reveal that the monster does not exist. This area lives on the tourism of the monster, which had not been seen for a long time.

And even I had bad luck, but as I am sceptical about the story, someway I did have a good look at unexplainable wrinkles on the water surface, not knowing what to think or what to believe.

I think everybody will see something in the lake, even if you don’t believe in the mystery.

Per dropped me of on the route to Fort Williams, right in the centre of the tourist village of Fort Augustus.

From Fort Augustus I got several lifts, even from an Australian primary school principal, (aspiring to invite me over in Australia) who dropped me of on Fort William’s High Street.

Fort Williamwas very busy at the moment, even though the weather is not really cooperating around here. Fort William has always been popular with tourists and since the filming nearby of the movies Rob Roy and Braveheart even more people are flocking to the area.

I saw lots backpackers here, coming from all kinds of countries. While Australia is a backpackers’ paradise, I met a lot of Australians up here and as Fort Williams is located as the first big town up north from Glasgow and it is on the route to the popular Isle of Skye, most tourist will eventually always end up in Fort Williams after all.

In this town I was invited by Jakkie Kennedy, who works at the Crofter Bar and had actually invited me at the pub.

As I got a free drink inside, I met Jakkie when she had to start working, at 5.30pm. She told how she was using the internet at college and somehow came onto my website and invited me over.

Unfortunately I couldn’t sleep in the pub itself and Jakkie told me how messed up her place was now, as she just came back from a holiday yesterday.

Solution: I could stay at her mums place, just a few blocks down the street, which was all fine for me.

But the promised free meal was offered me at the Crofter Bar, and I enjoyed the 80oz Gammon steak very much!

Just when she took a five minutes break, I offered her The Gift from Per and Tonje Johnsen. She was very delighted with the little clay elephant Liam (“That is how he calls himself,” is what Per told me) together with the book Scottish Ghosts, written by Lily Seafield.

Jakkie had forgotten everything about my travel-around-the-world project and didn’t expect these gifts either, but she went out into the pub’s office and got her stock in this world chain of gifts.

After another (free) pints of beer offered to me by the personnel, I got ready to head up to Jakkie’s mother, Marie Kennedy.

When I reached the house I then noticed it was a small Bed & Breakfast. Oh, lucky me!

Marie heard about my arrival this morning, as Jakkie told her about me, but she never heard anything more.

When I settled my stuff in my own guestroom (with a marvellous the view on the river Loch Linnhy and the mountain range on the other side!), I showed her some of my collected newspaper clippings.

She then realized that she had a sort of celebrity in her house and with all that publicity going on around me, she told me that I am sure was not someone not to spoil now!

I used her computer with internet connection for a while, before going to bed, long before midnight.

Good night Fort William!

Ramon.




Where is Ramon at this moment?
Click here to see the map