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The official
Letmestayforaday.com
sponsors always were:


OXBOW
www.ODLO.com


www.pac-safe.com
www.pac-safe.com


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

Monday, 20 August 2001
Vrå (Denmark) --> North Sea

Today I travelled from Vrå in Denmark towards Frederikshavn, where a supportive company had paid a boat ticket to me, going to Oslo in Norway. A nice experience to be on a big boat and sleep in my own cabin.
This morning I had my twice a week phone conversation with the Dutch radio station 3FM at 5.45 am. Therefore I had to be at Mark and Rikke’s home to pick up the call coming in at their home.

The deejay asked me if I wasn’t too much of a web nerd as I use everybody’s computer to write my report, every day. It was difficult to explain him about the urge to make social contact with my hosts and answer their questions. They want to hear about my stories too.

I think I could never enter a strange house and dive behind the Internet immediately. That’s what I am afraid of, that people would remind me as “that guy that used our computer all night”.

After the call I did a quick mail check which completely changed my mood.

A former sponsor of this project had ended its 3-months sponsorship and had decided to stop it as the man saw no real business coming out of my visitors.

The man sponsored me with my digital camera and my Nokia telephone and as the sponsoring had ended,

- he - now - wants - back - his - equipment!

You could guess how I felt when I returned back to the bungalow I slept in this night for a few more hours of sleep.

At 9.30 everybody at the house was awake again. And after a shower it was Mark who made us all sausages with bread for breakfast.

The whole club planned to go out to the beach today, as the weather expectations seemed to be good for today.

I offered Mark and Rikke the Letmestayforaday-gift from Lisbet Skytte in Aalborg and Rikke was quite surprised to receive the two little ghosts – to be used as a lit on wine bottles.

Mark carefully packed their present for my next host that I would take with me to the country where I’d arrive tomorrow morning.

Rikke dropped me off at the nearest roundabout near the motorway. When I had no luck in hitchhiking at that point, I first walked a few miles with my backpack down the road until I reached the motorway. I discovered this was the very beginning of the motorway going north, and it was deserted.

The weather was good and I hope the family I just left would enjoy their time at the beach as big clouds were gathering in the sky.

After waiting for an hour I managed to get a lift to the next junction in a truck. There the road to the east coast would start, taking me all the way to Frederikshavn, where my boat would leave at 6.30pm.

A Danish guy and his father picked me up and brought me all the 35 kilometres to the terminal of the Stena Line boat to Oslo, Norway. I was very lucky with that ride!

I never expected to visit Norway during my Denmark tour, but in Aalborg I got this message that Quizpeople.com was enthusiastic to support me with a free boat ticket to Scandinavia, otherwise it would take a long time for me to get there on another occasion.

At the check-in desk I announced that I had arranged and the ticket was all ready for me, on the name of Mr. Letmestayforaday.

But as the boat would leave at 6.30pm, I had a complete afternoon free to look around in Frederikshavn.

I walked through the touristy shopping streets of Frederikshavn (very clean city!) and ended up in the public library where I could use the Internet for free for one hour and I read some latest editions of English newspapers.

Then I saw the Danish newspaper Informatión and saw that a reporter spent one whole column about this project. I remembered that she had interviewed me when I stayed with Mette and Mikael in Fredericia.

Around 5 o’clock I headed back to the departure terminal of the boat, but not before passing the supermarket where I bought myself a loaf of bread and two cans of tuna fish in tomato sauce.

I was very fortunate to do so, as my backup team at home had arranged me a bank card for the Letmestayforaday-account in The Netherlands. Because I already reported in the Dutch media about the lack of my previous sponsor, some Dutch people immediately wanted to help me out with some money.

One lady in Holland had even wired her complete holiday allowance to my bank account as she said that she enjoyed traveling with me through the website so much, that she doesn’t want it to end because of a big company with a lot of money that doesn’t see any business coming in from sponsoring me.

Thank you very much, Bregina!

And I have already received some more ‘donations’ on the account.

It all will never mean that I will be spending money the luxurious way. No-budget will just become low-budget and no fancy dinners in restaurants. I think I’d feel too guilty if I would do that!
The tuna fish and the bread were going to be my dinner on this luxurious cruise boat, heading to Oslo.

On 6.30 I boarded the ship and found my personal cabin. Quizpeople even paid for a cabin for four persons, while I was the only user!

It was a small cabin without any windows to see outside, because the row of cabins I was in was in the middle of the ship on the 5th floor. It had a shower and a mirror, all I wish for.

The boat itself was BIG! I spent a few hours walking around to see everything.

It had totally 8 floors, 3 floors were with sleeping cabins only, than there was also a casino, a grand pub with live music, a disco, three various restaurants (from cheap to very expensive), a playground for children, a comfy captain’s lounge with a piano player and a little movie theatre.

The boat trip cost Quizpeople around 900 Danish Krones, but for that amount of money you are just taken from Frederikshavn to Oslo in 14 hours. Strange that Stena Line has never heard of a free welcome drink or something.

Because everything on the boat cost money - and a lot. When I had settled myself in my cabin I made myself tuna fish sandwiches, and a drink from a machine cost 20 Norwegian Krones. I just knew I was not going to like all those people spending their money in the slot machines at the casino or on all the expensive courses, which were given at the restaurant.

Probably I am just too much thinking in my own no-budget way (going Dutch) and on the other hand thinking about people who need money much more than I do.

I wrote another day report for this website in my cabin and took a short nap. At nine o’clock I was already walking on the decks again, looking at the endless North Sea at the horizon.

I decided to bring a visit to the movie theatre this night, as Bridget Jones’ Diary (view trailer)was playing at midnight. Until that time I walked around a lot, from the first floor to the seventh and from the front to the back. I was very interested in life on a ship and I loved to look at people and their extraordinary behaviour when they are on a luxurious ship like this.

I watched the house wives at the casino just loosing money by the second (sigh…) while the men were standing in line at the mini-bank cash machine to get more money for their wives.

In the grand pub called Tiffany’s, a band was playing gold old songs from the 60’s, causing a elderly people standing in a traffic jam on their way to the dance floor.

Around midnight I joined a group of 15 youths in the movie theater and really enjoyed Bridget Jones’ Diary. I had not seen that movie yet, but it’s quite a nice fluffy story about this thirty-something lady who want to settle down and searches for the right man. When she thinks the has found him in her boss at her office, her mother introduces him with a ugly looking young man at a Christmas party. Of course, her boss (Hugh Grant) has other ideas about woman while the ugly man confesses to her that he likes her like the way she is. Oh, I just didn’t not tell you too much, did I?

Around 1.30 at night, I wasn’t even tired yet, I walked to the deck where the disco was situated. There I saw the biggest fear of a discjockey: an empty place. While I talked with the deejay, he told me how this was the first day of the new winter season, but he could not explain the emptiness of this place. He had never seen something like this before, he said.

I went to the upper deck after the deejay treated me with vodka mixed with coke, something for a good sleep, and smoke a cigarette on the empty outside top deck. It was amazing to see the darkness of the sea and see the trail of the boat in the water. The sky was dark blue, mixed with shady orange colors in between.

Goodnight land of water!

Ramon.




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