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

Wednesday, 29 August 2001
Risøya Island --> Kristiansand (N)

I travelled from the little island back to the nearest train station and travelled over three hours to my next place-to-stay-for-a-day in Kristiansand, where I had my first time of reindeer meat for dinner!
Paul Andres woke me up at 9.15 to tell me that the house was mine for a few hours as the biology class had to og out onto the water for some assignments.

I could make myself breakfast and coffee as Paul would be back around 11am to bring me back to the mainland again, into the town Risør.

After breakfast (with only a well there were no showers) I met up with the biology teacher who waited for his pupils to return.

During his coffee break we talked short about my project and then he explained me how this area go so filled up with big smooth round rocks.

He told me how over 10,000 years ago the glaciers from the ice cap worked their way down from the mountains. The rocks below the ice worked as a sort of sandpaper, making the complete surface smooth. And of course, the ice pushed those rocks towards the sea where they lay now.

And as the ice glided down towards the sea, it created these big inland fjords here in Norway.

When Paul Andreas returned back with his boat, his class was going to investigate the differences in water levels, while he navigated me to Risør.

The sun shined bright and the yesterdays’ wind was gone. As we got closer to the little harbour of Risør after ten minutes, I understood why this town was called The White Town. Every house was painted straight white, very nice but also surreal.

In Risør Paul brought me to the bus station, where we met a lady journalist from the local newspaper. Before my bus would leave she wanted to have a little interview with us and she took some pictures of Paul and me.

At 12.45 the free train bus took me to Gjerstad again. Halfway I had to change the bus to go pass Søndeled (where Paul Andreas lives).

The train then arrived at 2.15pm, taking me all the way to Kristiansand, my next destination.

Kristiansand is the capital of Souther Norway, with nickel metallurgy, timber and fish as it principal branches of industry. Kristiansand is the place is the leading centre of rest and recreation as it has the largest number of sunny days in Norway. And I noticed the sun today, too!

Again I enjoyed the travelling by train, as it also gives me enough time to write my reports in advance in a paper notebook. It works pretty good like this, because I can quickly type it over on a computer and upload the pictures without being behind the computer for a too long time.

I arrived in the small city Kristiansand at 5.20pm. It’s strange to make such a long distances as time goes so fast in a train.

It was Liv Sivertsen who picked me up at the arrival platform of the train and took me to her home with a taxi.

There I met her husband Gabriel Ernesto, who is original a Columbian who only spoke good Spanish and Norwegian. With my Spanish I learned at school it was good to be able to communicate with him, although I am not really a star in Spanish. I also met their son Martin and the two months old dog Artus.

Liv works at the personnel department of a local bank as Gabriel is just switching to a new job in computer programming in Sandnes, a few hours up north.

When I settled myself in their apartment and played around with Artus, Liv prepared dinner. This time I was going to eat something really Norwegian, she told me.

And the thought might offend some people, but it was my first time ever that I ate reindeer and it tasted pretty good. The meat is as soft as fish can be and looks like liver from the outside. Together with big potatoes and boiled carrots it was quite a meal for me.

After dinner Liv and Gabriel talked with me about my project and Gabriel told me about his home country Columbia.

He explained me that I could only visit Columbia if the people who have invited me there, take me in their country and drop me off at the border when I’ve gotten around. Because it is just not a safe country, he told me.

Politicians are in conflict with each other, corruption is crime number one and then he wasn’t even talking about every product that ends with '–ine' that is produced there and the mafia practices that brings along, yet.

Columbia is one of the few countries I think I won’t visit. Of course I have prepared a little list of places where I definitely will not even go to, like Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Kuwait.

Some countries are just too dangerous to visit (In Afghanistan the Taliban government has just prohibited the use of the Internet in their country) or just too difficult to reach on the way I travel. I think things get better again in Pakistan, where I have received an overwhelming amount of invitations.

But for now, that’s all too far away.

With all the excitement of staying at the island last night and today, I totally forgot to pass on The Letmestayforaday-Gift[b] from [b]Rune Enger in Drammen to Paul Andreas. This time the Gift has passed one host.

But don’t worry Paul Andreas, I will arrange something to make it up with you soon.

As The Gift Liv and Gabriel received a demo CD by “Mitch”, a local band in Drammen, where Rune is the drummer. It’s rock music, kind of sounding like Soundgarden but than more gentle.

They were very surprised to receive a gift and they were made worried by this offer on about what to pass on to the next persons. As long as it is something personal, from the heart, really something you want to share to another by giving it to a stranger, it’s fine with me.

When everybody got to bed this night, Gabriel turned on the pc in the room where my guest bed was prepared by Liv - and I went online to update the website with yesterday’s report and photos.

Just what I am doing right now, but you’ll read about that tomorrow!

Good night Kristiansand!

Ramon.




In the media today:

* Reported about on Omania.net (unknown characters):



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