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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

Thursday, 29 November 2001
--> Johannesburg (SA)


Jeanne Rogers let me sleep in and I left the house after breakfast and some working on her pc, together with her housekeeper around 1pm.

I was invited to come over to the headquarters of eTravel, my South African sponsor who made this whole trip down south possible, to finally meet up with Bob Williams, the CEO of the company.

When I arrived in South Africa on the first of October, he was "playing around with heart attacks and so on," as he jokes about it himself.

Around 4.30pm I was picked up by my next host, Shayne Robinson, who I appearantly met before at the press confrence at eTravel, on one of my first days here.

Shayne is a news journalist at Computing SA, a weekingly newspaper for Intormation Technology Readers in South Africa. He even had written an article about me saying: "Finally, someone who is using the Internet to its full potential and gaining from experience." Really nice.

Shayne took me to his home in the suburb Bromhoff in Jo'burg, where I met his 24-year-old wife Karin.

We had to be a bit in a hurry, because Shayne and Karin were going to take me along to the Telkom ICT Journalist of the Year Awards in Johannesburg.

And there I was, located at this big castle complex just outside of town, suddenly surrounded by all the well-known and powerful journalists who report about the Internet industry.

You'll understand that I had to make some good friends there.

We were seated at a table and offered this interesting show, containing the winners of different awards and some spectacular dance and music performances.

Of course, this was such a fancy thing, that it also included a great dinner. Here I go: I had Mediterranean Feta Torte as starters, followed by a main course with Tandori Chicken Breast & Grilled Lamb Cutlets, served with whipped potatoe and seasonal vegetables.

The desert was even more mouth filling: Baked cheese cake, with several cheese boards and it of course ended with coffee and Belgian chocolates. And of course the wine was being poured in all the time.

I had no bad words about Shayne and Karin's hospitality of course!

The programme ended with the sign 'party' on the list, but unfortunately there wasn't really a party at this place. Maybe to many of the journalists were too disappointed for not winning an award OR maybe they weren't tipsy enough to create a party (as I know journalists)...

But Shayne and Karin drove me back to their home, where they changed into more casual clothing and took me out again.

We had one drink at a pub called McGrinty's, which was just too crowded, hot and to full with 16-year-olds Britney Spears look-a-likes as the deejay was pumping trance on the dance floor.

So, Shayne took us to another place, the Smuggler's Rest, just another 10 minutes drive further up. And this was more like it. It wasn't full, maybe the bar was the most crowded area. But there was a great band called Nevermind playing live.

And you have me when I am with live music, especially when they play rock classics from the Police, the Stones and the Eagles. It was great how a group of four guys can create such a stunning atmosphere.

Believe me or not, but during their last song we were all on this little dancefloor. When they finished up, somebody requested a song from Britney Spears (was it me?) and without any struggles they played their own version of a famous song, called 'Shag me baby one more time'. The complete lyrics might upset certain readers here, because it was pretty X-rated and very funny. But we all enjoyed it very much.

And we were getting tipsy, or maybe it was just me as I was given Jack Daniels with coke by Shayne...

Back home we lounged around, watching their two cats fight with eachother, and we enjoyed a relaxing hot drink.

It was around 1.30am when I crawled under the Pokemon sheeted bed in their 6-year-old son John's bed room (who was staying with his grandparents for a few days).

Good night Johannesburg!

Ramon.




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