also visit  my personal website   |   Photography   |   Books (Dutch)   |   Expedition Kilimanjaro   |   the European Cooking Trip


Join the group and stay up to date with news about the upcoming book!

powered by Yahoo

The official
sponsors always were:


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.


Saturday, 9 March 2002
--> Katoomba, Australia – 4WD tour

Today was a day of 4 Wheel Driving, bush walking, picnicking on the Gibraltar Sugar Loaf (as anything here looks like green sugar hills) and simply relaxing with a movie at night.
My first night at the YHA in Katoomba I slept in a six-bed dorm. I didn’t make it that late last night and was wide-awake this morning when my phone-alarm woke me up at 7am.

At the reception I got two slices of bread with honey and marmelade, together with some sachets of coffee and sugar. Normally this breakfast would normally cost a costly AUS$ 4, but this was all put on the bill for Channel 9.

At 8am Meredith picked me up from Cox’s River Escapes, who was going to be my 4-wheel-drive driver for today.

Along the she picked up two other ladies, two eternal penpals from England and New Zealand.

I was taken on a half-day long escape off the beaten track and into the wilds of the Cox’s River Vally of the Blue Mountains, and when you come down to it: I was with a total of three hilarious and frustrated middle-aged ladies in one car. If you ever go on Cox’s River Escapes-tours, please ask for some frustrated middle-aged customers to come along. It was very amusing! (And I mean that with a big smile, because I had quite some laughs in the car).

When we started in the morning, it was very misty. This would be a terrible days for some sightseeing, I thought, I won’t see anything in the bush. But fortunately it all slowly cleared up.

Suddenly it looked like I was walking in the Lord of the Ring-movies, with fresh green hills and high fog. Forests were vivid green and dampy.

Meredith has thorough knowledge of the environs and loved to tell us all about it.

Around noon she parked the car on top of the Gibraltar Sugar Loaf, and I mean exactly on top of it. There just wasn’t anything else.

She spread out a blanket on the grass and lit a gas-fire under a billy, so we would have coffee and tea. In the back of the Nissan she created a little buffet with breadrolls, cheese, salmon, salad, olives, milk and juice. I had not expected that!

Sitting on this blanket, eating salmon on bread, I had a beautiful 360-degrees view over the Blue Mountains. I decided to give a call to Irena back home, and I told her what I was experiencing up here. She was almost sleeping in The Netherlands, but I sure gave her something to dream about.

In the afternoon Meredith dropped me off again in Katoomba. Driving around for a couple of hours did make me sleepy, so I had a nice nappy before I got myself some take-away Chinese food for dinner.

At night I watched the movie Snatch, together with some 30 others, in the video-room of the YHA.

I am curious what’s on my schedule tomorrow. I have no clue!

Good night!