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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, 14 March 2002
--> Surry Hills, Sydney, Australia – beach time

Well you might quite well understand that after last night sponsored pub crawl, I was pretty hang over today. It even made me decide to contact my next host to ask them if I could visit him one day later, as Bronwyn told me I could simply stay another day at her place. And those words (and the ‘okay’ from my next host) let me sleep in for the rest of the morning.
Bronwyn hadn’t much planned for today and took me along for lunch at the Sydney fish market, together with her brother Marc, as he worked closely.
Here we got on the subject of hitchhiking again and Marc told me a story about something he had experienced before. He once was on a long bus ride, when the bus made a quick bathroom stop for its passengers. When Marc came off the toilet, the bus had already left and he could only get home by hitchhiking, which wasn’t that hard – that time. (it was actually funnier how he told it...)

During eating the different fish on our plates we were disturbed by a deluxe cruiser that passed by. On the deck were barely dressed blonde ladies, the windows were covered and a film crew was building a setting on board. We were definitely sure that a porn movie would be made on that boat as soon as it would be on the ocean. I mean, the boat itself was called “On Top”, so what’s in a name?

From the fish market we walked all the way back to the apartment via the touristy Darling Harbour. And Bronwyn is a quite fast walker. As soon as she gets the chance, her little accelerator in her bud goes on and she is gone. I almost wanted to leash her so I wouldn’t loose her, haha.

At the apartment we fulfilled the idea to go to Bondi Beach and spend the rest of the afternoon in the hot sun and the blue sea. It was a great idea and I quite enjoyed that warm water and those high body-surfable waves.

But then, around 6 o’clock, I had a mission to accomplish. I have a friend in the Netherlands, Marieke, who is very much in love with a lady in Sydney called Julie. But somehow always something gets between them and the possibility of being able to be together. Finances, visas, jobs and time are crucial elements in a long distance relationship and I am learning all about that.

While I was in The Netherlands the last two months, Marieke had asked me if I couldn’t surprise her girlfriend in Australia. And what are friends for?… Of course I’d do that, and Marieke helped me out with some money for this present and gave me all the necessary information to get me to her place.

Fortunately Bronwyn had a friend of her with a car that would be able to drive both of us to the suburb called Randwick, where the victim was teaching at a school. It was here where I bought a load of flowers of all sorts, worth over 60 Australian dollars, to surprise Julie with. With a lot of luck we got to the school and Bronwyn helped me out to find the teaching room of Julie.

And boy, was she surprised. She had expected that something was going on, as Marieke had asked her how long she’d still be at the school before going home, but hadn’t imagined something like this would happen as I handed her the flowers With love from Marieke.

She was silent for a few second and then said: “I am going to kill her,” with a big smile on her face. I made Marieke happy and I made Julie happy, but don’t blame me for any murders.

(Good luck on you both!)

Bronwyn’s friend dropped us off at home, where we spent most of the time lounging around. I listened music and worked on my reporting of earlier this week and Bronwyn made an easy pasta dish. With nothing on TV and a sleep-shortage after last night, she got to bed early and I worked on my laptop until late hours.

Tomorrow I’ll bail out again, I promise.

Good night Surry Hills,

Ramon.