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During my travels newspaper columns were published weekly in the Dutch daily newspaper
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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, 13 May 2002
Hamilton Island --> Townsville, Australia

Today Marilyn’s parents travelled all the way to Townsville and they invited me along in their car. Great, because my next place to stay was in Townsville!
Townsville, Australia's largest tropical city, is the focal point to this region which is bounded by Mission Beach to the north, Charters Towers to the west, and Bowen in the south. Actually Townsville is getting so big that it touches the next city Thuringowa. That’s why they also call this The twin cities.

Townsville is a fast-expanding city with an almost steady temperature the whole year round and from here you can travel from lush rainforest to the Great Barrier Reef, or from a luxurious resort on a tropical island to a cattle ranch in the golden Outback – in just a few hours!

The city is located in North Queensland's "dry tropics" and boasts an average of 320 days of sunshine each year. Combine this glorious sunshine with a relaxed lifestyle and a handful of attractions and you can understand why has become some sort of a holiday experience for lots of Aussies..

The city is undoubtedly the sporting capital of Northern Australia, home to three National League sporting teams - the North Queensland Cowboys (National Rugby League), the Townsville McDonald's Crocodiles (National Basketball League) , and the North Queensland Barras (National Hockey League). Gosh, let I just be no sport fan…

But getting there took us a while. With the car on a 100km/hr limit we drove the distance from Airlie Beach to Townsville. Indeed, it is a lot of dry desert. It looks like it hasn’t had rain in a lot of years.

It was around 3 in the afternoon when the French folks dropped me off in the centre of Townsville.

From today on I was going to stay a few days on the same address, with the same people who proposed to be my hosts for as long as necessary. Darren and Adele Scott-Summer were the lucky ones!

It's just that I didn't feel healthy enough to go jumping from one place to another every day. And with the waiting for a new laptop (which would take another few weeks!), life wasn't going along with me. I could just need some days of rest...

Darren picked me up from a street corner later in de afternoon and took me to his home located along the marina and with a stunning view on the water.

As the happy couple is trying to loose weight, I could choose one out of three frozen meals for tonight’s dinner. I looked at the photos and already got full. Darren wasn’t that hungry, either, so we ended up eating poached eggs on sandwiches for dinner.

Adele works long days on the marketing department of the local Channel 7 office, one of Australia’s national TV-stations. The profession of Darren actually surprised me when he told me after dinner: Darren is a standup-comedian!

Now don’t think the entire household is like in Seinfeld, in real life Darren is just a person, but he should be very funny on stage. The couple both originate from Brisbane where Darren’s management found him a job as a morningshow anouncer on Townsville’s rock radiostation SeaFM. They were looking around for some comedy talent. From that point on, they moved to the sunshine city and every morning you can tune in to “Dazza (Darren) & The Bulldog” on SeaFM.

As I was going to stay at their place for a few days, Darren invited me to be a special guest on his radioshow on this Wednesday, the day after tomorrow. That sounded all fine to me, I love radio and I love music and I love people being funny.

With Hamilton Island still in my head and the long ride to Townsville in my stomach, it fortunately wasn’t going to be a late night tonight and we all headed to bed after a few glasses of wine.

Good night Towny!

Ramon.