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During my travels, my compensation for free accommodation for one night, was for me to write a daily travel diary. Of how I got to my next location, the people who would host me, the food I was offered and everything else. Below you find the archives of the highly extensive reports. Know that English is not my native language and most reports were written at high speed around midnight. Enjoy.

Saturday, 25 May 2002
--> Magnetic Island, Australia (full moon party)

What a day this was. It was a long day, as far as I can remember. First thing in the morning, I was burned out of my tent (because of the sun) and struck with a bloody hangover from last night’s meeting with Rob’s friends. Coffee please!

I heard the Full Moon Party went on until 8am on the Sunday morning, but I did not survive that. I think it was somewhere about 4am when Ramon eventually did some skinny-dipping on the beach and I ended up on a piece of mattress in an unknown dorm room.

But you can imagine that a simple thing as a hangover means totally nothing when drinking a cup of coffee on a beach, while the wind softly blows around you so you don’t really sweat the coffee instantly out again. Which hangover?

I like how this hostel is created. It has a good aura, and I can’t say that about many hostels that I have visited. It’s a combination of the staff and the guests and how they get along with each other, and the location and the facilities. One person wrote in the visitors’ book that the only bad thing about this place was the lack of a decent pay phone. Isn’t that nice? That just meant the rest was great.

After a full breakfast from the kitchen (if you don’t want to cook here, there is a cook for you!) I lounged around the area, hung in a hammock while reading Janet Evanovich’s first novel that Julie borrowed me, had a swim in the pool (good wake up!) and played around with the mates behind the bar.

Around noon I met up with an almost sweating Rob Evans in his office. Man, he was taking three phone calls a minute with people wanting to know if they could still come for the full moon party tonight.

But he took a break, took along a engine battery from his boat and took me along to the Mitsubishi Pajero that I had to leave behind on the other side of the hill last night, because the battery seemed to be dead.

Rob changed the battery from the car with his one and we tried. And we tried. But nothing seemed to happen. I hammered on the starting engine and we tried and we tried. But nothing happened. “Probably it’s the starting engine that’s gone lost here,” Rob said.

That would be a nice story for the Brice family when they return home again tomorrow. Thanks for borrowing your car, it’s along the street somewhere with a broken starting engine…

It also meant that I could not be driving around the island today. What a mis-fortune! But fortunately I still had my thumb, so I just hitchhiked my way up to Arthur Bay, only 7km up that single long road, to get to the Brice’s house and feed the cat.

Of course I was going to stay another night at Coconuts, I had to experience that Full Moon Party tonight!

When I got back at the backpacker resort (that sounds very luxurious, but believe me: thank God it isn’t), the moon just appeared above the surface of the ocean. A orange glow emerged around the yellow globe for a few minutes and then the moon started rising up as this white pool table ball.

And it was getting very busy here. I saw many new faces of people coming to stay here only for that party and I almost got lost within all the security measurements that took place. The entire resort was fenced off against people who wouldn’t belong here, everybody had to wear an armlet and there was enough security walking around to protect the entire Dutch government against assassins.

And it got more and more crowded. The music was already playing softly from the high black boxes and a big clearance was made in the sand: the dance floor was ready.

I had some good chats with a group of Dutch travellers during a Chicken Salad dinner and around 10pm everybody seemed to have changed clothing and had make-up.

It was good and it is hard for me to describe how it all actual happened. Believe me I had a wonderful time there. I danced around with the Dutch diva Janneke, blond Vivianne wanted to travel along with me and I had tong in cheek-arguments with Barbara. And I don’t want to forget Dennis, a full blond guy with a sun-burned red face, wearing an Hawaii-blouse and talking Dutch with a uncommon accent. Actually that was because he is Newzealander – but his Dutch and the way he wanted to be corrected if he made a mistake amazed me. “Bier is best goed, Dennis!”

Of course things got way too blurry again for me. It was after midnight when the place was really turned upside down, the music was pumping and the drinks were cold.

When Vivianne went to the ladies’ room, a few other guests asked if she was the one that was speaking with Ramon all the time. When Vivianne came back, she noticed that lots of people already knew my background and we basically gazing on us and everything that happened. “Damn! You are famous,” she said.

She had never heard about me or my thing before, never seen me on TV or read about me anywhere, so it was good that I just met a person who was communicating with this Ramon on a very normal level. I am just doing my thing, I don't want to be famous for a simple idea like this.

I heard the party went on until 8am on the Sunday morning, but I did not survive that. I think it was somewhere about 4am when Ramon eventually did some skinny-dipping on the beach and I ended up on a piece of mattress in an unknown dorm room. Totally blanked out, just like the person who was sleeping next to me. What a party, what a lifestyle.

long deep sigh – zoom in on full moon – fade out to black – the end

Somebody please get me off this island, because it is addictive!

Good morning Magnetic!


I recently posted a 24-photo's-album on Magnetic Island on my Dutch letmestaybackstage-weblog, browse here.