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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

Sunday, 3 June 2001
Shoreham-by-sea --> North Baddesley (UK)


Around 10 o'clock Miguel woke me up. It's almost becoming ashamed for me to write down about my waking up everyday pretty late in the morning.

I must say this project is starting to break me up a little bit. It's now already Tuesday June 5, while I am typing this, so I am already a bit late with my reports, but I am still trying to stay up-to-date with you all. My parents say I should try to find a place-to-stay for one day extra once in a week, just to keep up with it all.

Because it still stays something I can't always realize myself. You'll find out why in my report about coming Wednesday. You'll be just as amazed as I was when I first heard about it.


But back to Shoreham again...

Miguel made me some toast sandwiches with jam and pretty soon later we all got into the car because Helena and Miguel wanted to show me the open air flea market in Brighton.

It's something else than a regular flea market, because this time the salesmen just park their car on a big parkingspace, open up their trunk and place most of what they have in front of it. That's it and that goes on in very long rows that will take you over an hour to finish it and see it all.

We only walked through it for some half an hour, because otherwise the kids would become bored and Helena also wanted to take me to some hill tops, so I could see the surrounding areas around Shoreham.

That was actually pretty nice to see. From the top of the hill you could see the ocean and little planes landed and took off on a little air strip at this little Shoreham airport.

And this all while the sun was shining bright. It wasn't really that warm, I worn my jacket, but it wasn't cold at all - just a bit windy.

From the top of the hill Miguel drove us all back home, where I was served a delicious lunch with a spinach-lasagna with chicken and fried potatoes. Very rich for just a lunch.

After lunch I got my stuff together and said goodbye to Helena and the kids, as Miguel drove me to the nearest exit to the highway. I made myself a cardboard sign saying Southampton and found out the English people aren't really that hitch-hike-minded.

Next to that: it was a Sunday, so I expected a lot of difficulties in getting a ride to my next location.

But as I was walking a long the dual carriage road, suddenly this car stopped after seeing my sign, while I wasn't even paying attention to all the passing cars.

George Brown gave me a ride all the way to Southampton and he is the manager of the wineshop Unwins, lokated in Romsey, just outside Southampton.

I actually had to go to North Baddesley, a very small residential town in the county of Hampshire, next to Romsey and Southampton, and George even offered me to take me all the way there!

In the car we talked about all the negative stories concerning hitch-hiking and we concluded that everybody only remembers the criminal histories around taking hitch-hikers along, while the good ones get dropped off at the right spot and nobody talks about them... Too bad for all the serious hitch-hikers on this planet.

In Romsey George gave me a quick peak into his wineshop, before dropping me of in North Baddesley around 4.30pm.

I didn't expect to arrive that soon in this far off location, all the way from Shoreham-by-sea. But around 5 o'clock I rang the bell at the house of my next host, Steve Cole.

Steve is almost 19 and works at the technical support desk of a Internet Service Provider in Romsley. He lives with his parents. Her mother is a very nice lady and his father was off working in another city for a few weeks.

They already decided to have a barbeque this Sunday - before they heard about me coming over - and Steve was already installing this gas-barbeque-construction (which took him more time than to install a computer, he said).

Around 7.30 that evening a lot of his friends he had invited dropped in the back garden and we all sat around a big table drinking beer and laughing about my experiences on my tour 'till now.

When all 12 of all the guests had arrived Steve and his mum lighted the gas and started to roast the hamburgers and saucages. We all ate the meat untill really nothing else could go inside us and then enjoyed the night to enter into the garden.

It became pretty funny, especially when "Oh Blimey!" Sara arrived, who didn't really seem to be so sober at all and was very present in a pleasant way. And I found out very fast that she said the amazing words "Oh Blimey!" in almost every sentence... haha.

With all 12 of the youngsters together, with the ages around 18 and 19-years-old, I handed over The Gift from Helena in Shoreham-by-sea to Chris, who didn't expected that at all.

It was an old fashion notebook in a bamboo box and all the little papers were neatly tied together with a little tie. Just to send mails to somebody else the old way!

Around 11pm it got pretty dark and a bit fresh outside. One by one most of the guests said goodbye and finally when Sara left as one of the last, Steve and I got to bed. Of course I had to do my writing on the computer, which I was able to use in my own guest room!

The cable internet connection was faster than my typing, something which is not at all a standard thing in The Netherlands!

One hour later I shut down the computer and got into this very nice bed. Mmmm. I think I dreamed about my next project: [/i]letmesleepforaday.com[/i]...

Goodnight North Baddesley!

Ramon.




Follow my tracks on Ludo's map! It's in Dutch, but you'll see a lot!