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During my travels newspaper columns were published weekly in the Dutch daily newspaper
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Reports

Monday, 3 March 2003
--> Saanich, Vancouver Island, Canada (day 5)

You’d probably wonder if I ever move around on Vancouver Island. I am staying with great folks and their invite to stay a few days, made it possible to meet interesting people and relax a bit. It makes it al much easier for me to process things, then to rush to towns, meet the people, dump the report online and head off again. I am really enjoying things!
Like today! When Tracie took me out for a drive out of town. I had not seen much of the island yet and we drove around small towns, through hamlets and ended up walking this trail along the Sooke River Road. Pure fresh water drifts down the river, creating big white water explosions when the river gets narrow and rocky.

As we were walking there we bumped into this man walking his two beautiful chow chow dogs. He walked there with a stick and talked to his dog. When we met up with him, he said: “Cookie time!” and the dogs got their cookie. And the man walked on again.

Somehow that event clobbered my mind. I saw the serenity of this man and his dogs, just walking around on a sunny weekday, enjoying life very much. How many people at this same moment are not rushing away their lives? How many people can actually stand still and say: “Cookie time!”?

I felt delighted by only seeing this.

Tracie drove me around the southern part of Vancouver Island and I had lots of fun. I enjoyed cranking jokes with her and the scenes of nature I was offered.

Like I have written earlier, Tracie works as a waitress at the Four Miles Pub in Victoria, but this entire week she was free. “I’ll take over some shifts, as I can use the money, but I am very free too.”

After getting around we got back at Darren & Tamra’s place in Saanich, where Darren handed me one of his GPS devices – to keep. If I might start to hide secret caches along the road, I at least have a GPS! I was amazed! This thing I know have has connections with four satellites and it tracks every movement of mine to 7 metres accuracy! If I walk around in a kitchen the display even shows a circle and the coordinates! Thank you Darren!

Tonight Tracie wanted to treat me on dinner and she drove me in her big blue GMC truck to the Shark Club Bar & Grill, a gleaming sports bar in town, where we played trivia questions with the television at our table.

Unfortunately I was the big time looser of most of the trivia games. I have absolutely no knowledge about coaches who left hockey teams I have never heard about, couldn’t answer questions about jazz musicians in the 70s and don’t know anything about the Canadian oil industry either.

Good night Victoria!

Ramon