sponsors always were:
During my travels newspaper columns were published weekly in the Dutch daily newspaper
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 & Partners; Austria: OhmTV.com; Norway: Scanrail Pass, Hurtigruten, Best Western Hotels; South 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.
ReportsThursday, 7 June 2001
Vienna (Austria) --> Paignton (UK) relax day Actually nothing really exciting happened today, next to the whole trip back to Paignton, next to being stuck in an airplane at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport too long...
At 5 o'clock this morning I received an automatic wake-up call from the hotel, as I requested that last night. One shower and a coffee later, I was standing at the first floor awaiting a car which would drive me to the airport at 5.45 am.
The ride felt good, but it was a pitty that I could only see romantic Vienna bij the windows of this car. Of course I'll be here another time again!
I checked in at the desk of Lauda Airlines and got my boarding pass to walk through costums at 6.15am.
It's always funny how I walk to the security control ports[?b] and everything starts to [b]beep out loud. I have a metal belt on, and my hiking shoes have various metal pins in it.
So, as usual I get a thorough body search with this detector and also by hand by one of the officers. And that happens with me all the times. I almost already walk through that detection port with my arms up, ready for the body search.
At the airport restaurant I had a good breakfast to fill the bottom of my stomach, bought with the 100 Austrian Shilling that Cathi gave me last night. I might have a breakfast on board of the plane also, but this one was really necessary.
The plane boarded its passengers at 7am. Everybody got into this big bus, which drove directly to the airplane, heading to Amsterdam, Holland.
When the plane had departed I automatically closed my eyes and when I woke up a little hour later, a breakfast meal was standing on the table in front of me.
I only ate the salad part and had some coffee. The rest of it wouldn't fit anyway. And before I knew I was gone again until the landing procedure set in at 9.20am.
At the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport I had to connect to my next flight going back to Bristol, within 45 minutes.
But then the weirdest thing happened.
When the plane had parked itself at the right gate and everybody was waiting to get off the plane, nothing happened for over 20 minutes.
Then the captain announced that there was a secourity problem at the pier where the plane was parked.
"The personnell who has to move the jetway onto the airplane just came from another platform and they don't have the correct security badges to get on the platform; because all badges were renewed today, so no jetway can be moved to this airplane at this moment."
At those words created quit a laugh in the airplane.
But after another 20 minutes it wasn't funny anymore. I really had to run to my next plane if I wanted to make it on time. And everybody was just stuck there.
At 10 o'clock finally the doors were opened and everybody got out. How lazy can people be getting off a plane - especially when I was in a hurry. "Excuse me! Excuse me! I have another plane to catch! Excuse me!" I was yelling through the jetway. "My God, move over people, please!".
When I got out of that slow circus and on the pier, I met my parents. It had been 37 days with only email- and telephone contact and as soon they found out I had to land at Schiphol Airport, they got over there!
As my father works as a constructional engineer at the airport site, he had arranged a (hey: new!) badge for himself and my mother so that could get behind costums and walk in the secured area.
We were really happy to see each other again, but they understood I was into a big rush to get my next plane to Bristol.
So there my father, me and my mother behind me, started to run through piers and along numerous gates, almost yelling to those slow fancy businessmen with their crappy little luggage-handcars who just did not even know of the existance of people that might be slightly in a hurry. Hello??!!
When we got at the right gate, ready to board, the bus had just left onto the platform. Totally out of breath, I had nothing else to do than change my current boarding pass to get on a next plane.
The next possibillity to get to Bristol would depart at 1.50pm, while it was only 10.15 in the morning. So that meant I could spend some quality time with my parents.
We sat down in one of the bars and had some drinks, while I had to tell them about all that has happened during the last 36 days, and especially last night in Vienna.
Their fear of me being killed on the road had changed into their pride for me, as almost everybody in the family has great respects for what I am doing and they enjoy following me around in any possible media.
And they also had a bag to hand over to me. In it was my new Nokia 3310 mobile phone, provided by one of my sponsors, Ropex. I really needed this one to be able to communicate wireless (without holding the phone or have all kinds of wires run over my body to go to my ear) again, while I was on the road.
As I lost the original telephone on my way to the Belgian city Tervuren, some two weeks ago, and my insurrance company paid for a new one!
Around 11am my father went to go to a business meeting so we had to say goodbye. Together with my mum I walked around at (one of the biggest in the world) the airport shopping centre and had a lunch at McDonald's before I got back to the gate for my Bristol-plane.
At 1.10 I hugged my mother goodbye again and got on to the KLM Cityhopper which got me in Bristol in one hour and twenty minutes.
Back at Bristol International Airport it seemed nothing had happened. I got on the coach to the trainstation, hopped onto the train to Paignton and rang the bell at the Cherwood Hotel at 6 o'clock sharp.
There my host James Alderson handed me my backpack again and the key for this 4-posterbed room, one of the family suites... It was a good idea to have a good nap for this moment.
Around 9pm James woke me up with tea and as I afterwards took a shower I got down at the bar. With my eyes almost opened, I heard from Pauline and James that a reporter for a big British newspaper would come over. Tomorrow at 10am he wanted to have an interview with me and took a photographer with him.
Do the media ever sleep for a few days?
That's just how this travelling-over-the-world-by-the-internet-life will be all the time: hitching from place-to-place, being interviewed almost everyday...
Mmmm: Letmestayforaninterview.com might be a good idea! Just let all the reporters submit their requests... ;-)
After some more coffee with the hotel couple and telling them about the complete trip to Vienna and back to Bristol again, I got settled behind their computer to write this global report.
I am now off to one of the local pubs at the beach road, just to get out of this game for an hour or something. I'll see.
I will definitely have a good stay here until Saturday. I think this is just what I needed, after I complained about 'this all breaking me up a little bit' earlier last week. Sunday I will be back on the road, totally relaxed.
The media about this project on June 7:
Wirtschaftswoche heute (in German):
"Weltreise: Online auf Schnorrer-Tour"
Follow my tracks on Ludo's map of my travelling so far!
It's in Dutch, but you'll see a lot!
>> Click here <<