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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

Friday, 8 June 2001
Paigton (UK) relax day

Hmmm. Relaxing while seeing different cities and gaining a lot of impressions of the neighbourhood. Looking at the Devon county Tourist Guide I think this is a splendid place for everybody to spend your holiday! And by the way: Thai food is great!
My second official day at the Cherwood Hotel felt very good. It's good to set my mind off of travelling everyday and settle some other things.

I have (finally!) updated my links-page, so go and visit to the websites that have linked to me too!

I woke up at 8.45am to have breakfast in the dining room on the first floor, where Pauline made a superb English breakfast. What they didn't know, is that I have a very small Dutch stomach - especially in the morning. So this time there was not enough room for the toasted sandwiches, sausages, beans and the rest.

We Dutch are not really used to having big breakfasts like the English do. Actually I am used to some pieces of bread with something on it, that's all.

Just after breakfast I read the morning newspaper in the lounge of the hotel, when after 10am a photographer came from the Herald Express, to do a quick shooting of me visiting beautiful Paignton. A reporter had already written the article, to be published soon.

After this I spent a little while behind James' computer, just to find out why his Windows98 likes to crash every 3 minutes (!). Finally it turned out to be a keyboard-error. The darn thing likes to play dead for every once in a while and the computer just doesn't always wants to agree with that!

In the afternoon James gave me a tour around the neighbourhood. He took me to see the surrounding cities and showed me the wealthy port of Torquay in the North and Brixham in the South.

Between those city we made a stop in Oddicombe, where a little cable-train got us down to Oddicombe Beach. It was sunny, but not that hot that it was very busy there. Two nice girls who were in the cable train with us, decided to have themselves a little barbecue on the rocks!

With James nipping on some hot coffee at a little restaurant, I tried to climb up some rocks up the hill - totally ignoring all the signs saying 'Beach Closed'... But the view up there is great!

I only expected those high cliffs whenever I thought about the coast of England, but this was very different. And what an unspoiled nature!

From Oddicombe we drove to Cockington Village, a little medieval area where there was a so-called tea garden. This was really beautiful to walk through. And under this little garden-house a man was playing piano. For me this was a little bit paradise for 15 minutes. Just enough for me...

After Cockington James took me to his favourite fishing spot at the Newbarn Anglingcentre, where 6 little lakes are connected with each other and a lot of men spent their spare time fishing there. At the time of our being there, this one guy even caught a very big carp!

James is a great talker! He can talk very long, but still interesting and entertaining, about the history of carp fish and how it got from China to England by the monks.

Or about his history with the internet. When he started this hotel some two years ago, there was only one hotel in Paignton to be found on the internet. So he got his own website and liked it to be the number 1 in search engine results when you look for 'hotel in Paignton'.

The website of his hotel gains him a lot of bookings from the North of England and foreign countries. While I was sitting behind his computer, I even saw a fax coming in from Germany.

Back to the city tour:

The city of Brixham looks very much the same like Torquay. Everything is built along the water and upon the hills. It's a great view to stand in the port and look up the hill to all those little painted houses.

When we got back to Paignton, James decided to have a little nap. For me that was a reason to take a nice walk through this little city. I ended up at the Paignton beach, where I made a phone call to some of my friends back in Holland.

My hometown neighbour and good friend Annemijn (one of my biggest fans) was almost shocked to hear me on the other side of the line. She thought I was back in Holland and she even needed to take a look at my balcony to see I was really not at home. She just couldn't really realise that I called her from the Paignton beach.

We had a nice talk about a lot of things and she asked me also if I wasn't lonely when I am on the road so much. I told her that I do miss my friends in Holland and the local pubs in my hometown, but I don't want to give up this 'world trip' for getting back there.

And answering the same questions everyday is just the price I'll have to pay for it.

I am just not a person that gets lonely very fast. I know other people will have great difficulties with it. But as long as I am enjoying all this travelling, I will continue!

Back at the hotel, James and Pauline were up and running again. They were receiving new guests, getting everything ready for tomorrow and everything else that comes together with running a hotel and living in it.

Around dinnertime Pauline got us all Thai food delivered. The meals had so many unknown names for me, that I just let her decide what to order. And: what the English call 'Very hot' is for me just a little spicy. James and Pauline thought that was very strange.

It was around 9 when we watched Survivor on television (the British version of Expedition Robinson/Survivor) and discussed about it. This version of the island-show was much more exciting than the dull Dutch version, which I've always thought it was not complete. The English have added this talk show-part to it, so you could get to know about the people who had to leave the island. In the Netherlands they just had to go and you never heard anything about them again...

With Pauline and James getting off to bed, I decided to take a little tour to see Paignton by night. I even got into this small pub around the corner, which had a bigger discotheque above it, called Club Fusion. The pub was filled with young men wearing all sorts of branded clothing and football shirts (why do they all wear that, almost everywhere?).
And upstairs the professional dancers on the stage would be my private dancers when I would have decided to stay in there. Probably the big tourist season had not started yet.

Tonight I would stay in another room of the Cherwood Hotel. I think I'll have seen them all before Sunday, when I'll be travelling down south again and even cross some water...

For now, happy relaxing, goodnight Paignton!

Ramon.


PS: Anybody knows some more people with an Internet connection in Ireland? If so, just let them know about this project and I'll be glad to visit them soon!




The Map

Follow my tracks on Ludo's map of my travelling so far!
>> Click here <<