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.
ReportsDuring 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, 21 June 2003
--> Lake of Bays (Huntsville), Ontario, Canada (2nd day) I am staying another day here along the Bay of Lakes. Not only because I like to live a retired life too, but because it is so beautiful!
After a sleep-in this morning (hey, it's weekend) Elaine made me some sandwiches for breakfast and with enough sun lotion I got ready for another warm day.
From now on there was a heat wave alert in the air, the coming week the temperature wouldn't go below 30 degrees Celsius (86F).
Brian had told me during our first email contacts that I could take some time to relax here, so we did the most exciting and exhausting thing to do on a day like this: Ramon went water-skiing!
Finally I can say that I have water-skied! And according to Brian and Elaine I am very good at it. I have never water-skied before, so I was even surprised myself. I got on the skies in the water, hold on tight to the rope and gave a 'go' sign to Brian in the speedboat. And there I went! Up out of the water and being pulled over the water!
This was fantastic! The boat had to make quite some speed to keep me up, so that meant I moved over the water pretty fast too. I got the trick and within a few minutes I was already holding on with one hand only and trying to get off-track from the speed boat.
I only fell a few times, but I guess that is pretty normal with water-skiing. The only problem is that when I let go of the rope, I didn't just slow down and sink, as I expected. No! Suddenly those skies stopped moving over the water and I just tumble hard into the water in various ways! I think it's these "landings" that make water-skiing a sport to be very careful.
After a half an hour of water-skiing behind the boat and all over the lake, I went too much to the right, lost my balance and went down. But I still held the rope and I was still moving. What if I just get back up again, I thought. But it was too late, with my butt down on the fast-moving water, I felt that I was anally taken by the lake and believe me – that felt HORRIBLE! I let go of the water and decided I had skied enough for today.
Elaine helped me back on board of the boat where I ended up drying up in the air as we headed back. I felt totally worn-out, like a dead plant I just laid there on the back of the boat. Back at the dock at their cottage I felt I was leaking and quickly took a run to the bathroom.
Oh, let me spare those details for you, you won't like it anyway. Later I understood it is a very common thing to occur when your bottom hits water during waterskiing. It just feels very… alien…
Even though I woke up only a few hours earlier, this water-skiing had drained me totally that the only thing I could do was lay down and have a nap on my bed. I am not often that tired, but I was even shaking!
"You will feel the muscles in your back tomorrow," Brian said, probably to comfort me even more. I already felt them. Water-skiing looks easy, but try to hold that rope if the boat hits 90km/hr and you have to stand up straight… I didn't realise the possible painful consequences.
In the afternoon Brian and Elaine took me along for a drive around the lake (they let me drive!), to enjoy the view from the Dorset Tower lookout and to enjoy ice cream in the small town of Dorset. It was that warm that after this ice-cream I decided to jump off the bridge into the cool water!
The drive back to the cottage (they let me drive again!) I was amazed by the wildlife that walks around. Chipmunks crossed the road in front of the car and a single deer was just standing on the middle of the road when we slowly came around a corner.
Back at the cottage I finally met up with 24-year-old daughter Lindsey, who works during the summer months at the nearby golf resort. She is a very active person and hurried through dinner as she had to go out with some friends tonight.
My second day at the Lake of Bays ended soothing and comfortable. Tomorrow I'll head out again, ready for a week of quick fast and long distances. Oh well, what means long distances in Canada anyway?
Good night Lake of Bays!