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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

Thursday, 21 June 2001
Liverpool (UK) --> Maughold (Isle of Man)


I woke up at 8.30 and after a shower I had cereals for breakfast. Around that time the kids went to school, so I had to say goodbye to them.

Chris works at a school as a teacher and her pupils really wanted to meet me in person, but unfortunately I could not do that, cause I had a boat to catch today.

Therefore Chris gave me a card for them and I wrote my excuse on it, just to make it up for them.

As The Gift from Elliot in Manchester, Chris received a little embroiled piece of Christmas art in a glass frame. When Elliot gave it to me, he told me his Chinese sister eventually made it.

As my ferry from Liverpool was to depart at 10.30am, Andy and Chris brought me to the departure docks.

Even though I yesterday heard that the ferry was already paid and booked by my next host, Chris and Andy supported me with 50 quid Ė British Pounds- for on the road. It was the first time I had that kind of an amount in my pocket!

I thanked my Liverpool friends and got onto the SeaCat-ferry, which will take me up to the Isle of Man, where Suzanne and Paul invited me.

When I first received their invitation, way back before my departure, I really had to look this name up in a map.

But it seems to be an island depending on the British Crown, but it has itís own parliament, itís own currency and somewhere on the island some people still talk Manx.

And you know? The cats without tails are originally Manx cats, from the Isle of Man.

The Islandís roads donít have a speed limit; the average speed is however 20 miles per hour.

And the island is not retarded in anyway: one out of five secondary school pupils can use an Internet connection on this island; every full-time teacher was given a laptop for professional use.

The Isle of Man is light years ahead of the rest of the world in the sophistication of its telecom, mobile and Internet technology Ė and it only 75,000 has citizens.

Next to this, the island has a tax rate of only 14% of their income, compare this to the almost 50% people in Holland have to pay!

Thatís why this island is also very important for the offshore banking. I you have a lot of money, transfer it to the island and youíll pay less taxes than in your own country!

The ferry took exactly the promised 2 hours and 45 minutes to arrive at the city called Douglas on the Isle of Man, where Sara, a friend of Suzanne, picked me up.

Sara took me from Douglas to the editorsí office of the islandsí magazines publishing company, where I had a quick interview by a reporter of an on-flights magazine and used the Internet at their office for a while.

Around 3 oíclock another lady took me back to Douglas, where I got a free tour through at the Manx Museum.

In almost one hour I learned a lot about the nationís 10,000 year-old heritage and discovered all kinds of fascinating facts and intriguing features. For example how the Vikings influenced the Celtic Islanders. Canít retell that complete story here, but it was very interesting!

When I got out of the museum, I met Sara again, who waited for me. A few minutes later I met Suzanne, who had to work Ďtill 4pm.

And at the museum entrance we were to meet John Gregory, a reporter from the Isle of Man Newspaper, and a photographer. Joining them a few minutes later Geoff Corkish, the communication manager of the Steam Packet ferry Company, joined them.

Hey, itís getting busy here!

There was a quick photo shoot at the museum, where Mister Corkish officially welcomed me on the Isle of Man, followed by another interview by Gregory.

When the whole media thing was over, I got into Suzanneís car and we drove from Douglas to Maughold in the North.

Maughold is not even a village; it is a hamlet with around 100 citizens, spread over an area 5 kilometres.

The tour on the Island was very impressive. The island is about 43 miles long and about 13 miles wide and at some certain high points I could see the Irish Sea at both shores. And the weather was good!

In the city of Ramsey, on the way to Maughold, I could even see the rough Scottish coastline!

At their home, known as the historic Hawthorne Cottage, I met her friend Paul.

Suzanne works at the Anglo Irish Trust, while Paul reconstructs apartments they both buy and let out.

Their cottage is a very old house and they had been reconstructing it for over 18 months. However I thought it look beautiful, according to them they werenít finished yet.

The modem of their computer was defect, so I couldnít use their connection to update this website, but I could use the Internet at another location tomorrow morning.

And as the first ferry leaving this island leaves in two days, I had to stay another day in Maughold.

Around 6pm friends of Suzanne of Paul visited us, they really wanted to meet me and they wanted to be on my photos. They stayed over for a barbecue, which I really enjoyed and after this we drunk some beers.

It was around 11pm when I said goodbye to them and slept in my own pretty bedroom on the first floor. Just to be ready for tomorrowÖ
Very tired!

Good night Isle of Man!

Ramon.





In the press today:

Ifyouexplore.com (English):
"Let Him Stay For A Day"

Manx.Net (English):
"Let Me Stay For A Day.com on the Isle of Man!"

BeeMANx.com (English):
"Ramon's Global Freebie Trek Takes Him To The Isle Of Man"

Il Nuovo (Italian)
"Girare il mondo a spese altrui" (To travel the world on other people's expenses)




Where is Ramon?
Click here to see the map