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.
Friday, 22 June 2001
--> Maughold (Isle of Man) I am experiencing great sleeps the last days, certainly as the sun comes up around 4am. Maybe that influences my sleep.
Today Suzanne had to go to work and Paul would work on one of their apartments a little later.
He woke me up around 9 and after a quick breakfast he dropped me off in Ramsey, a close by village near Maughold, where I could use the computer in his mother’s home.
The place was fun, full of cats and there should have been a dog, but I had not seen one. And I could make myself lunch later today and coffee all day long, while I worked on the computer.
The strangest thing was, they trusted me to stay in the house alone. As soon as Paul left me, I was the only person in the house.
So I made coffee in the kitchen, had some cereals and wrote my reports about Manchester and Liverpool online.
Unfortunately the computer crashed and I lost all input of those days, causing the enormous delay for the next coming days.
My regrets that this report was published on June 27, but it was Bill Gates’ fault!
I spent a good part of the afternoon behind this computer.
And you should know I am very grateful for all the supportive emails I get everyday. And –even though it takes time- I try to answer most of them personally.
And it keeps me going also.
Around 3pm I closed the main door behind me and walked into Ramsey, along the port where fishing men were getting drunk, and through the little commercial streets where elderly waggled their way in town.
I ended up on the deserted Ramsey beach and was amazed by the beauty of everything. If this was a movie you were watching right now, the soundtrack must be marvellous!
Around 4.30pm Paul picked me up again and brought me back to their Hawthorne Cottage in Maughold again.
Around 6.30pm he and Suzanne would be back from their work, so I had to handle myself for a while, which was okay for me.
I decided to climb onto Maughold’s Head, the high point where a light tower shines it’s light over the sea at night.
Therefore I had to walk through the local graveyard where I looked my eyes out to very historic Celtic and Vikings’ gravestones.
At the end of the graveyard a small road with stone hedges on the side lead to the light tower, but I decide to go only halfway and walk up the hill, even higher than the light tower.
Walking about 30 minutes up the hill wasn’t really that hard, especially when I discovered this indescribable view. I tried to get it onto a photograph as you can see at the right.
This is pure nature as I had only seen it on television. It just impressed me very much…
I just said: getting up wasn’t so bad, but the way down was harder! It already was past 6 o’clock and walking downwards really takes a little more energy in the legs than upwards.
Heavily sweating and with shaky legs I got back at the graveyard again…
When I got back to Suzanne’s and Paul’s cottage, still nobody was home. Inside I watched some television and even tried to repair their internet connection.
That connection really worked well after all, but it was their modem which could not open the phone line to start dialing a number. So if I opened the line with their phone, plugged in another line into the computer and pressed ‘connect’ the thing would finally go online…
It was around 7pm when Suzanne arrived. Her plan for me was to have me horse riding for a while at her friends’ place just outside of Ramsey.
And I had to meet Suzanne’s own 2-years-old horse.
On the way up there Suzanne got me some chips with mayonnaise to keep me going for another while, because I was quit exhausted after the climb.
But when we arrived at Lianne’s place, where her and Suzanne’s horse were put up in a stable.
I climbed onto Lianne’s white horse –oops, I forgot the names of the horses- with this too small cap on, and that was very easy.
Nevertheless it was still a long time ago since I rode on a horse, next to this: the horse I was sitting on was not a still one…
Because of the foot-and-mouth-disease restrictions animal were not allowed to get out on the streets, so the lady I was sitting on was quiet surprised by every unexpected sound.
But it was fun to ride around the fields and we had quite some laughs…
Once back at the cottage it was around 9pm and after I had a quick body cleansing (yep, the horse stuff still smells…) we got ready to go out.
Lianne’s mother drove us and Lianne up to Douglas along the coastline. In town we got to this very crowded pub called ‘Cul-de-sac’[b], which means something like end-of-the-road. But not for tonight. They upstairs pizzeria was closed after 10pm and Paul and Suzanne were still looking for a place to have a decent dinner, before we would head to the Douglas’ discotheque [b]Paramount City.
It ended up to become a quick snack in the form of a Köfte Kebab, which filled pretty good.
After the quick meal we – the group had grown with all friends’ who also were at yesterday’s barbecue – all got into taxis who took us to the Paramount.
Here we had free entrance, because Lianne normally works there behind the bar, but for tonight she took off.
The Paramount was a discotheque containing two floors: the first one had the more modern dance music and upstairs a terrible deejay played all kinds of very wrong 80’s songs, attracting all kinds of old people to the dancefloor – making it look even more dangerously!
A few drinks later, we eventually left the upper floor in exchange for some real danceable music on the first floor. It was very modern club-stuff with a decent deejay.
In fact, that made me move a little more on the dance floor, wasn’t it that Suzanne and Lianne starting to introduce me to a lot of people who immediately thought I would be very famous (this explains the kissing-girl on the right).
So while I was on the dance floor with some others, Suzanne made fun of me with my camera!
So, around 2am in the morning and six or seven (can’t remember clearly) Bacardi Breezers later, we got back to Maughold in a taxi.
I remember climbing up the stairs to the bedroom, but everything after is very blurry…
Good night Maughold, welcome Hangover!
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