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During 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, 23 June 2001
Maughold (Isle of Man) --> Dublin (Ireland)

About: getting from the Isle of Man to Dublin, Ireland, staying with a journalist all day and even meat an American celebrity at night!
Today the ferry would depart from the Island at 2pm in the afternoon. Suzanne had let me sleep in ‘till 11am, and made me smoked skippers for breakfast. In the Netherlands also known as smoked haring.

Paul said goodbye to me as he had to work on his apartments again and after I packed my rucksack we got to Douglas around 12.30pm, just to be on time.

This Saturday the annual Isle of Man Parish Walk took place.

With the weather set fair for warm and sunny today, over 800 people will walk around the Island and visit ALL villages and hamlets. Arriving there you should touch the door of the local church and move on again. Next to the recreational aspect of this, the event is now well established as the Isle of Man’s own London Marathon.

Only this event would delay our arrival in Douglas, but fortunately the walk had already started at noon and the walkers would first go south.

Suzanne told me about how the walkers look like when they reach the finish the next morning, after walking the 85 miles around the Island. It will be like hypnotised people walking along the road, only going for that finish line and they’ll feel every bone in their body…

When we arrived at the ferry terminal of the Steam Packet Company. At the ticket office, Geoff Corkish, that communication manager of the SPC I met on the first day here, had arranged me a free ticket to Dublin!

Here I had to say goodbye to Suzanne and thank her for letting me stay on this wonderful island for two nights!

It was really astonishing to be here! I will certainly remind this place for some time later in life!

As the south of England is called the English Riviera, I hereby call the Isle of ManThe Hawaii of the United Kingdom!

On the ferry I stayed on the deck to see the island disappear as a little dot in the horizon…

After arriving at the Dublin Port terminal, I was only a 20-minute drive from the city centre.

The only possible to go there was a bus that took me there for only 2 Irish Punts.

Arriving at the bus station in the centre, I couldn’t really comprehend that I now was in another nation, in the republic of Ireland!

While walking towards the main street, O’Connell Street, I called my tonight’s host, Jim Clark.

He would come pick me up on this street within 15 minutes, so I waited in front of two burger giants where a little later a taxi with Jim in it picked me up.

It was after 6 at night when we arrived at his little house, which he normally shares with his flatmate.

Jim (30) is a freelance journalist and he told me that the Irish Evening Herald looks out for a story about me staying at his place coming Tuesday… He will be the first journalist writing about me while I in actual fact stayed at the place!

During a cup of coffee we discussed my possibilities of contacting more media to gain more invitations from Ireland.

Before I finished talking about the few invites I already have, Jim was already calling with friends who knew producers at the RTE Radio 2.

He also said: “Know, they don’t have a real regional media in this country. If something happens here, it’s instantly nationwide news.

Just so I will be prepared…

After dinner – Jim confessed he didn’t have much, today he just came back from covering a health convention in Paris – with potatoes, green beans and deliciously cooked salmon, we got up to the Olympia Theater.

At this theatre a friend of his played in a play as an actor and they play was performed for the last time today. So it ended with a little after party in the monumental pub of the historical theatre. Here the walls were covered with portraits of people who once played here and became famous or the other way around.

So I met John, the actor-friend, and he was a really friendly fellow, who treated me a Stout(which is in fact over smouldered Guinness beer).

Even though I was sitting at this table with Jim and John all night, it was one of the most interesting nights I have had ‘till now.

Sometimes talks with people can ever be more enriching than a club hopping tour through a city.

In fact I get a daily peek into people’s minds and their characters.

It still is a social market of giving and taking. I tell my stories, about the latest ups and down and so on, but they’ll always give theirs.

And we share opinions, histories – sometimes even very personal, while the others only just met me today!

We talked about life and discovering the value of it -like, seriously, I am doing right now- and about having the prospect to share my view of it with others so they might also see it.

I hope the message comes through.

In this unique and very old theaterpub I just wished I could write down the complete transcript of everything that is said, because it’s so miraculously interesting!

And even six hours later I wrote some short memories of it down in my paper notebook. It’ll still be difficult to recall the range of subjects we talked about.

By the way, getting into the theatre after the play, was actually through the very secured backstage door, because an famous American actress also performed in the play. And nobody else than the original cast was allowed to get it, besides some very close friends, until she had left.

I was actually introduced to this American actress before she left, just after she arranged some things with John the actor.

The embarrassing moment was when I asked her what her name was, again, because I couldn’t really understand Jim and John’s version of it: “Tyne Daly”, she said, with a smile.
“Ramon here is travelling the world on a shoestring,” John explained to her.
“Oh well, where do you think you’ll be going?”
“I can go anywhere with over 1600 invitations,” I said.
Just after a picture of her with me was taken, she said that I will get there and she took off.

Just seconds after this all I asked Jim who she was if she was so famous. “Tyne Daly played Lacey in the famous American police series “Cagney & Lacey”.

I had never actually seen that series, I think I was too young for that. But I can remember my parents looking at it on television.

I met Miss Lacey and I had asked her name…
Brainless piece of intelligence I was!

After the play a 70’s cover band would perform for a very young audience, and as soon as Daly had left, they were allowed in the pub to order drinks.

I have never seen such a young audience really partying in a theatre before. While drinking beer and going totally out of their mind on that live played music!

Jim and I got out of the pub around 2 am, said goodbye to John, and walked back home again.

On this way back, while passing a huge 11th century cathedral and replicas of Celtic remaining found in the deep dirt of below the streets – pasted in concrete on that same spot, we talked about how British missiles missed the buildings that where taken in the hands of revolutionary Irish’s who declared independence from the United Kingdom during the first world war.

However the missiles missed this great building, the British did catch the revolutionaries and executed them.

That action was something that shook up the quiet Irish’s and five years later Ireland became independent after all. With those first executed revolutionaries as their all time heroes.

One of them -if the truth is told- was Thomas Clark, also the oldest in the cluster. He was executed strapped on his wheelchair to prevent him to fall out of it after the killing.

Thomas Clark is a far ancestor of Jim Clark.

I told Jim if he ever ends up in a wheelchair: just be cool and don’t have a big mouth… Learn from the past.

One street further, still on our way, we are talking about the precautions and possible causes of the foot-and-mouth outbreak in Europe.

When we arrived at home, we still didn’t know who or what to blame, we will leave that one to politicians, magistrates and philosophers…

Good night Dublin!


Where is Ramon?
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