August 2nd, 2000

emu

Gerbie on tour 16

Gerbie on tour (16)

Finally the next travel report. After Venezuela I did visit the little town called Goor, where I celebrated with the locals in their annual School- en Volksfeesten. These local fiestas have been organised since 125 years in the last weekend of June for all inhabitants of the city. Apart from a big tent, nicknamed "Beer tent" and a funfair, there were several parades and bars were open until the early hours. It's been a brilliant week.

Those amongst you, who can read well, might have drawn the right conclusion: Yes, I have been home for a bit now. Those local parties were just one of the reasons, I shall spare you the complete list. One of the most important was the fact that I found myself being less fanatic. I didn't do an effort anymore to reach every small village, I have walked past some churches and deliberately avoided markets. But this wasn't the way I wanted to travel. One could assume easily that most of the countries I have visited will never get a chance again to stamp my passport. So I concluded that I needed a break, to be able to continue my journey as 'sharp' as before.

In the Netherlands after the Schoolfeest in Goor I have spent a lot of time for 3 weeks following the Tour de France, to me the best televised sporting event. Apart from watching tele, it also means reading a lot of papers, listening to the radio (one could easily miss some details on the screen) and organising our annual betting competition. Doing so I found out that luck still plays a big part. After years, in which I completed my form well-prepared and finishing just below the best, this year, with hardly any preparation, I led the field until the very last stage and finished second in the end.

After that I started on a holiday job on a campsite nearby entertaining kids by organising activities for them, like I did a decade ago over there as well. It's a bit weird being back there after such a long time but it gives me an opportunity to expand my budget a bit and keeps me off the street.

My original plan was to stay back home in the Netherlands for a bit, then continue my journey in South America. But over here there has been a major change. Both on videotext as in a newspaper I read about a shortage of volunteers for the Olympics. Especially people with language skills were needed. And when I realised that I am nearly too old to qualify for a working-holiday visa for Australia, my decision was easy. I applied for the job, haven't heard anything yet, but decided to go anyway, I'll see if I can work there. There's plenty to see and do there anyway and while I am there, obviously I shan't be omitting New Zealand from my travel itinerary. So my next report will probably come from a completely different continent, as I will leave within a fortnight. When you will read it remains, as always, a mystery, where I'll be I can't tell either, but I am planning on continuing this series of newsletters on the next part of my journey.

So I hope that also in Australia I will get heaps of E-mail, that everyone will tell me about their lives. No mail can be too boring. Too often people tell me that they haven't got anything to tell, but when you're on the road, everything, especially the ordinary, is news, as I am far away from it. So keep writing, I will read everything and do an effort to answer whenever I can.

Until the next mail,

Gerben

P.S. Aussies, or others, who have been there, please do send me some travel tips.

P.P.S. When updating my archive, I found out that I have lost my own second newsletter, the one I sent from Tampa library. Has anybody been saving any of my letters? Please mail me!