3 weeks of preparing, Ready as can be. Time to go!

Trip Start Jul 23, 2008
Trip End Feb 04, 2009

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The adventures starts...

30th of June was my last workday at Elsevier. It seems like another lifetime now, eventhough it has only been 3 weeks ago. Since then I have been busy with sorting things out for my cycling adventure and other things I wanted to have done a long time ago. Feels good to take the time to actually sit down and dó them now. Like putting all my contacts in an excelsheet, being able to throw away all pieces of paper.
Time has flown by really. Seeing people in between and helping Mira out on her houseboat, sanding and painting. Now only 1 more day before jumping on the bike and start peddling south....meeting up with friends and family while making my way to the German border. Crossing Germany into Czech to the city Mlada Boleslav, meeting up with my lovely friend Roman!
Of course also gave my nephew Alex (and his parents) another hug. Will not see him for 3,5 months...He will be a big baby-boy by the time I am back! And I cut his hair. In custom with Thai tradition! When a baby is 3 months old all direct family and close friends are asked to cut 3 pieces of hair and put them in a special 'flower-basket' At the same time you give the baby best wishes for the future. The parents go to the temple and have him/her blessed by a monk. Also the baby's head will be shaved bold. Within 7 days the flower-basket is put on the river, as an offering to a special god, asking for protection and guidance in the life of the baby. Same is done for Alex. However the offering to the river-god will be done in Japan, where they are going on holidays to introduce Alex to his other grandmother and Thai family...
On the move again means saying goodbye as well. But as a (not wise but strong) man once said: I'll be back ;-) Unfortunately I cannot take my Couch Surfing cat with me on the bicycle so I had to bring her to the cat-shelter, hoping she will find a lovely new home soon. She has been with me for more then 5 months, found it difficult to let her go. Enjoyed her company.
My final night in Amsterdam: Going out for dinner with Kristen, Samga and Mira. Great closure of the Amsterdam book for now. I had a great night, thanks girls! My last night camping in the almost empty house, Mira joined me for a last wine. Am I really going tomorrow? Waking up, not realizing it yet... Packing my bags, cleaning the place (thanks Kris!) and I am ready leave...ready as can be!
The adventure starts here and now...
Of course I will do my best to keep you informed, with stories and photos...enjoy yet another one of my adventures, I know I will!
Different to my other weblogs, it is possible to make a donation this time. No, not for me to buy food or German beers. I know some of you are wondering if I will even make it into Germany, let alone all the way to Czech. So I challence you to donate some money for every 100km I cycle. This money will go to Join!forkids. A non-profit organisation that does great things for poor children in this world. Have a look at www.joinforkids.org
p.s. if you do not want to / cannot make a donation via Pay-pal, you can also transfer the money into my own account: Rabobank, A. van Leeuwen, Vlijmen, The Netherlands.

Thanks and stay in touch!
Big Hug
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