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  1. Psy trance is very popular in my country...although Belgium is a fair small country the Goa gigs are almost every weekend...next weekend a big gig in Ghent called Nova's Incident which was held before in Vielsalm(South part of Belgium)they do not do it there anymore because last year a freak under drugs influence walked totally naked from the event towards the railway station..:grinning::flushed:the locals couldn't take it,so no more events in Vielsalm...this year they revived the gig in the town of Ghent..it goes on saturday 08 sept from 15.00h afternoon until sunday morning 07.00h...the line up...Oh well..the crème de la crème really...like Talamasca..entrance fee is bit on the high side=30 euro's==30 dollars...i might go...if i get transport?

    Nova's Incident XVI Urban Open Air - Kompass Gent - Saturday, 08 September 2018 | PartyBeep




    in 2016 i witnessed Atmos live on Ozora festival(Hungary)===good experience really...



    the Muses Rapt



    Astral Projection....

  2. India overland trip 1975
    India

    23.08.2018

    posting nr.1==starting my second overland India trip

    I finished my first blog about India in 30 postings...i do hope you all enjoy reading about my adventures..
    i must have got an India travel microbe in myself because i went to India again in 1975..
    and again on foot overland using my thumb(==hitchhiking,bus,boat)anything exept a plane(ahah)
    here we go....so..february 1975....i got a letter from India..
    Ruby invited me to visit her in Jaipur(Rajasthan)
    she was teaching there as a lecturer on the Univ..
    I wrote back..I would come over by august..
    but I left in june..returned I guess in february 1976..
    I did another itinerary towards Switserland-Italy+Greece..
    the traject Istanbul(Turkey)New Delhi..was the same..
    in India..I did very extensive travelling through Rajasthan..
    also made a trip to South India=Tamil Nadu+Kerala=lovely..
    so..between february-june..I was trying to earn some money..
    and I had some money on saving(bank)which I could touch..
    I will tell you all about this last trip..as a bachelor..
    7 months away..after that..got married..but..
    we still travelled..to Tsjechia...Poland..Malta...Hungary..
    the U.S.A..Iceland..Norway..India..Senegal..Gambia..
    I always liked to talk to travellers..they know..
    inside themselves..travelling..is a lesson for life..
    it's different then sitting behind your computer..
    words are words..they are either good..or bad..
    it's easy to judge..but on the road..
    people don't judge a book by its cover alone..
    greetings....Tiger
  3. India

    01.08.2018

    posting nr.1==Germany-Austria-Yougoslavia

    Hmmm..trip overland to India..need to get my thoughts together to write this blog part..
    i travelled to India twice overland==this is my first trip done in 1972
    well..I worked a bit in the black after I came back from Scandinavia
    some fellow wanted his house front painted..I made a mess of it
    but I cared a shit..i got the bucks..don't recall exactly when I started..
    my God..i left my village..my dad came to see me off..I stood 1 h..bloody hell in my own village
    to get a ride out..towards Verviers-Aachen(Germany)took my 4 rides..
    in Germany hitch hiking is a piece of cake..you can get from raststatte
    to next raststatte=mostly service stations on the highway as well..
    reached quite a good distance on day one..i think I slept in the bushes of some service
    rastatte around Wurzburg..next morning..wash up in the toilet facilities..
    ride towards Munchen(Bavaria)I got picked up by some hippies
    they lived in a house in Munchen..stayed overnight there...
    next morning..I noticed..things were stolen out of my rucksack..mainly food
    I took from Belgium to get through the first week of travell..some saucages,
    jam,and some other things..bloody fuckers anyway..someone was hungry apparently?
    got a ride towards Austria..Salzburg..awww..loveley scenery in Austria..
    it's my favorite country in Europe..after Norway
    i suppose i slept somewhere in Austria that day..don't know where..
    bloody hell..it was 1972?and lots of folks were on the way to mystical INDIA..
    Ravi Shankar had been on Woodstock with his sitar..
    Harrison wasin Rishikesh etc..it was a trip towards the unknown..the mysterious!!
    my first goal was reaching Istanbul..got a ride in Austria with a German from Berlin..
    travelling in a hippie van..he was going to Greece..
    we managed to get just into Yougoslavia that day..bit after Maribor..
    will tell more later on..if you all are interested that is?

    posting nr.2==Yougoslavia-Greece-Turkey

    So..after i got picked up by this fellow from Berlin..we reached Maribor
    and stopped at a parking spot near Varazdin..next morning we drove on to Beograd..
    capital of Yougoslavia..this fellow wanted to stay a day there..
    I wanted to reach Greek border as soon as possible..so we quit there..
    Beograd is on the Sava an Danube river..told you before..big cities..well..
    not my favorite cup of tea really..on the outskirts of Beograd I got picked up
    by 3 crazy Austrians from Graz..travelling in a little car..2 guys+a chick...
    real weird people..their destination was Istanbul..so O.K.for me..
    we drove to Nis..and then to Bulgarian border...but were kicked back on the border..long hair??visa??
    don't even remember it?point was..we drove back to Skopje and Gevgelija..border Greece..
    awwww..Greece..loved this place..went via Thessaloniki-Kavalla-Komotini-Alexandropoulis towards Ipsala..
    border Greece-Turkey..then to Kesan-Tekirdag-finally we reached Istanbul..
    and wooooh..that's a city to my heart...stayed 3 night there..will tell you later on..
    hippies came together in Eminonu in pudding shop..here is the link..
    Your text to link here...
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    posting nr.3==Istanbul(Turkey)

    So..finally in Istanbul..I loved this place..it's on the crossroads
    see this link to give you any idea about Istanbul city== Your text to link here...
    crossroad of Europe-Asia..Galata bridge..fresh fish roasted..the vendors..
    the noises..crowds..Sirkeçi railway station on the Europe side..
    just a warning..beware of pickpockets and moneychangers..
    lots of people got ripped off early seventies..first day did some
    touristical sightseeing..Blue Mosque(Sultanahmet)reallly impressive..
    Kapali Carsi(Big bazar)is a real hustle and bustle of little shops..
    i took a ferry on the Bosphorus river..real nice..crossing to Uskudar
    on the Asian side..what i always regret up till now is that I did not
    visit Topkapi Sarayi(palace of sultan)well..i was not into museums
    these days,I guess..later on again I did Istanbul on my second overland
    trip to India..again no Topkapi..well..I've heard it's wonderfull??
    evening we went into Lale Pudding shop..lots of hippies came together..
    we exchanged ideas there..some came back from India...
    and all they said was...woooh..INDIA..groovy..Americans on the move..
    there was a message board in Lale where one could leave some notice
    for friends..or share a ride towards India in a hippie VW bus..
    I decided for myself to travell by bus,train,boat..whatever came up..
    second day..gathered some information about bus travelling..
    i decided to take a bus to Ankara..you get a koltuk(numbered seat)
    free water,some sweets,Turkish music all along..and lots of curious Turks..
    but really friendly..I managed to learn the basic sentences in Turkish..
    and they really appreciate this..so day 3 I was getting ready to leave
    Istanbul..i visited the bus station..reserved my seat..hitch hiking in Turkey
    well..some have done it..but it was risky,I heard..and transport..
    so dirt cheap..so I booked that bus towards Ankara..more later on.

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    posting nr.4==Ankara-Erzurum-Dogubayazit-Bazargan=border Iran..

    Ankara..I didn't like this place too much..huge bus station..very confusing..
    I had to switch bus there direction Erzurum(Anatolia)it's a long journey from Istanbul..
    but one advantage was..no hotel necessary..because these buses go day and night..
    I missed some scenery between Istanbul-Ankara-Yozgat perhaps..
    but once Erzincan-Erzurum in reach it was O.K..loveley scenery..
    Erzurum smaller bus to Agri..then a shared taxi towards(dolmus)to border
    town Dogubayazit..here an overnight stay in a sleazy hotel...
    I had met a French couple going to Afghanistan..now this area of Turkey is very remote and backward..
    maybe nowadays they have seen more weird travellers there
    they could not understand that 2 guys travelling with a chick was possible?
    we had to lock our hotelroom doors..real paranoid situation
    Dogubayazit is near Mount Ararat...according to the legend the Ark of Noah stranded there..
    well..I've never been a religious fellow..so..i didn't care..
    but the Ararat mountain range looks nice though..
    it flirts with the border regio of Iran-Armenia-Turkey..Mount Ararat is bit over 5000m high
    i believe the bible legend says that the ark stranded here(Urartu)
    some mountain climbers have gone in search for the ark..without result..
    next morning I took a dolmus to Bazargan together with these French..
    border is called Bazargan..not to much hassle on the Iranian side..but the Turks gave us a thorough rucksack search..we took a shared taxi to Mako..if I remember well?first place in Iran..and better roads then in Eastern Turkey.next town was Tabriz..so..I'll tell more later on..O.K?
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    posting nr.5==Iran

    Iran..so different then Turkey..I don't recall much from the bus ride
    between Tabriz-Qazvin-Tehran..but I must say..buses well organised,
    comfortable travelling..now Tehran..I stayed 4 days there..because I had
    to make visa for India etc..in these days Amir Kabir hotel was the place
    to be to meet hippies travelling..but i didn't stay there..found a little hotel
    in some side street..where it was full of only foreigners as well..great people..
    Tehran is surrounded by mountains..and lies at an altitude of 1200m..
    big wide streets..mostly paralell pattern..in these days the Shah was still ruling..
    shops were filled with French perfumes..foreign stuff as well..oil money..
    you know..I think today it's a total different picture?
    The big bazaar of Tehran is absoluteley fantastic to stroll through..
    lots of curious Iranians wanted to know whether I was American,English??
    I got invited for tea and abgoust...now..this abgoust..is served in a pot and
    it's some stew like mixture of chickpeas etc..it was very cheap...and tasty as well..
    other type of food is pillav/nan/mutton..which is a rice dish with flat bread..
    Iran was very cheap..next days I spent my time going to the embassy of India..no problem for a visa..but it took 2 days..
    Tehran is a hectic place..lots of traffic..it's a central point for all traffic to any destination in Iran..
    my itinerary was Qum-Yazd-Kerman-Bam-Zahedan..
    never went to Isfahan..and that's a pity..beautiful mosques there..
    just ask Dharma(Kevin)he has been there very recently..
    i picked up a few words of Farsi..real nice language with strange sounds..
    gar kodjast??meant where the railwaystation..kheyly khoub=thank you..
    I did travell by bus all the way towards Zahedan...
    will tell you more later on...

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    posting nr.6==Tehran-Zahedan

    So..finally left Tehran by bus..booked a ticket straight to Kerman..
    via Qum..which is an important stronghold of pilgrimage(religion)
    the trip to Kerman was loveley..very hot...and very arid landscapes..
    specially around Yazd..Kerman is a small and very ancient city..
    in the middle of nowhere..big and very interesting bazaar..
    I was the only foreigner on the bus..but the people were extremely friendly..
    I stayed overnight in a small hotel..now..the bazaar of Kerman..
    you should not miss..very hectic..Kerman is famous for carpet weaving...nice designs..
    Kerman-Bam-Zahedan..is still a nice stretch by bus..
    we got frequent control points from Iranian police..the Shah in his days had a secret police force called savak..
    but these checkpoints were probably only ordinary traffic control..
    I came 2 days to early in Zahedan..train to Quetta runs only once a week..
    so i stayed at a sort of campsite run lodging...there were other foreigners
    waiting for the iron horse(train)to Baluchistan..I remember I stocked up
    food..mostly sardines..and fruits in tins(peaches,cherries)
    it was a rough desert train ride to Quetta..a trip I remember well till up today..
    finally the train came..got my ticket 2nd class..I guess 1st class was not available..
    lots of funny folks to board this train..Baluchi tribals with a very big knife on their belts..
    they were using a compartiment of the train as a cooking facility..
    made their own tea..food etc..they smoke a lot of weed as well..but I didn't liked to get high there..tell you more later

    some things you should know BEFORe you enter Iran.. Your text to link here...

    a you tube on Kerman Your text to link here...

    posting nr.6==train trip Zahedan-Quetta(Baluchistan)

    So..finally this train was moving towards the Iranian-Paki border..
    border town for Iran was Mirjaveh..lots of hassles..waiting..hot sun..
    border town for Pakistan was Taftan if I recall well..this train trip goes through
    desert arid area..little outlets like Nokkundi-Dalbandin-Nushki..
    I recall mostly as stopping places to get a tea or some snacks for this difficult journey..
    in Nokkundi villagers wait 1 week to meet this train...
    to sell their stuff eggs,vegetables..fruits..snacks..tea..biscuits..
    the whole thing..i remember..the train had to stop in the heat of the desert..because..there was sand on the tracks..
    which had to be shovelled away...sandstorm..it was terrrible hot as well..
    but still..what an adventure it was..a real desert trip..I remember it vividly still now
    finally we reached Quetta railway station..wandered into town..
    and met..to my surprise a Swedish missionary living on the outskirts of Quetta..
    he took me in..for 2 days..I guess he felt left out in this damned town..
    he was a protestant..lovely wife..I recall his daughter as well..a teenager..
    he told me..it was very hard to live in Pakistan to win souls..religion..
    oh my..oh my..in a Muslim conservative place like Quetta..he said he had to deal with lots of corruption..
    easy game in this part of the world..luckily he got financial aid directly from Sweden..
    this fellow dropped me into Quetta next morning..
    wanted to see what this town was about..nothing special really..
    I bumped into a Californian guy..together we had to go to the local police station to get registered for entering the area..
    lots of tea..waiting..and Paki bureaucraty..well..well..still..Quetta town got some charm..
    you see tribals in turbans..in traditional dress..with these funny baggy trousers..

    Your text to link here...
    I went to the railway station to get information about travelling towards Lahore
    in Pakistani Punjab..long train journey..will tell you later on..

    posting nr.7==travelling by train to Lahore(Punjab)

    I remember this sunny morning in Quetta..train to Lahore..
    soon after Quetta..comes Kolpur and the Bolan mountain pass..
    rough country..wooh..almost 100km.of mountain scenery...
    then Jacobabad-Sukkur-Multan...pfft..it was so bloody hot..
    train travelling can be quite a hassle sometimes..people constantly
    bother you..they're so damned curious..hundred times..
    what's your name,mister??where are you from??are you English?
    do you like Pakistan???well..this area is reall countryside Pakistan..
    I felt once I reached Jacobabad..I reached the Indian subcontinent..
    the rivers Indus and Sutlej cross there..real nice little dormant villages..
    typical scenery..forever grifted in my mind...the paddy rice field with the
    farmer in loin cloth..pulling his cows..so..primitiv..but so nice though..
    Multan-Sahiwal-Lahore...booh..very hot..lots of tea...and drinks..
    finally reached Lahore...capital of the Pakistani Punjab..
    very interesting city...bit dirty around railway Station...noisy..
    overpopulated...beggars..hassles..pickpockets...a test for nerves..
    got a room in the fucking Youth Hostel of Lahore..bit out of the city..
    but quiet..I had nearly the whole hostel for myself..helpfull warden..

    posting nr.8==Pakistani-Indian border(Wagah)

    So..Lahore goodbye..Taxi to Wagah border...now this border crossing
    is something to remember..Pakistani side is called Attari,I believe??
    Indian side is called Wagah..in between every morning a whole ceremony..
    by Pakistani/Indian border patrol..well..well..changing of the guards??
    a you tube on this ceremony==why is this necessary on daily basis??
    Your text to link here...
    India/Pakistan are playing cat/mouse games for decades..finally if you put
    a Punjabi from Lahore..next to a Punjabi from Amritsar..they look bloody the
    same..wooh..why this hate??long story..which I'm not going to tell here
    border crossing through this border was a real hassle for me..
    it took me 2 hours to walk trough both borders..bureaucratic behaviour??my ass..
    It was a relief for me to reach India..Amritsar..now..about Amritsar..
    I can write some pages..Punjab..golden Temple..you all should SEE it..
    The Sikh religion..well..very good..they are NOT allowed to cut their hair
    woooh???hippies??they follow the 5 k's..I'll explain in a link below..
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    posting nr.9==Amritsar-Dehli..

    So..from Amritsar railway station..took a cycle rickshaw..
    towards the Golden Temple..stayed in Gurdwara Ram Das Niwas..
    as said before..free food and lodging..don't expect too much..
    from free food..these people serve dal out of a bucket..
    served on leaves..you get some chappatis(flat bread)as well..
    it's called langar... Your text to link here...
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    I recall I got the shits in Amritsar..nothing serious really..
    beware of eating in cheap roadside stalls..
    I left my chappals(sandals)outside Golden Temple..and went in..
    woooh...real life time experience..
    you must cover your head with some scarf..
    very nice entrance towards the Temple..
    inside is the Grant Sahib=holy book of the Sikhs..
    chanting and reading all the time...you'll get some prashad as well..
    Your text to link here...
    so..this was my first impression of India..I damned liked it..
    I like speaking to people..about life...about anything..
    and these Indians..were so damned curious...woohhhah...
    I got myself some dahi(fresh curd)in the morning around the temple..
    I met a couple of hippies..the fellow was really sick..got dysenteria..
    they stayed in the gurdwara as well..and I felt sorry for this guy..
    beware of your health conditions while travellling in India
    After 2 days..i booked a ticket to New Delhi(train)damned cheap..
    will tell you later..New Delhi turned out to be a very interesting city..

    posting nr.10==New Delhi

    so..New Delhi..capital of India..it's a real huge place..
    I booked a retiring room in Old Delhi railway Station..dirt cheap
    Old Delhi is crowded,dirty,full of beggars..one has to get used to it..
    of course Jami Masjid and Red fort dominate the scenery..never went
    into Red Fort..but I went into Jami Masjid..Moghul architecture by Shah Jahan
    Chandni Chowk and Kinari Bazar are a maze of streets and little alleys..
    to noisy it was but still..it's an experience to see all these colours..
    smell all these unknown herbs etc..most of the foreign travellers stay either
    in New Delhi Paharganj area or closer to Connaught Circus..so..
    i took a riksja to New Delhi..one of these crazy scooter 3 wheelers..
    they drive like mad..these riksja wallah's know their way..
    but..quick...and efficient..they take you where one wants to go..
    Connaught Place...consists of 2 ring roads around a central park area..built by the British..
    I guess by Luytens??architect??or was it Russel?anyway...
    Janpath Road is where the tourist office is situated..I picked up a free map..went to GPO..
    and found a Gurdwara Sikh temple there..to stay for free..so next day..I moved back to the hospitability of the Sikhs
    and yes..that day..I had a lassi..kind of refreshing drink..
    later..i heard..on the Holi festival==sometimes they put bhang in it(hasj)woooh...
    they didn't that day..that bhang lassi can give strange reactions...
    more later on...stayed 4 days in New Delhi.. before I moved to Agra..
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    posting nr.11==Agra

    ook the train towards Agra..now train travelling in India..
    real big network..divided in parts like Eastern railways..etc..
    in beginning 70's..tickets and reservation was sometimes a real hassle..
    you could book a berth in 2 tier..3 tier..A/C class..2nd class..1st class..
    i always went for 2nd class...and these passenger category trains...
    wooh..real adventure sometimes...Agra from Delhi is only a few hours..
    I recall reaching Agra Cantonment Railway Station early morning..
    directly a load of riksha wallah's offering a ride to Taj Mahal etc..
    a real hassle sometimes these rickshaw folks..
    even if you don't want a ride with them..they keep on bothering you..
    they get commision from certain hotels and shops..
    if they can get you there..I decided to walk to the Taj Mahal..
    in railway Stations in India they really serve good breakfast..
    mostly toast/eggs/tea..very cheap..
    I first dropped in at the tourist office on the Mall..
    booked a room in a cheap hotel..for 2 nights...
    Agra is a city from more then 1 million people now...it's crowded..
    So..this Taj Mahal..deserves some attention..
    it certainly strikes everybody if you see it for the first time..
    it's such a beautiful building really..coming into via the archway..
    you see this marble mausoleum..really wonderful architecture..
    I'll tell more later on...and try to find some links on Agra..Taj Mahal...
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    posting nr.12==few links on Taj Mahal and Agra..

    Almost every India traveller will visit Agra...it's a very popular destination..although i am mre interested in Rajasthan...
    about a hotel choice==== Your text to link here...

    A few links on Taj Mahal..
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    posting nr.13==Agra

    Agra...was hot...and full of tourists..everybody wants to see..
    this Taj Mahal..yip...what struck me here..was the fact..
    that India is such a place of contrast..on the Taj Mahal grounds..
    i met Indians in colourful sarees..honeymooning couples..middle class..
    when I went outside of the gate...a fellow on a small chart..
    in rags..suffering from leprosy..no nose..fingers gone almost..
    that's India as well..it's very hard to travel there..very hard at times..
    but..it hardened me up..yes..i could take the extreme poverty..
    I met a fellow hippie in Agra..to my surprise..he was from Hoboken(Belgium)
    he got some hasj...and we smoked it in Agra Railway Station at night..
    we gave some of that chillum(bhang)to some poor Indian railway floor sleepers..
    these people have NOTHING..if they get high on hasj..it's heaven..yes..
    I stayed 1 day longer in Agra..day 3..I slept rough in Rlw Station..
    just on the floor...next day..I got bugs..khujalee they call it in Hindi..
    went to a pharmacy...and ordered some lotion..damned..it itched
    it's a bug which gets into the clothes..had to wash all of them..
    day 2 I went to see Red fort..and wandering in the streets of Agra..
    will tell you more later...next stop is Jaipur..lovely place

    posting nr.14==Jaipur(Rajasthan)

    Jaipur...capital of Rajasthan state...one of my favorite cities in India..
    it's called pink city because of the colour of lots of buildings..it has a lot
    of gates as entrance to the old part of town...and one can see camel
    driven carts..just like that in the streets..and the Rajputs dresses are
    so damned colourful..men wear turbans of all kind of colours..woman wear
    colourfil skirts,beads,nose rings,foot ankles etc..my first encounter with Jaipur
    was the Railway Station of course..I took a room in a Tourist Bungalow..very cheap dormstyle accomodation...
    one meets always travellers in Jaipur..it's a very touristy place...
    I went to see this famous Hawa Mahal(Palace of the Winds)built in pink sandstone..
    I climbed up the building via stairs on the rear side..
    stunning view from the top..on Jaipur's bustling streets...
    same day I visited City Palace..and the observatory..I did not understand
    a shit of these constructions measuring azimuths,altitudes etc...
    I'll put a link..so you can read more about Jaipurs tourist attractions...
    Your text to link here...
    I took out 3 days for my visit here..day 1 is described here..
    day 2...I rented a bicycle and cycled the 12km..in burning sun
    towards Amber Palace...so...i'll tell you later on about that...
    Your text to link here...
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    P.S...and later on..this trip..on my return..
    I met my future wife to be in New Delhi...and...
    she was a Univ.professor for 15 years..in JAIPUR

    posting nr.15=Jaipur

    So..I rented a bicycle..not so expensiv...well..what an adventure this day really was..
    I still recall hopping on that bike..rented from somewhere around the Railway Station..i had to drive all the way to Amber Fort..
    24kms..up and down..in hot weather..it almost never rains in Rajasthan
    I got a Hero cycle..good cycles made in India in Punjab..funny feeling to drive
    a bicycle through Indian streets...see following link for traffic
    Your text to link here...
    I drove through the old city of Jaipur through the Chandpol Gate..
    Chandpol Bazar-and up to Johari Bazar..road to Delhi...
    once outside the city...loveley...absoluteley..I enjoyed this..
    of course these trucks get along..but anyway...
    it was bloody hot though..but I made it..
    on the way I met 2 elephants coming down the road with their mahuts(trainers)
    I reached Amber safeley..Woooahh..what an impressive fort..
    there's a steep road uphill..quite a climb..rich tourists can do
    this stuff on elephant back...since I was not rich..
    I decided to walk...these elephants walk up..
    and beside them usually a local villager in local dress..
    playing a rawanahatta(1 string instrument)baksheesh,you know..
    kind way of begging..I must say here these rich tourists spoil a lot..
    now...and even in 1972..Indians get the feeling..
    that every white man..is a capitalist...Boooh..why???
    So..Amber Palace..don't miss this place..
    I'll try to find a link..because..well..
    I don't remember all these names..
    but it's a fabulous place..the bycicle ride back was O.K..
    downhill you know..I felt great..and got a red nose+face..sunburnt..
    So..day 3..I did some bazar sightseeing+city museum Jaipur..
    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.16==Jaipur

    day 3 in Jaipur I wanted to walk trough the many bazars of Jaipur..
    Johari,Tripolia,Chandpol,Bapu,Nehru Bazar...all of these connected
    with little side streets...where real Indian streetlife could be observed..
    friendly but curious people..some touts try always to get you into their
    gem or souvenir shop..but I rarely did that...of course always a free cup
    of tea..the bazars are crowded...but the colours,smells,people are sure
    worthwhile..Jaipur is known for gems..but that was not for my purse
    Surana is a very famous jeweller..who makes very nice pieces of gold..
    i got quite tired of all that walking...and then the heat..
    one has to really get used to it..on top of that the crowd..the beggars..
    I went to Ram Niwas Gardens in front of central museum..
    just lay down in the park..but could not take a nap
    then afterwards museum visit...loveley art and local costumes,folklore,
    woodwork,brassware,miniature paintings etc....after that took a riksja
    to railway station..information about going towards Kanpur-Khajurhao..
    i was going to see Khajurhao with its erotic art temples
    tell you more later..Jaipur was really worthwhile...

    posting nr.17==the Khajurhao erotic art temples..

    India=Khajurhao..sex??
    Published by old tiger in the blog old tiger's Blog. Views: 3

    So..let's move towards Khajurhao..it's just a little village.
    but the temples there..became world wide famous..
    erotic sculptures..well..my ass..when I was in India in early 70's
    just a simple tongue kiss in movies..was taboo...
    up till now..Indians are rather prude on sex matters..stayed a bit taboo..
    so..I took this train towards Jhansi..bus to Panna..bus to Khajuraho.
    don't remember where i slept there..loveley temples..
    If you have seen one..they all look a bit the same
    I remember the sun going down scene in this place..
    lovely..I'll try to find a link..
    Kama Sutra??a book about sexual positions
    Your text to link here...
    a good link on Khajurhao=== Your text to link here...
    after Khajuraho i went to Allahabad..
    will tell you later..if you peeps are interested?

    posting nr.18==Allahabad

    Allahabad..was very hot..this place is known for amrood..
    amrood=guava..it's very rich in vitamines..I was there in the season..
    so..it tastes inbetween like a pear/strawberrie
    Allahabad is also know for the fact the Ganga+Yamuna rivers flow together
    there..it has religious value as well..called the sangam=a great pilgrimage
    point at the confluence of these 2 rivers.a mela=a pilgrimage where sometimes
    millions of devotees gather..i'll try to get a link on khumb mela..
    awww..I wish I could experience a khumb mela..lots of sanyasi'(holy men)
    or sadhus like we say....are present..I've met a few in Varanasi..
    they are stoned 24h/24h..very strange dudes sometimes!!
    I recall Allahabad for being very hot...and for amrood
    will try to get you peeps some links..so you'll get not bored

    so here a few links on sadhus,sanyasis,holy men etc...
    Your text to link here...
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    Your text to link here...
    in this last link=click on more images..

    posting nr.19==Varanasi(=ex Benares)

    went from Allahabad to Varanasi by train..always an adventure..
    Varanasi(ex Benares)is a city you should see...
    it's very very Indian..as a matter of fact I've
    never seen more holy cows anywhere else then
    in Varanasi..this holy city for Hindu's is dusty,hot,
    crowded,very spiritual...and specially very good to
    have a glimpse on Hinduism,holy men,cremation on
    the ghats(steps on the Ganges river)first you arrive
    in Varanasi..most probably by train in Mogul Serai=
    11km.south..try to arrive in Varanasi Junction Station..
    Tourist office=The Mall 15b=Cantonment area..
    accomodation..try Tourist Dak bungalow=The Mall..
    no idea about prices...just make a walk to the river
    side..on the ghats..you will see strange things...
    ritual baths,chanting of Holy texts,yogi,holy men..
    cremations are held at Manikharnika ghat or Harichandra ghat..
    photography is forbidden..I've witnessed once a ceremony..
    and i felt quite awkward..in fact the oldest son has to light the pile of wood...
    it takes a lot of nerve to witness..you will hear no mourning..
    it's more reading of Holy texts by a pandit..around these ghats a strange group
    of holy men live...with dreadlock hair..and poorly dressed..
    ask for aghori's..very funny people...sort of sadhu's..
    the bathing rituals are going on mostly at daybreak
    ..ask for Dashaswahmed ghat..a ritual bath consist of
    chanting a mantra..going head under 3 times..and drink
    some Ganga water..on the ghats you will see a whole lifestyle...
    flowerselllers..kids playing..barbers..massage..
    cremation..red cover over body is for women..
    white one for males..only rich or middle class can afford
    a ritual cremation..the very poor are cremated in another
    way=electrical..near Harichandra ghat..
    Benares is famous for silk,as well as Sanskrit study's..
    a great University to study hindi or Hinduism..
    but all together..didn't like Benares too much..
    it's too hectic..too many swindlers,beggars,people who
    want you in their shops,riksja pullers who overcharge..
    I would recommend Sarnath=10kms.from Varanasi..
    here Budhha held his first preaching..there is a great temple
    ask for Maha Bodhi Society Temple..ask for Deer Park where
    Buddha held his first speech..what a difference this place is..
    with hot bustling Varanasi..take a bus from Varanasi..
    I'll try to find some links..

    Your text to link here...
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    posting nr.20==Patna(Bihar)
    So..from Varanasi..next stop was Patna=capital of Bihar state...
    beware in Bihar..lots of beggars,theft,corruption..
    Patna city was hot..dusty and dirty..
    I only came there to get to Gaya..Bodh Gaya..Nalanda..Rajgir..
    all places connected to Budhhism..
    Patna has got Golghar..it's a grain storage thing...
    30m.high..I climbed it for the view over the Ganges river and Patna..
    it's a very funny architectural structure..looks like a Buddhist stupa..
    Patna was a crossing point for hippies in the 70's...
    because the border point North of Patna=Raxaul..to get into Nepal..
    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.21==Bodh Gaya(Bihar)

    Patna-Gaya was a busride...now a bus in India..is something..
    they cramp people in like sardines into these local buses..
    Bodh Gaya is very near to Gaya..another bus ride
    in Bodh Gaya Buddha got enlightment..under the famous bodi tree..
    nice place..lots of pilgrims from all over the world..
    a few stupas to be seen as well as the Mahabodhi temple..
    during this first visit of me in India I developed a liking for temples
    also a Thai style temple..a Japanese Buddhist temple...well..
    enough to fill up 2 days of visit..I visited Rajgir as well..
    did not visit Nalanda..If i remember well??Rajgir is a small place where
    important pilgrimage center for Buddhists and Jain religion are held..
    I don't recall much of this place..exept a steep walk upon a hill..
    to that Japanese Buddhist stupa...i'll try to find links..
    next stop from here..will be Calcutta...end destination of my first India trip..
    Your text to link here...
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    posting nr.22==Calcutta(West Bengal)

    Next stop was Calcutta..went there by train...
    I recall reaching Howrah Railway Station..
    I never saw such a crowd in a station..
    Calcutta was dirty,hot,overcrowded..full of misery and poverty..
    but..I liked it...and I could never predict then..that I came back..
    6 times to this city..my future sister in law was based in this place
    as an air hostess for Indian airlines..she died in a plane crash..
    and I miss her writing these lines..loveley woman she was..
    So..Howrah bridge is a cantilever type of bridge..it's so busy..
    boem..boem..traffic..pedestrians..unbelieveable..I walked over it..
    on the other end..the Calcutta I remember started..although Howrah
    itself..is a nightmare of poverty..beggars..dirt..dust and heat..
    I decided to walk a bit into Calcutta..Strand Road..
    a policeman in white dress..standing on a traffic island..
    behind him a tent like thing..with people living on it..
    couldn't believe my eyes...I walked all the way to BBD Bagh..
    the Maidan=big parc-like field..I even saw rats there...well..well..
    the big market is a hustle and bustle of shops..
    a temptation for the eyes..full of colours..smells..people..shouting..
    I will never forget Calcutta for the first time..now..i LOVE this place..
    my future wife hated it..I like mingling and talking with people..
    now a typical Bengali..let's say middle class or rich..is quite intellectual..
    they produce the best laywers,doctors of India..
    and they are damned proud of it..I had some interesting talks..
    about any subject..going from long hair to Western/Indian society contrasts
    normally in beginning 70's the average Indian did not like hippies at all..
    but..for them..all these freaks coming from the West..looking for this or that..
    were an attraction..and Indians..believe me..are very friendly and
    especially curious to learn about other societys then their own..
    in these days the Naxalites were active in Calcutta..I met Netai..
    he was a Naxalite..it's a radical political group..I'll try to find a link??
    awww..I can rant on about this city..I better stop..
    in Bengali language they say...achtjee..
    sounds like a sneezing..but it means *I'm going*
    because later on..in my second trip to India.
    I will tell more about Calcutta
    I'll give some links and you tubes.
    Your text to link here...
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    posting nr.23==New Delhi-Pakistan..

    So..after New Delhi..train to Amritsar again..the Punjab..
    is the home province of the Sikhs..they are very good farmers,
    as well as good mechanics or army folks..their dairy products
    like dohee(curd)are worthwhile tasting..i stayed 1 night again..
    in gurdwara Ram Niwas..and moved on by bus to Wagah border..
    same ritual as ever..passport control..stamps..Lahore was hot..
    stayed in Lahore in railway retiring room..made a walk in the vicinity
    of railway station..as usual very busy area..Anarkali bazar should be
    visited as well..got some information on trains toward Peshawar..
    straight train via Islamabad..i was going to go into Afghanistan via
    the famous khyber pass..but still had to make an entry visa..
    for Afghanistan in the Afghani consulate Peshawar..honestly said..
    I did not enjoy Pakistan as I enjoyed travelling in India..
    Pakistanis are extremeley curious..10 times they will ask you.
    sir,are you American??are you British??what's your job,age??
    do you like Pakistan??can you sing a song??shit..I got so fed up
    in the train I sung a Hindi movie song from Kishore Kumar(India)
    they were clapping their hands like little kids...and to tell you..
    i'm a very lousy singer..i only knew 2 lines..but that was enough
    will tell you all about Peshawar and Afghanistan later on..

    posting nr.24==Pakistan-Afghanistan

    so..up to Kabul..via Peshawar..
    Peshawar..close to the border of Afghanistan..
    the local Pasthun tribals..run gun shops..
    everybody carries a gun..a knife??did not feel at ease??
    worser then Baluchi's..don't mess up with Pasthuns
    visa Afganistan took 1 full day....the old city+bazar..
    looked like any bazar in Pakistan..crowded..noisy..
    one could see already some full burqua women here..
    from top to toes hidden..small grilled mask for the eyes..
    i can't remember where i stayed here..small hotel,I guess..
    we set off by bus to Khyber pass next morning..it was december..
    bloody cold as well..reached Jamrud fort..and Torkham..
    border Afghanistan..these days..Afghanistan was still O.K..
    no mujahedin..border passport control took a while..
    I met an Afghani guy..travelling with a very funny Japanese chick..
    they gave me a ride to Jalalabad..and Kabul..funny folks..
    stoned on hasj..Kabul..was cold..but still..really different..
    looked like the middle ages..lots of women in veil..Kabuli's in dhoti's
    with strange beards,very nice bazar..stayed in cheap hotel..
    Afghanistan..has been the most cheap country I ever visited..
    in these days..these Afghani sheep coats were bought by hippies..
    for a soft price...and then resold either in Istanbul or Europe..
    I did not buy one...needed my money for the trip back home..
    from Kabul one must travel to Kandahar-Herat..to reach the Irani border..
    I was lucky..I met a South African fellow with his Swedish girl friend..
    they offered me a lift up to Tehran for free..I think they liked company..
    Gunilla was a nice chick..she had set off with her Swedish boy friend towards Istanbul..
    one day...they were picked up by a Turkish trucker..
    offered them raki...result..Gunilla was raped..really horrible story
    the fellow left back for home..Gunilla met a South African...and travelled on with him..
    in these days..the mentality was like that..
    so..we set off in this van towards Kandahar..on a cold december morning..
    I'll tell the rest later on..

    posting nr.25==Kabul-Herat(Afghanistan)

    Kabul-Ghazni-Kandahar..all I remember from this are rough roads..
    lots of wild unspoilt scenery(probably different now due to warfare)
    these heavy colourful trucks..and we stopped in a roadside place to eat..
    nan(flat bread)rice..mutton..very cheap and tasty..the Afghani's were friendly folks..
    Kandahar was a busy place..some bazar activity..
    I believe we stayed in a local hotel there...big carpetlike room..
    where travellers could roll out their sleeping bags and just stay overnight..
    they passed hasj around in chillum like we drink tea..
    everybody smokes hasj in Afghanistan..
    the whole stretch from Kabul we did not see 1 woman..
    Gunilla was a beautiful chick..and these Afghani's stared a lot..
    but with 2 body guards..no problem so..the next day..we first did some
    little bazar shopping(food)to get on the way to Herat..I did like Herat
    much better then Kandahar..we moved on to the Irani border to get to Mashad..
    border crossing into Iran..quick..no hassles..thanks to the smile
    and charms of Gunilla perhaps..it took 10 min.to cross into Iran..
    we heard in Mashad that this border crossing..
    was famous for busting folks with drugs...
    we did not carry anything anyway..so..Iran again..big relief..
    roads are much better there..and friendly people...will tell more later on..
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    posting nr.26==Iran-Turkey-Greece..

    I don't remember where we stayed in Mashad..
    it's a pilgrimage place..we moved on to Tehran..
    Gunilla+her friend decided to stay on a while..
    promessed Gunilla to visit her on my next trip..nice chick..
    I moved on towards Tabriz again..my money situation was not very great..
    crossed into Turkey again via Bazargan..took a straight bus to Agri..
    now..it was middle december...I recall half a meter of snow in Agri
    in the hotel where I stayed..they heated with stoves burning on wood..
    nice and warm..next day..bus to Erzurum..change bus and direct bus
    to Istanbul..I was in a hurry..stayed in Istanbul for 2 nights..cheap hotel..
    bus to Ippsala..border between Turkey-Greece..Greece..was nice..
    Alexondroupolis..Komotini..Xanthi..Kavalla..Thessaloniki..
    will tell more later..something tragic happened near Kavalla..
    P.S..link for Mashad(Iran)
    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.27==a terrible happening near Kavalla(Greece)

    So..border crossing over to Greece from Turkey..took a while..
    specially on the Turkish side(exit)I met an American couple..
    they were hitchhiking to Saloniki..we got picked up..all 3 of us..
    by some weird looking couple in a VW bus..driver looked bit stoned??
    so..we went on..stopped in Xanti in a roadside café..this dude(driver)
    took ouzo like we drank coffee so after this we moved on..and it became dark..
    stopped bit before Kavalla...again roadside café..
    you know..Greece..people can be very liveley..there was bouzouki music..
    plenty of ouzo flowing..the American couple had an argument with this
    crazy dude..he was plain drunk.. I moved out of that café..and walked
    about 1km.further down the road..where I slept the night on the roadside
    in a field..next morning..to my surprise..I was picked up by Greek police..
    and was driven by them to the police station in Kavalla town..mystery??
    another big surprise..in the police station..the American couple+the wife
    of that crazy dude also present...we got some food(feta cheese with bread)offered by the police..
    I was taken into a separate room..could not talk to either the American couple or the wife of this dude..
    So..police asked me questions about the ride with this dude..
    they told me following story...which is really awful
    after I had left that café...the American couple had an argument with that dude..he was acting foolishly..
    went outside on the road..now..that road..
    was pitch dark..no street light..this crazy dude..must have been jumping
    around on the street...a truck coming from Kavalla..did not see him in time
    fellow got hit...fell under the wheels...and was killed on the spot
    can you imagine the wife??how she must have felt??I can't??
    so..after this police interrogation..we were all set free....and hitched ride
    to Thessaloniki...where I stayed in the Youth hostel..I needed a bath...
    and I was really upset about this accident...will tell more later on..

    posting nr.28==Greece-Yougoslavia-Austria..

    Thessaloniki is a real nice Greek town..lots of parallel streets..
    Youth hostel was O.K..in a small side street somewhere..
    I made a walk around the main boulevard..nice fruit and vegetable shop..
    I went to the railway station..to find out about trains towards Yugoslavia..
    but they turned out to be to expensive...so hitch hiking was the only option left..
    so..next morning I set off direction Polykastron-Evsoni..
    stood at least 2 hours on the outskirts of town..
    some Germans gave me a ride to Gevgelia(border Yougoslavia)
    and further north towards Skopje(Macedonia)border check Greece-Yougoslavia went smoothly..
    in Skopje the Germans dropped me..i was hitching towards Pristina..which is nowadays capital of Kosovo region..these days Yougoslavia was still a very nice country under Tito..it was greater Yougoslavia..no Bosnia,Servia etc..it was a very cheap country in these days...so from Skopje I was real lucky..
    got a ride straight to Vienna(Austria)with 2 Australians chicks goingto Vienna-Budapest..
    they let me sleep in their van as well..via Beograd--towards Zagreb-Ljubjlana-Varazdin-Maribor..
    crossed into Austria at the border crossing Spielfeld..then Graz(capital of Steiermark)
    nice scenery in Austria..up to Vienna..where I left the Australians..real nice chicks..
    will tell more later on..got a very funny ride between Vienna-Salzburg
    P.S..link for Thessaloniki(Greece)== Your text to link here...

    posting nr.29==Austria-

    Vienna(Wien)is a big city...to get to the outskirts..is best to hitch a ride..
    Schonbrunn castle leads to highway for Salzburg..I believe I took some
    means of public transport to get me close to the highway entrance..
    so..i started hitching...after about 30 min..one car stopped..
    it was a Porsche..I asked the fellow..Fahrts du richtung Salzburg??
    nods his head..well..the whole ride..this fellow was speeding like a fool..
    and not saying 1 word..crazy..so..finally I got quickly in Salzburg..
    lovely place..I decided to stay overnight in the Youth hostel..
    I guess I figured I would be back home in Belgium in 2 days..
    it was bloody cold..december..snow in Austria..it's a postcard picture
    I was already thinking about my next trip..direction Norway-Sweden-Finland..
    but..first i needed some cash..so was hoping to do some little
    jobs for small cash..I always loved to paint people's homes..
    like doors..garden houses..walls even..so..up to Belgium..
    link for Austria Your text to link here...

    posting nr.30==Germany and back home..

    Next day..got a ride straight to Munich(Germany)
    started bit late in Salzburg...slept in a big building site.
    in construction..I took the third floor..no windows..but dry
    and out of the cold night..I was sure I was not going to make Munich
    to my home next day...so..one more extra sleeping in the rough..
    was nearly skint..so..brr..bloody cold winter in Germany..
    I thought of starting my Scandinavia trip middle may..
    and the happy thought..of seeing my DAD back..in a few days..
    made me glad..he was a good man..despite his alcoholism..
    and..I was longing for Belgian chips/steak+beer...mmmmmm..
    next day..made my own breakfast...head still dizzy..
    started off by noon only..if I remember well..
    good and quick ride straight to Koln..
    stood for a while in Koln..but got a lift to Liège(Belgium)
    took a train home..50 km...glad to see my home place again..
    but everything looked always so strange..after being away from home
    for a few months...my Dad was out when I came in..grandfather home..
    brother out..aunt out..took a good shower...later on..
    my Dad came home..was very glad to see me..so was I..
    so my friends...this was all about my first overland trip towards India...
    i will start my 1975 trip soon in another blog...
    I do hope you enjoyed reading about my adventures on the road..
  4. posting nr.1==flying to Thailand via Bangladesj..

    One fine october day in the 1980's me ad my wife decided to go to Thailand,
    because we both were thinking it was a fascinating country..
    So..we booked a ticket with Bangla Biman Airlines..
    Brussels-New Delhi(stop)Dacca(Bangladesj)
    then we had a connection Dacca-Bangkok..
    my wife got an aunt living in Dacca..we got a visa..
    we only stayed 2 days in Dacca..hectic place..
    overpopulation..lots of ricksjahs..lovely people...
    Dhaka - The Capital of Bangladesh
    the East Bengali's were separated from West Pakistan..
    after a bloody war..the country Bangladesh..is poor..
    they suffer from floods quite often...but the soil is fertile..
    I bet they could easily have a few rice crops in a year..
    political corruption,fervent religious activists..make this place..
    not a tourist country..but I found it damn beautiful..
    if you fly from Calcutta and look out of the plane window...
    the landscape displaced looks fascinating...my wife's aunt..
    lived in a nice area of Dacca..they were well off..nice house..
    they took us to a Chinese restaurant in Dacca town..
    we did not see much of Dacca town anyway..
    it was more like a cosy family visit..I really enjoyed it..
    Dacca airport was quite fancy and modern..we flew to Bangkok..
    we were gonna stay 10 days in Thailand..Bangkok+Chiangmai..
    then we flew with Thai airways to Calcutta(India)
    we reached Don Muang airport(Bangkok)on an october day..
    I will relate about my Thailand adventures in next posting...

    posting nr.2==Bangkok

    So..we reached Don Muang..got through the customs..
    taxi to a hotel..which we booked at the airport..
    beware for taxi scams..it's just like New Delhi..
    taxi drivers try to take you somewhere else...
    where they get a commission..they tell you..
    that the hotel where you wanna go..
    does not exist anymore etc..don't believe it..
    we got a 2nd class hotel near Silom Road..
    3 days Bangkok was enough..hectic traffic..
    tuktuk taxis..noise..we visited the temples..
    wat Arun..wat Brenchamabopit..so many temples..
    the Grand palace..emerald Buddha..wat Pho..
    Thai's are Buddhist mostly..the city lies on a river..
    called Chao Phraya..full of khlongs=canals...
    this first day..was filled with visit temples..
    in the evening a walk through Patpong..the bar area..
    watch out for touts..folks who just are after your money..
    we took food in a Chinese restaurant..funny story..
    we went into this small restaurant..full of local folks..
    one can point out a fish in a tank..they'll fish it out..
    and prepare it for you..rather quick...fish was called plakapong(local name)
    don't even know what it was?or how it would taste?
    but it tasted damn good..on the way back to Silom road..
    we visited a Thai supermarket..it's a different world...
    Thai's are very curious and helpful..but their knowledge..
    of the English language..was mostly non existent..
    I'll try to find a good link on Bangkok city..
    Your text to link here...

    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.3==Bangkok city

    so..we stayed 3 days in Bangkok..visited temples of course...
    I particulary liked Wat Pho=it got a reclining Buddha..
    it's enormously big..and lots of Thai Buddhists visit here..
    Wat Pho is as well an institution for Thai massage..
    and I mean the medicinal one..not the Patpong sex stuff..
    it's always amazing to stand before all these temples..
    how could they build all this..I never understood really??
    Wat Arun is on the other side of the river..short boat trip..
    arun means *dawn*the view at dawn..must be stunning..
    a visit to the Grand palace and the emerald Buddha is a must..
    but it's very heavily touristically visited..one feels holy entering..
    and seeing the emerald Buddha ..it's in green jade..precious..
    Your text to link here...
    inside this temple..or for that matter any temple..take off your
    shoes..and never point your feet towards the jade Buddha..
    the whole Grand palace complex visit takes easily few hours..
    wat Traimit is something really special..because in here..
    one can view..a golden Buddha...yes..solid gold..it's huge..
    and weighs a few tons..I bet it's more then 2,5m high as well..
    it's amazing..to stand in front of it..I felt very little..
    Wat Benchamabophit..is a marble temple..and worthwhile seeing..
    my wife..being Indian..was often mistaken for a Thai..
    Thai's are very friendly folks..very curious..bit shy though..
    never touch anyone's head..it's bad manners..
    we went inside a travell agency and booked a complete trip
    to Chiang Mai..that means..train trip return+3 nights hotel..
    the train station in Bangkok was called Hualamphong..
    hectic activity..Bangkok is a crossroad for many destinations..
    we did not do a river canal boat trip to a klong market..
    it's called floating market...and bit over touristically...
    let me tell you all..3 days..is nothing in Bangkok..
    if you peeps ever go..take at least 8 days..then you grasp..
    something more about Krung thep=the city of angels..
    the last day...we did some visit to Jim Thompsons silk..
    went into a Silom Rd.big supermarket..visited a street market etc..
    anyway..we did not get bored in this place..traffic is horrible..
    watch out..if you have to cross a street in Bangkok..
    you better take a tuk tuk taxi..Bangkok is a big town..

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    posting nr.4==Bangkok

    Last day Bangkok..before we moved out by train to Chiang Mai..
    we went to Jim Thompsons..this dude was an American..
    he was an art collector..and got interested in Thai silk..
    his house is a touristical spot now..in my honest opinion..
    Indian silk is much better then Thai silk..much better..
    another funny story about Jim Thompson..he went on a trip
    to Malaysia in 1967....and disappeared in mysterious ways..
    he's never seen back alive..up till today..nobody knows??
    what happened to this dude??remains a mystery...
    we went through Bangkok's Chinatown afterwards..
    it's O.K..but I did not like it too much..too hectic..
    narrow streets..called *soi* in Thai language..
    it's amazing to see these Chinese stalls..food stalls etc...
    feast for the eyes...and the palate..I loved their herbs..
    Chinese are great in all kind of potions,herbal mixtures etc..
    in one of the small restaurants...we met some Thai *katoi*
    now..these folks are very strange..one can compare them
    to *hijras* in India..in fact they are travestites,transsexuals..
    some of them..are very attractive..one cannot see their true
    identity..funny world..Thai katoi's are accepted in society..
    the sex industry in Bangkok..or for that matter Pattaya or all over?
    is more a way..for poor girls..coming to the big cities..
    becoming prostitutes..and earning money to support their families..
    it's heartbreaking..to find out about the horrible stories..
    like exploitation,pimps,hiv(aids)misery...it's all part of it..pity..
    some of these chicks end up into drugs..and kill themselves..
    big contrast with that are the *bhikku's*which are Buddisht monks..
    going around in orange robes,a begging bowl etc....
    we went back to the hotel..to get ready for the train trip.
    second class sleeper berth...overnight trip...comfortable..
    one advice..book ahead..consult a decent travel agency..

    some explanation on katoi=ladyboys=transgenders...Thailand is full of them...
    Kathoey - Wikipedia

    Bangkok looks more like a prostitution meat market..no wonder it's popular
    same things happens in Pattaya,Manila(Phillipines)

    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.5==Chiang Mai(North Thailand)

    The train trip was a good experience..funny anectdote..
    they mistook my wife for being Thai..food was served..
    they asked..soup Thai style...I said O.K..damn..firewater!!
    in Thailand you get these small red/green pillie pillies..
    Chiang Mai was reached..and in the packet we booked..
    was a hotel..guided sightseeing...visit of town,hilltribe etc..
    a Thai guide was waiting for us when our train reached..
    it's a funny sight to see your name on a piece of cardboard
    like they do in airports..our guide was a nice Thai girl..
    she took us to the hotel...we had breakfast..and settled in..
    in the lounge of the hotel..some Thai's were watching*muay Thai*
    that's Thai kick boxing..very popular sport..Thai's love it..
    Chiang Mai is not as hectic as Bangkok..it's a provincial town..
    one sees tribal folks here..the hills around Chiang Mai are full of Mon/Khmer tribals..
    like the Meo's which we visited the next day..
    first day was spent visiting some temples..they all looked a bit the same..
    in the evening we were invited to watch the evening market..
    now..this was an experience..I visited markets in India,West Africa etc..
    but this one..I remember for the fact..it was so damn typycal Thai..
    it was full of lampions,candles burning,incense,fruits,food,spices,
    colourful local folks trying to sell artifacts like Buddha statues,local woven fabrics,
    clothes,jewels..music casettes,watches..anything..
    I believe we had a bowl of local soup in there..forgot the name..
    my wife bought some silk blouse there for a reasonable *farang*price..
    farang is the name Thai's use for a foreigner..but Thai's use this in a
    more humoristic way....it's never meant in a bad sense..
    it had been a long day..went back to the hotel..
    day 2 in Chiang Mai..was damn interesting..Doi Suthep..a jeep ride
    to the Meo tribals..a visit to an umbrella and teakwood selling place..
    will tell you crazy peeps in a later posting..like they say in Thai..

    • mai pen rai* means..no problem,O.K...I'll see for a link..
    Your text to link here...
    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.6==Chiang Mai

    Today we got a conducted sighseeing tour by jeep..
    we were 3 of us..me,my wife and an Italian lady from Torino..
    our guide was sitting in front..next to the driver...
    we first went to Doi Suthep=doi means hill or mountain..
    I bet it was bit over12 kms..nice ride really..countryside...
    there is a temple(wat)over there..which is really stunning..
    because of the fact..there are around 300 steps to climb..
    the sides..from top to bottom is a snake sculptured out(naga)
    in very colourful green yellow..amazing..on top..after this climb..
    this temple is really beautifully situated..with a wide view...
    typical stupa's.and Budhhist meditations..prayer wheels etc...
    oh this link here...just check it out..look at the pictures..
    after this..we went bit into rougher roads..to visit a tribe..
    called Meo..they are Hmong oriented..it was sad to see..
    the poverty..begging kids..older folks on opium??the whole tribal stuff..
    is just a tourist trap..we were even offered opium..
    and someone cutted a piece of glass..with a so called diamond??
    it's a scam..don't fall into that..the women..were wearing..
    very colourful dresses..these tribals like the Yao,Lisu,Karen etc..
    probably got roots from Burma??golden triangle is very near..
    it's Karen rebel country really...jungle tracks..drug traffic..
    river cruises are popular tourist destinations..
    we were offered one..next day...at an expensive price..
    but we choose to visit Lamphun instead..
    so..these Meo's..live their life in the hills..I bet tourism..
    keeps them alive..the older peeps there...are all addicted..
    to crude opium..they looked very unhealthy..drugs,you know??
    after this visit..we headed for Borsang..they call it umbrella town..
    it's amazing how lovely they can handpaint umbrella's...
    we bought one...I'll see for a link with pictures..again..this place..
    is a tourist trap..they show you handicrafts..lovely teak,rattan etc..
    but..at a price..oh..the currency in Thailand was bath..
    divided into 100 satangs..the teak furniture..
    oh my...great artwork really..but NOT for my pocket..
    Your text to link here...
    after this hectic day...which I remember very vividly..
    we went to the hotel..had a good meal..
    next day was free of choice..we picked Lamphun..by bus..
    about 30kms away from Chiang Mai..yip..temples again..

    posting nr.7==Lamphun

    We took no tourist bus..but an ordinary Thai local bus..
    all kind of colourful folks on it..30kms..took some time..
    they stopped in the middle of nowhere...villages..
    Lamphun is known for its Haripunchai wat(temple)
    Your text to link here...
    the temple complex got some nice architecture..
    it dates back to very ancient times..
    impressive Buddha statues..really huge..
    very close by this temple is a museum..
    we went in there..but it's mostly archeological..
    lots of stone and bronze artifacts..interesting..
    we took food in a roadside stall..they served sticky rice..
    presented in a grean leaf..rolled up..rice was called *khao*
    it was tasting..well..sticky..but nice...
    Thai food..will take some time to understand...
    a very varied kitchen..with all kind of soups,dishes,spices..
    they even have perfumed jasmin rice in Thailand...
    and walking through a fruit market..I've seen fruits..
    which I had never seen before..didn't taste the durian..
    it seems..it got an awfull smell..like ammoniac..uhuh..
    Your text to link here...
    I'll see if I can get a link..next day..back to Bangkok by train..

    posting nr.8==Bangkok-Calcutta-Brussels...

    so..our Northern Thailand trip was finished..
    it gave us a good impression of how Thailand looks...
    outside Bangkok..nowadays tourists flock to Pattaya,Phuket..
    Hua Hin etc..Thailand is a very popular destination..
    South East Asia is particulary interesting..it's so different..
    my dream was a trip from Bangkok to Singapore by train..
    via K.L=Kuala Lumpur..I never made it...pity..anyway..
    so..train ride to Bangkok..overnight sleeper berth..no problem..
    took the same hotel around Silom Road..we arranged it that way..
    the hotel owners were very nice folks...friendly...typical Thai..
    by the way..we got a surprise???next morning...
    when we woke up..for our second last day in Thailand..
    flood in the streets..we forgot our boots..rainy season,you know...
    we waded trough the street..got our feet wet...ahah..
    last day..did some shopping...bought some kitchen plates..
    unbreakeable..plastic,I bet??typical Thai designs on it..
    next day..Don Muang(airport)by train..flight with Thai Airways..
    to Calcutta(India)went to my sister in law..it's damn good..
    to have an adress to stay in Calcutta..it's my favorite town..
    despite all the misery,poverty and filth..a West Bengali heart..
    is a heart..to be treasured..Oh..but my sis in law..was Assamese..
    damn..she was a great lady..when she died in a plane crash..
    I just tell you all..I cried like a child..so..Calcutta Dum Dum..
    hectic..typical Indian..chaos..we reached Calcutta town..
    via a bloody traffic jam..in that heat..my wife couldn't take it..
    stayed few days in Calcutta..wife flew to Assam=family visit..
    I flew to Delhi..flight to Brussels with Bangla Biman..
    reached safe home..after a flight to remember.
    full of Bangladeshi's going to New York via Brussels..
    P.S..10 days Thailand is way too less to get a full idea about what Thailand is about...
    i would say take at least 1 month to discover this beautiful country
    short blog...but at least i discover Thailand in a nutshell...greetings from Tiger
  5. Since Skip gave me a link back for my old blog i am thinking of re writing some of my trips..
    unfortunately i did not travel with a camera into Africa,India etc...so i rely on putting links...
    let me know if you dig my blog..i do(ahah):grinning:

    My trip to West Africa overland 1974
    West Africa

    17.07.2018

    Posting nr.1==preparing my Africa trip=Paris(France)

    in 1974 i made a 5 months trip which included France,Spain,Portugal,Canarian islands,Spanish Sahara,Mauretania,Senegal,Mali,Upper Volta=nowadays Burkina Fasso,Ivory Coast,Niger,Algeria,Tunisia..a whole lot of adventures to write about..i wrote a letter to Cathy in Paris..she wrote back..i knew Cathy(a girl from Vietnam) from a Scandinavia trip..met her in Rovaniemi(Finland)i was welcome to stay at her flat in Oberkampf district..arrondissement 11..she got married to a dude who had been in Afghanistan..he worked for air France at Paris airport...first i went to Paris Nord by train in september 1974...and Cathy and Christian received me with open arms...Paris is a big city,interesting site seeing,musea,flea market Porte de Clignancourt etc..i did make all my necessary visa for my Africa trip=Mauretania,Senegal,Mali etc...i did visit the embassies of Senegal and Mali and made my visas ready...I've always loved Paris..big city with lots of charm..I easily found Cathy's adress..got my own key..to get in even..
    nice little flat..she loved the music of Crosby,Stills,Nash&Young..now Paris..is allright..but it involved subway travell..and got info on vendange...vendange is grape picking..i got an adress in Beaujolais regio..Chiroubles..and Cathy told me..leave your stuff here in Paris..and go and earn some extra money in the vendange..so I did..I left Paris...after 6 days..reached Dijon the first day..and Chiroubles the next day..the vineyard owner payed 35 FF=French francs+3 meals a day+1 bottle of wine+free sleeping..I left my passport in Paris..I did not need a passport for France..I will tell you all how grape picking is done..and what happened..i worked 8 days..hitched back to Paris..stayed another 8 days in Paris..i recall my Paris days..got free food/lodging..great...on the way back from Africa...again went to Paris for 4 days..i recall it was beginning march...and damn cold..in fact I was broke..300kms south of Paris..on my return from Tunisia via Marseille..Cathy payed my train ticket to Brussels..from Paris..great folks..great girl she was...i tried to retrace her in the 90's,even after the year 2000..but to my surprise never got an answer back,maybe she moved to another adress??no idea...i still have to pay her back the 200French francs she borrowed me in March 1974 to be able to take a train Paris-Brussels...i feel a bit guily,folks...

    posting nr.2==picking grapes in Chiroubles(Beaujolais)

    So..let me tell you all..grape picking can be fun..
    but it's not an easy thing to do..the owner signs you in..
    you get a sleeping accomodation,usally most people used their
    own sleeping bag..it was a bunk bed system..comfortable enough..
    because in the evening one really gets tired..
    in the morning it's early rising..breakfast..baguette(French bread)
    with jam or cheese..and coffee..then it's starting towords the place
    of action..a tractor took us there..now..everyone got a small curved knife..
    and a basket..to put in the grapes..one starts at the bottom
    of the hill upwards..in the beginning it's big fun..a dude with a huge
    type of basket called *la hotte* in French..walks around to collect
    our filled baskets..we all had a joke about an old grandpa...in short
    trousers..who picked with us at the start...at the top..we did not joke
    anymore with this dude..he finished his row 15 min..before any of us..
    he picked grapes for 25 years....so..we learnt our lesson here..
    at noon..we were taken back home..for a meal..it was nice to talk to
    all these folks of all walks of life..they were tramps..travellers..or even
    professional pickers..like the old dude..I guess we all did it for the little
    extra money..food at noon..was French..good..the bottle of wine..
    was heavy...and went to my head at times...wooohah..red wine..
    made me lazy..and we still had to pick the whole afternoon..
    we all came back tired..it's working in a bended position whole day long..
    the grapes..pick allright..but if it had rained at night..
    the bunches became slippery..and picking was no fun then..
    we all spent our evenings talking..or going to the one and only local pub..
    for a beer..or another glass of wine..I would suggest to you all..
    if you ever get the chance to do a *vendange* please try it out..
    it's great fun..you meet people who really enjoy doing this..
    after about 8 days picking..well..I had enough of it..
    I got payed my wages by the vineyard owner..
    and I returned by hitchhiking..to Paris..
    where I stayed again in Cathy's flat..for 8 days..
    the big adventure towards Africa..was just beginning to take form..
    I guess..i was ready for it..it was a big adventure trip anyway
    P.S...to give you all an idea about grape picking(vendange)==see following link...
    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.3==Paris=a worthwhile city to visit..

    Paris..is huge..but a marvelous place..if you know how to discover it..
    during my stays in Paris...I went to stroll around day after day..
    I made my visa's for Mauretania...and other African countries..
    but inbetween..i took time to visit the classics..Eiffel tower..
    impressive architecture really..I loved Montmartre,Notre Dame..
    use this link for a visit to Paris... Your text to link here...
    musée de l'Homme is an etnological museum which needs a good visit..
    so does the Louvre..Champs Elysées..the little roadside brasseries..
    i went one day with Cathy and her dude to Porte the Clignancourt..
    a flea market...good strolling..Paris is divided in 20 arrondissements..
    I was staying in the 11th..Rue du Folie Méricourt..just a side street..
    just around the corner a bakery(boulangerie)a grocer store...
    i bought a piece of bread..some cheese..and set off for the vast Paris..
    it needs planning really..it involves subway(métro)as well..
    one day..we went to Noisy le Roi..a suburb of Paris..
    where Cathy's parents were living..her Dad was Vietnamese..her mother French...
    loveley people they were..they even served Vietnamese food..
    i recall nuoc mom(a smelly fish sauce??)by 6 p.m..both Cathy+Christian
    finished their jobs..and we spend some time listening to music..
    or just talking...but..my days in Paris were ending..
    I was gonna go and start my trip towards Barcelona (Spain)
    had to cross the whole of France..and some very funny thing happened..
    the second day..after I left Paris..will tell you all later....

    posting nr.4=leaving Paris direction Auvergne....

    Finally..I packed my rucksack..and left for Porte d'Italie..
    Paris got a huge ringroad called boulevard phériférique..
    Porte d'Italie gives acces to the road towards Orléans..
    Orléans was not easy to reach that day..I left bit late in Paris..
    hitchhiking was not that great as well..got a ride to Etampes..
    stood there as well for a while..reached Orléans in the afternoon..
    in Orléans I took direction Nevers..it follows the river Loire..
    I could not get to Nevers..somewhere around Briare..I got stuck..
    and slept somewhere outside in an empty building..it was cold..brr..
    next morning..took my own breakfast..all these trips I carried a small
    mini camping gas to make coffee..good thing..a cup of hot coffee..
    does wonders to start a cold day..usually my breakfast was nothing
    more then a piece of bread with jam or cheese..but it was O.K..
    so..this day..started from Briare towards Nevers..I was lucky..
    got a ride soon enough..but bit after that..got stuck for a long while..
    stood for more then 2 hours on the same spot..got picked up..
    and got a ride towards Clermont Ferrand..bit before Vichy..it became
    dark..and was looking for a spot to put my sleeping bag..
    I saw an empty peasant stable..had to cross under a barbed wire..
    it was in fact a shed...with a wagon with hay on..ideal..because..
    it's off the ground..and it was bloody cold..next morning..
    I got the surprise of my life..i got picked up by the local police..
    they came in a jeep...and told me to pack my things..they drove me
    to the police station...they really made me look like a fool..
    my rucksack was turned upside down on the floor..in a rough way..
    my passport and identity controlled..but I was in order of course..
    and they treated me as a piece of shit..they made a statement..
    that I had trespassed public property..some peasant had seen me..
    and reported to the police..they called me names..like tramp..
    vagabond..gypsie etc...in fact..they had fun..they were in power..
    in their eyes...they just couldn't face the fact..I was a traveller..
    in my own way..it's the game of envy of freedom..they lacked..
    I kept myself serious..no way to get excited...I had money enough..
    so after 3 full hours in that fucking police station..they drove me..
    to a railway station...and told me..take a train to next town...
    I said O.K..but I did not..they left...and I went back on the road again..
    the next ride..I remember...some chick(Helen?)picked me up..
    in one of these 2 PK student cars...she drove me to her place where
    she stayed with her boy friend..they were hippies at heart..
    and gave me shelter...and food..for the night..they lived in Volvic..
    village in the Auvergne known for mineral water..close to Riom..
    loveley part of France..it even got old volcano craters..
    I told them my story of the police..they said..les flics...fuck them..
    so..next day..I was gonna try to get towards St.Etienne-Valence...

    posting nr.4==going into South France=Provence,Languedoc

    so..after Volvic..got a ride to St.Etienne..
    I was gonna go down to the valley of the Rhone river..
    loveley regio of France...Valence-Mont?limar...
    now...Montélimar is well famous for a nougat(sweet)
    it reminded me of Granna(Sweden)I did not have time..
    to either taste or buy it..got on to Avignon..aww..just visit..
    loveley city..once there were popes here...religion,you know??
    the regio of Provence stole my heart..it's a sunny part of France..
    I reached Avignon that day..but I did not sleep..
    sous les ponts d'Avignon..very famous French song..
    pont=bridge..I'll get you all a link about this place..
    just travell along a bit with me,will you??
    Your text to link here...
    I don't even recall where I slept..my memory slips???
    I was gonna go for the Languedoc regio next day...
    that's Narbonne-Perpignan and Spanish border..
    link for Provence==a wonderful regio for tourism in France....
    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.5==moving towards Spain via South of France

    so..Avignon..the Provence..bit south is Arles..well known..
    for Vincent Van Gogh..he cut off his ear there..while having a fight..
    with his friend Gauguin..this regio is known as the Camargue...
    Your text to link here...
    I made a detour to see Stes.Maries de la Mer-Aigues Mortes...
    Ste.Maries is known for an annual gypsie festival..in this regio..
    you will find wild horses,flamingo birds...and real wild nature..
    but..I guess..that's more for summer months..I did not enjoy it..
    in the time of the year I went trough it..anyway..I moved on..
    towards Montpellier-Béziers-Narbonne..Languedoc regio..great..
    some very strong wind called the mistral can blow here...
    I had no time to visit Carcassonne..i've heard it's a walled city..
    never seen it..probably never will??I reached Perpignan that day..
    it's a city where one can know..that Spain is very nearby...
    stayed overnight in the youth hostel..i needed a bath really...
    next day..I would reach Le Boulou-Perthus-La Jonquera(Spain)
    my aim was Barcelona city..lovely city..
    the gysie fair Stes.Marie de la Mer...i saw a lot of Roma in Romania..strange folks if you ask me..
    gypsies are keen on violin music,flamenco style dancing etc...

    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.6==crossing into Spain

    Perpignan has got charm..I found..it's bit of a mix..
    of France+Spain..one can feel here...that Spain is close by..
    got a ride to around Le Boulou..I recall these typical trees...
    don't know the name in English??I crossed the border..into Spain...
    no problem these days..but hitch hiking in Spain..
    was a nightmare..extremeley difficult to get a ride..
    I did get a first glimpse of Spain..got a ride to Figueras..
    stood there for a long while..got to Girona...and finally...
    Barcelona..I did not do the Costa Brava coastline...
    well known for Lloret de Mar nowadays..typical holiday resort..
    on Barcelona town..I'm gonna dedicate another entry..
    it's one of my favorite cities in the world actually...
    I stayed 3 days in Barcelona..slept in Ciatudella parc..
    safe enough..but third night..I slept in a building construction..
    I thought..i was safe in there..until some guard...made his round..
    he never would have found me..but his dog did...bwaah..
    I had to move out there..in the middle of the night..not funny..
    anyway..that's part of travelling..gypsie style..

    posting nr.7==discovering Barcelona

    Barcelona..is not Spanish..it's Catalonia..the inhabitants of Barcelona..
    are proud of their heritage..Catalan spirit..art..language..everything..
    it's a big city..with almost parallel streets..lots of pubs,bars,restaurants
    and lots to see for the tourist..I started walking the Ramblas..this is a
    1,6km long walking street...always full of strolling people..always full of
    animation..buskers,street artists,souvenir shops,pubs..tapa bars..
    now these tapa's...are typical Spanish..little snacks..sandwiches..
    filled with bacon,fish..deliciuous..try a tortilla..cheap..and filling...
    I went in to the covered market along the Ramblas..called mercado de
    Boqueria=what a feast for the eyes..food,cheese,fruits,really colourful
    I stocked up some bread,cheese,ham..
    the Ramblas ends at Plaza de Catalunya big square... Your text to link here...
    I wandered around the barri Gothic..old part of Barcelona city..
    little streets around the cathedral..very touristic in fact..I found a restaurant...
    called Casa José..I guess it was so dirt cheap to eat there..very popular
    with rucksack tourists in fact...if you ever visit Barcelona..don't miss..
    the art of architect Gaudi..this dude..started a church called Sagrada familia..
    in fact up till today..it's still not finished..because Gaudi died in 1926..
    he was hit by a tram..visit his funny house architecture..
    ask for Casa Mila..casa Battlo..or visit Parc Guell..I'll try to find a link..
    Your text to link here...
    I met some Americans on the Ramblas...and we went for sangria and beer..
    cerveza negra on Plaza Real..loveley square with palm trees..
    in the evening..I picked up my rucksack at the railway station..
    and slept in Ciatudella parc..huge parc..lots of space..
    another link for Barcelona Your text to link here...

    posting nr.8==last day in Barcelona town..

    Second day..after a safe sleep in the parc..
    I went to see this masterpiece of Gaudi=sagrada familia(church)
    in fact..I did not like it...the structure looks very unreal..
    but...the architectual value..I would say..Gaudi was a genius!!
    it's a maze of spiral stairs..very funny views and angles indeed..
    if you all ever do Barcelona...don't miss it.. Your text to link here...
    for the rest of the day..i just was loitering around the Ramblas..always a feast for the eyes..
    in the evening..I went back to my sleeping spot in Ciatudella parc...
    but it was freezing cold..my sleeping bag was O.K..but still..
    I decided to look out for something else for next night..
    so next day..I looked around..and spotted a building in construction..
    no trespassing signs...wooohh..I remembered these fucking police near Vichy(France)
    this building was O.K..I thought..well..I thought..
    next evening at dark..I went in there...went deep down in the building..
    and settled in a corner..it was warmer then the parc..around 1..
    some German shipper dog traced me..funny sight,you know..
    a guard shining in your face with a torchlight.and a huge dog..barking at you(ahah)
    I was not scared at all..I spoke few words of Spanish..explained that dude...it was cold outside..
    he said O.K..but..he chased me out anyway..
    I can understand..he was doing his duty for his boss...
    so in the middle of a cold Barcelona night..there I stood..back out..
    I was thinking aboutgoing back to the parc..but I did not..it was to far to walk..
    i think if i remember well..I did not sleep at all that night..
    I decided to move out next morning direction Sitges-Valencia..
    this regio is known as the Costa Dorada..tourist resorts enough...
    will tell you all later on what happened..

    posting nr.9=hitchiking south of Barcelona...

    Leaving Barcelona..was a headache..it was really hard..
    to get a ride in Spain these days..tourists cars..
    were usually full..Spanish did not stop..it took me a while..
    to reach Sitges..Tarragona..beautiful coastline though..
    got a ride to Salou..this place is nowadays very well known
    (mass tourism)bit like Lloret de Mar above Barcelona..finally..
    that day..got bit of luck..got a ride to Castellon de la Plana..
    and I slept..believe it or not..in an orange fruit yard..
    nice sight to wake up with oranges above my head...bwaah..
    these parts of Spain..are already bit milder in climate...
    it was not that cold...I was aiming next day..
    for at least reaching Alicante..or Murcia..but hitch hiking...
    was damn difficult these days in Spain..
    a link for Salou...and Costa Dorada tourist resorts..
    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.10===hitchiking in Spain was damn difficult..

    After Castellon de la Plana it's not that big distance to Valencia..
    but it took me damn long time to reach Valencia...it's a nice town..
    I recall palm trees..looks real tropical..some nice parcs as well..
    it did not do any sightseeing in this city..the rate of getting on..
    with hitch hiking and covering distance...was real low..
    I tried to get out of Valencia..but did not succeed..
    I slept at a beach called playa de la Malvarossa..it was O.K..during these days..
    I bet nowadays..it's not possible anymore?police will pluck you from the beach?
    Spanish people inland were bit suspicious about long haired hippies..
    i guess now..that prejudice has gone too..the 70's was good for hippies,but the main foks frowned their face upon them..
    in these little villages on the Costa del Alcazar(regio north of Valencia)all folks hold a siesta
    at noon..and the weather was really mild..Spain got good climate conditions all over..
    I was hoping to reach atleast Benidorm next day..that's the Costa Blanca..
    very famous now for mass tourism..late 60's..it was just a fishing village..
    I'll try to get a good link on Valencia..hasta la vista...ahah..
    P.S...Valencia is famous for paella(food)What has made Valencia famous all over the world is the "Paella"
    == a traditional fishermen meal that tourists now can find anywhere in Spain.

    "Paella" is a rice course with typical Mediterranean ingredients..
    tomatoes, vegetables, sea food and spices..
    It is interesting to note that the most traditional Valencia paella does not contain seafood -
    it contains chicken, rabbit and snails.

    Your text to link here...

    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.11==Alicante and hitching along the Costa Blanca

    Valencia is a nice town..but I would not waste more time there..
    as said before..I was slowly moving..i could have taken a straight
    bus to the Costa del Sol..but I was thinking about saving my budget..
    for Africa..i wanted to see Lisboa(Portugal)as well..before moving into
    Morrocco..i had a plan to cross from Algéciras to Ceuta..then Tétouan..
    Tétouan was know these days for hasjiesh trade..so was Tanger..
    so after Valencia..got a ride to Gandia that day..that's all..could not
    get any further..so I slept somewhere there..don't remember where??
    next day..I was more lucky..via Benidorm(well known resort now)I got
    to Alicante-Elche-Murcia..Elche is a nice place..I slept that day around
    Murcia..climate was getting much better..link for Costa Blanca regio...

    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.12==Costa del Sol+Portugal

    Murcia-Cartagena-Almeria..was my aim for this day..
    as said earlier not easy..I could get to Almeria anyway..
    it's a harbour town..not very interesting...i got a short ride..
    out of Almeria direction Malaga..slept on the beach of Aguadulce..
    this regio is a real nice part of Spain..it's the beginning of the famous
    Costa del Sol..well known by tourists nowadays...next day..i had put
    my hopes of reaching Malaga or even Sevilla..this town=Sevilla is on
    the way to Huelva-Ayamonte-Faro(Portugal)I was thinking of doing a
    1 week trip into Portugal..mainly Algarve but Lissabon as well..
    big detour in fact..because I hitched back via Badajoz(Estramadura)
    from Lissabon via Elvas..then back down to Sevilla-Jerez-Tarifa-
    finally Algéciras..ferry to Ceuta(Sebta)=Spanish enclave on African
    territory..a long haul...and lots of adventures..finally..could NOT get
    into Morrocco..returned to Cadiz..and boat to Las Palmas..which is on
    the Canarian islands..from there there was a weekly crossing to the
    port of Nouadibou(Mauretania)Western Sahara...was difficult..
    Morrocco claimed this territory..and Polisario was activ there..
    will tell you all later on what happened..
    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.13==Sevilla(Spain)

    So..I reached Malaga...even in these days..very touristical spot..
    turnpoint for the Costa del Sol destinations like Torremolinos etc..
    I did not continue on towards Marbella etc..but hitched a ride...
    direction Sevilla..difficult traject..road splits to Granada..it took me
    quite a while to reach Osuna and Sevilla..i decided to see this place..
    took a small hostal(pension like hotel)I recall a very nice old lady..
    pointing me out there was no hot running water..well..it was cheap
    enough for cold running water..ahah...so..Sevilla..famous for this big
    cathedral called la Giralda=ask for barrio Santa Cruz..i never liked all
    these churches too much..but this one..is impressive..the little streets around..
    are full of busy little shops,restaurants,tapa bars,flamenco etc..
    anyway..I treated myself a cerveza negra=dark beer..in some pub..
    Sevilla folks are very lively people..you can see the difference with the
    north of Spain..same thing I saw between north and south Italians..
    they just live more..they like to celebrate..i did not go to a flamenco
    gig..usually quite expensiv..not for hippie rucksack travellers??
    Granada and Sevilla are THE places to be to see flamenco dance..
    I'll see if I can find a good link..usually flamenco is associated with gypsies..
    wonderful people..these ladies wear these colourful robes...amazing..
    I would say here..if you ever go to Southern Spain..
    don't miss the triangle..Malaga-Sevilla-Cordoba-Granada..
    it's really worthwhile exploring..one can see Moorish(Arabic)influence..
    in the architecture..but also in the mentality of these people..
    so..I was gonna make a trip into Portugal..Algarve=Faro etc..
    will tell you all later..if you are interested?
    Your text to link here...
    click to listen to some flamenco..it's 100% Sevilla+Granada

    posting nr.14==Huelva+Faro(Portugal)

    so..I left Sevilla direction Costa de la Luz=Huelva..
    this Costa stretches from Cadiz towards Algéciras..
    and was less exposed to mass tourism..might be different now?
    close to Huelva is the little port of Palos de la Frontera..
    nothing special..but historically it was the place where Columbus
    started one of his discovery voyages..I recall as well the small ferry
    i took from Ayamonte(Spain)to cross over to Vila Real(Portugal)
    this regio is known as Algarve..and stretches from Vila Real..
    towards Faro-Albufeira-Lagos-Sagres-Cabo San Vicente..
    fantastic beaches..I did only hitch up to Faro via Tavira..
    Your text to link here...
    I don't remember where I stayed in Faro..
    in fact..I did not like thiscity too much..
    Portugal these days..was less touristical then Spain..
    nice people..difficult language..I spoke a few sentences..that's all..
    faz favor..um bica=please..a coffee..obrigado..thanks..
    I decided to hitch up north towards Sétubal-Lisboa...but I knew..
    it was gonna be more difficult even then Spain..
    the regio above Faro..was very remote as a tourist destination..
    Portugese cars..did barely stop..or payed no attention to rucksack hitch hikers..
    so..i was heading for Beja..set out from Faro..
    stood few hours..got a short ride..with local youngsters..
    they were just curious where I was going,I guess..
    Portugese didnot make big distances..it was mostly from village to villlage..
    Beja is on the main road from Sevilla towards Lisboa..
    but was not easy to reach..damned difficult to hitch a ride...
    I recall I slept out somewhere in between..
    next day...I reached Beja..nothing much..provincial town...
    Beja-Sétubal..I took a bus..I got sick of standing for hours along the roadside..
    baahh..bus prices were dirt cheap..also if one takes a bus..
    one sees the local folks..I recall in Portugal..old ladies..
    dressed from top to toes in black..and with a hat on..tradition??
    Sétubal..is like a short distance from the capital Lisboa..
    in Lissabon(Lisboa)I stayed in the youth hostel..it was O.K.
    I will relate about Lissabon town in next entry..

    posting nr.15=Lisboa(Portugal)

    so..Lisboa..stayed 2 nights at youth hostel..
    lovely city it was..it has an old an new part..
    Lissabon is on the Tejo river..the old city..
    is worth exploring..ask for Alfama,Baixa or Rossio..
    lots of narrow streets..little restaurants etc..
    I did not do any musea..just wandered around a lot..
    just like flamenco in Sevilla..it's fado here in Lisboa..
    I'll try to get a link on that style of singing...
    Amalia Rodriguez is a famous fado singer...
    also Cesaria Evora sings that style...but she's Cape Verdian
    Your text to link here...
    the barrio Alfama got lots of churches,a castle as well..
    Oriente is the railway station of Lisboa..what's typical..
    and very touristic in Lissabon are the tramways...
    try to take tramway 28..I did not..but I think it must be fun...
    I used to walk a lot in these days..kept me healthy,I suppose??
    I went to see the bridge ponte de 25 Abril..one can see a huge
    Christ statue overlooking the Tejo river and Lisboa..real nice..
    Belem tower was a tourist attraction..did not go there..one cannot
    see everything..around Lissabon Estoril,Sintra and Cascais are well
    worth a visit..but I concentrated myself on the old part of LIsboa..
    was gonna take a bus towards Evora...and then try to hitch to the
    Portugese-Spanish border towards Elvas-Badajoz...
    link for Lisboa Your text to link here...

    posting nr.16==back to Spain(Badajoz Estramadura)

    so..finally I left Lissabon by bus..towards Evora..
    not expensive at all..but still..money went..
    buses were quite organised..the railway system..
    did not reach every place..but bus system did..
    although i did not speak Portugese at all..
    people were friendly and outgoing..
    Evora..was a small provincial town..regio Alentejo..
    people were poor in these days..mostly peasants..
    but still..Evora got some charm..it's not the hustle
    and bustle of Lissabon..or the Algarve...
    I tried to hitch a ride to Elvas..which I got soon enough..
    surprising..I thought..it was gonna be a lot more difficult..
    Elvas..is close to the Spanish border regio of Extremadura..
    this regio can be the hottest place in Spain in summer..
    I was there during winter..so..no problem..
    I recall I crossed the Portugese-Spanish border..
    without any difficulties...and reached Badajoz..
    where I slept outside somewhere..on the outskirts..
    Your text to link here...
    direction Sevilla...yip..again to Sevilla..via Zafra..
    was not gonna be easy hitch hiking..but..I was gonna try..
    my aim was Sevilla-Jerez de la Frontera-Cadiz-Algéciras..
    boat to Ceuta...and finally..crossing into Morroco..
    but..that turned out..to be a bummer..
    one can not get everything in life,is it?

    posting nr.17==the southern tip of Spain=Algéciras...

    Badajoz..regio Extremadura..can be very hot in summer..
    it's maybe 10kms.from the Portugese border..
    did not see much of these place..i recall it's on a river..
    forgot the name..Zafra..inbetween Badajoz-Sevilla...
    was not easy to reach..but I made it that day anyway..
    it has got a castle..some of these provincial towns look quite nice..
    it was getting sunny..the south of Spain,you know..
    the next day..got a ride to Sevilla..and took a bus to the town
    of Jerez de la Frontera..this place is known for sherry..
    Your text to link here...
    in fact...that same day..from Jerez I got a ride to Tarifa+Algéciras..
    had to do that in 2 stretches...stood a while in Cadiz..
    Tarifa..is very close to Morocco and the African continent..
    Algéciras..was a busy ferry port..don't recall where I slept..
    I believe it was in a small hostal..I did not like Algéciras that much..
    next day..I was gonna try to get into Morroco..my initial planning
    was crossing the whole of Morrocco and go via Agadir+Tan Tan..
    into the Western Sahara(El Aaioun)but..this thurned out a bummer..
    will tell you what happened in Ceuta later on..

    posting nr.18==on the way to Tétouan(Morocco)

    So..ferry Algéciras-Ceuta(Sebta)took about 40 minutes,I guess??
    in fact this ferry reaches Frideq=few kms..from Ceuta..
    all these ferry ports looked the same to me..busy with coming
    and going from passengers,vehicles..I took a shared taxi to the
    Morroco border..big shit there..one border official..said to me...
    your hair is too long..only if you cut it..you can cross..
    what kind of bullshit talk..obviously if I had showed some heavy
    Morroco Dirhams banknotes..I could have crossed as well...
    so..I was sent back to Ceuta..someone told me there...
    try to cross as a bus passenger..it might work..so..I took a bus ticket...
    but same scenario..could not cross into Morroco..
    corruption was well practised..even in 1970's...
    so bye bye..Morocco..went back by ferry to Algéciras....
    and booked myself a bus ticket to Cadiz..I was gonna take a boat
    from there direction Las Palmas(Gran Canaria)
    I had heard there was only 1 crossing every week..
    if I got lucky..I should be able..to move out soon??
    to get a ticket..I was thinking that could be a problem..
    will tell more later on..

    posting nr 19==Cadiz-Las Palmas(Canarian Islands)

    Cadiz..is a nice town...when I reached there..
    I first inquired about boats to Gran Canaria(Las Palmas)
    it turned out they sail once a week..ferry starts in the evening..
    next day is a whole day at sea....and then following day arrival
    in the Canarian Islands..I booked a place in a 4 persons cabin..
    it also turned out..that I had to stay 2 night in Cadiz town..
    to wait for this boat to take..I took a small but very clean hostal...
    i recall it was at the third floor....and no elevator..I crossed Cadiz
    before..but just went in transit..now..Cadiz is an important harbour
    and I liked the old city very much..old city means narrow streets..
    Your text to link here...
    the local beach was called Caleta..
    but it's not like these big beaches on the famous costas...
    for the rest..the usual stuff like in other Spanish towns..
    plaza's..churches..musea...tapa bars..but always local identity...
    typical Spanish mentality..Cadiz was usually quiet around the siesta
    hours..but in the evening..it became very lively...I took cheap food..
    a tortilla..or some tapa's..so..the day came..I went aboard this huge
    ferry towards las Palmas..in my cabin was a French Canadian dude..
    he was a rucksack traveller as well..funny French Montréal accent..
    the crossing went smooth...and Gran Canaria...well..
    it was 20 degrees there..a real good climate here..
    me and the Canadian looked around for a free place to sleep..
    we found a cave like place...very remote..and absolutely safe..
    it was quite a climb...to reach this spot..and out of town..
    we stayed there for 4 days..my boat to Nouadibou(Mauretania)
    was only going on settled days..I had to wait more then a week..
    the Canadian was staying on in the Canarian Islands..will tell you all
    about my adventures in Las Palmas..and my visit to Tenerife..
    a link for Las Palmas de Gran Canaria...i remember playa de las Canteras
    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.20=Canarian Islands..

    So..Las Palmas de Gran Canaria..beautiful town..
    palm trees..big beach boulevard..lots of tourists..
    good weather..tropical vegetation..the Canarian Islands..
    were already touristical in the early 70's...nowadays..
    it's a tourist boom..lots of Germans in the 70's..
    Las Palmas reminds me of a typical holiday destination..
    the inland of this island....was undiscovered these days..
    me and the Canadian guy went once outside Las Palmas..
    to look for a job..in a fruit plantation..but nope...
    I had to stay 8 days on these islands..because my boat..
    to Mauretania was going only on certain dates..
    so..mostly we wandered around in Las Palmas..I recall..
    the harbour..some German..took tourists on his boat..
    for shark watching or fishing..in the evenings..
    all rucksacktravellers gathered in town..I recall a French guy..
    waiting for a job on a boat to go to Brazil..
    food..was cheap..if you took measures not to indulge..
    some tapas..a coffee..a beer..one day me and this Canadian
    took a ferry to Tenerife..just a trip of 2 days..
    capital is Santa Cruz de Tenerife..nice place..
    but I prefer Gran Canaria..real nice place=Las Palmas..
    the Canary Islands consists of Gran Canaria,Lanzarote,Tenerife,
    Fuerteventura,La Palma and Hierro...and some smaller islands..
    it would take time to visit all these..some islands have volcanic backgrounds..
    in Gran Canaria lush vegetation..fruit plantations..
    especially bananas..Tenerife and Gran Canaria are very tourist minded..
    I recall my days in these islands as a good experience..
    P.S..in this link you will get an idea..of Las Palmas..
    I recall Las Canteras beach vividly...we slept in a cave..
    overlooking a beach..it was difficult to reach...but safe..
    but the day was near that I was gonna take that boat..
    towards mysterious Mauretania..I was wondering myself..
    how it was gonna be..the boat..would take few days to reach..
    La Guéra-Nouadhibou..we had a stop in Vila Cisneros..
    I believe this place changed name..and is now called Dakhla?
    more about this boat trip and Mauritania..later on..

    posting nr.21==boat Las Palmas-Nouadibou(Mauretania)

    The boat would take more then 3 days to reach La Guéra..
    we boarded in Las Palmas harbour..I recall one dude from the U.K..
    and a couple from S.Francisco(Issa+Eric)these U.S.A.citizens..
    did NOT make any visa for entry in Mauritania..I made my visa in Paris..
    I knew they were gonna be turned back..but..they were gonna try it..
    the boat trip itself..went in smooth sea..I don't recall much of it..
    so..we were anchoring inbetween in Vila Cisneros(Western Sahara)
    this area was very much in turmoil..Polisario front wanted independence
    while Morocco claimed the Western Sahara territory..
    it was a former Spanish colony with El Aaioun as capital..
    Morroco took over in 1976..but the rebels of Polisario gave a hard fight
    back..they are still claiming their Sahrawi land..and now are in refugee
    camps in Algeria..I've heard it's NOT possible to travell into Western Sahara..
    the border close to Mauretania is full of landmines etc..
    even in the early 70's there was a tension..
    the tension about to whom the Spanish Sahara should be annexed was a very difficult political game...
    i think nowadays is it Morrocan terrritory?or Polisaria front?i don't really know...
    Your text to link here...
    El Aaiuon got some very rich mineral underground...and mining.. for it..
    was a foreign affair??like the iron ore mines in Zouérate(Mauritania)
    so..reaching Vila Cisneros..I recall a little harbour..sunny weather..
    and one could see the fish swimming..very clear water...
    Issa was a loveley and jokefull chick..she had very long hair..
    which she put into a ponytail..her friend Eric was a nice dude as well..
    The U.K fellow was a real adventurer..he was gonna do some Sahara
    crossings into Mauritania etc..my goal..was reaching black Africa as
    soon as possible..the journey through desert Maureatania was rough..
    but..it was quite an experience..I will tell more in the next entry..
    as expected..Issa+Eric could not enter Mauritania..they took the boat back..
    me and the U.K dude went into Nouadibou town..finally..Africa..
    but Mauretania is an Arab speaking Muslim country..woman covered
    from top to bottom in long robes and veils..that would change a lot after
    crossing Rosso into Senegal..there black Africa begins..
    we stayed I believe in a small hotel in Nouadhibou..
    I recall these mint tea ceremonies..in the hotel..
    where tea is poured into small cups..very sweet tea..
    food was based on rice mostly..with mutton or lamb..
    we were gonna take a free train ride..
    from Nouadhibou towards Zouérate..an adventure??if you ask me??
    an iron ore mining town..the train is more then 2,2kms.long..
    I was gonna get down in Choum..travel to Akjoujt and Nouakchott.
    by truck or taxi??I thought that hitchhiking in this desert was crazy..

    posting nr.22==Mauretania and a special train trip to Choum

    Nouadhibou..was called Port Etienne before..
    it borders Western Sahara..not much of an interesting town..
    mostly harbour and fishing port..as said before..don't recall.
    the name of the hotel where I stayed..I went to the bank..
    to change peseta's and FF=French Francs into local currency..
    funny name=ouguiya..dived into khoums...the rate they gave me..
    towards the peseta's was awful..anyhow..local currency..is needed..
    i got into a restaurant where I recall the excellent couscous meal..
    for the rest..well..Nouadhibou..nothing special..I went to the train
    station to catch that longest train in the world..some passengers
    coaches are attached..but what a hassle..people fighting for a seat??
    I got myself into one of these huge container like wagons..it's a free ride..
    this train is about 2,2kms long,I was in there with the U.K dude...
    and some turban clad local Mauretanians.. link on the longest train i've ever been in..
    Your text to link here...
    the iron ore train Nouadibou-Zouérate via Choum...
    it's a horrible ride really..starts in the evening..
    it got really cold at night..lots of noise..dust..lucky I could tie some
    towel before my mouth..and even then..I swallowed desert sand..
    train goes to Zouérate..iron ore mine..the containers return empty..
    after being loaded for transport at Nouadhibou harbour..
    the trip to Choum..where I got down..took half a day..
    I was happy to get out of these wagons..quite an experience..
    in Choum..pick up trucks(Toyota)take you to Atar and Akjoujt..
    funny people these Mauritanians..they only know Arabic...
    it was a windy ride towards Atar..so I reached Akjoujt...
    I got lucky there..very lucky...met some French dudes from Nice..
    they told me..they knew some friends in Akjoujt..French girl..
    who was working for some organisation..I could stay over..
    for the night there..and continue with them..all the way..
    to Dakar(Senegal)woohah...we even had a party with French wine,
    cheese etc..these dudes knew the chick who was working in Akjoujt
    for some project..don't ask me which??nice French chick she was..
    the 2 French dudes..were very funny..they told me..
    they won a car in a poker game..a Peugeot car..
    they drove it all the way from Nice to Dakar..to sell it with profit..
    these days..French cars in West Africa were highly valued..
    I did not believe much what these French dudes told me..
    funny people..but..I got my free ride to Dakar..
    I guess they were just adventurers..that's all..
    we left Akjoujt next day..bit of a hangover from that wine??
    we reached Nouakchott..capital of Mauritania...
    I did not like it at all..it looked like a refugee camp to me..
    I heard it was not a safe place..lots of theft etc...
    we did not stay there..but went on to Rosso..
    Rosso..is the border into Senegal..quite a hassle..
    lots of corruption,smuggling,bribery..
    we had to take a ferry to cross the Senegal river..
    but on the other side...Saint Louis..and finally black Africa..
    aww..I did like Senegal very much..will tell you all later on..
    a link for Mauritania.. Your text to link here...

    posting nr.23==crossing the Senegal river into Rosso(Senegal)

    So..finally..black Africa..the ferry(bac in French)
    took about half an hour..crossing the river Senegal..
    colourful people these Senegalese..it's very hectic..
    coming from a strict Muslim place into Senegal..well..
    it was very different..we drove towards Saint Louis..
    very old town with a history...once capital of this country..
    Dakar got that title in 1958,I believe??we went to the tourist
    office in Saint Louis..we booked into a nice hotel..
    it was called hotel de la Poste..bit colonial nostalgia..
    it was not that cheap..but we all needed a good shower..
    weather was very hot..wandering through the streets of this town..
    is a delight..lots of old colonial houses with beautiful verandas..
    we stayed 2 nights in St.Louis..there are a few nice bridges..
    the pont Faidherbe is worthwhile..lovely view on Senegal river...
    the bar of hotel de la Poste..got quite animated in the evening..
    the local hookers played their game..in these days..
    HIV was not known off..bit risky stuff..many foreigners..
    had a one night stand with a hooker..only to find out..all their stuff..was stolen..
    these ladies of the night..looked nice in their boubous..
    a boubou is a local dress..like a maxi skirt..they wear it with grace..
    a foreigner is called a *toubab*here..and every foreigner..
    is considered a capitalist?so..they try their games...ahah...yip..
    St.louis was nice..I liked these 2 days..even better then the hustle..
    and bustle..of Dakar town..Dakar...well..be carefull in Dakar..
    these French dudes...hade a great time in St.Louis..
    their journey..was ending in Dakar town..they were gonna sell..
    the Peugeot car with benefit..and fly back to France..
    oh my..these dudes..were real adventure seekers..
    I didn't blame them...but...my road..was still long..
    some people..even up till nowadays..judge people...
    often..they get a wrong idea of it..because..
    they only imagine..how a person really is inside...
    to judge someone..you have to face them..
    eye to eye...and these French dudes from Nice..
    they gave me a free ride..from Akjoujt to Dakar..
    and I was thankful for that...saved me lots of money..
    these dudes were great..over and out...
    I'll try to find a link on Saint Louis... Your text to link here...
    and I'll meet you all in bustling Dakar..
    woooh..Dakar..bwaahh..watch out...
    I can write a book about that city..

    few good documentaries on Senegal... Your text to link here...

    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.24==Dakar..

    so..the Sandaga market..that's something else...
    typical African market..very colourful..very mysterious..
    I saw lots of gri gri=magical potions..amulets etc...
    strange things..tiger claws,chicken feet,snake hide etc..
    they use this in witchcraft..mostly to ward off evil..
    it could be also some Sura's out of the Holy Koran..
    put into an amulet..worn on the body for good luck..
    some whitchcraft is also like voodoo(juju)..bad thing...
    I talked about these facts with a student..who spoke..
    fluent French...in Senegal people believe in magic...
    a local marabout(Muslim leader)has got lots of power..
    Islam is different in Senegal..more tolerant..
    and mixed with local traditions..the Mouride sect..
    founded by Ahmadou Bamba..is a good example of this..
    if you ever could witness the Magal festival in Touba..
    don't hesitate..but it will be hectic..very hectic..
    Amadou Bamba is a *phir*a Muslim saint...in Yoff..
    there's a *phir* sanctuary on the beach...it's a Lebu tribal
    community..I went to Yoff in 1986..with my wife...
    I won a quiz on Belgian television..and a free trip to Senegal..
    if you're interested in healing etc...go to Yoff...close to Dakar..
    it's an animistic ritual..where posseded people..are cured..
    it often involves animal sacrifice..ceremony is called *ndeup*
    I never witnessed it...and I don't think I'm very much interested
    in all that voodoo stuff..but just to give you all an idea..
    West Africa got lots of mysterious rituals..nothing for us....
    so..this student told me..if a husband finds out his wife is cheating..
    they go to one of these whitchcraft doctors..and put a spell..
    no need to tell..whether this works or not...lots of swindlers...
    ah..yip...Sandaga...opened my eyses a bit..about all this...
    well..I would not recommend the fish section in Sandaga...
    lots of fish i never saw..but I had to keep my fingers on my nose..
    also herbs..very strange potions...all kind of mixtures..
    fruits..vegetables...handicrafts..souvenirs...it's all too much..
    for the eyes..and very hectic..watch out for pickpockets as well..
    I enjoyed Sandaga market..if you can talk with the people..
    it's O.K..it's not a place to walk around with a Nikon camera..
    I saw some balafon/kora music players...aw..lovely music it was..
    it took me quote a while to finish Sandaga..it's a test for the nerves..
    markets in Dakar are usually noisy,chaotic,but interesting anyway
    Your text to link here...
    allright..but it was worthwhile anyway...after that..I went into the
    Medina..with the Grand Mosque..built in Morrocco style..
    tourists were not allowed when I was passing by there..
    another market is Tilène..again typical African..bit like Sandaga..
    the currency in Senegal was CFA=African Franc..coupled to French
    Francs=FF..I don't recall..either it was the double..or half value??
    in the afternoon..I went to the railways station of Dakar..nice building..
    found out about trains to Bamako(Mali)I intended to take the train to
    Tambacounda..or even truy hitchhiking to some town where I could
    take that train..it was just a plan in my head...Gorée island...
    was not for that day..I intended to visit it next day..
    instead I went to Ifan museum...well..to tell you all honestly..
    it showed some nice masks of various tribes of Senegal..
    this museum is worthwhile..if you're interested in masks,cermonial
    gear of tribes,clothes,funeral and wedding rituals etc...
    I was really tired that day..went back to the hotel...
    these French dudes...sold their Peugeot with benefit...
    and were gonna fly back to France..funny dudes...
    will tell you all more about slave island Gorée later on
    another good link for Dakar town... Your text to link here...

    a market in DakarYour text to link here...==

    posting nr.25==Gorée island(Dakar)

    A must for every tourist visiting Dakar is the ferry towards Gorée island....
    So...I took that ferry crossing towards Gorée..
    took about 20 minutes..lots of hustlers..
    trying to talk you into a guided tour etc....
    Your text to link here...

    some pictures=== Your text to link here...
    this small island...was so touristical..for the fact..
    it breathes peace..from the hustle/bustle that was Dakar town..
    it's very small..but the walk here..was wonderful..narrow streets..
    very peaceful..lovely vegeatation..nature,you know...
    I guess about a 1000 people lived there..in typical houses..
    Gorée is connected to the slave trade..
    slaves were put here in a prison like building..
    awaiting their shipment to the colonies..*la maison des Esclaves*as they called it.
    is nothing more then a building where the slaves were kept..until their transport..
    it's a sad thing..to stand there as a white skinned person.
    hearing the guide explaining the cruel treatment of the blacks..
    I felt ashamed..if you ask me??it's a building dating from 1786...
    so...very ancient history..furthermore there are a few musea
    on this tiny island..a few restaurants..all in very quiet settings..
    one could even spend the night in some hotels..good price,I guess??
    there's a church..a mosque..a Governors house...mini Dakar really??
    I liked walking trough the little streets..talking to the people..
    I had spend almost half a day for this trip..it was worthwhile..
    I returned back to Dakar town..by ferry of course..and intended.
    to leave Dakar..next morning..I was gonna try to hitch hike..
    I knew..it would not work...but I was gonna try to reach the town
    of Tambacounda..long haul..via Diourbel-Kaolack...
    I was gonna take the train to Kayes and further on to Bamako(Mali)

    posting nr.26==Dakar-Kaolack

    yip..I tried hitch hiking out of Dakar..
    got a ride first to Pikine..then to Rufisque..
    but then..I got stuck..stood for hours...
    not a very funny thing to stand hours in the scorching heat..
    so..I dediced to go to the bus station of Rufisque and take..
    a bus towards Mbour and Kaolack..Rufisque is an harbour..
    lots of factories..industries..did not like it that much...
    but Senegal..well..the people make it colourful..
    Senegalese are very friendly..very curious people..
    I always laughed when they started their funny French...
    in the bus station from Rufisque..I met a Catholic Senegalese..
    he told me to visit Keur Moussa..which is above Rufisque..
    it's a Benedictine convent where the services are done..
    well..in African style..with kora/djembé? etc...bit like gospel??
    I did not go there..here is a link www.keurmoussa.com
    so..I took a taxi brousse(Peugeot)towards Mbour-Kaolack..
    quite an adventure..to sit as a foreigner..amidst the locals...
    feels bit awkward in the beginning..but..they started joking..
    about my long hair and beard...and they all smiled..
    people can connect with smiles..words are not needed..
    the trip towards Kaolack went through typical landscapes..
    quite arid..I saw some baobab trees...there's a legend..
    botanical name=adansonia digitata.. I'll get you all a link..
    this tree is very much honoured by Senegalese..
    it has very funny structure..as of its grown upside down??
    everything of this tree..pods..branches..leaves...
    Senegalese..have a way..to use all of it..the baoabab tree
    is also given magical beliefs..often a griot will praise..
    it grows mainly in Madagascar,but also in West Africa..it got health values..
    Your text to link here...
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    under a baobab tree..so be it...anyway..I reached Kaolack..
    it's a town on the Saloum river..it's a center for peanuts..
    Senegal depends a lot on tourism..but also on peanut cultivation..
    it was bloody hot in that town..I stayed in some local cheap hotel..
    Kaolack has got a real nice market..where I saw funny stuff..
    the local Senegalese woman..buy love potions(afrodisiacs)
    extracts of lion or tiger claws,gazelle horns etc..funny...
    some local dude...explained me...all these things...
    I was determined to reach Tambacounda the next day..
    that's East Senegal..and there was a train to catch to Kayes(Mali)
    I thought of taking a taxi brousse..it's a share system..
    they start when they are full..sometimes 12 people..
    packed like sardines..in a Peugeot with 8 people in it??
    it was cheap anyway....so..why bother hitchiking then?

    posting nr.27==Kaolack-Tambacounda-Kayes(Mali)

    so..taxi brousse to Tambacounda via Kaffrine..
    good ride..but it was very hot..and dusty sometimes..
    Tambacounda is in the East of Senegal..
    nearby is a national parc called Niokolo Koba..
    did not go there..it's a huge fauna/flora parc..
    I met a dude from Uruguay who was working in Tamba...
    he told me that Tamba can become terrible hot..
    it was hot when I passed through anyway..one has to adapt...
    nothing special to see here..exept the African market...
    these African ladies looked colourful..they sell from fruits..
    to vegetables..to all kind of stuff..I stocked up a bit for fruits..
    and got into a supermarket for some other stuff...
    which I could use on my trip between Kayes-Bamako..
    I decided to take that train to Kayes..and then continue to Bamako..
    I met 2 French dudes..they were gonna do the same thing..
    so..we decided to travell together a while..always safer..
    I stayed 2 nights in Tambacounda..and we got that train to Kayes..

    about Tamba=== Your text to link here...
    what a hectic matter..a train in Senegal..we had reserved seats..
    but still lots of hassle..to get onto the train..rules..often..
    didn't existed in these days..I guess??the train left...
    and via Goudiry-Kidira(border Senegal-Mali)we reached Kayes..
    it was quite a journey..but cooling a bit against the extreme heat..
    no trouble crossing the border..they took our passports..
    and told us..to recover them at the police station in Kayes(Mali)
    Kédougou is Bassari country..it's located on the Guinee border..
    this tribe has got very secret rituals..initiation rituals etc...
    worship of the ancestors..animistic rituals for birth,death etc...
    they use all kinds of strange masks as well..typical villages..
    so...finally...we were in Mali..very interesting country indeed..
    Kayes..booh..I could not bear that heat...

    posting nr.28==Kayes-Mahina-Bafoulabé

    As said before..Kayes has got a hot climate..
    we got our passports back...police was friendly..
    they spoke broken French..I guess their native language..
    was Bambara??or a local dialect..but no problem here..
    they told us..to visit the waterfalls of Felou..we did not..
    between Kayes-Bamako..there are local train connections..
    Dakar-Bamako train went twice a week..me and these French..
    decided to take a train ride up to Mahina..then to Bamako..
    and explore a bit of real village African life..so...
    we got to Mahina by train..
    and went to Bafoulabé police station to report..
    in these days one had to report at the police a lot..
    we were going to a village in the Bafoulabé regio..
    one official(police)took us to see the village chief..
    a dude with 4 wifes..it's a custom to greet the chief..
    we did not have any presents..sometimes a bottle of liquor..
    was given..then sprinkled on the ground..
    to worship the ancestors...this visit..I remember very well..
    there was a river outside this village..we went to swim there..
    we saw a hippo even..big beasts..uhuh..so..this chief..
    I guess..not many white foreigners passed through his village..
    the women..were giggling like teenagers..but..everybody was friendly..
    we were given a hut..to stay overnight..now these huts..
    were very clean and certainly cooling from the heat..
    we used our sleeping bags...we could fit in with the 3 of us..
    alone..I don't think..i would have done this..if one is 3...it's O.K.
    in the evening..we talked to the chief..he was an older dude..
    some of his villagers knew some French..so he translated...
    this chief...told us..that he was in charge long time over there...
    he had his griot..and since this villlage..is out of nowhere..
    he said that he never heard of Bamako politics as such..
    suddenly...he called his wifes..and pointed out a chicken..
    all of his wifes..were chasing to catch a chicken..
    running around like crazy...that chicken..
    was slaughtered..in honour of us...
    no electricity there..they cooked in pots over a fire...
    the women..were just walking around bare breasted..
    one gets used to it in Africa..the river..was the daily dishwash
    and laundry washing place..this river..was not always safe..
    maybe crocodiles,snakes and hippo's??
    if you all ever go to Africa..just visit a local village..
    you will see that it's very different from the corruption of city life..
    so..we stayed 2 nights in this Mali village..and it was an experience..
    we went back to Mahina..to catch the train to Kita-Bamako...
    a lot of adventure..if you ask me??

    posting nr.29=Bamako(Mali)

    Train ride from Mahina to Kita-Bamako went O.K..
    always a very colourful event taking a train in Africa..
    first impression of Bamako..a hustle/bustle..lots of traffic..
    Bamako is on the Niger river..lots of activity by boat..
    I did not go up to Mopti-Djenn? or Timbuktu..pity..
    Bambara is the main language in Mali...French is understood..
    but not by everyone..currency was the CFA..
    Mali is one of the poorest countries on earth..
    it was already politically unstable in the 70's..
    Bamako town..is amazing..lovely big market here..
    it's so African..I've never seen so many funny things..
    it went from flowers..to clothes..food..vegetables..
    magic potions..fetishes..dried bones..skins...
    it's a feast for the eyes really..and then these colourful
    dresses..people...all mixed up..well..one must experience it..
    I don't recall exactly where we put up in Bamako..
    but we stayed 2 nights..now..music..was something in Mali..
    I loved these kora/balafon sounds very much..
    nowadays Salif Keita..who is an albino African by the way..
    makes great music..his songs are famous worldwide..
    me and the French dudes decided to travell south of Bamako..
    towards Bougouni-Sikasso..not possible to hitch hike with 3..
    so...public transport=taxi brousse..not that expensive really..
    I'll tell you all what happened later..if you're interested..

    Your text to link here...

    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.30=Bamako-Bougouni-Sikasso

    Bamako bus station was very hectic..lots of activity...
    we had to be patient to get transport towards Sikasso..
    it's almost 370kms..from Bamako..so..we left..in a crowded vehicle..
    most of the passengers were only going to Bougouni..
    colourful people..these Malinese..they always seem to smile..
    the landscape towards Sikasso was in my opininon more lush..
    more green..more vegetation...Sikasso town was reached..
    in the afternoon..we stayed there somewhere..next day..
    we were gonna cross into Upper Volta..this country is now called..
    Burkina Faso..next town would be Bobo Dioulasso..
    in fact..nothing special to report this day..exept the heat...
    so...we were gonna say goodbye to Mali..pity..it's a place which
    certainly needed further travell..time did not allow it,you know..
    I recall my Mali days...as a typical Africa experience...
    very nice friendly curious outgoing people..if you show an African..
    you don't look down on them..they open up..
    and take you as a brother...a lesson for life..
    I often remembered this during my travells..
    nowadays..it's a neck and neck race...greed,envy,jealousy...
    well..well..I wished I could go back in time to my travell days..
    see you all in Bobo(Upper Volta)sorry..Burkina Faso..hm...hm...

    posting nr.31==Bobo Dioulasso(Upper Volta)

    Upper Volta..quite a country it was...I crossed twice there..
    since I went down to Abidjan..and couldn't get into Ghana..
    visa etc..I went back up north..again to Upper Volta..
    will tell you later about that...now..the trip Sikasso-Bobo..
    was O.K. nice town in Southwest Upper Volta..
    very interesting African market called le Grand Marché?..
    the usual colourful scene..quite a lot of hotels,shops,
    restaurants in Bobo..we stayed at a French missionary??
    if I recall well..that priest was in Bobo for 30 years..
    Upper Volta is mainly animistic of belief..
    some Muslim+Catholics as well...
    the Bobo tribe have got some strange masks in their rituals...
    they use butterfly,antelope and other animals forms..
    usually during a funeral..lots of ceremonies are going on..
    never witnessed anything like that..
    it's said..they want to drive away the evil spirits from the deceased..
    otherwise his soul wil be forever haunted..magic Africa,you know??
    in the evening..Bobo became lively..the local hookers play their game..
    the music..is all over this town..bit like Bamako..
    Bobo is a safe place..but one always must be alert for scams..
    every white face..is a capitalist..hmm..I was not...ahah..
    somebody told us to go to Banfora..south of Bobo..
    direction Ivory Coast border..there was a waterfall at Karfigu?la..
    and me and these French dudes..decided to explore that..
    these dudes..were brothers..nice fellows..bit moody sometimes..
    but after Ferkessédougou(Ivory Coast)I said goodbye to them...
    and continued alone..bit more dangerous..but I was not afraid..
    I'll try to find a link about Bobo Dioulasso..

    a link on Bobo==the beer is called dolo=i also tasted it...i prefer Belgian beer....

    Your text to link here...

    Africans LOVE music and dance=djembé etc...an impression from Bobo....

    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.32=Banfora-Karfiguéla(Upper Volta)

    So..time to say goodbye to Bobo..nice place..very African..
    Banfora was not that far south of Bobo..we reached soon enough..
    got some information about that waterfall..I believe it was 15kms
    away from Banfora..we stayed in Banfora that day..nothing special..
    we met a whole group of French construction builders..they were
    setting up some factory nearby...all they talked about was women=hookers..
    I did not like these dudes...we decided to walk that distance
    to the waterfalls..it would take us maybe 2 hours..the sun..
    can be scorching in december in Africa...so..next morning..
    we set off..from Banfora...to Karfiguéla..we reached that place..
    like I said..in 2 hours time..now..this place..was so nice..
    we set up camp there..I mean..we decided to pick up a place..
    where we could spread our sleeping bags..it was on a steep rock..
    the waterfalls were down..it's so nice..to see a waterfall in Africa..
    Karfiguéla was a place..very remote...absolute silence..nature..
    we stayed there for 4 days...of course we took our precautions..
    and stocked up well in food at a Banfora shop..mostly coffee..
    and tinned stuff...sardines..dried fruits..just survival stuff..
    one day...one tribal dude..came to the place where we stayed..
    he did not speak French..just pointing out..he was living in a village..
    somewhere down..these people..lived far from civilisation..
    one day..on one of our walks down to the waterfall..we found signs..
    of that tribe..a monkey skull..put up on a stick..just in the middle..
    of nowhere...strange...after 4 days of this Robison Crusoe stuff..
    ahahah..we got sick of it..and walked back to Banfora town...
    I'll try to get a link about Banfora-Karfiguéla..
    below..a link with a picture of Karfiguéla waterfall..brings back memories..uhuh..
    Your text to link here...
    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.33==Banfora-Ferkessédougou(Ivory Coast)

    So...after 4 days waterfall scenery...walked back to Banfora..
    real hot day..I recall..we put up for 1 night in a local hotel..
    something weird happened that evening..in the bar of the hotel..
    some locals got drunk on local beer...now..one advice..never get
    into a fight with drunk Africans...it can become really nasty..
    one of these dudes..made a remark to Alain..the French dude..
    this fellow(Alain)was a bit of a hothead..he did not take that remark...
    and it almost ended up in a fight..the hotel manager..
    kept his cool...and things got solved..before worser happened...
    funny..it's like nowadays..some people like to judge others...
    but they hate it..when they are judged themselves...
    well..anyway..modern world..so..we left Banfora by taxi brousse..
    towards Niangoloko-Yenderé?..the border town ..
    between Upper Volta and Ivory coast..the customs..did examine
    our luggage..and passports..it took a while to cross into Ivory Coast..
    just to give importance to their uniforms..I guess..power game...
    Ivory Coast..another nice country..the French dudes were gonna
    say goodbye in Ferkessédougou(Ferké)because they wanted to go
    to Korhogo..to visit some local tribe called Senoufo..I was gonna down
    alone towards Bouaké-Abidjan..my plan was Ghana as well..
    but did not realize that..pity..I wished I could have visited Ghana...
    so we reached Ferk?..town in the north of Ivory Coast..
    pity I could not go to Korhogo..Senoufo tribe..
    well..very interesting tribe..
    they have sacred places in the forests...for girls..for boys..
    initiation rituals..some whitchcraft,local masked dances..
    where the dancers..get into a wild trance...
    it's called Poro,I believe??really mysterious..
    pity..but...I was thinking about my money situation..
    still a long way back up north to Tunisia..
    crossing the Sahara..one never knows...what it will cost??
    I will tell you about Ferké..and the Ivory coast later on..
    very lush vegetation in Ivory Coast..real nice nature..
    specially down south of Bouake-N'douci..

    Your text to link here...
    Cote D'ivoire Map / Geography of Cote D'ivoire / Map of Cote D'ivoire - Worldatlas.com

    posting nr.34=Ferkessédougou-Bouaké

    I went by train towards Bouaké...nice ride it was..
    a train trip in Africa..is where you meet the people..
    same as taxi brousse rides..Bouaké was a nice town..
    stayed a day there..very loveley nature in Ivory coast..
    it was all so tropical..and green..huge trees..
    Ivory Coast is known for pineapples..I stocked up on them..
    very cheap..and good source of vitamins as well..
    all over in Africa..I found these little roadstalls..
    for a coffee..or grilled meat..very cheap food..
    and great talking..with the locals..
    Bouaké? is Baoulé tribe country..
    they make beautiful artifacts..masks etc...
    nice local market..called Grand Marché..
    the usual African stuff in there..
    I'll try to find a link about Bouaké..
    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.35==Bouaké--Abidjan

    Well..took a taxi brousse..from Bouaké to Abidjan..
    I was quite confused...of Abidjan city..capital..allright??
    it was luxury..not the real Africa i knew..there are 2 regio's
    in Abidjan called Treichville and Adjamé?..that's Africa..
    the Plateau..was just a French impression of Africa..
    skyscapers..hotel Ivoire..luxury shops..fashion..money..
    the real Africa..is in the villages..not in cities like Abidjan..
    I did not like Abidjan as such..and..it's a humid sticky climate..
    Abidjan..is called Paris of West Africa..ahah..nice African ladies.
    with lots of money..on their way to the hairdressers..beauty shop??
    beauty..is in the heart..I rather enjoyed my visit to the village chief..
    big hotels..fancy restaurants of Abidjan...were not for my pocket..
    and one more thing...the contrast..of rich and poor in Abidjan..
    created a kind of criminality and paranoia..even in the 70's...
    you should have seen the armed guards in front of a big bank..
    Treichville is the hookers district..dangerous to go..
    criminality...was a clash between culture gaps...even then..
    I did only stay 1 day in Abidjan..I saw..and I went..
    could not go to Ghana..pity..I would have loved to visit..
    no time..no visa..no money left??
    instead..I went back up north..
    reached N'douci by taxi brousse.I recall the pineapples there..
    I'll try to find a good link for Abidjan..

    markets in Abidjan...

    Your text to link here...
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    Abidjan city views...
    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.36==Abidjan-N'douci-Bouaké

    So..goodbye Abidjan..did not like that city too much..
    bit too French Paris style??and that sticky heat...woohh..
    so..went back up north...to N'Douci..we had a stop there..
    taxi brousse picks up folks..I saw a pile of pineapples in N'Douci..
    could not resist..the extra vitamins..ahah..reached Bouaké again..
    the lady from the grill stand..remembered my face..
    don't recall where I stayed..next day..was aiming for Katiola..
    and maybe Bobo again..I liked Bobo..so..was hoping to get there...
    the French missionary...was always there..I told that priest..
    I might come back to Bobo Dioulasso one day...ahah..
    after that place..It was gonna be Ouaga=Ouagadougou..
    and after that Niamey(Niger)..I'll keep you all reading..is it?

    posting nr.37==Katiola-Bobo

    so..Bouak?..taxi brousse to Katiola..just a provincial town..
    typical African..reached Bobo again..went back to stay..
    at the French missionary..it was free..and safe as well..
    these missionaries in Africa..I really admire their guts..
    it was not so easy to win souls for God...
    Africans stay always bit animistic deep inside their souls....
    and I don't blame them for that fact..they are Africans...
    no Western will ever understand their true nature..
    so Bobo again..a very African town..I would recommend this place..
    if you ever get from behind your computers??and go to Africa??
    so..after Bobo..it was gonna be direction Ouaga..
    capital of Upper Volta..I was on my way back home..oh yes..
    the Sahara desert...well..I was slighty scared of it..
    but..it turned out..a big and positive experience..
    will tell you busy peeps later on...brrr...
    adventures,did you say?

    posting nr.38==Bobo-Ouagadougou

    So...I left Bobo..aww..I loved this place..
    between Bobo and Ouaga came Koudougou...
    don't remember much from this trip towards Ouaga..
    Ouaga is the capital of Upper Volta..I guess..this country..
    was never stable political..military coups??corruption...
    Your text to link here...
    the people..now called Burkinabés..were nice though..
    I recall the climate as very hot..Ouaga was O.K...
    the usual Grand Marché(market)dominates the town...
    it was a town with parallel running streets..
    I stayed 1 night in a hotel..but I forgot the name..
    lots of eateries as well..choice enough...
    I took some cheap African rice/chicken dish(yassa)
    I was gonna go towards Fada Ngourma-Kantchari..
    and then into Niger..towards the capital Niamey...
    Niger was a place..I recall..as rough travelling..

    posting nr.39==Niamey(Niger)

    I recall the trip into Niger as very rough travell..
    Fada Ngourma-Kantchari..then border crossing..
    some more control then in Ivory Coast..
    but my visa was allright...made it in Paris(France)
    Niger was one of the poorest countries on earth..
    it was in the Sahel belt...this means desert,arid climate,drought..
    I saw some Tuaregs in Agadez..this city..is worthwhile..
    Agadez is a desert city..it replaced Timbuctu for me...ahah..
    tuaregs are nomads..they are called blue men..
    because of the clothpiece(tagelmoust)covering their mouth..
    it protects them against desert winds on their camel trips..
    Tuareg art is extremeley nice..specially their silverware..
    I met some Tuaregs around Tahoua and also in Agadez..
    great wanderers..their women enjoy a very free status..
    but..let me tell you about Niamey...capital of Niger..
    Niamey is on the Niger river..like Bamako..
    again a Grand Marché(marketplace)like in most African capitals..
    I went for information about going towards Agadez..
    it's mostly on top of a truck..I remember that ride very well..
    Niger is a Muslim place..big mosque in Niamey...
    eating..no problem here..cheap street stalls with rice/chicken..
    I stocked up quite a bit of food for my trip towards Agadez..
    a local supermarket in Africa..usually had some stuff from France..
    sardines...tinned food..always very usefull..
    in the Grand Marché great artwork from the Tuareg and Hausa tribes..
    as said above..Tuareg silver jewellery is worthwhile..
    Hausa made nice leather stuff..I did not buy anything..
    prices were not for my purse anyway...
    I'll try to find some link about Niger...
    a Tuareg wedding...I certainly like that kind of music...style Tinariwen music..
    Your text to link here...
    Agadez..I loved that place..it was very desertlike...special mosque architecture...

    posting nr.40==the Tuareg tribe

    As mentionned in my last journal entry...
    Tuaregs are a very interesting tribe..
    I'm gonna find some more links..
    to give you all an idea about Tuareg..
    I really admired these people while I met them..
    here is a link on some art jewelry..
    their woman wear lots of ornaments..mostly silver..
    Your text to link here...
    click more on right bottom corner of this link.....

    Your text to link here...

    a good link on Tuareg art..necklaces,bracelets etc..
    Your text to link here...

    and finally..a link to photographs from West Africa..
    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.41==Niamey-Tahoua-Agadez

    wooh..this traject..was rough travelling..I recall...getting towards
    Agadez on top of a truck..together with local Africans..first day..
    after Niamey..only reached Tahoua by taxi brousse..
    traffic towards Agadez..was difficult in the these days..
    Tahoua..was nothing special..just a stopover place..
    next day got a truck ride towards Agadez..
    one has to pay the driver..it was a truck full of sacks of grain..
    we sat on top..it was a dusty,bumpy and difficult ride..
    in the middle of nowhere..suddenly this truck stops..
    everybody down...and..guess what..namaaz time..
    devote Muslims do their prayers..I couldn't blame them..
    everybody turned their face to Mecca..I still don't know..
    how they find that direction??that's Africa,you know..
    the local African people who travelled with me..
    on top of this bloody truck..were Fulanis(tribe)
    great folks...they smile all the time..I did not..
    it was hard travelling..I suppose they are used too..
    I recall..I hated this ride..it was dusty..hot..bumpy..
    once back at home...one values..the hardship of travelling..
    so..these Fulani's(Peuls)are folks who got lots of herds..
    they have a very funny festival called Gerewol..
    it's held at In Gall..place I crossed between Tahoua-Agadez..
    the local Wodaabé tribe(Fulani)the men..put make up..
    and dance around like crazy..to find a local girl as a bride..
    I've not seen this..but I know..I've missed something there..
    everybody is in a trance during this festival..if local drugs..
    are involved..I can't tell..could be??who knows??
    the Fulani tribe from around Agadez
    Your text to link here...
    Your text to link here...
    so..after this funny ride..I reached Agadez..a desert like town..
    I will relate in a special posting about this place..

    posting nr.42==Agadez

    Now..reaching Agadez after a very rough trip..
    was a release..Agadez is a desert place..
    very liveley old quarter centered around the Grande Mosquee
    strange architecture indeed..very ancient..
    one sees camels walking around in this place..funny sight..
    the Grande Marché is very colourful..lots of artifacts..
    Tuareg art is quite refined..specially silver or leatherwork..
    I stayed in a cheap hotel..don't remember the name...
    there were some French travellers going down south..
    I went to the tourist information to find out about travelling
    northbound direction Algeria..not a very easy thing..
    I needed to contact a truck driver going that way..
    border checkpoint between Niger-Algeria was Assamakka..
    then In Guezzam..and bit higher up..Tamanrasset..
    from that point..a trip north crossing the Sahara..
    I was bit worried about crossing Algeria Sahara traject..
    later on..it turned out..I was very lucky in a way..
    will tell you peeps later on...I'll find a link about Agadez..
    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.43==Agadez-Tamanrasset(Algeria)

    Crossing the desert in Niger..was no bullshit..
    got myself a truck transport towards the border...
    long and adventurous haul..can you imagine yourself??
    sitting with a bunch of locals on top of a truck..
    in extreme heat and dust conditions??
    we made a stopover to spend the night in the open..
    it gets cold at night..and even little desert mice appeared..
    that day..we came upon an *harmattan*that's a fierce wind..
    one cannot see anything..it's all dust and sand..not pleasant..
    harmattans usually blow in january+februari...
    above Agadez there a place called Arlit..
    they discovered uranium there..exploitation of it..
    made this desert town..a boomtown..
    I did not cross Arlit..our truck drove another route..
    Assamaka-towards in Guezzam..is the middle of nowhere..
    nomansland..with no rules..in these days..safe..to cross..
    I heard stories nowadays...of folks getting killed..
    for their cars??money??or for just being tourists??
    it's NOT safe to cross there nowadays...
    funny world we have to live in today..
    anyway..Tamanrasset..was a bit of civilisation..
    after that desert stretch...but still..it was Algeria..
    I recall the place I stayed..everybody stayed there..
    all travellers came together to meet..to exchange ideas..
    I recall Tam as a hot place..Sahara adventurers..
    told their story there...I talked to an Italian..
    he came from a trip towards Togo..and was driving to Tunis..
    I made a deal with this dude..to share benzine expenses..
    if he took me up to Tunis all the way..he was a police officer
    from Genua..in a Citroen car..which turned out later..
    to give lots of trouble..I'll tell you in next posting..
    P.S..Algeria got nice dates..I mean the fruits..
    it was even in these days.. a funny Muslim mentality..
    but finally after all..Algeria...was not so bad..
    the desert mountains around Tam=the Hoggar..
    really worthwhile..fantastic scenery..
    Your text to link here...

    posting nr44==Tam-In Salah-El Goléa(Algeria)

    so..we set off..into the Sahara desert..
    the Italian dude told me..he had some tyre problems..
    the car he drove..was not made for a trip through Africa..
    the track into the desert direction in Salah..
    was no tarmac..just sand..and often..unpredictable..
    it was at least 35 degrees Celsius..and sometimes..
    if one looks ahead..one sees a fata morgana..
    it's like a piece of water..a shimmering in the sun..
    funny..as expected..the Italian dude drove himself stuck..
    into a piece of loose sand..wheels very deep into the sand..
    means shoveling out..in that heat..wooooh..
    he had something to put under the wheels...
    gave gas...but no use..we got stuck in the Sahara sand..
    we got lucky...a Landrover(4 wheel drive)came by..
    and they were Italians...they just pulled us out in 10 minutes..
    so..we set off again...about 50kms further on..flat back tyre..
    means putting on spare wheel..in that heat..
    we reached In Salah very run down..we just slept outside..
    in the middle of nowhere between In salah-El Golea..
    Next day we reached El Golea..bit of civilisation again??
    bought some food stuff..dates are very cheap in Algeria..
    will tell more about the trip El Golea-Tunis..
    from Bamako(Mali)already..I had written a letter to my Dad..
    to send money to Marseille(France)poste restante..
    I hoped he got that letter..I just had money enough..
    for the ferry crossing Tunis-Marseille..
    money..is necessary in life..the worst drug ever invented..

    posting nr.45==Ghardaia-Hassi Messaoud-Touggourt-El Oued

    Next stop after El Golea was Ghardaia..looked nice..
    I don't recall much from the traject towards El Oued..
    around Hassi Messaoud..I recall petroleum exploitation..
    in central+northern part of Algeria..strict Muslim society...
    one saw very rareley a woman in the streets..
    and if you saw them..covered from top to bottom..
    the Citroen car did well after that tyre change..
    we were wondering about the ferry timings towards France..
    I thought...and I hoped..I did not have to hang around..
    too long in Tunis town..I knew beforehand..
    it was gonna be..cold in Europe...it was beginning february..
    so..we drove all day..from El Golea towards El Oued..
    slept in the car..not very comfortable..
    next day..we were gonna cross into Tunisia via Nefta..
    I'll tell you all later on about this country..not bad..
    i'll see if I can get some link on Algeria..
    Your text to link here...
    click Touggourt or El Oued..

    posting nr.46===El Oued-Nefta-Tozeur-Gafsa-Kairouan-Tunis(Tunisia)

    oh yeah..we were gonna drive into Tunisia..
    off all the Maghreb countries..I think it's the most liberal..
    Algeria was very conservative..Morocco..well..don't know??
    we came upon Nefta after the border crossing into Tunisia..
    no hassle at the border..I recall the heat...bwaahah...
    it was not easy sometimes..sitting in a car the whole day..
    in temperatures which went above 35 degrees Celsius...
    Nefta..now..if you wanna see an oasis..go there..
    it was a center for Sufism Islam..even in these days..
    it holds a mausoleum of a Sufi saint..again in Nefta..
    palmtrees..dates..and very colourful little streets..
    driving towards Tozeur..now..this is a place to remember..
    desertlike...and fantastic fata morgana's..
    gave us some look at the Chott el Djerid=salt lake.
    very arid area of South Tunisia..they are famous..
    yes..the best dates in Tunisia..and also for a mineral..
    called *rose of the desert*it looks like an opened rose..
    colours go from green towards,blue,grey,brown..
    I recall this because we made a stopover for food in Tozeur..
    souvenir hustlers are always active,you know..ahahah..
    did not buy anything..apart from dates..yes..dates..
    the heat around Tozeur was terrible..we drove towards Gafsa..
    then Kairouan..place looked wonderful...but..we just drove
    through it..pity..lots of mosques..and they told us...
    the Kairouan carpet industry was worthwhile..
    finally we reached the capital=Tunis..the Italian dude..
    dropped me somewhere in the Medina(souk)
    after all this fellow..gave me the hitchhiking adventure..
    of my life..I really was lucky..to cross from Tam to Tunis..
    just sharing maybe 25 dollars of benzine..otherwise..
    it would have been bus to El Golea..bus to El Oued etc..
    and benzine..luckily..was cheap in Algeria..they had oil..
    in Tunis town..after being dropped into the souk...
    I went looking for a hotel..and it turned out later on..
    a 3 nights stay..I had to wait for the ferry to Marseille(France)
    will tell you peeps a bit more about Tunis town later on..

    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.47==Tunis

    Tunis..is a town around the sea..the gulf of Tunis..
    and the Mediteranean sea give Tunis lots of character..
    I always liked towns surrounded by water..Stockholm for example..waww..
    the medina of Tunis is a maze of narrow streets..little bazaar
    shops..around the big Mosque...which is very ancient..
    no less then 3 souks are situated..each with different style of goods..
    one can wander around..just enjoy a mint tea..
    or explore carpets,parfums,herbs,henna,groceries,jewelry..
    art etc..no need to explain it looked colourful..
    since I had to stay 3 days in Tunis..
    I took one whole day just walking these souks..
    it's really bit tiresome..because touts and vendors..
    well..the usual stuff..if they see a foreigner..they wanna sell..
    i did have to be very careful with money as well..
    just eating the cheap food like couscous...no splurge..
    i recall I was quite run down on day 1 in Tunis..
    stayed in a hotel where some other U.K.foreigners were staying..
    rather cheap..not that big luxury as well..a shower..does wonders..
    second day..I visited the Mosque..never been a big fanatic..
    about visting religiuous places...but..I had to kill my time..
    the Mosque interior was typical Maghreb styled.
    big inner courtyard..loveley decorations anyhow..
    the actual prayer place was forbidden for non Muslims..
    Tunis is full of Mosques..they are spread all over the town..
    day 3...I visited the new part of town..beautiful art nouveau
    and colonial style buildings..gates,gardens etc..
    did lots of walking these 3 days..was gonna take that boat
    to Marseille..and then move north to Paris..I was hoping.
    i was gonna get that money from my Dad..
    so..finally...my Africa adventure ended in Tunis..
    it was one of the most adventurous things..
    i ever did in my whole lifetime..in 1986...I went back..
    to Africa..Senegal+Gambia..but more in style..plane etc...
    I'll try to find a good link on Tunis town..
    Your text to link here...
    Your text to link here...

    posting nr.48=Tunis-Marseille

    so..I left North Africa..ferry crossing to Marseille..
    took bit over 20 hours..smooth crossing..
    Marseille was a busy town..it's in the Provence regio..
    it was beginning february...and freezing cold..brrrrr..
    went to the GPO=poste office...and oh..got my Dad's money..
    about 25 U.S dollars..changed into FF=French francs..
    got myself some baguette(bread)+camembert cheese..
    I tried to hitch out of Marseille direction Avignon..
    I recall I was freezing my ass off..and could not get a ride..
    I decided to invest all the money I got..in a train ride..
    as far north towards Paris as possible..went to railway station...
    got myself a 2nd.class ticket up to Chalons sur Saone..
    that's bit south of Beaune and Dijon..
    the rest towards Paris..was still more then 300kms..
    I was gonna be broke totally in Chalons..but I guessed..
    I could survive 1 day..on some bread/cheese+coffee..
    in Paris..Cathy was there..I was welcome there anyway..
    I boarded that train..wooh..at least out of the freezing cold..
    I reached Chalons sur Saone...and was in fact broke..
    no money left..exept from some coins..I was gonna hitch..
    a ride to Paris..I did not have any other choice anyway..

    posting nr49=Marseille-Chalons-Paris

    so..Chalons sur Saone..there I was..broke..
    few pennies in my pocket..to tell you all honestly..
    it's a very scary feeling..it was winter...
    still more then 300kms..to go to Paris..
    I was paranoid..about not making it in 1 day..
    got a ride to Dijon..capital of Burgundy...
    wine..mustard even..but..I could not concentrate...
    got another ride towards Auxerre..
    damn..I froze my ass off..it was so bloody cold..
    got finally to Paris..thank God...and went to Rue Oberkampf..
    Cathy and Christian..helped me out..they were glad to see me..
    and..I..was glad to see them..if you catch my drift??
    I stayed 4 days in Paris..food..shelter...and warmth..
    true friends..one recognizes..in time of need..
    it was 1975..february..Woodstock mentality??
    who will tell??do people still exist like that??
    Cathy borrowed me 200FF=French francs..
    to take a train to Brussels(Belgium)
    my adventure was over...it was...a real adventure..
    i can only talk about it now..here..on a screen.
    but..it's brings back memories...which you peeps..
    have not the slighest idea off??

    posting nr.50==Paris-Brussels+back home

    Paris..is always a nice place..
    february in this place..is without tourists..
    one gets to know Paris better that way,I guess..
    I went into the quartier latin..lots of students..
    nice pubs,restaurants..but..i did not have the money..
    I booked a seat on a train from Paris..gare du Nord..
    towards Brussels Central..and thanks to Cathy..
    i reached Belgium again..i did not even have the guts..
    to hitch a ride towards my home place..i was tired..
    the winter weather cold..got into me...
    I took a straight train to Antwerp...and my home place...
    my Dad,brother and aunt..were glad I came back home..
    this journal..is a flashback for me..
    thank you all..for taking the trouble..to read my adventure tales..
    I do hope it can be a help for other travellers into West Africa...Emiel..