Maandag, May 11, 2015
Michael reported yesterday, Sunday, that he would take a "day off" to see if he could get info contact with the news media. He succeeded:
"I woke up at 7:00 AM and get dressed. Breakfast is delicious here and I enjoy the idea that I have a day to myself. My legs feel miraculously well.
After breakfast I take action and call several local radio stations, among others KicX 91.7, which I sometimes listen to in the Netherlands over the internet. It is a good country station. They want to place my initiative on Twitter Facebook, however, they cannot arrange for an interview at short notice. Yet, attention is given to my journey.
Contact with the TV channel CTV goes very smoothly and to my surprise a camera group arrives at the hotel lobby before noon. Obviously, they had informed me previously. I had verified with the hotel management for permission to film in this indoor environment. To my surprise that was not possible. Comfort Inn is part of a nationwide chain and without explicit permission the hotel cannot be recognizably filmed.
The recordings, therefore, take place a little further out side and in a very relaxed atmosphere. They are genuinely enthusiastic and thank me for contacting them a couple of times. A few more shots of my bicycle and it's done. The manager of the adjacent DQ fast-food branch takes her chance to offer me a delicious smoothy during the recording. Yet she is also genuinely interested. She had already heard of my arrival in Sudbury and when she saw me leaving the hotel she immediately took action. Sweet!
After all this fuss I decide it's time for a hair cut; at least, of the hair that's left. The hair salon appears to be next to the hotel. The female hairdresser is done quickly with my simple hair cut. Therefore, I only have to pay for a child's haircut...
Next I go to Tim Hortens for a nice cup of coffee and a cookie. I get to talk with an elderly lady who is waiting for her family and she wants to know all about Holland and why I'm here in Canada. She cannot believe I'm cycling through Canada. A while later when her family arrives, they are very surprised. "Oh Mom, I didn't know you had such a young friend!" I introduce myself and say that she is not going with them, because I'll take their mother out on a Rock & Roll afternoon. We have the greatest fun, because it's something their mother would like to do. I estimate her age to be around 76.
Following this pleasant encounter I go back to the hotel to pick up my bicycle. I have to go to Walmart, 3 km down the road. I get there when two other cyclists arrive, their bicycles heavy packed with gear. They are a young couple, they left Thunder Bay two weeks again and they are on their way to Newfoundland. We start talking and I get lots of tips to chase bears away, which are now very active and aggressive in protecting their cubs. They, in turn, want to know all about Newfoundland. They plan arriving there in August – which is the best month to visit.
After talking for more than half an hour, I go to Dollarama to buy a toy cap gun and an airhorn to deter bears. I can record these sounds and save them as MP3 files on my cellphone together with the (standard) barking dogs sounds. This is not the first time I have heard it and it seems to really work, because bears do not like dogs.
Later, when I go to Walmart, we meet again and we continue to talk. They plan going to Española today; which is where I will go tomorrow. They will stay there for a few days and perhaps we can meet up there again. It appears they have a lot of experience camping, and they even camp a few days out side when it is -20°C in winter time. Brrr...
We finally say our goodbyes and I go back to the hotel. The day flew and I await the CTV broadcast of 6 PM. Yes, right on, a wonderful clip that I'm very happy with.
Meanwhile I have worked up an appetite and because yesterday the food was good and delicious at Mario's, I go there again. Today I sit at the bar and order a pizza. Delicious. Before dessert, I get into a conversation with the manager. Upon hearing what I do and why, he is sure about one thing, "You're eating tonight at my expense!"
He's a jovial guy and we talk about the Netherlands, where he had liked to play (ice) hockey. That's what he used to be fairly good at, but going to the Netherlands has never happened. He even says that when the Dutch national soccer team plays, he wears some orange.
I ask before I go if I really just can walk out of the establishment. “Yes, everything is taken care off and thank you for coming here,” he says. “No, thank you guys!,” I reply. I go to my hotel to pick up a calling card of my website and a wristband. I walk back and give them to him, he is very happy with it. I am glad too, and this rest day, busy as it was, just flew by. Fortunately, just before going to sleep I could already celebrate my birthday (Dutch timezone). Hip hip hooray... I have to laugh at my own silliness.
Who again predicted that at one point I would laugh at my own jokes?..."
Han Schomakers, editor
Translation by Albert Dijkstra