The 18 year old Christoph offers me a lift on his small sailboat to Jamaica. It is a 22 feet Hurley from 1978. He already sailed it all the way to Guadeloupe from Hamburg, Germany. But at first we need to do some repair work: the hinges of the hatch are broken, someone hit its bow just recently and the rigging needs to be treated against rust, so the mast has to be brought down. It takes us a few days in the marina to finish everything.
I spent six weeks in the beautiful Saurat valley at family Stoelker. To earn my stay in the comfy room and three scrumptious meals per day, they had different jobs for me. Deborah and Jon are from England and have been living in Bedeilhac for eight years. They bought a property that contained a "gîte" to rent out, a house to live in and some nice green land with loads of Acacia trees. It is situated at the north facing side of the astonishing (especially for climbers) mountain Calamès.
After ten months of traveling on the same island the time has come to enter the European mainland again. It feels a bit strange to leave the country that has been evolving to my new personal comfort zone. But at the same time it gives me a a feeling of actually being on the road again.
Departure. We're on our way since 18 May 2015 and we're going slowly, because Albi recently got rid of his wisdom teeth and the effect of meds is still persisting. It's good to walk through well-known realms at first. So we can test out things like baggage, length of the stages and our strength. The first evening already made clear: We have to shorten the daily distances. The backpacks are being re-packed and the baggage is sorted out.
It's astonishing how many things you are going to experience as travelers. We've been traveling for only a short time yet. We are sleeping at family's and friend's places. But still, we always get to know so many nice people.
For example, Willi who has got a machete from Castro in Cuba; Oli and James from England who are funding their journey only by busking; Erik who has been traveling since he was 15 years old. We could stay in a house for journeymen and put our tent next to a farmhouse. Shops are opening only for us and folks are eagerly refilling our bottles (even with ice cubes!). Hitchhiking is also going very easy, we never had to wait more than 30 minutes.
Itzhoe, 36° celcius, stuffy air. A few hours ago a more comfortable breeze got around us in Denmark. Denmark – we've been there for about one month and the country left a great sensation.
Even if it wasn't that simple to pass the border. Never before we had to put out our thumbs that long. But finally Volker and his truck take us straight to the center of Aarhus (a place to return). We notice a strange undergrounding kindness and helpfulness („strange“ because being German always means to be a bit suspicious of such openness).
Some day in Haarlem we recognize that we like to work. Well, really do work, with our hands and feet, in the sweat of our brows. For two weeks we explored charming dutch cities and met their inhabitants, but now it's time for something else.
So we start to investigate on different internet pages if somebody would offer us accomodation and food for helping them with their project. Fleur, a yogateacher, does so. Her house is next to the dutch town Eindhoven and she transmutes the whole property into a yogastudio. Because of many helpers from every part of the world there were already grown walls, gardens, meadows, paths and murals - despite there is still a lot to do till the opening. We finish (establish) a meditation platform, straighten a pond, carry bricks, fix bikes, cook, pile wood and transplant vegetables. The atmosphere is great, even so it's incedibly satisfying to see the results.
Somehow, Great Britain had become a kind of first big mark. So we stay in Lille, being in good spirits, raising our thumbs towards the sun. After one hour we change the position, a while later again, and again, and again...
The first place we visit in England turns out to be the only official desert of the country: Dungeness. This area looks like it has been taken place in a postapocalyptic zombie film. Besides, we are living right next to a gigantic nuclear power station in the former lighthouse keeper's house. On the first evening a very heavy thunderstorm leads to a blackout (despite the power station, haha). Now that's really something! Regina has chosen this fantastic surreal spot of land as her home. She's putting us up for a few days and introduces us to the English culture of cream tea and scones.