Four weeks in Holland

Because we'll cross the Atlantic in November and stay for a few years on the other side of the ocean, we went to Holland for four weeks to get a taste of herring again, say goodbye to family and friends and to do some shopping. Cheese, peanut butter, chocolate sprinkles, apple spread, liquorice, ginger on heavy syrup, yeast, Indonesian soy sauce and sambal were hot items. 

We suffered from culture shock already in Las Palmas airport as we were almost run over by expensive toy cars with which Dutch kids are spoilt by their lazy parents. Nintendo’s, personal dvd-players, all these western world's “improvements”. Upon arrival in Holland we experienced an additional climate shock because the weather was typical Dutch: cold (12°C), dreary and rain.
It is funny to be a guest in your own country. Friends lent us a car which was of course really great! The first thing we noticed was the busy traffic. Furthermore: villages and cities almost grown together with no room to breathe, bikes all over the place
PHOTO 2 , green green green, trees neatly arranged, orderly road signs, windmills PHOTO 3 and the whole country spic and span.
The cows PHOTO 4 sit neatly coombed in their lush meadows PHOTO 5  , brand new trains cross the landscape, impressive bridges are spanning the many rivers and neat houses with red roofs all over the place... Holland looks like a toy country; a park.

But we still love Holland. In particular we enjoyed the sunsets
PHOTO 6 which seem to take hours (in comparision to the Canaries, where the sun sets only in minutes) and the impressive cloud formations. We love the dark grey clouds above the clear green meadow, and also the clear blue sky with only some small white clouds... wonderful. But as soon as the sky fills with a grey layer, which often happens, we don't like the atmosphere at all. It is dull and boring.
But the reunion with our family and friends was not boring at all! It was great to see everybody and we were heavily spoilt because everbody tried to serve special meals - either Dutch or Indonesian (as Indonesia was formerly a Dutch colony). We never went to bed this often this late and by the end of the four weeks we were exhausted. 

Back in Las Palmas we had to start working immediately for our “bosses” Joanna and Ernie, who produce documentary films on everything that is wrong in marine environment and sea life.
Over the last six weeks they collected lots of material, and our support in matters of marketing and communication is very welcome. You can check them out on

To the Cape-Verdians is about 1000 miles of sailing
, and from there to Suriname almost 2000 miles. So we have to prepare for many days at sea, and of course no shops around in the Atlantic. Fresh vegetables and fruit will be limited to cabbage, egg plant, peppers, oranges and lemons. We'll be reduced to canned meat so we hope to catch many fish. 
JW will bake fresh bread every day. The oven consumes lots of gas and with our 2x 6 kgs of butane (plus 2x 2.5 kg spare in camping gaz bottles) this would be just enough... so we looked for (and found) a better solution: the tortilla pan. This is a pan consisting of two pans connected with a hinge, so you can turn it upside down. The bread will be baked quickly, using a minimum of gas. For the recipe click
In the meantime P sat behind her sewing machine and produced 18 courtesy flags for the Caribbean and South-America. Quite a challenge as straight forward red, white and blue does not exist over there: only complicated designs with diagonals, stars, triangles and stripes... Cheerful flags reflecting the heart of the people so we are already looking forward to the crossing (and JW especially to our arrival).

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