Date: 21 December 2000,
Howdy folks, (American)
We have not moved very far since our last newsletter, but have been
very busy nevertheless. In Los Angeles we contributed a great article
to the magazine Motorcyclist. Great because it's going to be about twice
the size of any of our previous articles. Great because it covers our
first full circle totally and gives very good impressions of what our
travels around the world have been like. And great again because it contains
about 30 of our greatest slides. Unfortunately we have to wait till at
least March or April, before it will be published.
For those in Germany we have good news too, as Motorrad Gespann is also
going to publish about our world tour, as is Two Wheels in Australia,
Motor in the Netherlands, Travel Africa in the UK.
We made a loop through California and Nevada the last two weeks, as
we went up to meet some friends in Fresno, Sacramento and in the Coast
Ranges north of San Francisco, where we met Ted Simon. We could have easily
stayed a week, letting our minds research what we have been through these
past four years, the difference between now and 1977, when Ted had come
around the world. Ted will go around the world again starting next year
and we look forward reading his reports.
We also visited another school with our project "The World on a
Children's Drawing". Thanx Diane and Pete, for organizing everything
so well. Diane also organized a replacement for our old notebook, so we
went from 250 Mb to 1.3 Gb and from Windows 3.1 to Windows 98. Wow, great!
In Nevada we came through Death Valley, a magic place with moon-like
landscapes, bold rocky mountains, deserts with stumpy bushes and a coyote
that tried twice to attack our rolling front tire. The road through the
Death Valley will bring you eventually to Las Vegas, one of the craziest
places on earth we've been. It's decorators paradise though and we ended
up knocking on all the walls in the hotels to know if they were fake (you
know, hollow pillars that carry the basilica on Piazza San Marco that
is reconstructed in hotel Venetia). In the same hotel you can float the
Canal 'Grande' in a gondola and if the driver is willing, he will sing
'Oh solo mio' with an American accent.
We wandered from hotel to hotel, saw all the free shows possible (some
great ones in Circus Circus; the beautiful fountain show in front of Bellagio.
Too bad that the pirates from Treasure Island were absent. Then the gambling
madness. You see people throwing money in these thousands of slot machines
like it was waste. If you are winning or not, the machines always have
some bells ringing that are exciting, give you the feeling that the next
pull will win you mega-dollars.
One thing we forgot to tell you in our last news report was that Ons
Tannie is singing a beautiful song the whole day. She rides perfectly,
smooth, not missing one stroke or using any oil. Thanx to Yamaha Australia
and Yamaha Netherlands, who generously supported the overhaul of her engine.
We are back in Los Angeles now and plan to start travelling South before
the end of this week. Have been busy preparing to go to Japan and Russia
next year, but want to wait till spring, and look forward to visiting
Mexico and Guatemala again.
We wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Rob and Dafne de Jong
Ride-on World Tour