40 km once but never again or again?

In 2009 I walked the Vierdaagse van Nijmegen (The Walk of the World), 4 days 40 km every day. Afterwards I said 40 km is too far and too tiring, never again. I stayed with this thought till the beginning of 2019. In the meantime I did a lot of walking, even the Camino de Santiago in 2016. I tapped the 35 km a number of times there, but remained below 40 km each day.

Night of the refugees

Night of the Refugee

A few years ago I saw the night of the refugee passing by and I thought I would like to participate. I forgot about it until this year. Someone I knew registered. I asked her about it and she said walk with us. I registered and thought I am walking 40 km again?!

40 km

In 2009 I was 25 kg lighter and in shape. I played tennis at least twice a week on average and I walked long distance once a week. Yet I found the 4x 40 km in 2009 very tough.

Well then what?

I said Yes to walking and the first sponsor money came in. And I occasionally walked the Pieterpad, on average 20 km each time. There were now 5 kg off again and I also made sure that the counter came to 6 km every day.

Oh, I’m going for it

The date was approaching. The weather was bad beforehand. The person with whom I would walk canceled a few days before. Yet I decided to go for it.

The night

On the day itself I tried to get some sleep in the afternoon. It didn’t work except for a 1-hour nap. I did rest though. I am not a night person so how am I going to keep going through the night? I took another bottle of coke cola and a banana.

Skyline Rotterdam

And then it was time!

It was a nice trip. It was very nice to walk at night and very different from walking during the day. I was entertained with beautiful skies and the sound of frogs and of course the skyline of Rotterdam. What was also very beautiful was the walking to the day.The predicted rain did not come and the pains stayed away too. I walked with breaks included from 0:00 to 10:30 the next day. I was a bit stiff, but it went well. I thought 40 km is a bit too far again.

The route

One day later

It was a super experience. Nice experience and route. And a goal that I support. Slowly the thought came to join again next year, because it is a beautiful goal and a spicy but beautiful challenge for your body. So next year I will walk one of the 3 other routes and hopefully then again 20 kg lighter.

Thank you this years sponsors!

The finish

Are you sponsoring next year? 

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7 remarkable things of Berlin

I was for the second time in Berlin. Again for a conference, but also this time I managed to squeeze in some exploring time. These are the 7 things I noticed about Berlin.

Train station

The train station is free to wander. No gates like in Holland which you can’t open without a card with money on it. And it works, So why did NS choose to close everything?

Berlin Central station

Homeless people

Berlin has a lot of homeless people. On every street and station in Berlin they are. Not just one, but a lot. I wonder if it is because of the housing prices that went up through the sky the last years and because of airbnb.

Public transport

There are stations everywhere. So it seems like every corner of Berlin can be reached. And the card system is simple with area A, B and C. It is definitely cheaper than in Holland.

Station

Language

In Berlin they speak German and more and more people are speaking English. Which is a good thing with the loads of tourists coming to town. Even if they don’t speak English, they are friendly and want to help. I asked for directions, but one of the people spoke English. I got there in the end.

Graffiti

Berlin is the capital of Graffiti. There is graffiti everywhere. Sometimes it is nice or functionally and sometimes it is just not art. On the Eastside a whole part of the Berlin wall is decorated with graffiti art.

Graffiti on the Berlin wall

German Bread

German bread is different from Dutch bread. They seem to use more seeds and nuts. Also the bread is heavier. So you need less.

Curry wurst

It used to be a lot of Curry wurst on each corner of the street. Now it is shoarma on each street corner. It is a bit sad, a cultural thing is gone. And I don’t need shoarma I can make it myself or buy it in Holland too.

Curry wurst

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Is Hockney a new Van Gogh?

Someone asked me if I wanted to go to the exhibition of Hockney in the Van Gogh museum. I like the work of Hockney so it was not difficult to say YES! I met Hockney in 2013 on my visit to Bilbao when I visited the Guggenheim museum there. On this play was then his work of the nature of Yorkshire which he painted and filmed with 9 cameras in all the 4 seasons of the year. I was impressed.

Van Gogh museum

I had been to the Van Gogh museum on museum night sometime in the past and last year I went to Neunen. Neunen is one of the places where Van Gogh was very productive in producing paintings. Most of the paintings of Van Gogh in Neunen were about farmlive.

Are Hockney and Van Gogh comparable?

Hockney and Van Gogh both love nature. They even look at nature the same way: They look at details and see something special in ordinary landscape. They both say that nature changes every day. They both liked to see the effect of the season on the landscape.

Hockney painted the same place in Yorkshire again and again in each season. Van Gogh did this in Arle. Both use a technique in their paintings which makes nature move on the paintings. There are a lot of similarities between how the two painters paint, but Hockney uses a lot of new techniques like filming the seasons and painting on an Ipad.

If you want to know more about Van Gogh read my blog about Van Goghs Neunen.

Sculpture Van Gogh

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Cheese, cheese, cheese or too many tourists?

Cheese market Alkmaar

Touristy things

I wanted to see some touristy things in the Netherlands. I have seen some in my youth but I don’t remember much about them. So Good Friday I traveled to Alkmaar to see the Cheese Market. I wanted to go early to be ahead of the tourists, but NS put a stop to that and I stranded in Zaandam. For a moment I thought about doing the Zaansche schans instead of the Cheese Market, but did not want to go there unprepared and was still looking forward to cheese.

On the way to the Cheese market

Cheese market Alkmaar

Fortunately I ended up in Alkmaar with a three-quarter of an hour delay. The Cheesemarkt is a 20-minute walk from the station right in the center of Alkmaar. Follow the mass of tourists and you will be there 😊. In the meantime there were more tourists on the way to the Cheese Market than I thought, but it wasn’t too bad on the big square. In the first instance, I was unable to access the weighing system, so I skipped it and moved on to the square, where I got a spot at the front and therefore had a good overview of the square and its action.

Walking with the cheeses what a chore! I would want to do it. Of course it is now touristy and no longer has a function, but you do get an impression of how the cheese market functioned in history.

The Cheese Museum

Don’t forget to walk into the Cheese Museum. Entrance fee includes a block of cheese. You get a picture of how cheese is made by a movie, posters and interactive screens. On the second floor there is a nice view over the square with the action. Don’t forget to just stand there and watch.

Cheese

Cheese weighing

Back outside the scale area was practically empty and I could see how people were weighed instead of cheese these days. They shout your weight very loud and you get a certificate with your weight. No, I did not feel the need to weigh myself there and get a certificate. So I looked at it and walked on.

You can also make a trip on the canals, but that is only possible with cash, pin is not accepted. And the nearest ATM was through the busy crowd to the other side and back. So I skipped it this time and walked smoothly through the streets of Alkmaar with a detour back to the station.

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Free workspace in the Netherlands

Free working space

As an entrepreneur with no office, I am always on the look for working spaces. In the Netherlands I found three main places which I can make my office for a day or part of a day. All these places have free wifi.

University Library

Even if you are not a student (anymore) you can work in the university library. There are tables and chairs. There are 11 universities in the Netherlands I know of in which you can use the library as a non-student. The plus of the university library is their opening hours. On weekdays they open at 8 and closes at 22 hours. In the weekend they open at 10 and closes at 18 o’clock. So great hours for early and late starters. Toilets are free to use.

Public library

Another library you can use is the public library. The hours are less then the university library, but still good. The opening hours differ in each city. On Monday and Sunday most of them open late, 12 or 13 o’clock. It depends on the city if the toilet is free. Otherwise you pay 50 ct to go to the toilet. There is enough space and there are free newspapers to read.

Seats2Meet

The last one I use is Seats2Meet you pay here with Social Capital. Basically this means someone else working in Seats2Meet can ask you questions about your area of knowledge. When you reserve a space you have to fill in your expertise. Seat2Meet is an open space with tables you can use. There is free coffee and tea and toilet. It is a great way to get to know more entrepreneurs or other workers working there.

So next time instead of working at home try one of these options.

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Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate everywhere

Chocolate festival

In Ecuador, a lot of years ago, I had the opportunity to make my own chocolate on a cacao farm. We harvest a cacao fruit and peeled the cacao. The cacao we had we pulverized. To get some sugar we had to walk the sugar cane mill. The cacao, the sugar and some milk made a delicious chocolate milk. Better then you can get in stores. I can still taste it in my mind…

Chcocolate tasting

Chocolate tasting

So when I saw that there was a chocolate festival in the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam, I had to go. Nothing better then source chocolate. So Saturday 23 February I went to the festival and tasted chocolate till I was nauseous.

The difference is that the chocolate in Ecuador and at the festival was pure no artificial ingredients added. You can still taste a bit of the bitterness. I had a lot of chocolate bars, hot chocolate, beer with chocolate, sausage with cacao and cheese with cacao. Also I had for the first time cacao juice from the fruit. I already had tasted how good the cacao fruit is in Ecuador and Cuba and now the juice. It is a pitty you can’t get the juice in shops yet.

Cacao fruit juice

Good & Bad in Chocolate industry

There were a lot of chocolate with a statement. Rokbar chocolate 100% made and owned by women, empowering of women. Tony’s Choconally with their 100% slave free chocolate.

There was also an environment organization Mighty, which makes sure we know that not all chocolate are produced environment friendly. A lot of bush has disappeared for cacao plantations. This are mono plantations destroying the habitat in which monkeys and other animals live.

More and more chocolate producers and supermarket chains in the world are committing to selling chocolate that tackle issues as deforestation, sustainability and human right issues. In the Netherlands these chocolates are not common yet, but will be in a few years as the chocolate market is changing.

Chocolate with a issue

A resolution

With the fasting period coming up I am making a resolution to myself to only buy chocolate that tackles issues from now on. Are you going to do that to? They cost a bit more, but they taste better and are friendly to humans, animals and our environment.

 

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From Mondi to Ecofarm

Mimi’s Ecofarm

Mimi’s Ecofarm is one of the many small private initiatives on Curaçao and can be found near Fuik, Curacao. It is a Mondi (local forest) turned into a natural farm. This Ecofarm works as naturally as possible. For example, they use fish to prevent mosquitoes. And nets over the baths to protect the fish from birds of prey. They also use water plants instead of filters to keep the water clean.

Mimi's Ecofarm

Organic eggs

The chickens and peacocks walk freely around the yard. So organic eggs are a fact and for sale. The geese and the duck have their own garden with a pond.

PeacockMimi's Ecofarm

Visiting

As a visitor you get a tour of the site along the animals and plants with explanations. It is also possible to fish for a fee, take a foot bath with Tilapia fish or organize a children’s party.

It is a great initiative and a good idea to develop this land ecologically and also to provide nature education for children in combination with fun. There is a true running track with obstacles for children.

Mimi's Ecofarm

So if you are looking for organic eggs, some fishing, water plants or garden plants visit them or just visit them and let them show you around. You can find them on Facebook.

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The history of aviation on Curacao is in save hands

Museo Aeronautiko

Curaçao has a lot of unknown museums which are still under construction. One of them I learned about because my mother and father had worked at ALM, the old National airplane company of Curaçao. This museum can only be visited by appointment and is called museo aeronautiko curaçao.

Museum Aeronautiko Curacao

The visit

So we made an appointment and went to Terra Cora on Saturday. What a surprise a starting museum in the backyard of a collector. Before retiring, he collected everything about aviation and, after his retirement, decided to specialize in the aviation of Curaçao.

ALM

The collection

The owner Cedric Bronswinkel leads you around with a story for each displayed attribute. There has been thought thoroughly about the design. You start with a picture of the first balloon flight on Curaçao in 1912, then some small aviations in the port to the first klm flight to Curacao that took 7 days. Nowadays, a flight takes around 9 hours.

Start Aviation Curacao

A bit further on you will find the program booklet of the show of transfer of ALM shares from KLM to the local government of Curaçao. Also all scaled planes of ALM are displayed and all kinds of merchendaise of ALM.

ALM

The future

After that comes the worldly aviation circus. This collection will gradually make way for expansion of the local collection. The plans are ambitious, but realistic. Each attribute is numbered and provided with a story behind the scenes. They would like to make audio tours of these stories. There are also plans for screens that show films and photos of the aviation history of Curaçao, and especially the ALM time. There is also a foundation in formation and they would like to receive shelter at the airport of Curaçao, Hato.

This project certainly deserves support, because the owner leads you around with a lot of passion and there is still much to tell about the Curaçao aviation. Not to mention the history of Curaçao aviation is one to be proud of and should not be lost for future generations.

Aviation Curacao

So if you still have attibutes about the Curaçao aviation do not hesitate to contact the museum. Donations are also more than welcome.

You can find the museum on Facebook or contact them through email.

Route ALM

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Street art also on the Island of Curacao

Streetart festival Curacao

Graffiti vs Street art

In almost any city you can find Graffiti. Sometimes this street art, when it is painted with permission. Another difference is that Street art is most of the time more than only words, imaged based.

Famous street art

El Bocho

On my travel I have seen some beautiful street art. In Melbourne there was street art of Banksy. In Berlin you have el Bocho who drew Little Lucy killing her cat in different manners. In Eindhoven you have Lempke, the smiling bulb.

Lempke

Street art Festival

On Curacao there is some street art. Mostly in Punda and Otrobanda made by artist. But this time young talents got to show their work in the Streets of Punda with the street art festival held for the first time. The youngsters showed their talents painting the Streets in Punda and some were even aloud to paint murals. It was nice to see. A pity the festival wasn’t visited by a lot of people. There was one painting which stood out, a drawing of a shoe. If you stood in certain angel, you could see the shoe in 3D.

I hope these youngsters get to show their talents in an annually street art festival in Punda and maybe some murals. I will follow how the street art in Curacao will develop, but in the mean while I will look for street art on my travels.

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Summarizing 2018 for Databeet and looking forward to 2019

Sunset at Ameland

Happy New Year! 2018 was a good year for Databeet and me. This is what happened:

  • I finally switch to light weight laptop. It’s smaller, but good for travel
  • I started investing for my pension through Knab crowdfunding and Bright Pension
  • My first co-creation the app Reality Keeper came out
  • I did my first travel hiking vacation as a tour leader and wrote a Dutch blog about it
  • I had my first clients outside the Netherlands on Curaçao, in Spain and Portugal
  • I walked all the NShiking tracks in Noord-Brabant and wrote a Dutch blog about it.
  • I went to a festival about working Location independent in the Spanish pyrenees and wrote two Dutch blogs about it.
  • I finally got to see the famous Giethoorn and wrote a Dutch blog about it.
  • My revenue grew this year too
  • I made my first online course. A big data course for Laudius
  • I got around to start my English website with travel blog
  • I divided my work into two websites: Eyelize.nl for research and Excel and stapvoorstaponline.nl for WordPress and Google Analytics
  • I am doing a small project in French
  • I had pr-exposure 12 times
  • I finished the year of with a Pr-course and making a pr-plan for next year.

2019 is gone be awesome. This are my plans in short:

Early morning

  • I feel it 2019 will be the year I move back to the Randstad. Still looking for something affordable and comfy
  • Improve my Spanish and French
  •  Do 3 city trips in Europe
  • One city trip in United States
  • Go to Curacao
  • Do to trips to the Wadden Islands with Herstelreizen
  • Start an online course on Statistics for beginners in cocreation
  • Publish a book on Statistics in cocreation
  • Do some sightseeing in the Netherlands
  • Hike part one of the Pieterpad (you can join me for part of it or all of it)
  • Get a higher revenue
  • There will be 12 blogs about Research and Excel
  • There will be 12 blogs about WordPress and Google Analytics
  • There will be 52 travel blogs

How was 2018 for you? What are your plans for 2019?

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