Shades in Hollandse Rading.
It was pretty busy on Sunday. Of course, I went to church. After church I did the usual tour, Hollandse Rading and Eemnes. In Eemnes my daughter in law gave me a Led-lamp from the garden covering. In each beam of the covering there are 4 led-lamps. These lamps get broke rather often and I am asked to find out where you can buy new ones. Back in the flat in Amersfoort I find some angry people because of experienced bad behaviour: the coffee machine is dismantled because somebody appeared to have tried to burn the electricity lead. In the washroom the machine that was due to be replaced was toppled over and all the soap-pads where spread about the room. One of the new inhabitants is clearly out of his mind, which is not a surprise. Fortunately, one of the washing machines is still functioning properly, so I used that one to do my laundry around midnight.
I had a notice of some uneasiness and yes, on Monday morning my nose started running at high speed. I did not feel very well and concluded: I got a flu, at last, for the first time in years.
After midnight on Tuesday I was still busy trying to overcome the cold, the running nose and the sloppy feeling, when I was alarmed by an extremely noisy lot of people in the common kitchen. I went there and saw four new tenants cooking. They were, at the meantime, trying to discuss matters unknown to me in such loud voices that one could hear them through the whole flat. I made my point: no noise after 22:00 o’clock and cooking hot meals after midnight is stupid. They reacted very impolite, arguing totally out of line. Another tenant came to my aid and I went back to bed. I noticed, fortunately that most of the noise had ceased.
For Tuesday and Wednesday, I had appointments, to visit my sister in Ridderkerk and a friend in Rotterdam. I rang them on Monday already, to cancel the appointment.
Halfway Wednesday I did receive a package, ordered from a web-shop. The package is a food-dryer which I intended to take with me next week to Norway, for my brother there. I had already complained about the fact that delivery was so late, since they had stated on their site: delivery in 5-6 working days, and I had ordered and paid at the 19th of December 2017.
At Thursday we experienced a storm across the country. The storm had such a magnitude that a code red was given as a warning. The storm is in the past 200 years one of the worst. Lorries were blown over, roofs were blown off blocks of houses and many trees did not survive. Casualties were not to many: only three people died as a result of the storm.
Watermain leak seems over.
On Friday I went to search for the Led-lamps and fortunately I did find the type I had been looking for, at least I think so. I bought one specimen to try next Sunday. I it is alright, I go back there and buy more.
Out on the street, I noticed water coming from down the road. I warned the house caretaker who rang the waterboard. They came to mark the position, but did not feel the need to start digging to find a suspected leak in a watermain. On Saturday I went to see how that ‘leaky’ spot was looking and saw it being dry. I wonder how that is possible.
Argentina on horseback. 1999, January 14-20.
The 6th travelling day is a good one. I start with a bath in the ice-cold water of the small stream. The scenery is terrific, hilly, forest and the first sights of pampa. The traffic passing me, is always careful and waving and hooting. I see many unknown birds and end the day again along the side of a small stream. The next day I arrive at Punta Maria and ‘park’ at the home of Mr. Martinelli, the minister of economic affairs. He is not at home. A number of men are busy preparing banners and boards for the oncoming elections. When Martinelli arrives, I am invited into his private quarters. My horses are taken care of by some of his men. I enjoy this pleasant hospitality, enjoy the splendid view across the ocean and the food I am presented. I get a place to sleep in a large barn with a lovely burning woodstove.
Jut and Jil are not easy to handle today, they walk with their bellies pushing one another, causing the luggage to shift. It is a bit of a fight, with terribly blowing wind, a large bridge to cross which they do only when I walk with them. I get help from lorry drivers and other passers-by. I am shown a way to shorten the distance to Rio Grande by 10 km, through the country without signs of course, but I manage to find my way. The last part I get the police to escort me into town to a hotel where I can fence of a tiny area to contain Jul and Jil. With a taxi I go to a shop where I buy a large bag of food for Jut and Jil. I the hotel I hire a room. Early the next morning I hear a horse neigh. Looking out of my window I see only Jil: Jut is gone. We call the police and start looking. At the petrol station they have seen him. I find Jut in someone’s front garden, busy mowing the lawn. Today it happens 5 times. Jil is quietly staying where he is. At one of the escape sessions, Jut is playing with me. He sees me, runs away into town, sometimes taking time to eat some of the grass and rolling over. It is amazing to see how the locals react: no problem and even some joy.
The sea shore is extremely flat and during low tide, you don’t even see the waterline anymore.
Monday morning: Jut escaped again and stays grazing in the middle of the main road. With an arm full of hay, I walk up to him and this time he just follows me back to the hotel. The cleaning lady is nearly ready with doing my laundry. At breakfast, with a view across the ocean, the only thing you see is total emptiness.
I need a vet and I require documentation from Senasa. The documentation is necessary to cross the Chilanian part of Tierra del Fuego and the Magellan straigths. The situation at the hotel is not ideal to say the least. I get an option to go 11km into the direction of San Sebastian at ‘the mission’. The hotel owner, Daniel Ringa is a local trader, his wife Adriana is running the hotel. Three kilometres away from the hotel, they run a Gaz-supply business from home. They have a lot of fertile land and I am allowed to stay with them there for as long as I have to wait for the necessary paperwork.
I did have a very nice time there with ‘grandpa’ and the children Yamila(13), Mamimiliano(10) Santiago(7) and Florencia(5). Jut and Jil have to share the grounds with a one-year old filly called Pan. I am allowed to reside in a shed on the grounds. I sleep very well there and it is amazing to see Jul and Jil appearing in the doorway every morning, waking me up.
The days with the family Ringa are very pleasant. During the day I am caring for Jut and Jil and talking to grandpa and playing with the children, they are on holiday. With grandpa I drink maté nearly the whole day. I show him a lot of things, also in writing. At one of these sessions I get to know that grandpa is illiterate. He knows it and it does not bother him at all. When I make some comparison between Argentina and Holland they are amazed: inhabitants per km2: 11 in Argentina/450 in Holland. Inflation in Argentina: 80% against 6% in Holland.
When the veterinarian arrives, Horacio Pico, his verdict about Jut is devastating: he judges Jul unfit for the journey we are doing. He suggests me to go to Estancia Maria Behety, where they breed and train horses. It is Wednesday and I have to call tomorrow to make an appointment to visit the estancia.