Ready to fly away.
This week started differently. My friend Hanke flies to Switzerland and I offered to take her to Schiphol. Apart from that I am taking care of her dog Toots for the duration of her trip. So, I have been busy on the road. We arrived early at Schiphol, allowing us to go through the necessary procedures in an easy pace. The gate for planes to Switzerland appeared to be far away from the central hall. I was told that Schiphol has divided Europe in sections, in order to diminish the travellers pressure in the central hall. After the departure of Hanke, I drove to Amsterdam IJburg to take some documentation to the guy who is planning to go to Argentina, for a couple of weeks horse riding in the Andes.
Back in Amersfoort, I have to change my daily practice, dealing with the needs of Toots. I walk again four times per day and I like it. When I am not walking, I am writing Christmas greetings to friends and family, 3 cards at a time. Each time when I am walking the dog, I put the 3 cards to the post-box.
Paving work on the way to the post box.
My lodger Toots.
In the flat I take Toots with me each time when I go down to get coffee. She barks to everybody and sometimes people are taken by surprise. Nobody however is showing any opposition to her. I tell them to ignore Toots and when they do, she just goes without barking and seeks her own people for a cuddle.
I was asked to transport a sea gull to Naarden and a hedgehog to Huizen. The next day I went with their containers to the sanctuary, walking through the forest. On the way back, I let Toots go free, just to try if she would return to me at the sound of a whistle. To my relieve she did react immediately.
On Saturday Hanke came back from Switzerland and I brought Toots back to her in Hollandse Rading.
It was nice to have Toots here for a week, no problem.
Argentina, Ushuaia, 1-12-1998.
My Australian friend left on the Russian Icebreaker, on the 22nd of November. I took her there and listened to the lecture about this trip and the work of a group of scientists. The leader of this group is a Dutchman, Rinie van Meurs. I watched the departure, waving to my friend Ros.
Ushuaia, Ros from Australia and me from Holland.
Today, the first of December, things start to move a bit. The owner of the Centro Hipico, called Adolfo, takes me to a trader. First, we drive into the wild, behind the trader in his truck with food for the horses. He uses a megaphone to call his animals. After his call, you see horses everywhere, totally wild, kicking one another, biting around and defending their part of the food sprayed out in the field. After feeding, the trader takes us to a place where he keeps the horses they use for work and rodeos. Here I get my first trial and I am absolutely satisfied. The horse reacts fabulously and the trader tells me: this horse will do your trip and if not, just call me and I will make sure you get another one. That is quite something. I bought this horse, a criollo gelding of 9 years old.
I am now feeling properly ‘in business’.