Day 28 from Emmerich to Duisburg

The night at the bistro went very well and ended with long goodbyes and hugs from the owners.

The ship was actually starting to load at 5 am, so I set up my travel bag with cameras and personal stuff.  The ship was not in the same marina as the Banana.  So I went back to the RhienWall Terminal building to ask where the ship was.  It was being loaded with containers on the other side of the container terminal in the larger dock.  I realised I had to get around from the marina to the dock by passing a headland, enter the Rhine and go into the dock area.  The Rhine here was moving at about 7km/hr: the motor I use with the banana pushes along around 1km/hr, which means that if I attempted to sail around the headland I would go backwards at 6km/hr; and with the wind blowing towards the bank the Banana would be sent spinning and bouncing all the way back to Rotterdam.

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Day 27 – Emmerich

Last night the bistro owners and some of their customers asked me to return tonight, so I agreed not to look for a boat today.  This morning after a breakfast of voIkornbrot and cheese, I left the municipal motorhome park; a patch of gritty tarmac next to the main carpark, right next to the food oil refinery factory on one side and the set of massive church bells on the other and set off to the bistro to set up my PA system.  I also put the Go Banana on Tour flag on the square outside so that the combination of equipment and flag will let people know there is something going on tonight.  Good for the bistro and good for me as the more people I meet the more chance of a lucky break with getting a boat at some point.

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Day 25 of the Journey

Day 25

Today has to start during last night with a text received whilst in a kebab snack bar in the suburbs of Arnhem.  I had spent most of the day sorting out small problems and visiting ships, boats and small marinas along the port inlet and quay where the larger cruise ships take on board their visitors.

Kings day, the King of Holland’s birthday is on the 27th of April and is an event celebrated with great enthusiasm.  Arnhem was setting up its carnival like stands and scaffolding for discos under the John Frost bridge, famous for the Operation Market Garden battle for the bridge and town of Arnhem itself.  The message was from Eelco; telling me that the freighter next to his house boat was illuminated and people were going on board.

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Day 24 of the Journey

Eelco and Nicole live on the house boat about 1km along the quay from where the main dock is for the luxury cruisers tie up.  I have been stopping each night in a convenient parking place near where other ships and house boats leave their cars, bikes and motorhomes, so mine is nothing unusual.

Eelco works in the studio where I was ‘invited’ to record the one off, first take of the new Banana theme tune I composed whilst mucking about with my guitar.  Set to a new arrangement of the old Latin America la bamba, adding the lyrics ‘banana’ or rather the word banana fitted into the rhythm wherever I can.

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Day 21 of the Journey

A bright and sunny morning with a cold breeze started the day with an optimistic spring like feeling. Last night I found a place for the motorhome along the quay in Arnhem near the commercial docks, away from the town center. The past three days have been completely filled with a whirl of unexpected and amazing chance meetings of people and events.

The photos will be put on the page shortly when I find a place with an internet service with a strong signal and no time limit on usage where I have lost the photos. I have tried to load because the service shuts off.

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Busy and thank you!

In the last two days I have been attacked by a 15c knight, joined a football club on their yearly boating trip, Played and sang with a sixties revival band on stage, interviewed the vice president of a rowing club actually on the iBanana, filmed the banana research centre in Wageningen University, sailed down the Lower Rhine on 135m 1 hr old cruise ship and given a five course luxury meal; then filmed the Captain and many of the crew, then sang last night with another football club, spent the afternoon trying to sort out the mess of files from photographs and videos from three cameras…

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The Journey: Day 14 ’till 18

Day 14 & 15

At what point do I jump in and tell you what is happening?  It seems to me that something is going on all the time, with one thing running into the next.  So I will jump in here, in a café in the small village of Doorwerth, Holland.

My plan to get to the last lock before the Rhine opens out for hundreds of Km has been achieved. The next lock after here being at Mainz, then I turn left and go up the River Main.  The relief in arriving at this lock, where the boats will have to stop to get through was very uplifting, but short lived.  The lock here is huge.  The quay side is nearly 3m above the water and the quay is about 600m long.

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The Journey: Day 5 to 14

Note: Due to the logistics of being in the motorhome, on a boat or, on a jetty trying to get a lift, with the unpredictability of all that entails; it has not been possible to update the blog on a regular basis.

The very nature of this voyage is the fun of not knowing what is going to happen next or where I will be at any given time.  I am writing this in a carpark near a lock, with no internet.  As you are following the progress of the voyage please use the contact page to send me your email address: I will add you to the update list and you will receive notice of when there is a new posting of the blog, photos or videos and arrivals in new towns.  You will then be able to go to the appropriate page to see what has been posted by clicking on the link I will send each time.

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The Voyage – Day 5

Rotterdam.  After the mess caused by the let down by FNAC of the delivery of the camera everything was off to a dis-organised start.  I had watched YouTube videos about the use of the camera but the reality of what can be done with it and even how to switch it on turned the filming process into a farce.  My GPS, programmed correctly took me to an abandoned quay and not the marine training college (STC) which was nowhere to be seen.  I went back to a bar I had seen on the way through the docks where amazingly one of the college workers was having more than several drinks.  He explained with a two-page diagram where the college was.

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