We are in Vancouver, yay! I am currently lying in bed with the laptop on my lap and do my very best to stay awake to what I find an acceptable time for a very short afternoon sleep. And no that is not at 11 am, to my great sorrow. The flight went well. We were again treated to the same delicious dry falafel salad as on our first flight. And what a joy! We were selected three times for an interrogation about our travel plans. It already started in Iceland (!) Where we were questioned by the ground steward, in Vancouver it continued. Oh well, we’re in Canada, that’s all that matters! Before we left we still had a small situation. We had forgotten to enter early and couldn’t check into seats next to each other. That will be uncomfortable on such a long flight. So whining and begging at all info counters at the gate. The first could not do anything for us and suggested an upgrade to business class. It turned out to be € 1000 per ticket! The lady at the second counter office could do a little more and placed us in front of each other on the aisle. But the third counter was a hit, this lady could place us next to each other, yay! The persistence paid off! As a bonus we had a nice neighbor, a physical one physicist who was searching for “dark matter” using Bolzmann equations. The view from the plane over Greenland was spectacular! Unfortunately I always catch a cold from the air conditioning, and I always forget about liquorice to take against the cold. This time I was lucky because yes .. liquorice turns out to be an Icelandic specialty and at the airport I was able to have a nice one buy a large bag from the duty-free shop (and there is no gelatin in it by default, joepi) Anyway, it turned out to be too late in the day, I already had a cold from the first flight to Iceland and the second flight, a lot longer, didn’t make things better. When we started to fall I noticed that moisture had come behind my eardrum during the flight and I had not could do more. Shit, that hurts! Quickly put a cup on my ear and waiting anxiously and hoping that my eardrum would not burst. Fortunately, everything survived but it was not pleasant!

The past few days have been tiring. In addition to my cold, I had a headache, I also suffered from a jet lag, as if there was a fog bank in my head. Sleeping wasn’t really possible. Up to now, every night around 4 am I am completely awake again, then it is already light and the sky-train starts to ride. Even earplugs and our homemade sewn together eye masks with lavender from my mom’s garden don’t work. I follow all anti-jet lag tips (actually just what you should always do, lots of water, healthy food, no alcohol and on time to bed) except “no coffee”, that’s just a bridge too far, real coffee after all that horror coffee in Iceland! We haven’t had much time to catch up on sleep yet. On Monday and Tuesday we have been busy getting the bikes free. Of course, the first time it turned out that some things were missing in paperwork and the engines were not cleared by customs either. So with a stack of paperwork instead of our engines sent away again. Everything neatly solved and the next day we were successful. Bikes were unloaded. It’s always an exciting moment when you have put the parts back together to start it and see if it really works again. Arjette’s bike started after starting a few times, after which we could drive to the gas station and fill up. Erik’s bike however had too little gasoline to start, and the battery wasn’t completely full, luckily on the way to the gas station we got help from two very friendly Canadians who had jumper cables and we shook the last bit of gasoline to the right side to just make it to the gas station. It was nice to see that everything had arrived safely because it didn’t feel good to me. We were warned in advance that some loose goods were sometimes stolen and that we had to pack them well. We had both motors secured in their own steel frame which we were allowed to pick up for a box of cakes at Motoport. We then carpeted them. But when they were picked up and lifted into the truck, it turned out that the wood didn’t hold to well. As an emergency solution, quickly put some lashing straps around it. But because the shipping company had promised us that the packages would be sealed in plastic, we thought it would be okay. Unfortunately when we asked them about it afterwards, it turned out that sealing was not possible at all. Fortunately, when we just picked them up, we saw that someone neatly drilled new screws into the panels and fastened it extra well with rope. Nice! Thank you! It is nice to have our trusted motorbikes and all our stuff with us, even though our little hostel room is bursting now.

Now we finally have a bit of time to recover. And that is necessary too. My cold is slowly diminishing, but I am still very tired. It is also an intense week, especially with the Iceland trip in between. Today a week ago we flew to Iceland and have not taken a “day off”. My pedometer has turned green all week! Erik had even walked 17km on one day without even realizing it. We should have rested for a whole day, but on Monday morning (after we arrived on Sunday evening) we started out at 6 am. Yesterday I moved too fast. On our first “day off” we went skating, there is a huge skate park near the hostel. Then with the sky train to Vancouver Downtown and from there to the Stanley park. There would be beautiful totem poles that I wanted to see, and it was nice by the sea. But I was already tired after skating, but I in the end wanted to do a bit of sightseeing in Vancouver … Once in Stanley park it was super hot and we had not yet had lunch. Suddenly all fatigue came out. Once walking back towards the tram I almost fainted. Shivering and sweating with spaghetti legs I went on the bus. I felt so bad. Of course it was in the middle of a busy shopping street and we then had to take one more bus and two subways and a long walk back to the hostel. There was no place to lie down anywhere and I had already eaten all the snacks. The whole way back I felt terribly faint and had to put my head down every so often. Eventually reached the hostel without fainting but man man, really not nice! Eaten a huge plate of pasta of which I fortunately quickly recovered. Now I’m just very tired. Today I am wise and stay in and around the hostel. Downtown Vancouver was fun, by the way, and Stanley park too, we saw our first bold eagle and a seal swam in the harbor.

Fortunately it is very nice here. So we are in a hostel, yes, a real one, with backpackers and all. And with those notes on the fridge that you have to label your food with your checkout date and that you really have to do your dishes immediately and not leave them in the hope that someone else will do that because they also want to cook, haha . Nostalgia! In a private room though. We have outgrown the dormitories. But it’s not such a party hostel. In fact, there are quite a lot of travelers our age and even two other motorcycle travelers. We do this often and it works great. A private room in a hostel is often cheaper and less impersonal than a hotel. A big advantage is that you can cook yourself and you have a little chat with others. We have met all kinds of people here. Our hostel is located in a cozy Asian hodgepodge neighborhood. Everywhere there are people with an Indian background, the women in beautiful dresses and the men with turbans. There are also a lot of Chinese people walking around and I worry every time if old Chinese men cross a road and the traffic light starts counting down, will they make it or not? You can’t do that to those people!

Erik has no jet lag, by the way. He says … but he has been forgetting his stuff for 3 days. Monday after his customs visit he phoned very sad because he had lost his coat. Then he went again to the warehouse, customs and the supermarket to look for it. It turned out it lay downstairs in the hostel kitchen and he just didn’t take it with him. Also Tuesday I found out at the bus stop that he had forgotten his coat again. Run back to pick it up. Once back at the bus stop, he turned out to have forgotten his money, back to the hostel … no jet lag …! But together we manage. He seeks out all metro routes because I find that too confusing now, and I pay attention to his stuff haha, teamwork.

If I have recovered enough, we drive on. The plan is now to take the ferry to Vancouver Island.


I’m typing this blog on the plane to Vancouver. Below us we can see Greenland with beautiful snow fields, glaciers and floating ice floes in the sea. Last Thursday (July 18) we left for Iceland. From Rheden we took the train to Schiphol and it was a bit exciting to see if we would be on time because the direct train from Arnhem to Schiphol had had a collision and was out of service, so we had to go all the way via Den Bosch. But it went well, just in time. With 2 hours and 45 minutes flying you can already be in Iceland! You can even go there by car if you take the ferry from Denmark. We spent the first night in a guesthouse on an industrial site. Not the most romantic place but chosen because it was close to the rental company and so we didn’t spend too much time the next morning picking up the camping car. The Guesthouse was great. Simple room and shared bathroom and kitchen. There were especially many Asians of whom I think work in the area.. The falafel salad from Iceland air on the plane was really dry so we went to the dominoes and had pizza in our room. The water smelled of sulfur, but that is normal there. Especially that morning when everyone had showered, the entire guesthouse smelled like rotten eggs haha. anyway there is a bit of sulfur air all over the island, but I’ve got a cold from the air-conditioning so I could no longer smell it.

Picked up the camper van on day one. It all went smoothly, and there was a giveaway shelf where people left their unused products. Super handy hehe! Off the bat I got half of my shopping list in the bag, that saves, Iceland is definitely not cheap. The car was a kind of volkswagen caddy (but then from Dacia) with a bed in it and a kind of self-built construction that we could cook on. That is actually all you need, especially if you only go for a few days. Exceptionally, I had already mapped out the route in advance. We only had a few days and you don’t want to have to figure out everything there. The great thing about Iceland is that if you love nature, you can see lots of fantastic things in a few days. Everything is relatively close together and usually a 5 to 10 minute walk from the main road. Driving a car there is easy. After filling the car full with groceries, we first drove to Thingvellir NP. There is the fault line of the North American and Eurasian continent. Then we drove to Geysir … you know, that huge geyser! Very touristy but fantastic to see. Entirely in a crack because we were unable to take a selfie with the spitting Geysir in the background without looking surprised. Then to Gullfoss. The most fantastic waterfall I have ever seen. In Norway and Morocco we already saw very high and beautiful waterfalls, but this one was mostly very wide and wild. At the bottom, the water disappeared into a huge gap. After Gullfoss we drove south to Kerid. A collapsed volcano with a beautiful crater lake and lava in all sorts of colors. Then off to watch puffins fly up and down the top of a cliff to get fish and occasionally landed just a few meters next to us. There were also beautiful black beaches and basalt columns in the sea. We slept in Vik. Which, according to a friend, should be a bustling city where you can have a drink in the evening. We have seen only a campsite and a few cottages. Somehow we missed Vik or we didn’t drive far enough. We made food there, completely covered in a sweater because of the flies. Anyway, sleeping there also went well even though it was not really getting dark. We were far too tired from all the impressions to be bothered by it. All those little walks start ticking at the end of the day. My pedometer (yes, yes) counted 16,000 steps (about 12km) at the end of the day.

The next day we drove back along the same road and saw that we had driven past a beautiful glacier that we had missed the day before because of the clouds! Because it was sunny, We revisited the puffins so that Erik could take more pictures. Then to another huge waterfall, Sollfuss. Where Erik took off his shoes and walked into the icy water to find the most beautiful place to photograph (what did I write about a hobby that got out of hand?) He entertained a number of Japanese tourists with it haha . Drove on, to a glacier with a beautiful lake where ice floes floated. Very tempting to canoe in, but of course that is not allowed without guidance and so on (due to pieces of ice breaking off). Very impressive to see. And of course bathed in a thermal bath. Not the blue lagoon because we thought it was too touristy and expensive (and Erik secretly doesn’t like mud haha), but a pool recommended by the same girlfriend somewhere in the mountains. You had to make a short walk but you get rewarded, that the worn dressing-room looked like a hovel actually made it even more beautiful. At the end of the afternoon we went to a thermofield with more geysers and I could take a foot bath in the warm mud. You could also cook an egg in the geyser and eat bread baked in a thermal oven. At the end of the day, completely exhausted, perched on a beautiful (free) campsite by the sea, amidst a colony of terns that attacked Erik when he came too close to photograph them hihihi.

What a country Iceland, so beautiful! For all people who think “oh I always want to go there again” Just do it! Just to drive through alone is fantastic. Lava fields with flowers, mountains and cliffs with waterfalls everywhere, the landscape and vegetation are constantly changing along the way, and we have actually only seen a small part. Yes it is expensive and touristy, but if you search a bit further there are always affordable ways. If you go for longer than a week it is probably cheaper to go with your own tent / car or camper because renting is quite expensive. And of course you don’t have to go in high season, shoulder seasons are nice and not that cold.

This morning before we flew we took a quick coffee in Reykjavik, but the city actually isn’t too exciting. Maybe it was because it was a Sunday morning. The coffee here is not that great either by the way, that’s a bit of a shame. Everywhere it is a weak cup of coffee, some looked even more like tea than coffee. After days of drinking saggy coffee, we had turned our hope to the hip hipster coffee bars with overly friendly American waitresses in Reykjavik, but even there it wasn’t much better haha. Fortunately we received a free refill, jeej ahum. Off to Vancouver!