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Published: July 24th 2006
So it was on to Nijmegen from Amsterdam and we managed to get on the right train. Thats because Marty was leading the way, not Kerrie!!! We didnt want another mishap like at the airport in London did we now!!!!
We were heading to Nijmegen as Dave's dad Jack was participating in the 4-daages, The 4 Day March. People come here from all over the world to walk between 30-50km per day for 4 days. Crazy people I say but its what they do and it attracts about 45-48,000 people each year. Jack had been in training for quite some time and he was ready to go. But there was one thing against everyone in the March, and that was the weather. More on that a little later.
So we started our time in Nijmegen by getting picked up from the train station by relatives who then took us to our temporary homes. We were staying with a couple our age Sam and Leonie. We had a busy week ahead of us full of relly bashing and it started from the night we arrived. The first night we caught up with Dave's folks and some other relatives, Sjef, Chantel,
Kees and Gerrie. We had a big feast and a few drinks then settled in for the night. Although the sun goes down so late here it was about 11pm before we knew it.
That weekend it was BBQs, BBQs, BBQs!!!! It was also a chance for Dave to meet family he had never met before, and there was a lot of them. BBQs are a little different over here compared to Oz. You have to cook your own. It is actually a good concept though because you pick what you want and then you cook it when you want. You cook a little at a time and you eat all night. We loved it!!! The Saturday night before the 4 Day march the city starts to party, so we headed into town to experience the nightlife. 1000's of people everywhere but it was a great night that ended up with all of us very drunk and Leonie and Dave jumping in hedges.
After the weekend of meeting relatives and BBQs galore it was off to Efteling, an amusement park. It is targeted more for children but we still managed to have a ball on all the roller
cook me in kerrie sauce and feed me to dave
coasters and kiddy rides.
The next day, Tuesday, was the start of the 4 day march. The weather had been getting hotter and hotter while we were here and it wasnt going to let up any time soon. The March starts about 4.30am and the walkers have until 5pm to get over the finish line. Jack managed to complete his 40km around 6 1/2-7 hours which was around 1.30. He was lucky as the weather kept getting hotter and hotter. We were about 4km from the finish and new things were getting bad when ambulances kept going past. That day of the walk ended in tragedy with 2 people dying, 5 people given CPR and in a critical condition and about 300 people getting treated for heat related problems. And to make the situation worse, the weather was going to be getting hotter in the week. That night we headed out into the city for the fireworks and to continue the party. On the way the organisers of the march announced that it was cancelled. A huge let down for everyone, especially Jack, but lives were at risk so they had no choice. But the party still continued the
rest of the week, even though there was no walk.
The Wednesday we popped over to germany to pick up Mel. We left a few hours earlier witha relative, Sjef, who took us to the Village of Eldik and to towns in Germany before the airport.
The rest of the week we visited family and went out for a few more nights on the town. But, all good things must come to an end and tomorrow it is time for us to continue our journey onto Italy. At the moment Europe is having a huge heatwave and Italy is averaging about 40 degrees everyday, so at least we can't say it is cold!!!
So tomorrow we are off to visit the Pope........
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