HoboTraveler.com Travel Tips Newsletter
And Updates on Around The World Trip

ISSUE:  039
DATE:  July 24, 2001
TIP:  Your FIRST day in a country:
LOCATION:  Belgium



Ghent, Belgium - Your FIRST day in a country.
Issue 39 - HoboTraveler.com - July 22, 2001
A hobo trip around the world.


~   hobo WORLD CONTACTS, People around the world to help you.
~   TODAY�S TIP FROM THE - �Peanut Gallery�



(Ghent Belgium)

I have arrived, and ready to hobo Europe..
Left the USA and flew to Brussels, Belgium, then
a short train ride to Ghent, Belgium. A big cultural change
after spending the last 3 years in Central and South America.

Feeling confused, but very excited. I feel like I have traveled
�Somewhere over the rainbow�
What is over the rainbow is yet to be found.

I have dreamed of Europe, and hope to find
that dream, or make that dream a reality.
To enter the lands of my ancestors.
See the memories they left behind,
and to understand all the history that came together
to make me who I am.
To stand where they stood, and feel their feelings.
The Europeans say I have no culture, and they are correct.
It all came from Europe. I am here rediscover who I am.
My family left Europe 225 year ago to find out what is
�Somewhere over the rainbow�
The hobo returns.

As we flew east toward Europe. I thought to myself,
�We are flying toward the rising sun to meet it sooner�

I am afraid of Europe because everyone says it is expensive.
South America and Central America was safe. I always had enough
money to pay my way out of danger. Here it could cost me 30-50 dollars
USA to have a taxi take me to a safe spot if I am lost, or in a bad
For the last 3 year I only need to pay 1-5 dollars to feel safe.
Plus I am a hobo, therefore that means a cheap budget traveler.
50 dollars here in Ghent would be about 5 nights in a Hostel, and
maybe 5 less days in Europe.

I am not sure that Europeans like the United States. The USA is
a new thing, only a couple hundred years old, and just a kid, that
makes a lot of noise, full of energy, and irritating their elders.
I think for the most part people do not like change, and they have
and building here that have not change for 1000�s of years.
( Note: My name is Scottish or Irish. I am not sure.)

I am in Ghent, Belgium
The funny part is I feel I have arrived home. The buildings
are old, and new, but mostly older. The streets are narrow, and all the
buildings have 3-4 stories. They appear like row houses,
side by side, and reaching for the sky. Not all the buildings are the
same height
or same material, plus trees, and some grass. Roofs are a red tile,
slate, or
some unfamiliar construction material.

The normal transportation is to walk, bus, or electric Tram
The large trains go quickly between the cities. In the streets you see
of bicycles, and pedestrians. There are plenty of cars, but I have seen
no large trucks, Roads built for horse and buggy, they are do not appear
enough for modern cargo trucks. There are plenty of trains and
an harbor for ocean ships for these duties.

As we walked along red brick streets, we crossed a bridge at every turn.
I am told there are 200 bridges that connects the city together.
Ghent is confluence of two rivers, the Schelde (Escaut) and Lys rivers,
and lots of smaller canals. The bridges open and close to allow boat
traffic on the river to pass, or sometimes they just rise up on
steel cables. I feel at home, with architecture that reminds
me of older historic neighborhoods, stable, majestic and proud.

I am staying with my friend Pascal. The house where
he lives is wonderful. I estimate it is 20 feet wide, side by side
with all the other homes on the street. Three floors and an attic.
There is one person wide stairway in the middle. The house though not
wide, is quite long, with a little back yard surrounded by a brick wall.
The home is warm, and comfortable. The kitchen and bathroom at the
end of the house was added later, and has only one story.

Built when houses had fireplace heat, every room has its own bricked
over fireplace. Now in front of every hearth is a gas radiant heater
that is vented out the chimney. There is a solid wood door on every
room to keep the heat, in or out. Saves on gas I suppose. The walls
are of hard plaster on brick, or maybe some type of concrete.
The windows start 2 feet off the floor and run to the ceiling. In the
they were probably transoms wood windows, but now are have double
pane insulated glass windows. The house is mix of old and new.
Torn between the past and the present. This is a normal house on the

Pascal sleeps in the attic. If you know Pascal this makes sense. Long
and a pony tail he is a modern day hobo. He is working
to save enough money to take off again. He also has a need to hobo
around the world. I met him on the Amazon river where we talked for 18
days while hanging in hammocks together, and looking off the side
of the boat as we ran up the river from Manaus Brazil to Iquitos Peru.

Very common for my hobo friends. Stop, work, save up money
and get on the train and leave. We all know we have friends in the
next city we meet.

I ate a Belgium waffle in the train station. I need to be careful. This
could be addictive. I was thinking that she would give me
some type of syrup to put on the waffle, but no she only warmed it
in a microwave. Having the waffle look, but quite fat. It was sweet an
a little crunchy, not on the outside, but something inside the batter.
Maybe sugar, or spices. The flower could be a buckwheat whole grain.
I do no think this is a breakfast food, but more like having a donut
in the morning, or anytime. What a great tasting snack. It cost 40
or about 90 cents USA, My friend Pascal knows me well, and
points out every shop that sells waffles, so that he can tease
me, and lead me into temptation.

I will hobo around, and meet the people. Talk and make jokes,
and leave a mark on them, as they will leave there mark on me.
Maybe leave a mark on the wall.
Andy the HoboTraveler.com was here.
I will not leave here the same person.
I am sure that most of you think a hobo is a bum, but I found a nice
hobo quote to explain the hobo life.

A Hobo is a person that travels to work.
A tramp is a person that travels and wont work.
A bum is a person that will neither travel or work.

I traveled to Europe to play, to enjoy, to work.
Making WebPages, working in a restaurant, or anything.
Stopping to visit my friends, when they invite me.
Finding interesting hotels, and hostels.
Exploring and looking for new adventures,
Learning how the rest of the world lives.

Hobo-ing around Europe.

�Somewhere over the rainbow, Bluebirds fly.
Somewhere over the rainbow,
Dreams come true.
Somewhere over the rainbow, Bluebirds fly.
Why, Oh why can�t I�

(Quoted from old childhood memory, and probably misquoted.
From the song �Somewhere over the rainbow� sang by
Judy Garland, and composed by Harold Arlen for
for the movie the Wizard of Oz 1939)

Links to Ghent? Belgium Photos


Maybe it will help you to...
Be a hobo.

Life is good.
The HoboTraveler.com

Article written by Andy the HoboTraveler.com
On year 4 of hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.


I helped David Clark with the ropes going through the Panama Canal
He is TRYING to set a world record, by being the oldest person to sail
around the world solo. I will give updates until he arrives.
His boat SANK,
The story continues....
77 years old, he found a new one. YEA !


A big hello to all the sponsors and supporters of the "Mickey"
and the Around the World Record attempt

Thanks to Don Stollmeyer at Power Boat Marina, I had a place
for "Mickey" to call home for the first week following my arrival.
in Trinidad. His willingness to sponsor me to a slip was very much
appreciated. However, I found it was a 12 mile trip by taxi every
time I needed to get into town to accomplish many of the immediate
projects. So, just a couple of days ago, I moved the boat to the
Trinidad & Tobago Yacht Club (thanks to Jean Stampfli) and
will be staying here waiting out the hurricane season (until the
first week in October). Then I'll be heading for the last and final
Just l,500 miles to Ft. Lauderdale and I'll have the world record
as the "oldest person to circumnavigate solo." Lynda and I look
forward to sharing a glass of South African wine with you on the
eighteenth of November of this year, sometime in the early
afternoon at the Lauderdale Marine Center.
It's truly been one of the most exciting times of my life making
this circumnavigation, but also one of the most difficult and certainly
at times the most lonely. There were times when I must have quit
a dozen times a day, but then other times (when the weather was decent)
when it was really quite pleasant and I knew I was in the right place.
The boat purchased in Cape Town, thanks to many of you, has
proven to be outstanding. It's small enough to handle and very
tough, and I really have enjoyed sailing it from Cape Town.

But now that I am nearing the end of this goal, I have to wonder what
life will be like for me after I get back to America and turn into
"just a regular run of the mill, garden variety type of gringo??"
After being wined and dined all over the world, it might be a bit
But on the other hand, it will be good to get back to Lynda and my

So, three months here and then once again I'll be on my way
and after playing music for my good friend Eloy Roldan at the
"Poop Deck," Nassau's finest restaurant, I'll once again (and for the
last time)
raise the sails, haul in the anchor (or as the case will be, loose
the lines at the marina) and head for the homecoming in Ft. Lauderdale
and the end of a goal.

See you all at the Lauderdale Marina Center on the
18th of November 200l in the early afternoon.

David B. Clark, Captain of Yacht Mickey.

David's WebPages is:

http://www.captainclark.com/ (David's son)
My story on him: A man

NOTE: David's adventure will soon be completed.
If you know of another extreme hobo adventurer.
Please reply to this message, and send details.




If you are planning a trip to some exotic land,
then maybe I can help. After hobo-ing around
Mexico, Central America, and South America for
3 years I learned a few things.
In preparation for my hobo adventure around
Europe. I had to re-live some old fears.
What do I need? What to take? Where to go?

The first day is the most expensive.
So you need to choose a city that is easy for you.
To be a budget traveler (a.k.a. hobo) you need to control
how much money you spend, and be safe.

1. Where am I staying? How much will it cost?
Hotel, Hostel, Friends. etc.

2. How much for transportation to your accommodations?
Bus, Train, Taxi etc.

3. What time of day am I arriving?

I do not plan every minute of every day, and every dollar to
spend. Exactly opposite.
I start each day with a amount of money in my head of that I want
to spend that day. I had the number 25 dollars (USA) in my
head for the first day in Europe for everything. Transportation,
room, and food.
I spent 7 dollars.

I always know approximately where I will live.
I want to live free, but if not I read a guidebook and make
2 choices of hotels, or hostels for my destination city.

1st. Have someone pick me up.
2nd. Bus
3rd. Train
4th. Taxi
5th. Walk

I can discover quickly if a city is planned well, or they have no clue.
Nothing make me more angry then to enter a world class city
and I have no choice on what type of transportation I have to
use, and how much it cost. I believe a city should have
a range of prices always. Cheap to expensive.

I recommend you arrive early in the morning so you have the
whole day to travel to your hotel. This allows you to relax and
enjoy the experience of the trip to hotel. Patience is necessary
to be a hobo. The less patience you have the more you will spend.

If in doubt go slower, not faster.
Faster is also dangerous.
One bad decision and you could be alone in a taxi being robbed.

I walk around in the airport, and look at the signs, Trying to
decide my options. I do NOT always know my options, I must learn them.
So I walk around, and sightsee in the airport. Talk to the information
talk to taxi drivers, hotel owners, people I met on the plane.
Finding all the choices available. One good tip is to walk outside the
Look for buses, or taxis, that for some reason are not allowed to
enter the airport.

Do not make a choice until you know all your options. The best way to
get in trouble is to just trust someone. Learn all the options before
leave the airport. Find out personally what the cost of a taxi, bus,
Most people have only one choice in their head.

There are people that must be picked up at airport.
Some have to rent a car.
Some only will take a taxi.
Lots of budget travelers assume they have to walk.
If you know all the options, one will be the best.

Hobo�s do not only want cheap, but more important
is safety. What is safe changes. I feel safer on a bus
than I do in a taxi. I feel safer in a taxi than walking. I feel safer
with people than alone. I feel safer when people do not pressure
me, than when people pressure me to choose.
Do not do anything that does not FEEL safe.
Trust your intuition.

Listen and talk with everyone, and learn your choices.

I am always the last one out of the airport.
I have not had my backpack, or computer robbed in 3 years, so
I must be doing something correct. But the day
will come, when even I have everything robbed.

Are you landing in a city with cheap or expensive hotels?
Starting South America is good in Quito, Ecuador.
Central America is good with Guatemala, City.
That does not mean you cannot fly into an expensive
city where there are lots of flights, and go instantly to a cheap

Enjoy the country, go outside the box, or
cocoon that all the travel agents offer. The guidebooks,
Footprints, Lonely Planet, and Roughguide are my favorites, and
will have great recommendations for budget hotels.
But I do not limit my choices, I often find better hobo deals than
the guidebooks.

I live good.
I like friendly people.
I like clean rooms,
I like convenience.
I often enter a hotel, or hostel that is cheap, and
leave because the staff is not friendly. They decide
whether the hotel is fun. It is hard to enjoy your vacation when
living in a place that is boring, and not friendly.

I have a rule for my choice of accommodations. I find a hostel, or
hotel in the center of the city, close to all the older historical
and attractions. I want to be where there is action. I want the privacy
of my room,
but be able to leave and stroll around quickly. I see more
of a city, and culture when I can walk around a city, and not
have to drive, or take a taxi.

I know I am home, when I walk into a hotel or hostel and there
are lots of people sitting around talking about what to do in
that city.

If you are on a 3 -12 month trip. I recommend you stay
for a minimum of 2 nights at the first location.
This will save you hundreds of dollars. Two day will give
you sufficient time to learn the cheapest way for transportation.
Plus you need time to adjust. Remember...this is for fun, not work.

5 Dollars for train from Airport in Brussels, Belgium to Ghent. (50
1 Dollar for telephone to call my friend.
1 Dollar for a Belgium waffle.
0 Dollars for accommodation because I stayed with my friend.
0 Dollars for food because I ate with them.

Here in Ghent is 12 dollars. Very clean, and in the center.
6 dollars for meals, and I will eat twice per day.
Hopefully cook in the hostel, or a typical meal of this culture.

Andy the HoboTraveler.com

Have fun! Life is Good!

As always, these are suggestions. Please realize I am
giving guidance, and there are always other opinions.
�One mans paradise, is another mans hell�
This way we do not all go to the same place.

Article written by Andy the HoboTraveler.com
On year 4 of hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter
You may publish this article for Free on the internet
If you do not change and this box is attached.


TODAY�S TIP FROM THE �Peanut Gallery�
Here's a little tip from me, to you, as an experienced traveler

Money solves all travel problems.
I remember talking to a man that took his dog from Mexico
to Argentina by land. I ask him.
�How did you get your dog into them countries?�
He said,
�I Pesooooooo-ed my way through!�
Dollar you way out of trouble.
( Hi Mike, Remember this story?)



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