« Europe Rules | Main | Moksha at The Channel »

September 20, 2007

Basecamp Chez Nathalie - Belgium

Click on image to play video (high speed connection advised).

LOCATION: Denderleeuw, Belgium
Longitude: N:50deg.53'54.
Latitude: E: 004deg.03'31.
Kms from Istanbul: 3,078

I haven't known Jason, nor the expedition, for that long, only about six months, yet I have been most fortunate to attend two arrivals of him. The first one at sea in Djibouti with the boiling hot sun beating down on me, the second one at the front door of my house here in Belgium at 7pm last Tuesday, freezing my a** off.


I live in a small provincial town called Denderleeuw, west of Brussels, not really famous for anything I'm afraid, and certainly not for expeditions passing through! We are at about 100 km from Oostende, 'de koningin der badsteden' (queen of seaside resorts), at our Belgian coast which will be the real end of the expedition's land stage through Europe that Jason will bike to on Saturday.


These past 48 hours my place has turned into the expedition360 hub. Wire cables all over the place, phones ringing, sms beeps, etc. A very nice buzzing atmosphere in which lots of work is done, yet with zero stress levels.

I have been helping out Jason with the logistics for Moksha and her trolley since a few months, finding a good place for it here in Belgium, arranging the transport to that place, making lots of calls, getting frustrated and even angry sometimes at the incompetence and illogicality of some people and instances, and at the outrageous EU standard rates.

Today Jason had a 'bad Flemish day' so I helped him arrange for the transport of the boat from Antwerp to Ostend tomorrow, not a simple deal again trying to get a payable and fast solution – we needed to find both a crane and a suitable trailer and synchronize both rentals - but for some reason it felt like a piece of cake this time. Jason's presence really has a calming effect on me. I'm amazed at how comfortable and at ease he deals with all the emails, calls, requests, and impossible situations. A multi-task and time management master who actually gets a lot of work done in one day. I have worked in places where some people didn't get through half of this amount of work over a week!


Through all the work and activity going on I haven't really had time, except at this very moment of writing, to ponder about how spectacular and wonderful this whole circumnavigation really has been. I now kind of start to realize that the expedition has not only been Jason's life, it also has a very unromantic aspect: it's a damn fulltime (non paid) job that requires total immunity to stress and disappointment.
And then for me it is quite hard to grasp the meaning of this end because I feel like it only just begun last March...

I recommend everyone to have an adventurer over at their house once in a lifetime, it is an interesting, uplifting and definitely fun experience.

Looking forward to meeting all the other adventurers and supporters in Greenwich. In the meantime Jason and I will already raise a few glasses full of delicious Belgian beer to the end of his incredible journey that is coming soon!

Cheers - Nathalie


Date & Time: Saturday 6th October, 2007 at 11.30 am.
Location: The Royal Observatory, (Flamsteed House), Greenwich Park, London, SE10 9NF. t: +44 (0)20 8858 4422

Map & Directions

All are invited. Look forward to seeing you there!

Expedition 360 support team

Posted on September 20, 2007 10:32 PM