The Way It Is

What I like about Australia…?

… And I have great news…

A brand new visa and a brand new Multicycle bicycle.

Me, checking where my bike is born...


New Bicycle

To get those I took a little trip back to Europe where I got the chance to meet my two brand new nephews.

 GijsTieme just suffered a bout of chickenpox when I met him.


But that didn’t stop him smiling…


My niece was only a few months old last time I saw her, now she walks, talks & wears glasses.

They’re gorgeous and (obviously) very cute.

It’s great being their aunty, so I can come, give presents, spend time with them, and then go, get on my bicycle and be free 🙂

Also good about having two recently pregnant sisters was the fact I might finally be able to use their clothes, but as I discovered, the only clothes I could squeeze into were my sisters maternity pants. This didn’t make me happy so I opted for my own old rags that are still lying around.

What to expect after two years in the land of steak and beer…

Better get some exercise I figured.

One Lonely Bike

So I got on my bike and rode around the country to visit various friends and relatives.

On my bike


First up were my grandparents, they don’t mind a bike ride themselves. So the three of us set off on a little trip around their home town of Lelystad. Nothing major you might say. But my grandma is 83, granddad 86.

Opa & Oma

I visited Friedel & Andrew along the way. A Canadian couple who, for the moment, settled in the Hague. They cycled together through a million different countries (approximately) and keep an excellent website with all answers on any question you could ever possibly have about bike travel, and more.

Lars and his Cat

I stopped off at Lars’s place. He just happened to have come back from a bike ride to South Africa. Before that he rode from Holland to Australia, leaving just a little later then I did. Yes, I’m not very fast…

Lars likes his cat.

I convinced mum and dad to go for a little ride to visit some relatives… or now I think about it, they might’ve been the ones convincing me.

Mum & Dad

85km against the wind later we arrived at my aunt and uncle, with who we happily continued riding bicycles.

A family-bike-ride

I enjoyed checking out my country  and seeing how we live here. It is different anywhere in the world but only after being away for ever did I start to find it interesting.

The Netherlands

So I made some living-room pictures to give you an idea…




Mum & Dad's
mum and dad


Dimmen & Judith’s





Tired of cycling against wind I thought of something else to do so I rang a friend and borrowed my uncle’s canoe.

We set off along a busy river and got attacked by a hail-storm. I did wonder for a brief moment if it would be wise to be on the water in a metal (aluminium) canoe while thunder and lightning smashed around us. But then I realized there’s very little we could do so I enjoyed the storm and made sure we wouldn’t sink by scooping the water out and trying to cover up with a sail. That worked.


Dutch Canal

And before long we were on our merry way into smaller creeks and streams where, exactly this weekend, the rest of the Netherlands decided to go sailing/canoeing/’punteren‘ as well…A beer and clogged canals...

We watched them while having a beer.




A few girls I used to work with happened to be in Europe at the moment. So we decided to catch up in Madrid and have a Sangria.

Doris, Kylie &
While in Spain we thought it be a good idea to see a bullfight. Not that any of us was particularly interested in seeing a bullfight but we did think it might be a good idea to see what it’s all about before judging…


The arena was beautiful! But I think all three of us were rather happy to be far away from the actual ring. I was sure about this when my friends left the ring crying after the first bull was murdered…


I did find it interesting how, after a fight the bullfighter goes around the ring and people toss all sort of stuff at him. Not gifts, because he trows it straight back at them. I guess it might be for luck. Mostly hats, jackets, sunglasses but also a live chicken!

The crowds at the fight

Apparently AC/DC played in this arena in 1996. I would’ve preferred to see that. But I can’t say this wasn’t an interesting experience…




David & Kris, old friends

So after two months cruising around Europe, catching up with old friends & family I got back on a plane and I will once again start following the red gravel roads in the wonderful land of Oz. Maybe I’ll find the wicked witch of the west, heading that way. If not a brain…(nah), heart… (ehm), courage… (maybe)… Let’s see what I find along the way this time 🙂

Back to Oz
I still find it a little sad to be able to cover the same distance in 24 hours that took me four years on a bicycle. But I guess with my life-style this is just going to be The Way It Is…


16 thoughts on “The Way It Is

  1. Hi Mirjam,
    Just read your last post and viewed the video…’s just brilliant!
    What a privilege to follow your amazing journey around the world and enjoy all the photos you capture in such a natural way..
    Thanks for including photos taken in your home country and those of your family.
    I love the two photos of the three sisters. 🙂
    Well at long last we are having some decent rainful and for the first time in six years it feels like winter!
    Sadly my mum (89) had a stroke last Monday and is in hospital but she is slowly recovering.
    Cheers to you and your mum and dad….so glad Granny Isabel and I got to meet them.
    Bye for now,
    Granny Shirley.

  2. Nou zeg, wat een leuk stuk en ook herkenbare foto’s! En grappig dat je eerste filmpje nu ook bekeken kan worden.
    Ik zal het allemaal weer snel vertalen voor o.a. de opa’s en oma’s. Die vinden het vast wel leuk zichzelf op de fiets terug te zien op je site.
    Heel veel liefs en fietsplezier, kus!

    pap & mam

  3. Loved it! 😀

    I really hope to run into you again one day somewhere on this planet!
    Happy travels always and enjoy Oz!!!

  4. he wat leuk je impressies van Nederland!!

    Heb je weer een multicycle?
    wi hebben inmiddels een multicycle tandem. Heerlijk!

  5. Hey!

    Grappig. Kris is ook niets veranderd zie ik… Heb je nog foto’s van je feestje? Ik vond het erg leuk om je weer eens te zien en te spreken! Jammer dat ik al snel weer weg moest…



  6. hi mirjam,
    love reading your website. good you are back in oz again and i fully understand your love of the red dirt. i got back from my ride around oz last september. the highlights were the red dirt of plenty highway (boulia to alice) and gigg river road. if ever you are in esperance look me up and i,ll shout you a coffee cat. am here for 1 more year saving,saving and then will head off on the deadly treadly around world. have fun

  7. Hey Mirjam,

    glad u managed to get a new Visa for OZ.
    have fun on your continued travels in the land of Oz.

    Simon & Caroline

  8. Super!!!! Geweldig dat je weer een visum hebt!

    En aan de foto’s te zien was Nederland ook weer gezellig!

    Ik hoop dat je een goede vlucht hebt gehad en dat je snel weer gewend bent aan de andere kant van de wereld!


  9. Hallo Mirjam,

    het is een hele tijd geleden dat ik je een mail stuurde maar nu is het zover, heb alle foto’s bekeken en gezien wat je allemaal gezien, gedaan etc.hebt maar nu weer terug naar de andere kant van de wereld. Hier alles goed en ik wens je weer veel fietskm.toe.
    Groetjes van Riet Souer.

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