At the last minute, leaving Dubai for Amsterdam, I managed to find a storage place for our bicycles thanks to Nathan, the young Zimbabwean receptionist of our guesthouse. Michele had already left for Geneva the day before to support April.

I arrived late in Amsterdam and it was too late to take a train to Zwolle where my mother lives but fortunately I had a “Warmshower’s” address with our dear friends and fellow cyclists Luuk and Nina whom we had met in Regensburg. Thanks Luuk and Nina!

Next day I saw my 95 year old mum, who had severely burned her hair, scalp and hands due to standing too close to the stove and her scarf catching on fire. It was an emotional moment! It was also good to see my brother John and take over some of his care for her.

It’s a mix of photo’s this time as it was a mix of emotions and locations. My mother is an exceptional person. She is doing well.

Amsterdam by night
My Mum

My mother, recovering well.

I visited Michele and April in Hautes Nendaz. For April it was the end of her season due to her broken ankle so after 3 days we went back to Amsterdam together. Michele stayed to finish her work which she took over from April, then left to join me later in Dubai.

Dubai Old Town
Dubai Festival
Dubai Festival

Dubai is a rich city full of high tech sky scrapers. This modern part of Dubai is very commercial and called “The Shopping Capital of the Middle East”. I thought it looked artificial and felt soulless. It is mostly built by migrant workers such as Indians, Nepalese, Bangladeshis and Pakistani under questionable circumstances. (as noted by The Human Rights Organization)

Whilst trying to find storage for our bikes we met a Nepalese waiter who offered to help us. When visiting his place we saw his small bedroom with bunk beds where he lived with 7 other Nepali. They typically work 12 or more hours a day, 6 days a week to save money to send to their families which they do not see for years at a time. 

We stayed in the old city on Dubai Creek on which traditional Dhow boats sail and that on one side has a promenade with low rise buildings made of Adobe in the original style. Although touristic, life here is more tranquil and you find hotels, restaurants, shops and souks. We had a pleasant stay in the Barjeel Heritage Guesthouse.

The Atlantis Hotel