Shivering from the harsh highway wind, I undo myself of my gloves and the buff around my neck. Hastly passing through the doors of MotoPort, Den Bosch. The sound echoing through tells me the presentation of Paul van Hooff has already took off. As I join the other enthusiasts, all sitting on the tip of their seat, it doesn’t take long for me to figure out why they’re intrigued.
Paul van Hooff captures the audience with his storytelling of the 60.000km motorcycle-journey that took him 3 years to complete. Involving harsh terrain, the beauty of simplicity, a different look towards life, gained loves, lost loves and the life changing encounters on the road. Paul is very willing to share his experiences with other enthusiasts.
During the break I quickly start talking with other riders, sharing stories and ideas. When I bump into Paul, I remind him of the message I send him, regarding his book, upcoming presentations and my Going Eastwards plan. Paul’s eyes immediately started to twinkle and he firmly starts to shake my hand. ‘So you are Robert Jan! Great! Congratulations!’ As I am a bit overwelmed, Paul explains that the shear will and determination are the main ingredients for such a trip. ‘Now it’s simply a matter of saving up and doing it!’.
After the presentation we all took our sweet time talking, sharing and admiring good old Guus (Paul’s Moto Guzzi). After a long stretch well into the evening and way past closingtime, MotoPort decided it was enough for today and had to beg the remaining few riders to take their leave. With high spirits and a signed copy of his book Man in het zadel I packed up again and entered the cold towards my bike. Trembling, not because of the wind, but out of pure excitement!