I just spent 26 and a half hours in planes and in airport terminals getting home, and lost two days in the process. The 15th of January just didn’t exist for us.
This is what happens when you fly from Vancouver in Canada to Brisbane Australia, via Shanghai. The thing is, everywhere way, way overseas is a two-stop run. We have to break our journey somewhere, like Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, and for the sake of managing delays at the originating end, we usually end up with a mid airports stay of five to ten hours.
It all means that when you finally arrive in Australia, you are tired, and look it. I feel sorry for the Immigration officials who must rarely see people looking good on their arrival.
This time we were fortunate to get back in the morning. To save being picked up by relatives we arranged for a limousine service, and it worked out well.
I couldn’t say the same for some of the pickup services overseas, but that was more the fault of the travel agent here than anything else.
It only reinforced my thoughts on travel agents, some are excellent, and some are complacent, relying too much on travel wholesalers whose knowledge of the products they sell is appalling.
The original bookings were fine, the agent we used knew her stuff. But she left and someone else took over, and not so good I’m afraid.
On the whole, it was an incredible expedition, from temperatures of 30 plus celsius to temperatures of -21 degrees Fahrenheit, and rarely above 6 degrees Fahrenheit.
The highlight: Lake Louise in Canada. Everyone should see this place in Winter at least once in their lifetime. Certainly, my wife’s 65th birthday, spent there, was something she will never forget.
And the sleigh ride, in -14 or -15 degrees, well, we might be eligible to be declared start staring mad, but seeing the frozen waterfall was just another of those magical moments that reinforces why we should be preserving the planet, not trying to destroy it.
We’re back home and glad to be so.