A lot of people have asked me what the trip highlights were. I usually ask them for a category; do you mean natural scenery… cultural… for partying… for beaches… for hiking… for ancient ruins… give me a clue!
But what I have come to realise is the best thing I did was go to Canada at Christmas. And, that is why I chose to go back en route to England instead of going to see America in New York like Liam did. Plus my cousin had now had her second child, a little boy called Thomas who was now a month old, when else would I be passing this part of the world to meet him?
So, once I had managed to pass immigration (I was all expecting to be sent back to America or even Costa Rica considering my recent track record) my cousin met me at the airport and we caught up. Her trying to carry my rucksack for me was pretty amusing… she was adamant that I wasn’t getting it back but I expected her to fall backwards at any second.
The rest of the family were going to Salt Spring Island where my Aunt lives the next day but I stayed in Vancouver an extra day. There was a heat wave whilst I was there so this involved a lot of relaxing in the sun after the last few days.
We went down to Canada Place to watch the outdoor movie (Back to the Future) with a picnic, managed to catch up with Fay and Dave who I met on the Inca Trail back in January (and now live in Van) and smashed up all the front of my phone tripping over my cousin. Only me.
Then I headed to Salt Spring for the weekend. It is a different place in summer, and I spent most of the time on the deck watching Lil play in the paddling pool adamant on catching all the last minute rays I could. It was so relaxing, and the surrounds are just beautiful. I probably said that back at Christmas…
In Vancouver I just helped out with day to day things like taking Lil to swimming lessons and groceries. It was a welcome change from the madness of the last six months and probably a good stepping stone on the way back to England, normality, and the rest of my life. My dad does keep reminding me how difficult I am going to find the transition.
I managed to sneak in an evening with Nichead and Sean, though unfortunately Harold and Harriet the Hummingbirds failed to show up to the party. Next time I see Nic will be back in England – hopefully it won’t be too far in the distant future.
Before it felt like I’d really arrived it was time to go. I really hadn’t given myself enough time in Vancouver, but I hadn’t wanted to impose on Kate and Dave too much whilst they were adjusting to having a new born in the house again. There was just enough time for a family Thai and then it was back to the airport.
It was hard to leave again, especially as Lil seemed intent on me coming back as soon as possible.
I was sent back to England with strict instructions to ask my Mum and Dad firstly, if I was allowed to have a sleep over with her, and secondly, if I could come back in the Spring. I promised her if I found the money I would, the likelihood of that after Asia in January being very slim.