Friday, October 10, 2008

Prince Rupert, Prince George, Jasper, Colombian Icefield, Lake Louise, Banff, Calgary, Vancouver BC, Honolulu

I'm sitting in the lounge at Honolulu Airport, about to fly back to New Zealand. A lot of water, some of it with 80 percent pack ice, has flowed under the bridge in the last 3 months. I can't honestly decide which part was the best. Walking with Mark in the Cinque Terre was unforgettable, both for the warm company, wine and food, and of course the coast and villages – I think technicolour when I think of that area - so colourful and vibrant. All the friends I've stayed with along the way – I've been very lucky. Thank you again Peter, Karin and Solvieg in Denmark and Sweden, all so kind and giving. Mark and all the international London flatmates – what a fascinating bunch of people. And Nancy and Paul in Minneapolis – I feel like part of their wonderful family. Kayaking amongst the icebergs, brash ice and bergy bits in Spitsbergen and Greenland was just so different it's still hard to believe it actually happened. Two weeks wasn't enough. And then there was travel with Neville through the fabulously grand and immense scenery in Alaska and Canada, my 2nd time up to the Arctic within weeks. That Dalton Highway takes some beating, if only for the experience of dodging the trucks. Joking aside, it was amazing. Apparently I overdid the word 'phenomenal'. Hard to know another word that does the wonders justice. The Colombian Icefield was all it was made out to be – except it was even far grander and majestic than I had pictured. Phenomenal even. Elk, caribou, russet and gold squirrels, black bears, and bald eagles – so lucky to see them all. A week in Vancouver BC seeing the sights was a great finish for me, although I wasn't able to do much on Vancouver Island, as it was all winding down for the season. I did find a yacht I'd have liked to buy over at Granville Island – I can send you a pic if you're interested. Two nights in Honolulu, and I'm finally on the way home. I believe that Anna, Noel, Emily and Madeline are in Auckland, and I'm so excited to be going to see them, as well as Alistair and Gail, Hamish and Petra, and Venetia, Jude and Theo, plus Aunty Marg. Family.