Today’s adventure

I’m sorry but you’ll have to forgive the lack of photos. It was not the kind of day that inspired them. Well yes. I have one:

It’s an old photo of Zurich. Just because I spent enough time there in the really long customs lineup. But then my backpack was waiting for me and I made an insanely fast connection to Sargans.

That’s where the trouble (ahem – adventure) began

I walked from the train station into town: 1 block. I found two hotels. Both were full to the rafters. Wandered around tired, sweaty and hungry. I was directed to the other end of town. One more hotel. It was full. It is now 8 pm. I am very tired and very hungry. I stop strangers in the Street. Where is there a room, I ask?

They tell me there is none. I accost two old men gabbing in a front yard and ask them. They get out the phone book and call all the surrounding areas. No go.

I walk back to the railway station. I can sleep on a bench – use the public toilet. I have no options.

I stop by the Hotel Post one last time. Please? I ask. Have you looked everywhere? Do you have a broom closet?

Well, the owner says. We did have one room free but it was reserved. They called and just this minute cancelled.

I have a suite for the price of a single room. Yes, a suite!

And I am eating a fabulous salad and I have showered.

That was my angel looking after me.

On another note, as soon as I got on the trail platform in Zurich, I had a feeling wash over me – the one that always comes here: the feeling of being at home inside my skin. Looking out the train window, the landscape felt like home.

It’s an amazing feeling. And I don’t know why it happens here but no matter. It just feels like a blessing.

Tomorrow I begin to walk!

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London

Notably, this is the first time I’ve seen a cloudy sky in weeks. Yes, I mean real clouds and not smoke pretending to be clouds.

I intend to enjoy them because it seems my Swissair flight is delayed by an hour or perhaps a bit longer.

I got a whole 20 minutes sleep on the plane. But I did put the night to good use: watched “the shape of water” and played an awful lot of trivia.

Still feeling surreal. I mean, what the hell am I doing at Heathrow?

Getting a touch tired of airports. Trying to sleep last night on the plane: pretended I was home in our extremely comfy bed, cuddled up to my sweetie’s back.

Sigh.

Sure will be nice to get on the next plane, even nicer to get off the next plane and get on a train. (Just consider this to be trains planes and automobiles – the sequel!

Then nail down a place to sleep in Sargans. Then hit the trail.

Whew!

Might have to track down some lunch…… did you know that airline meals now consist of make-believe dollhouse food? Yup – one or two bites and all gone. But they compensated for lack of portion size by removing all flavour. That way, you’re there isn’t any more.

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Airport

This was my view today flying from Kelowna to Vancouver.

Smoky?

Just a tad.

And below me, wherever there was no mountain peak, was a wilderness of clearcut. Impossible to describe how shaved and ruined the land is. So shocking I didn’t have the heart to take a photo.

But on to other thoughts. Our flight was delayed by an hour. Apparently, there are an awful lot of delays these days. So I’m rather glad I had a nice big buffer for my connecting flight to London.

I had a late but yummy lunch (panini) and an excellent Whistler chocolate bar and a nap. Thrilled I found two seats side by side without a bar between them in a fairly secluded corner. Such are the exciting wins of air travel

I have admit, however, that this entire experience so far feels utterly surreal. Odd to be travelling alone. Already missing my love. And the puppies, of course. At the same time, enjoying the experience because I like travel – I like the rootlessness of it. I like the unknown factors of what comes next. Perhaps that’s why a long walk appeals to me so much – moving every day.

Still another couple of hours before my next flight leaves. Until then, I will wander and enjoy being a gypsy of sorts.

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One More Sleep

Nope – not there yet – but soon.

One more sleep – getting up at the crack of dawn tomorrow and driving to Kelowna (Simon driving) and then – I’m off.

I have pretty much finished packing. Very proud of self for the good job I have done. The main compartment of my pack is only half full – and we know what that means: plenty of room left over for many, many pounds of chocolate for the trip home.

I suspect I will not be able to life my pack on the last day.

That is, of course, as it should be. What’s the point of going to Switzerland if you’re not going to OD on chocolate? (Sprungli Grand Cru)

So – that’s it. Picked a big salad from the garden for dinner tonight – and that means mostly tomatoes and cukes – best tomatoes ever!

Stay tuned for updates on the trip.

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Bucket Lists

First – thanks to Sheila Sinkie for the photo taken yesterday at Ben Hur!

Next – end times. Yeah – what a cheerful topic that is. But let’s leap into it.

I used to scoff at the notion of a “bucket list.” Just do what you do and live your life, was my attitude. And now, maybe I am re-thinking it all. I read a great piece today in  The Guardian – a famous. older scientist who has been advocating for life (no other way to put it) all his life. He has predicted trends and the way the world is going with pinpoint accuracy. He says it’s too late.

I think he’s right.

What particularly struck me about the article was the bit where he talked about politicians and people in general looking ahead to the end of this century – he considers that short-sighted. What about beyond and beyond and beyond?

Good point.

He also noted that if we were to stop burning all fossil fuels today, it would be too late. And no one is about to give up their car or their next vacation flight, let alone a job or profits.

Hence my question, “If not now, when?”

I feel I need to give this entire issue great thought. I am also grateful to my love, who was on this before I was – and who understands the seriousness of our situation. In a way, he has dragged me kicking and screaming into pulling my head out of the sand and facing this square on. Like most people, I didn’t want to confront the bare, honest, ugly truth. After all, who wants to live their life in a state of fear/stress/anxiety/despair?

But here we are – we have a massive unhappy truth facing us. We are reaping the seeds of destruction that we have been sowing for a very long time.

The question is, what now? I won’t pull the blankets over my head and hide – not literally anyway. I won’t take a cyanide capsule – my work here is not finished.

It starts with going to my beloved mountains in two days and spending 3 weeks hiking in the alps – and I won’t force thought – I will let my mind travel down the paths it chooses, trusting it will pick good ones.

After that, I come back to my love – I think/hope that together we will find a way.

 

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Ben Hur

The Ben Hur trail – a trail to love if you enjoy crossing logs high above a rushing creek, huge, massive, endless boulder fields and a trail that goes up very steep – (very).

And so we went. The first lake was pretty. The second lake was stunning – one of the prettiest I have seen.

And, as luck would have it, we were probably in the only relatively smoke-free zone in BC.

It was a long day and a great day. My crowning accomplishment: after bum scooting over the log crossing on the way up, I said “to hell with it!” on the way back and boldly walked quickly over it. And survived!

I even managed the massive boulders. Maybe not quickly – but I got through them!

And that’s it – the last hike here for me for a while. Three more days and I’m off!

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busy

Basically – too busy to blog today – running around and doing stuff including paperwork, insurance, banking, shopping, dog walking.

Hiking tomorrow. – feels like a day off.

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