My trip to Mauritius

I leave for Toronto for a 6-day layover on the red eye, Friday morning, March 24.  I will be in Toronto until Wednesday, March 29 when I fly out of Toronto and head to Frankfurt, Germany.  There, I will have a few hour layover before making the final leg of the trip to Port Louis, Mauritius.  This is the story of my trip.  Enjoy…

Thursday, March 23, 16:00 MDT

Dropped the dogs off at Treetops Pet Resort. Twix wasn’t too happy, again. Blondie and Hera are used to it and love it there. I hope what they say is true, that a dog’s concept of time is different than humans. I’m sure they’ll miss me, I know I’ll miss them. Have fun girls 🙂

 Thursday, March 23, 23:40 MDT

I’ve checked in and my luggage is hopefully on its way to the plane. The flight is delayed, leaves Calgary now at 1:20. So, my arrival in Toronto is now for after 7 tomorrow morning. I’ve emailed work to let them know I’ll be delayed, not the end of the world.

I’m sitting in the Air Canada Lounge and although it is free booze, I’m drinking a Coke. I’m so adventurous. Nice to relax a bit. I can board in an hour.

Sunday, March 26, 7:10 EDT

The flight, although delayed, was uneventful. It was a 767 which I have never flown in before. We were an hour late leaving Calgary, arrived in Toronto at 7am. I was unable to get a rental car since my credit card did not arrive in time, I guess applying for it three weeks prior and them sending it on March 9 isn’t enough lead time for the useless Canada Post. Oh well…

I spent part of the morning in the office, then went for lunch with my Aunt and cousin, we went to the Mandarin, excellent food. I then headed to Niagara via MegaBus and my friend picked me up at 7pm. I made it though the day with no sleep and had one of the best nights rest in months.

Saturday was my friends memorial. He passed after a lengthy illness. The ceremony wasn’t religious, neither was he. It brought back many, many good memories and made me realize that I will truly miss my friend. He was one in a million. Although his wife cringes at the thought, I still say I want to be like Barry when I grow up. RIP my friend, you will be missed by anyone whose life you’ve touched,

Saturday night it was Duff’s night, pizza and wings. I had Hawaiian, I’ve grown to love it and this was an excellent example, great food. The wings were also awesome, crispy and saucy. It was good seeing friends who I haven’t seen in a year years and we all had a good time. We talked about childhood (MP), baseball (KJ, SJ), dogs (everyone) and whatever else came up. I was the only,one who knew everyone but everyone chatted between themselves too. Had an excellent evening.

Today, breakfast at the Greasy Spoon in St. Catharines with my sister and brother in law and I’ll drop by their place to meet their dogs. They are my nephews after all.  My host and hostess are the. Taking me to the US, I’ll use my passport for the first time. We are doing a little shopping and then going to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch.

Back to work tomorrow. Bus ride back is booked early in the morning. Three days at work, lots of food planned and then off to Mauritius.

Tuesday, March 28, 5:00 EDT

I worked for a few hours on Friday, uneventful morning. Had lunch at the Mandarin with my Aunt and cousin. I was up all night so I crashed for an hour or so on the couch. Got to St. Catharines at 730pm. Had a relaxing evening.

Saturday, T and I took JR to his indoor soccer game. Was the last game of the season, he played well and was into the game, a rarity I’m told. I attended a friend’s memorial, heard some great stories. You’ll be missed, Barry.

Saturday evening, a group of us went to Duff’s in St. Catharines, amazing pizza and wings. Good food and good company, how can the evening go wrong.

Sunday morning I had breakfast with my sister and brother in law, it was nice to catch up. We returned to their place so I could meet my nephew dogs, Cooper and Shadow. We went for a quick around the block walk as well.  My hosts and I went to Buffalo in the afternoon, Walden Galleria and the Cheesecake Factory, amazing food.  I returned to Toronto Monday morning.

Work on Monday was typically busy. I had dinner at Red Lobster with my Aunt and TB, more good food. Thus far, this trip seems to be about food, today’s no exception.  Tuesday is Buffet Trifecta Tuesday, I hope I survive.

Thursday, March 30, 2:00 CEST (Central European Summer Time)

The flight from Toronto to Germany was how you want all flights to be, uneventful. It was a 787, the planes keep getting bigger. I had an isle seat, no one was in the middle seat so there was some room to spread out a bit.

We were late leaving, this seems to be a common theme for recent flights. The meal was good, a pasta dish. My entertainment system worked this time, that was good. I had the flight details on the middle screen. Nice knowing where you are.

I’m in Frankfurt, Germany waiting for the last leg of my journey. No sleep thus far, hopefully I’ll get some sleep on the next flight, otherwise I’ll be a zombie.

We leave in a few hours, so I’m killing some time. No German sausages that I can find, oh well.

More from Mauritius, tomorrow morning.

Saturday, April 1, 4:40 (UTC+4)

I was unable to find any German sausages in Germany.  Well, I am sure there are lots in Germany but there were none that I could find in the airport.  There were lots of Italian restaurants, I think the German airport was confused.  Oh well.

The flight was on-time.  I had a window seat for some reason, not sure why.  Not a huge deal, not much of a view either since it quickly got dark on the flight to Mauritius.  It was an uneventful flight, I found ways to pass the time.  One of the ways was NOT sleeping.

We arrived in Mauritius, on the opposite side of the island from where I thought we were landing.  I was under the impression that the airport was in Port Louis, where I am staying.  It took just about an hour to clear customs and security and pick up my bags.  I was happy that my luggage followed me from Toronto all the way – I didn’t have to do anything with it in Germany which was good.  I found my driver fairly quickly and we made the trip across the island to the hotel.  I have never driving in the islands before but it is true what they say, they drive “differently” here.  They speed, tailgate, cut in and out, motorcycles pass between rows of cars.  Quite nuts.  Pedestrians DO NOT have the right of way either, except at crosswalks.

At any rate, we arrived at the resort.  It is on the water, there is a marina connected to the resort.  Check-in was a breeze since my work is paying for everything.  The room is quite nice – two levels with the master suite on the second level.  The main level has a living room, kitchen and bathroom.  I could get quite used to this.

I caught a much needed shower – no nap though.  I decided to try to make it through the day and not sleep until night-time here.  The last time I slept was a nap on Wednesday afternoon.  I made it anyway, went to bed shortly before 9pm last night and slept until almost 4am.  That’s good – for me anyway.

The weekend is free time.  The guys in the Mauritius office have planned some beach activities and I was invited – thanks guys.

Now I am just relaxing until breakfast time.  This should be a good three weeks.

Sunday, April 2, 9:15 (UTC+4)

On Friday night, I went to bed at 9pm and woke up at 4am, sort of typical for me, except that I had not slept in a while.  At 5am, I decided to have a nap before breakfast.  Well, the next thing I knew, it was 11am.  That was the longest I’ve slept in ages.

Around noon, we got picked up and headed towards one of the many beaches in Mauritius.  The guys from the office had food and drinks all planned out, they were really well organized for a bunch of 20-something bachelors.

We swam in the Indian Ocean a few times, including one night swim, watching the sun set to the West.  Dinner was bbq chicken and sausages, really good.  There are a bunch of stray dogs around and I befriended two of them and shared some food.  They even trusted me enough, eventually, to let me pet them.  They looked like Lab crosses, not sure what they were crossed with though.  Don’t worry Blondie, Hera and Twix, you’re still my favourites.  🙂

We got back to the hotel late, after 10:30.  The day zoomed by for sure, of course, weekends always do.  Today will be lower key, I think we are going to do a little shopping and go to the Indian restaurant for food.  I am working afternoons for my duration here, 3pm-midnight so days will be free.  I am sure three weeks will go by pretty quickly.  I am enjoying myself but am looking forward to going home.

Monday, April 3, 2:00 (UTC+4)

I am writing this entry at 2am, I went to bed around 10, maybe a bit later but my body seems to have not adjusted to Mauritius time as yet…  I do plan on going back to sleep but after tossing and turning for an hour, I figured I might as well get up and do something.

There isn’t a lot to watch on TV.  I think there are two English channels that show movies and 2-3 sports channels – one is rubgy, one is cricket, neither of which I understand, and the other is soccer, a sport that I at least understand but can’t stand.  So, TV is out…

Today was a good, relaxing day.  We went across the marina, there is a food court.  I had Maylasian fried rice dish, it was one of the best fried rice dishes I’ve ever had.  I will return to that place for sure.  We went grocery shopping as well.  Interesting items in the store, not too many that you’d see in Canada but some.  For dinner, we went to an Indian restaurant.  A little upscale, but that’s OK.  I had butter chicken and rice, was very good.  I have been buying butter chicken from M&M Meats back home and this tasted very similar – I always thought the M&M one was good, well, if it is as good as an Indian restaurants, it must be good.  There was definitely enough for two meals so I have a doggie bag and will have it for lunch.

We are planning on goin to a market in the morning.  We don’t start work until 3pm so days will be free for the rest of the trip.  I hope that I can stay awake all evening, need to get back to sleep.

More tomorrow.  Enjoy Monday.  🙂

Tuesday, April 4, 11:35 (UTC+4)

Yesterday we went to market.  It was sort of like a chaotic flea market back home, VERY chaotic with vendors doing their best to sell their wares.  Lots of stuff to buy, just about anything you can imagine.  I bought some t-shirts and Dodo Bird stuff and some postcards as well.  I am sure that I will land back in Canada before the postcards will, but that’s OK.  Had a good morning anyway – it was, per usual, hot and humid.

Back at the hotel and a second shower of the day, I was off to work.  We walked, 25 minutes or so.  Likely safer than driving, and quite likely about the same amount of time.  We are working 3pm – midnight.  BDO provides us dinner as well which is nice.

I slept well, over 8 hours.  I am relaxing today, not going anywhere, until work.

Wednesday, April 5, 18:30 (UTC+4)

Last night there was no internet access at the hotel, still no internet this morning (nor when we left for work this afternoon).  The WiFi is working in the lobby so it is another issue, hopefully will be resolved by the time we return tonight.

I woke late today, was after 10am.  I went to bed late as well though, after 2am but slept for more than 8 hours.  It would appear that my insomnia has left me, at least temporarily.  I will see when I get home.

We went for lunch with a former Mauritius BDO employee, had pizza and it was excellent.  I will be back there for sure.  It was a very relaxing day otherwise.  We got a ride into the office today.  I can shop around Calgary where I have lived for 5 years and not see anyone I know.  Today, we are walking towards the office (20-25 minute walk) and in the one market area, we see one of the Mauritius guys.  He drove us in and wasn’t an insane driver like so many others here.

It is already dark and the shift is 1/3 over.  I plan on swimming in the pool tonight before bed to cool down.  Tomorrow, we are being picked up at 9am for some sightseeing and lunch so I think I will set an alarm – for the first time in ages.  Should be a good day.

Thursday, April 6, 17:00 (UTC+4)

The internet was back on when I got back to my room this morning at around 12:30am.  I was not up for long, read a chapter or two and then went to bed.  We had an early start this morning, I actually used an alarm for the first time in years.

We did some sightseeing today, toured the southwest part of the island. Got some beautiful pictures of the ocean and cliffs – not good for swimming, too much coral.  I will be adding pictures later on.

Plans for the weekend may change, depending on weather.  They are calling for thunderstorms.  We had planned on going back to the beach so we may not be able to.  We will have to play it by ear.

There is a mountain, essentially beside the hotel that we are thinking of climbing.  There is a road for access, the views would be amazing.  It apparently takes an hour or so to go up the road, no vehicle access.  I am sure I’d get some great photos from there.

Friday, April 7, 14:30 (UTC+4)

Let me talk a bit about the driving and drivers in Mauritius.  Not having had the opportunity to visit and of the Caribbean islands before, I have not experienced “island driving” first hand.  Well…

The pickup from the airport I experienced a mini-Indy circuit on the trip across the island to the resort.  It was first thing in the morning so the morning rush was in full swing.  On the highway, the drive was quick – the speed limit is 110kph and many cars did a LOT faster than that.  It would appear that drivers of BMWs are still the arrogant douches here that they are in N. America.  BMW must have an international training course for purchasers of their vehicles.

Motorcycles swerve in and out of traffic, often driving down the middle of a line of cars, at regular driving speed.  Drivers tailgate, cut in and out, don’t use signals – all of the things we are trained NOT to do back home.  I didn’t actually feel un-safe, possibly because I was so tired.

The trip from the hotel to the office on day #1 was something else.  Often, it would appear that we were about to rear-end the car in front of us, only to have the brakes applied rather hard at the last minute.  I felt unsafe on that quick trip.

Today, we were picked up to go for lunch – we were meeting one of the Partners and two Directors.  It was an interesting experience, to say the least.  Luckily, it was a short ride.  Red lights and stop signs are apparently “suggestions” only and are treated as such.  From the restaurant to the office, we had a good, safe, sane driver – I’ve requested him specifically for the remainder of my trip and he will be taking me to the airport.

The taxi-ride back to the hotel at night (midnight) is much more relaxed – of course, the roads are also dead.  Did I mention that they drive on the opposite side of the road to what we do in Canada?  That, perhaps, adds a level of excitement since everything is backwards to what I am used to.

I went to bed last night at 1am, or just after that and didn’t wake until 8am.  That, my body decided, was not enough sleep.  I woke up for a second time at 11:20 and only had 25 minutes to get ready.  I feel refreshed today.  Lunch was at an upscale Indian place, I had chicken and rice done with local spices – quite tasty.  Espresso finished it off – I am now manly enough to drive espresso black.  Congrats to me.

It will be a long day at work, we are here from 2pm until midnight.  The weekend’s weather forecast does not look to be the best so I am unsure what our plans will be.  My co-worker leaves on Sunday so hopefully we can do something memorable.  I still have over 2 weeks here.  I am enjoying myself, but I am also looking forward to heading home.

 

Sunday, April 9, 14:15 (UTC+4)

Yesterday I enjoyed sleeping in rather late, got out of bed just after 11am.  For now, the insomnia that I had is gone.  I am hoping it does not make a re-appearance when I get back.  We decided that we would climb one of the local hills.  From the hotel, it did not look at that large.  We walked there from the hotel, about 2.5-3km.

As we approached, the hill looked larger and larger.  There was a paved road to the summit, I guess they did not want people killing themselves trying to mount it via dirt trail, at some points, on the dirt, it would have been a 70-degree incline.

As it was, we are guessing some of the inclines on the path were between 50 and 60 degrees.  We also started out around 2:30pm so the sun was at its hottest.  We made it up in about an hour and enjoyed the view from the top.  The steps to the peak were a series of little speed bump like things, likely to assist with traction since it was VERY steep.  At the top was a building for the various cell towers.  There were a couple of benches to relax on which was good and some large trees.

The trip back down was much, much easier, as one might guess.  My calves were buring though, you had to keep balance to stop from falling of course.  We rested for a bit at the bottom before making the trek back to the hotel.

We met the Russian Ambassador to Mauritius on the climb, he was out for a daily walk.  He put us to shame though – beat us to the top by a good 20 minutes and he is over 20 years my senior.  Was a nice guy, we chatted for a bit, his English was perfect.

On the way back, we stopped in the grocery store and by the time we got back to the hotel, we were both exhausted.  I had a bath in the soaker tub, the first bath I’ve had in years – a bubble bath at that.  It was relaxing.  Today, my lower body is rather sore.  So is my upper body for some reason – that climb was a full body workout.  Well, I can say I’ve done it, but I think I will pass the opportunity on my two remaining weekends.

Monday, April 10, 14:00 (UTC+4)

Yesterday was a day of nothing.  I slept in and lounged about all day.  I watched a couple of movies, Vacation (remake of National Lampoon’s Vacation) and The Punisher.  My guide for Mauritius left, returning to Canada.  He will be happy to see his wife and son.  The guys in the office have offered to be my guide for my remaining two weeks – they are very helpful.  I didn’t do anything today either.  Recovering from the soreness of the climbing of that hill has taken longer than I would have expected.  I must be getting old.

I am heading into the office shortly – it was raining a bit earlier but is clear now so I will walk.  It is only 2km or so to the office so not too bad.  I take a taxi back to the hotel at night as walking through some part of the city isn’t considered safe, when you’re walking alone at night.  I’ve booked a catamaran cruise at the hotel on Thursday so I am going to work from the hotel that day since it only runs Mondays and Thursdays and leaves at 5 o’clock.  Should be fun.

I will be home in two weeks today.  I am looking forward to the reunion with the dogs.  I’ve never left them anywhere near this long before and hope that I don’t need to again.  I know they are doing well – they will be exhausted when I pick them up, I am sure – more tired than I was after climbing that hill.

Tuesday, April 11, 16:40 (UTC+4)

I have taken it rather easy the last two days, doing very little in the morning other than read or watch a movie.  Very relaxing.  Today, I relaxed on the lounger on the patio outside my room, it wasn’t hot, 27C and nice breezes from the ocean.  Very nice.  Walked into work, it is good exercise and I prefer it over driving.  Safer, I am thinking as well.

I am planning on going for lunch with one of the Mauritius guys on Friday and do some shopping.  I am looking for a wooden Dodo bird that will fit in with the collection of carved animals my sister and brother-in-law have gotten me over the years from the islands.  Something around 6″ tall would be perfect.  I also need to find some bandanas for the dogs.

I am enjoying myself, but I am ready to come home.  My trip here is only 10 days old but I was in Ontario for a week prior to coming so it all adds up.  Looking forward to returning to Canadian soil.

Friday, April 14, 16:20 (UTC+4)

No update for a few days – nothing really happening.  Relaxing in the hotel in the morning and working afternoons.  My insomnia seems to have left me which is excellent.  I am going to bed around 1am and sleeping in until at least 9am and typically not waking up during the night either.  That is more sleep than I’ve been getting since mid-November.  I’ve been walking to work daily and my Fitbit says I am getting my daily steps in.  The heat and humidity doesn’t bother me now, so, if I ever decided to return to S. Ontario, I could survive.  I am perfectly happy in Calgary though.  🙂

Speaking of Calgary, winter is holding on.  In Cochrane, where Blondie, Hera and Twix are staying, they had a few inches of snow the other day.  The pet resort posted some videos of the dogs having fun.  They do look happy, which is good – I hope they will be happy when I pick them up in 10 days, even though that still seems like a lifetime from now.

I did not end up going on the cruise yesterday.  The weather was poor, thundershowers all afternoon and I was unable to work from the hotel.  The internet is not good enough for a stable ongoing connection.  I could try again for Monday or Thursday, but I think I will pass on it.  Next time…

Nothing concrete in the plan department for the weekend as yet, it is going to depend on the weather.  I am sure something will come up, perhaps another trip to the beach.  I saw they have parasailing at the beach we were at a few weeks ago, that might be fun.  Something will materialize, I am sure, and if not, I will relax.  Maybe spend some time in the pool, or the bar.  Sunday is Easter Sunday.  I am hoping that the Easter Bunny will make a delivery of chocolate, but I won’t hold my breath.  The hotel has an Easter Brunch on Sunday.  It is 1800rs which is about $65-$70, rather pricy for a brunch.  I was encouraged to go but I can’t justify spending that much on one meal.  Happy Easter to those who celebrate.

Monday, April 17, 10:35 (UTC+4)

Saturday was a pretty miserable day, it rained for most of the day and some heavy rain too.  I didn’t leave the hotel except for a quick excursion to the food court across the marina to get food.  Chicken/Hawaiin pizza was very good.  The debate goes on and on whether pizza should have pineapple on it or not.  A few years ago, I would have been in the dead set against it group, now I love it on my pizza.  I accidentally bought one about two years ago and instead of taking it back (it was on sale, it would have cost as much in gas there/back as it cost me), I baked it up and ate it.  It was amazing.  I guess I had always underestimated the amazing pineapple.  I was able to get it back to the hotel between downpours, mostly…  The pizza box was wet, luckily, the pizza was not.

Sunday I went on another adventure to the south-west and south-east parts of the island. Some amazing views of the Indian Ocean for sure, I did not go swimming though, just didn’t feel like it.  The weather was great, was a cooler day and party cloudy so no blazing sun.

It is a week until I am back in Canada and I am looking forward to returning.  It has been a fun two+ weeks here.  Not much planned, other than work, for this week.  I do want to catch the horse races that are right across the road from the office on Saturday, as well as tour the 1600’s fort right near the race track.  Sunday will be a low-key day as I fly out Sunday night.

Tuesday, April 18, 15:25 (UTC+4)

Nothing really going on this week during the day.  I might be doing some short morning tours a day or two if something comes up, but I am good with relaxing at the hotel.  Saturday is my last full day in Mauritius.  I am going to tour a French fort from the 1700’s and then go to the horse races that are right across the street from the BDO office, weather permitting of course.

I have a late checkout at the hotel on Sunday.  I plan on having breakfast and then packing my stuff and getting ready for a rather long flight home.  I take off at 10:30 pm headed for Paris, it is a 12-hour flight.  I have a 4.5-hour layover in Paris and then a 7.5-hour flight to Montreal, 1.5-hour layover and the final segment of the flight is to Calgary, just over 4 hours.  I will get back to Calgary on Monday evening just before 7 pm local time.  I plan on hitting bed as soon as I get home and sleeping.  I will get my dogs from the pet resort first thing Tuesday morning.  Life will return to normal – we will get back into our regular routines.  I have the week off of work and don’t start back until May 1.  It will be good to get back to a regular routine, that’s for sure.

Thursday, April 20, 14:45 (UTC+4)

I was sitting relaxing in my room yesterday morning, looking out the patio doors and was not able to properly see the other side of the marina, it looked like heavy fog.  I started to hear fire truck sirens and when I went outside to check what was up, a yacht was on fire.  The fire crews showed up a few minutes later, I can only imagine that navigating the tight streets of Port Louis and getting around traffic would be insane.

When it was finally out, there was a blackened, melted shell where there was once a very large yacht.  I am sure that the owner was not too impressed, I hope it was insured.  It didn’t appear that anyone was injured which is good.  Quite the stink from melting plastic though and the smoke was intense.

This week has been low-key.  No real activities in the morning.  I wake up around 9am (going to bed between 1 and 2) and get up before 10, it is the relaxing life for sure.  Walks into the office haven’t been too hot which is nice.

My final two days in the office, today and tomorrow.  The guys have shown marked improvement and will continue to get better.  This weekend, I might be able to throw in the multi-coloured dunes, one of the guys in the office wants me to see them before I go, that will be cool.

Next week, when I am home, I plan on adding pictures to the blog for those of you who are interested and not my friend on Facebook.  More on Saturday.

Friday, April 21, 16:45 (UTC+4)

Today is my last day to work in the office in Mauritius.  It was very hot and humid on the walk in.  Since it is Friday, I am wearing jeans, something I typically would not do when it is 31C and humid.  The office is cool, at least.

Plans are not settled for the weekend, I am sure they will be in the next while.

I am being picked up for the airport at 6 pm on Sunday.  It is about an hour trip, maybe a bit less, so I will arrive in lots of time.  The flight does not leave until 10:35 pm.  I arrive in Calgary just before 7pm on Monday night.  I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed – it has been a long time…

Tuesday, April 25, 6:00 (MDT)

Saturday in Mauritius was a relaxing day.  I didn’t go out other than to do a little shopping and get food.  The day zoomed by though, I was looking forward to getting home.  I arranged for a late checkout on Sunday which was no problem, they didn’t have anyone checking into the room immediately.

Sunday morning, one of the guys from the Mauritius office took me on an excursion to the south-central part of the island, a National Park.  We had a birds eye view of a rainforest – absolutely beautiful.  We also saw the 7 coloured earth, sand dunes that separate into 7 layers of different colours.  I napped Sunday afternoon, knowing that I don’t sleep on planes.

I got an email notification to check into my flight on Saturday online, so I tried to and got an error message that I was “on stand by” and would need to check into the flight at the airport.  I was not sure what they meant by “on stand by”, to me, that means I don’t have a seat.  Apparently, it doesn’t mean anything other than there was some sort of issue and I needed to check in at the airport since it was a breeze once I got there.  I had a 3+ hour wait for the flight to board.  Flying time to Paris was right around 12 hours.

I was told, in Mauritius that once in Paris I would have to pick up my bags and check them back in, Air Mauritius apparently can’t transfer them to Air Canada.  OK, sure.  After I got off the plane, I followed the signs for baggage pickup.  I walked, according to my Fitbit, almost 2km and then had to take a train to a different terminal to get my luggage.  OK, sure – that makes sense.

I also had to go through customs.  The line was insane.  Hundreds upon hundreds of other people ahead of me.  I found two nice ladies in line with me from the US and we chatted for the hour and twenty minutes while slowly moving up the line.  I have to say, for the number of people, the customs guys did a pretty quick job of getting people through.

I was able to find my bags pretty easily, right before they were to be taken off of the carosel as “not picked up” – that would have been fun, I am sure.  So, now I need to find out where I go.  I am in 2D, need to go to 2A – quite the walk, as it turns out.

When I get to 2A, the first line I see if the American Airlines line and it is staggering, as long as the customs line I just went through.  Thankfully, the Air Canada line was not long at all and I had my bags checked in within 5 minutes.  Back to customs and security.  I was glad that I had 4 hours in total between flights, had it been tight, I would not have made it.  So, I had some time to kill, about 2 hours in total in Paris.

The flight across the Atlantic was uneventful, which is the way you want all flights to be.  We landed in Montreal on time and customs was very short.  The Canadian Customs guy was very nice, suggested that I put my two wooden carved Dodo birds in the freezer for a few hours to ensure anything in them is dead.  I didn’t have a long wait in Montreal at all, only an hour.  There was an annoucement that the flight was overbooked and they were looking for a volunteer to give up their seat and fly out the next day.  I was tempted, they offered $800 and if I hadn’t been away for a month, I may have jumped at the offer but I just wanted to get home.

We arrived in Calgary at 6:20 pm.  No customs to go through, just luggage pickup.  My borrowed bag showed up quickly, my own bag did not.  I waited until the carosel stopped turning and figured something was up.  A quick check with Air Canada showed that my bag was not transferred in Montreal and was on a later flight.  She was very apologetic and said the bag would be delivered to me today, not a big deal at all seeing as I am home.

So, home is where I am and thankful to be here.  It was a long, long trip with many good memories.  I pick up the dogs in a few hours, can’t wait.  Thanks for following along.