Departure Van>UK

DEPARTURE     14/15 NOV

Catch one ship – to get a taxi – to a plane – to get a bus – to get to another ship in Southampton.

Well all the best laid plans eh. Brian & I figured a whole day would be time enough to get to my 6pm flight. What a cinch – he was going to drive me in with my huge bag. Thank goodness I checked the ferry situation at 8 am – as they had already cancelled the 10:20 sailing. Mechanical difficulties – holding over in Langdale for repairs. And who knows if the 12:20 would be going on time. Or at all. No other boats in sight. Except for the water taxi.
So with Brian parked in the ferry lineup – I jumped out and made a slow dash to the Langdale float. After boarding, waiting and then switching to another small boat…we were on the way. Hauling my bags up the steep low-tide ramp at Horseshoe Bay (we’re talking 45 lb suitcase, 20 lb rolling bag and heavy shoulder bag) I am thinking this is not such an auspicious beginning. Helpful cab driver and I am on my way. I don’t mind waiting around for hours at the airport – at least I am on the right side of the water and the far side of the city.

A direct flight to Heathrow put me over Hudsons Bay in the middle of the night. Always a window seat if I can get it…and the plane half empty there was room to actually lie down and snooze.  Waking up I can’t help myself – I always have to look out the window. My last cross Canada flight – it was clear enough to see the lights of small towns across Manitoba and then the blackest multitude of lakes spotting  the landscape. It is always worth a peek.

I raised the little oval window cover and I was well rewarded.
The Northern Lights were spread across the sky from one side to the other. Orion’s stars take center stage. I still smile just thinking of it. It was a joyful 40 minutes of shimmering ribbons pulsing and fading. How fortunate am I. And all the other folks snoring away?

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I was so excited – I figured the captain would announce it – wake everyone to see it … but no.
It became my own private wonder of the world.

A fairly uneventful journey from Heathrow to Southampton. Huge coach bus inches away from ancient walls going through Westminster. Accents that seem so familiar.  Green fields plowed for centuries within stone walls in all directions.  The biggest oak tree I have ever seen.
You know you’re in England.

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