Tempus Fugit

Time Flies…

   Dec 13

RTW08/09 Part I

Greetings from Vancouver airport.

Brisbane –> Sydney
Flight delayed an hour. Would have missed international connection had it not also been delayed.

Sydney –> Honolulu
Remarkably an exit row == lots of leg room
Minimal sleep (if any)
Studied. Actually studied. Amazing but true.

Hot. Humid. Check in counters outdoors (go figure).
Check in counters for American Airlines don’t open for three hours after arrival meaning a three hour wait in the humid heat with luggage (thank goodness for bathroom breaks pre-luggage collection).
Luggage now radioactive due to obscene amount of X-Raying (three times in Honolulu alone).
QANTAS Club uninspiring – free two-minute noodles. At least I got an exit row on flight to LA….

Honolulu –> LAX
Delightful lady in QANTAS Club/American Airlines Lounge takes one look at my boarding pass and clucks and tut-tuts muttering something about how dastardly it was I had been given a middle seat.
Boarding pass summarily destroyed and reissued with an exit row seat. Thank goodness is all I can say…..TOTALLY packed flight. I swear a sardine can would be more spacious.
Airport Hotel at LAX expensive but worth the shower.

LAX –> Vancouver
Four hours sleep. Bed very comfortable. Up at a sparrow’s fart to get through the myriad of hurdles that is LAX. Remarkably, am checked in, patted down, through security and vacuumed for explosive residue in the space of ten minutes. Almost unheard of at LAX. Three hour wait to board flight as had allowed lots of time to get through check-in process.
Half empty flight. Seats to myself. Nice view.

Vancouver –> Whistler
Nice bus ride.
Stupid pubic (sic) phone not accepting credit cards.
Made use of global roaming on mobile….suspect I now owe Three my first-born son after thirty second call.
Very comfortable couch to sleep on. Mark and Robbie very laid back. Kawana (the dog) very friendly.
Much beer consumed at GLC (Garibaldi Lift Co) at Whistler Village.

Whistler Day One
Slept like a log. Woke early. Buggered if I know why, given the minimal sleep over last 36 hours and the fact Whistler is 6 hours ahead (yesterday). Jetlag less of a problem these days having become used to it as a shift-worker.
Snow conditions less than desirable.
Village very pretty. Coffee rather shite. Banana bread moorish.
First snowboarding lesson…interminable in the AM….I should have gone up a level. Felt like slitting wrists waiting for other class-members. By lunch, a 50% attrition rate. By mid afternoon, I was the only person left in the class….which actually turned out to be good – one-on-one tutoring for the price of a regular lesson. Slightly made up for the morning. Instructor an Aussie. Whistler seems to be the Canadian capital of Australia. Aussies everywhere.

Whistler Day Two
Second snowboarding lesson (made good because there was 15cm of snow overnight). Only one other person in class and relatively at my level. Much improved. Much more confidence hurtling down hill.
Miserable conditions in terms of wind and fog, but given it was snowing, I wasn’t complaining. Dinner at a pub in town that makes great steak sangers (if you know to ask for them as they’re not on the menu). Watched the ice-hockey and asked lots of questions.

Whistler Day Three
Third snowboarding lesson. Two others in class. Both poms. Both reasonable. Same instructor as day one and two. Further improvement. Not quite at level 4 (but I blame it on the shit conditions). Dinner at a funky Tapas bar called 21 steps. Good food. Good company.

Whistler Day Four
NO snow overnight. Icy as all buggery. Did one run and cracked the shits. Beautiful views all the way down to the village. Took a few photos. Went back down the mountain and spent the day searching for a decent coffee – settling for free internet and average coffee. Saw luge track.

Whistler Day Five
FARK. 10cm of snow overnight. Snowing in the village. FUCKING TYPICAL that it’s my last day here and if finally decides to snow. Went up mountain. Five great runs in. Snow closest to powder I’ve seen. Was feeling really good by end of morning as I was able to get comfortably down runs at speed without falling over. Peak-2-Peak opened this morning. Took ride over to Blackcomb. Thank goodness for fog as I would have vertigo otherwise. Back down mountain. Packed bag. Caught bus to Vancouver International Airport.

Here endeth part I.

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