Again, I should include a short preface to this entry by telling the reader that the images on these introductory pieces are all of physical “roads” but with certain metaphorical connotations for which a full explanation is given in another entry.
This section relates to my style of travelling if, as the header suggests, I do in fact have any style at all which is something I tend to shy away from in any form of endeavour. Those who have seen my wardrobe of ancient albeit serviceable, comfortable and functional clothing will bear witness. I was slightly taken aback lately when a young lady I was talking to at a party informed me that my T-shirt was older than she was which was an interesting moment to say the least. Again, readers that know me will understand and those who do not will hopefully begin to after reading a few of my exploits.
I travel light and fairly modestly, still preferring hostels, guesthouses and B&B’s to large corporate hotels which I find depressingly soulless. Put me in a hostel common room with the house guitar, a few beers to hand, some young people to chat to and I really am completely in my element. I used to enjoy sleeping in a tent but the dodgy back has just about put paid to that now and the comforts of a bed, a roof that isn’t dripping on you and a warm shower (or cold, depending on the climate) appeal increasingly. Like anyone, I enjoy the occasional splurge but they are generally few and far between.
My “camping” urges these days are satisfied by extended summer trips in Canada in an ancient and venerable campervan (RV) which I jointly own with my dear friend Lynne, another VT veteran, which is based in Edmonton, Alberta. We named her Brianna and have wonderful long trips in the summer all over Western Canada. Let’s be honest, you could not go there in winter when it gets to -50C which is far too cold for a warm-blooded creature like me. Lynne seems to survive it, who knows how? These Canadians are a tou8gh breed!
Brianna replaced an even older van which Lynne’s wonderful Father had bought us for the princely sum of $800CND and which we refurbished ourselves complete with wallpapering the interior roof. I know, I know, it was not my idea but it covered up some pretty unsightly plywood. The poor old thing died horribly with an irrevocably blown engine just shy of 200 miles from home but not before it had carried us nearly 2,000 miles around the Maritime Provinces where her Father lives and which was a most wonderful adventure which I shall never forget. We had certainly had $800CND (a touch less than £400GBP in those days) worth out of it. It was my introduction to a style of travelling I had long dreamed of and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes, it got cold at night as the furnace did not work, half the equipment was either out of commission or jerry-rigged and yet it mattered not a jot. Lynne was in the Forces working on electronics and she is very good with her hands so the frequent running repairs were not a problem.
For my end of the bargain I did all the cooking and the utter joy of cooking on gas rather than the appalling electric I am forced to have by building regulations at home. Lynne will happily tinker with a fusebox or whatever all day yet she hates cooking whereas I adore it. An eating disorder means that I have the appetite of a sparrow but bizarrely cooking is one of my great loves and will undoubtedly be a recurring theme throughout this blog if I get it to work against all expectations. More of that later.
it was a superb trip made all the more enjoyable by the fact that we had not planned a single desination on the itinerary and literally just made it up as we went along. In truth you cannot go far wrong in the Maritimes as they are so achingly beautiful that you can go anywhere and be constantly astounded.
That, in a nutshell is the way I travel in various circumstances and the way I have always travelled. I hope to travel like this until circumstances overtake me and I have to either stop or radically alter my thinking. With any luck and a following wind it is a long way off but I am a realist. Still, I can console myself that I will have to be as old as the mythical Methusela to get all my “back catalogue” posted here for reasons as previously explained so I hopefully will not lack material to be getting on with to keep me occupied when I finally have to slow down.