Most Popular Post

Thursday 29 May 2014


When I was in Grade 8, I was chosen by my school to attend Expo in Montreal that summer of 1967. After I was chosen by the school, the principal learned that our school had to send a boy, so I didn't get to go. Instead, my grandfather took me to Ontario to meet Aunt Muriel and her family. It was a great trip and I loved getting to know my Aunt and her family.

That experience did two things for me. I realized that I really enjoyed traveling and I was determined that I would travel as much as I could. Over our married life, Rick and I have travelled a number of times, via plane, train, ship.

For the next several weeks, Rick and I are traveling to parts of Europe and Northern Africa. We are looking forward to the first vacation we have had in five years. (Six years ago Mom died, and my only brother had a heart attack, so that year was difficult as well.) During the five years without a vacation, Ben and Claire moved back to Canada, settling in PEI. We helped them move into their new home, then we renovated, sold our house and moved to PEI as well. Claire and Ben had Sylvie, who had a rough entry into the world, plus another baby, Caitlin. Then Rick's father got cancer and died, and we helped his mother move to PEI. We've experienced many of life's major events in that short time. It's time to decompress. We are really looking forward to our vacation.

Anticipation of this coming adventure makes us think of our favourite vacation experience which involves, among other things, a camel in the Outback of Australia. We were on a guided tour which we really like as a way to see the world. A flight from Melbourne through Adelaide to central Australia and Alice Springs flew over some of the vast red desert of Australia. During an interesting visit to an Indigenous community, we learned a bit of the history and customs of these fascinating people. Rick ate a wichetty grub which he thought tasted like peanut butter. The grub, a high source of protein, is a white wood-eating larva of moths, about the length of the palm of your hand. I wasn't brave enough to eat one. That evening, our group rode camels through the dry river bed past where Indigenous people gathered with their families underneath the trees, discussing the day and eating together. (We can learn a great deal from them!) Then we had dinner at a restaurant in the desert where we tasted crocodile, emu and camel. The next day we visited Uluru/Ayre's Rock, a majestic natural wonder, with rock art thousands of years old. This completed our surreal experience in the Outback.

The photo showing the shadow of the camels and riders that evening says it all. Rick and I, riding the camel, looked around and seeing the shadow, said to each other simultaneously, 

"We're not in Kansas now, Toto."

We wonder if there will be any adventures during our coming vacation which will equal the Outback of Australia? They would have to be exceptional but who knows? That's one of the great things about vacation, the anticipation.

No comments: