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Greg + Amy’s Travel Diary

Friday, 24 Feb 2006

Location: Vancouver Island, Canada

MapHello again, not long since the last posting, we are now in Vancouver Island, having endured probably the worst 2 days of our trip so far in getting here! Leaving Fiji proved harder than we thought with flight delays, planes with broken down engines and no air-con, meaning sat on the runway in ridiculously hot place for ages, not being able to take off, surrounded by crying children etc... The flight itself was pretty vile, dire food which we could not eat and two to three hours of the worst turbulence I have ever experienced, the plane being thrown around all over the place along with very little sleep. Finally after 11 hours flying we crawled into LA airport (on the same day we left as we crossed the International Date Line, meaning for us 23rd Feb lasted 48 hours), hours late, missing our connection to Vancouver. With no help from Qantas we managed to book another flight to Vancouver, and although we had to wait 4 hours for the flight seemed to be sorted, until this plane was also delayed, so stuck waiting in LA with no money (as we weren't supposed to be staying), feeling really tired having been up for well over a day and a scheduled time of arrival in Vancouver of 12.30 at night meaning no chance to organise car hire and no hotel booked.

Already p***** off we were then pulled over to be searched by US Customs who having already fingerprinted us, photo-d us etc coming into the country (bearing in mind this was only a transit stop we were not going out of the airport), we then had bag and shoes searched, body-search and swabs taken from our luggage. What has happened to the Anglo-American alliance, the customs people would not even go in for banter when I tried to have a laugh with them.

Having finally arrived through Vancouver customs at about 1.00am with nowhere to stay, we then had to wait ages for our luggage as carousel broken down, finally crawled into the first hotel we could find at 2 in the morning, having taken over 26 hours to get there from Nadi (it would have been quicker to fly home!).

However, moan over, we are here now and so far Canada seems great (what little we have seen of it), and we are staying with friends who have a really nice house on Vancouver Island. Apologies for the moaning, but I guess it is good to write a balanced view of travelling and while lots of things we have done are fantastic, some days are just really s***.

Hope you are all well, from a tired and emotional Amy and Greg!