Tuesday, 20 April 2010

20/04/2010 Fighting Volcanoes

10:30am Hey gang - I'm back!  Thought I would write about my trip back to York, England from Edmonton, Canada.  Zzzzzzzz!!  Okay, okay - doesn't sound too inspiring does it?  But throw in an erupting volcano, thousands of displaced travellers around the world, nature, wind, ash clouds, poor airline communication and a delayed flight and we just might have us a story!!  Let's see how it evolves.

Day started well enough - OJ and tea to wake me up and get me going and last farewell chat with my wonderful buddy, Sheila. Need to be at the pick up point for the Red Arrow coach at 8:30am.  Dave has agreed to drive me there.  Maybe more of that later.  (No more tears No more recriminations Time to move on) Thought I should just check the Canadian Affair website one more time .....hmmm, maybe I should have just left it.  I can't believe it - the flight is cancelled.  What's going on?  A quick flip to the BBC webpage and I see the problem.  The excitable volcano has decided to show the world who is boss again and is spewing more ash at high elevation which is conspiring with the weather systems to engulf Britain again. Oh poopees!!  Airports due to close again.

Now what do I do?  Go to the airport?  Not go to the airport?  It's no use - off to the phone again.  I have spent so many minutes, actually - no, HOURS on the phone in the last few days - Calgary Airport, Canadian Affair, Air Transat, Thomas Cook .... Here I go again.  Gosh that man never goes home and how come he doesn`t tire of saying the same thing over and over ..... and over ..... and over ...... and over again.  ``Please stay on the phone for the next available representative in order to maintiain your order of priority`` I do wonder if there really is any representative there waiting to put me out of my misery.

Have you ever tried to complete your packing, eat your breakfast, sit on the loo, brush your teeth, carry things downstairs, search for a key, greet your (exish)-husband, avoid tripping over kitties ..... and all for an hour with a phone clenched between cheek and collar bone?  Not easy I can tell you and to top it off it yielded nothing other than an extremely stiff neck and a rather hot and bothered Clare.

Decided I didn't have any real option other than to head south to the airport, which is where I am heading right now.  The Red Arrow coaches are pretty amazing.  Comfortable - lots of room, seat belts, internet access and plug-ins, beverages and biccies, plus a film .... Planet 51.  Decided to give that a miss.  But it is really quite bouncy and typing and bouncing are not 2 "doing" words which really go together.  What an excuse for poor spelling!

11:10am I can see the Rockies from the coach.  Snow capped tops and ridges stretching from North to South beyond the dry yellow prairies of Alberta. Looking forward to seeing the lush green green grass of home!  It's a beautiful day - blue sky with thin whispy clouds and visibility is good, good, good.  Very clear.  No stupid volcanic ash here!

11:20am Just checked the Canadian Affair website and next update for my flight, which was due to take-off at 16:50, will be 18:00.  Looks like it's going to be a lonnnnngggggg day.  I do hope there will be some helpful staff around. If there is no chance of the flight going tomorrow I will head back to Edmonton as soon as I can and be comfortable again.

To be continued .....

1 comment:

  1. Hi Clare: Soooooo....are you finally in York? or Edmonton? or even (gulp) Calgary?? Hope you got "airborn"!!