The Other Side of the Pond – Part 1

We’ve been a bit tardy in writing our blog and we are sorry. We’ve been travelling and have had terrible hit/miss in our internet access. So we decided to wait until we got back to Canada to fill everyone in. We will do so in several ‘Post’ blog entries to try and fill in the gaps of our travels to date.

Part of our plan for our year off was to take a trip to England and then onto Venice, Italy at the beginning of the year off. We thought in some weird rational that it would be easier and cheaper to fly to London, England and then fly on to Venice because we would be on the other side of the ‘Pond’; wrong! Costs and logistics turned out to more of a hassle than we thought and it would have been cheaper to fly from Toronto straight to Venice instead of via London. Regardless, the other main reason for going to England was to see our friend Richard and his partner Raquel who live outside of London in county Kent.

We met Richard in 2009 in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut when he was introduced to us via a mutual friend Glenn who had kayaked part of the Northwest Passage in the summer of 2008. Richard was supposed to be on that trip with Glenn but wasn’t able to make it but he really wanted to see the arctic. So he came in January, the worst time of the year.  He was warned, but in the end had a great time, was a great houseguest, and was loved especially by Jack and Loka. There is much more involved in the making of this awesome friendship, and the details are best told over a bottle or two of red wine, beer, and good food.

Cambridge Bay, January 2009

April 19th – April 23rd

We flew out of Toronto and headed for London where we were picked up by Richard and then stay at his place in Kent. In a weird twist of fate, as we were boarding the plane and sat down in our seats, my good friend Paul sat down across the aisle from me.  How weird is that??? Paul and I have known each other since we were 19 and he was the ‘Best Man’ at our wedding. We also just had dinner together last week talking about our upcoming trip! So he and I sat for the 7.5 hour flight and talked until we landed in England.

Once we landed in London, we said goodbye to Paul and he headed off for a film shoot he was on. Sophia and I were met by Richard and we started our long drive to Kent (~2hrs). Both Raquel and Richard work as veterinarians (dogs/cats) and live in the country on property where he and Raquel also raise a handful of sheep and chickens. The majority of his family live on various sizes of properties next to his or nearby.  His Dad, Bill is retired and has this slightly odd hobby, he collects steam engine trains. Like real full size trains and has built a track where the public can come and take rides!! Both Bill and his wife are really great people and Sophia and I really enjoyed meeting them and the rest Richards family. We stayed at Richard’s brother (David) home which was about 100 feet from Richard’s place until April 23rd, and had a great time visiting old towns and castles (Sophia’s favourite past time) and meeting his family.  Though Richard would have been happy to have us longer, we decide on going over to Ireland, renting a car and driving the coastline from Dublin to Galway.  More to come on that and our adventures…~Rob

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