Journey's End

Journey's End

So What Have You Done To Make You Feel Proud?

Monday, 9 February 2009

Good Canadians - With Kind Hearts

Sunday, May-25

And so for a couple of days we get the chance to re-acquaint precious friendships with a few Good Canadian Folk.

Rob, who we met for the first time last year - on Sunday, 08-July 2007 to be precise is, as always, so kind and generous with his time. As soon as he hears that we're back in town he doesn't hesitate to pick us up and act as our tour guide, yet again.

Rob turns-up at our hotel 30 mins early ...

.. and we drive down town to meet-up with Mr Spock, aka Maxwell Smart (Agent 86) .. who, "Missed it by that much"

[and one of THE coolest and artistically talented dudes I've ever met]

I do luv vulcans yunno .. especially when they're secret agents too!

Outside THE University for Brilliance in Digital Art – totally logical, of course.

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Rob then chauffeurs us all to The Church Street Diner in Wellesley, which is a brunch spot in the Gay Village area that serves tastefully typical burgers, breakfast, dessert and coffee. This sit-and-squawk /tawk spot fosters refreshingly 'open' conversation amongst its patronage .. oh, and eggy breath too.

The café owners who just tickled my fancy – and I dunno why? They do seem like nice boys though, eh?

[God, I do feel sooooo good in this place]

Out in the street and the spockmeister immediately falls in love with the real thing, a fully-dressed (for long-distance enduro touring) BMW R 1200 GS. Just look at those HUGE spot lamps .. totally GORGEOUS dude ..
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A little later, after dropping Spocky off somewhere back in the university area ...

Rob takes us pass Toronto's CN Tower ...

.. to another part of town, close to the water's edge (of Lake Ontario), into the Brewery Heritage market region .. 'café culture'

.. with open-air bars ..

.. terrific live music

.. and indoor modern art and craft displays.

Strolling around in the warm sunshine during a Canadian Springtime afternoon is a wonderfully lazy way to spend a couple of hours .. :o)

Modern ferry boats bring passengers from Toronto Island to the City's shoreline ..

.. whilst more traditional ones take tourists on sightseeing cruises.

By the time we return to our pre-arranged meeting spot .. we see that our driver & tour guide has fallen asleep on the job!

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[Evening]:

The Last Supper - and we shove shed loads of food into our gobs at the Mandarin Buffet

.. there's TONS of the stuff on display .. and we .. well, just dunno where to start?

.. or finish

But nevertheless enjoyed with great company .. and lots of laughter.

Just enough tummy-room for a dessert, I fancy.

Mmmmm ... yummy

.. and so say all of us

Mr Smart-Spock’s havin’ a good time too .. and as you can see, he starts going quietly berserk in the corner! (for a vulcan, that is)

Time to say goodbye to you all .. .. including Kevin here, who really only just popped over for a nice cuppa tea, and maybe a slice of lemon sponge ..

Final group shot - So James Dean .. eat yer goddamn heart out .. cuz Les is in town, right!

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Monday, May-26

[Early Evening]:

All jobs done then; got the boarding pass - and the luggage is checked-in ..

.. so I make my way to the departure lounge of Lester B Pearson [Toronto] Airport ..

.. and I meet Mike Strozewski, a recently retired U.S. firefighter from the Ozark Region of Missouri. Guess what? .. he's the owner of the little dual-sport motorcycle that'll be accompanying the Pan down in the hold of Air Transat flight #TS122

Mike's gonna be ridng around Europe, including western Russia - BUT has no touring plan of any real substance sorted out yet; nor does he have any idea of where he will be sleeping in England tomorrow night!

Nice guy though, and much travelled on his little 35hp Yamaha - like from Tierra del Fuego (southern tip of South America) ~~> all the way up to Alaska!

We have a lot to talk about.

I suggest that a ride down to Cornwall with me, just for starters, might be his best option. This will give us the time to talk through some initial routes around England, and Europe beyond.

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Tuesday, May-27

[Early Morning]:

It's daylight - BST (British Summer Time), as I look up at the on-board entertainment screen and see that we're about to make our final approach into London-Gatwick Int'l Airport.

Soon after our arrival Mike and I make our way to Shed H at Gatwick's Cargo Terminal.

Five hours and 260 miles [418 km] later - we all arrive back, safe 'n sound, at home, in my home town of Newquay, Cornwall.

3½ years in the planning; and 26,000 North American miles [c. 42,000 km] later, covering 39 US states plus 7 Canadian provinces, the journey is finally over. It really has been .. the Trip of a Lifetime.

Mike stays with us for four nights BTW. Good man .. good company.

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Next Stops, from March 2010: Around Australia - then with a fair wind: South-East IndoChina .. and maybe beyond ... Right Way Round, all the way home to England on a Transalp?!