Five days ago I awoke to the sounds of silence; I opened my mouth to speak and nothing came out – Laryngitis. We have been pushing ourselves fairly hard; in Alaska we drove out to Denali National Park and 13 days ago we joined a guided tour of the Canadian Rockies.
Most mornings we have had to get up around 6am, and some nights we don’t get into our hotel rooms until after 7pm, not that I’m complaining, we have seen such break-taking beauty,
snow capped mountains,
traipsed across immense glaciers,
rafted down swift white water rapids,
shot lots of wildlife including elk, moose, big-horned sheep and even a couple of bears, one young black bear
and a very large , male grizzly; don’t get your knickers in a twist, I mean with a camera, not a gun.
Suffice it to say when we saw the bears we did not leave the safety of our big tour bus, although we did witness one foolish man leave his vehicle with his giant, telephoto-lens camera complete with tripod, neither of which could be considered a suitable weapon against a 2 metre, 300kg grizzly, unless, like some James Bond contraption, he could convert his tripod into an AK47. We were all poised with our cameras and smart phones at the ready to film an award winning video to up load to YouTube. But luckily for the reckless photographer, he was not removed from the gene pool, at least not on that day.
We started our tour in Vancouver and have driven in a counter-clockwise direction through Banff, Jasper and Whistler before boarding a ferry yesterday for the quintessentially British town of Victoria, on Vancouver Island.
Except for the weather, generally speaking, Canada is very much like Australia, right down to even having a mug-shot of Lillibet on some of their currency. Hubby is forever trying to palm off Aussie dollars to unsuspecting shopkeepers, mistaking them for their Canadian counterparts, but the ever vigilant locals are obviously used to the thoundsands of Aussies who vacation here.
Tomorrow is our last day with the tour group, as a whole, which is made up of 46 Aussies and two poms before we disband. (Wow it pays to be alert; spell check just wanted to change “two poms” into “tampons”, mind you I do recall the future king of the poms proclaiming that is what he wanted to be. I almost granted him his wish with one tap of the keyboard).
Half of us will embark the Holland America Line cruise ship, The Volendam and partake in a 7 day cruise of the Alaskan Inner Passage. Having experience with the cost of medical attention on a ship I decided to see a local doctor here in Victoria. I must be getting old, the doctor looked about as old as a boy scout. When I told him my symptoms he proceeded to Google the best method to treat me. This did not instill me with much confidence in the kid. He wasn’t sure if it was viral or bacterial but prescribed a course of antibiotics anyway and a throat spray to relieve the pain. It hurts so much when I breath or try to speak or swallow that I was willing to try anything. The spray proclaims to have a pleasant honey-lemon flavour. Honey-lemon, my foot, it tastes more like “eau de benzene” and after spraying the back of my throat, brought back unfortunate memories of failing to remove the hose from my mouth in time while siphoning petrol. It should come with a warning to keep away from naked flames.