I could not believe how chipper he was after such a lengthy flight of 13,192 km (8,197 miles) and before he began the final leg of 2,697 km (1,675 miles). This map shows just how far he travelled to reach his final destination of Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory of Canada. Melbourne is in the south-eastern area of Australia, Vancouver is the most south-west part of Canada, and Yukon is just east of Alaska. I had a piece of paper with his name printed out on it in case the international arrivals area was crowded, but as soon as he saw me and I saw him, we knew each other! It was like we were already old friends.
Off we went for breakfast at the Fairmont Hotel, where the hostess led us to a lovely table by the window. It turned out that the hostess was one of my former students and she was thrilled to see me, as was I her. We hugged and chatted a moment before she carried on with her work.
Unfortunately, the day was overcast and we weren't able to see the mountains, but David assured me he'd seen them on previous trips. He told me all about his wonderful family, how he'd met his wife and how they'd moved from India to their current home in Australia. It was obvious he's extremely proud of his three children, too. I'd love to meet them some day - Australia has always been on my list of "places to visit before I die" and meeting David and hearing about his family just makes me more excited to see what I imagine to be a very exotic country.
He told me he'd wanted to bring me something but wasn't quite sure what. His wife suggested he bring along his book, "Vegemite Vindaloo" and I really must thank her because I'm an avid reader and wanted to read it, but had not been able to locate it here in Canada. He very thoughtfully autographed it with a personal note, so this book is definitely a keeper. I can hardly wait to start reading it - this afternoon! To see reviews of David's book, click here OR here.After an incredibly long breakfast, (delicious by the way) it was time to head for Domestic Departures. Our hostess, my former student, kindly took a photo of us before we left so I'm including it here. (Notice I'm holding the book.)
I left David to wend his way to the appropriate gate, and he should be landing in Whitehorse in about 15 or 20 minutes now, exhausted I'm sure. He's up there on business, and I'll be interested to hear from him how he enjoyed his two weeks photographing areas of Canada that most Canadians have never seen. I must admit I'm a tad jealous of his opportunity to travel there.
This blogging business has sure been an experience for me. I've met so many people through the adventure and had people send me and my family gifts from afar. Leeanne from Australia and Liz from Wales both sent gifts for my daughter's new baby in March, John in Edinburgh send me two books of his Scots Haiku poetry, and I'm now awaiting the arrival via mail of a book I won on another site. I've met several women who have become good friends, especially Suzanne and Josie. And, I'm meeting jmb and Liz on September 15th for lunch as Liz is passing through Vancouver on her way to Vancouver Island on holiday with her husband and daughter & her husband. Next summer I'm hoping to meet many others when my friend Cathy and I visit Wales and parts of England. Get ready ladies! Here come the Canajuns!
Meeting David today was another highlight. He expressed his appreciation that I got up so early to come to greet him, but heck, how many times do you get to meet someone from halfway around the world? It may have been cloudy this morning, but I spent a brilliant three hours chatting with an incredible man. He may be on his way to the top of the world, but I'm feeling as though I'm already there.