Happy to be Home

One thing we now realize in spades, is that travel to Europe from the Island is a big journey.  After being up for 24 hours, we walked in the door last night, so happy to be home!  I’ll spare all the gory details of the challenges of changing travel in a world that is exploding with tourists as people feel comfortable to be travelling again.  Longer waits for Air Canada to change flights, difficulty finding decently priced hotels at the last minute for our revised schedule, and long lineups at the airport to get through security and passport control (@Alison, take note!) are just a few, but it doesn’t really matter; we are home.  We landed in Vancouver as the sun was setting, and we had a beautifully coloured skies with the mountains; it felt really good to be on the best coast again! The only downside is that we will miss the sunny, warm skies of Portugal. It seems like spring/summer is still waiting to arrive here!

But we now can relax and take stock of our vacation in Portugal.  For sure it didn’t end the way we wanted, and we would have loved the paddle journey down the Douro.  But we had a chance to see it, twice, and it’s really a gorgeous area. It’s fascinating to see all the patchwork of vineyards; there are so many, and the oldest date back to the late 1700’s.  The river is now very different than when they brought all the wine down the river to Porto in ‘rabelos’.  Its waters are busy with cruise boats and pleasure craft; wine is transported by truck.  We will relive some of those visual memories with a port tasting party in the near future!

The time we spent in the countryside, away from the cities, was peaceful and gave us insight into the more rural part of Portugal.  It’s gorgeous, complete with winding roads, up and down hills and mountains.  Our taxi ride to the train from Barca d’Alva was more of a rally race by a very experienced taxi driver; I never had the guts to take corners and downhills as fast as he did; it was fun until my stomach felt a bit queasy!

The two weeks we spent exploring other towns, cities and countryside of Portugal were wonderful.  We have many happy memories and new experiences from this time together.  These are the memories that we will cherish.  

We now get to look forward to many adventures here at home; glamping in Loytää, a paddling trip to the Broken Group, more camping and of course day-to-day biking, paddling and hiking, just to name a few. 

Life is Good!

3 thoughts on “Happy to be Home

  1. Thanks for the heads up Anita. Gatwick was dreadful when we went through. Not looking forward to repeating that in reverse! Glad you got home safely. Does it make you feel any better to know rain is predicted for the next 3 days of our hike?


    1. We flew from Lisbon and allowed 3 hours for the airport and needed at least 2 of those hours. (our flight was at 9:45 am) Thankfully AC counters were not as busy as TAP. Security was not too bad; we stayed in the central area after security for breakfast (long lines everywhere) and then hit passport control; probably about 1/2 hour. But in that 1/2 hour the hall filled so it would have been longer for those after us. Sorry to hear about the rain – at least it’s a bit cooler? I think a wise woman said ‘there are no bad hiking days, just bad hiking clothes’? Take care and enjoy the hike! Look forward to hearing about it


  2. I know somewhat what you mean Anita. We flew from Bucharest, Romania on May 3rd and it felt like a long way home with waiting time and transfers in Munich and Montreal. The worst part was that even though I was covid symptom free (after been ill for about three days on the river cruise starting April 24) I was randomly selected for a covid test on arrival in Montreal. The PCR test of course came up positive after having only recently recovered. That meant the the Gov’t of Canada slapped a 10 day quarantine order on me and poor Barb had to quarantine for 14 days even though she had covid in March was presumably is pretty much immune until such time as there may be new strains many months from now. There was no reasoning with the federal health officials (term staff reading from prepared lines). However, like you guys we did have a great trip despite me having covid for three days.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s