Two hundred and seventy-seven days later we made it to England, the closest Iain has been to his homeland in three and a half years! Arriving in England we knew it was time to start unwinding, taking a break from life on the road as we catch up with family and friends in the beautiful city of London and in the rolling green countryside towns of Tonbridge, Cambridge, Malvern Hills, then south to Wickham and Portsmouth on the coast.
If the cheapest flight from New York to London stopped over in Iceland you would be a fool to pass up the opportunity to visit one of the most photogenic countries on the planet. With a strong passion for anything Scandinavian Treeny insisted on making the stopover despite Iain’s hesitation at the foreseeable dent it would put in our budget. Treeny pleaded her case, “But there are volcanos, lava fields, glaciers, cute Scandinavian houses, Vikings, Norse Gods, did I mention the volcanos”? Her persistence eventually won out. So off we flew, north toward the Arctic Circle, to the tiny little island of Iceland, that isn’t actually very icy at all, and has names so long and complicated only the Icelandic people can pronounce them.
Words cannot begin to describe how chaotic, energetic and diverse the epic city of New York is. You have to experience it to understand; you must visit at least once in your lifetime to embrace all that makes this city so awesome. The dense streets of this concrete jungle encapsulate more cultures, art, entertainment, business, money, and food than anywhere else. The thought of how to fit everything there is to do here into our measly four day stay was beyond overwhelming. From the bright lights of Broadway, visiting iconic buildings, cruising the rivers, shopping, drinking, eating, there is so much to learn and explore in this great city. Where do you start? In the centre of it all, Manhattan!
Landing safely on the tarmac at Toronto Airport in Canada, we breathed a big sigh of relief. We had made it to the western world, no injuries, nothing lost, our bodies and bags intact. Finally we could drop our guard, turn off our radars that were keeping us alert to danger and thieves constantly during the 248 days we spent travelling through South America. Not only were we excited to be catching up with Treeny’s excitable MammaLou , her wonderful grandad Brian (Pops), and his adorable partner Annie, we were thrilled at the prospect of eating some normal food, no more rice and beans, hurrah! Canada is a ginormous and diverse country requiring months of travel to grasp it, instead with our two weeks we concentrated our time in the state where it all happens, Ontario, home to Pops and Annie in Prince Edward County, the countries capital Ottawa, the state capital of Toronto and the mightiest waterfall in North America, Niagara Falls.