Sneaking quietly down to the basement kitchen of the hostel under the cover of dawn skies rising, another fellow traveller arrived to share the small table with me. And a cup of tea as she ate her breakfast getting ready for a taxi pick up.
Let me introduce you to Jennifer (Jen), from Brisbane Australia.
Jen was about to catch a taxi to meet an overland bus to catch a shuttle to the northernist most tip of this island and visit ‘Viking’ history. Then, a return shuttle and connecting bus to the ferry in Port aux Basque to ferry to North Sydney, Nova Scotia. There, a bus to Halifax; then Moncton; then Rivera du Loup; then onto Brockville. It’s another bus to Toronto, then train to Jasper in BC before more overland to Victoria, Vancouver Island (were we visited the ‘mile 0’ on the Western side of the Maple Leaf); to then ferry back to Vancouver to catch a flight home to Aussie.
That was only half the story! Jen got educated as a Physical Education Teacher but switched to Mid-wifery Nursing and during her career worked in Africa for 6 years in conflict spots with the Red Cross. By now I had to re-fill me cup and knowing her time at the table being shared was limited, I didn’t mind at all her talking with her mouth full! I was eager to hear more.
In 1964, her and a friend purchased a VW Combi van and drove from Bombay, India to England. It took them 7.5 months and when they arrived, Jen only had one pound to her name. Her message throughout the conversation was ‘no timeframe’ and to listen with intent at her crafted stories had me miss the sky turning to daytime from dawntime!
Jen turns 84 on Christmas Day.
It was a hug and a smile with the ‘let’s catch up for another cuppa down under’ agreement reached. And then she was gone.
I sat in the basement kitchen in solitude day dreaming of how fortunate we are to meet people like Jen. One hell of an inspiring human that grew up in an era where her passion for experiencing life was genuine and, has not abated all these decades later.
Then I heard my ears burning from two floors up, “cuppa tea?”
What’s next for the Rurus? Our return flight home is on the 15th October from New York. Our options to get there are many for which there has been turmoil in the decision making process. Happens when routine gets out of kilter!
We are freighting the bike to New York; hiring a car to go locate a Moose to see; fly to Halifax to overland to Yarmouth to catch a ferry across to Portland, Maine in the US (before they stop); to then overland to New York.
Dropping the bike into the downtown bike shop had us nervous as to where it may end up, it’s been a mission to work through. Would have been easier just to throw it off the wharf into the harbour and claim insurance however, we have attachment to a rig set up that will see us tandem somewhere elso on the globe.
Coming out of the shop, there right before our eyes was no apiration of someone we know from home, Ruth. Of all the places to bump into someone whom Claire worked with at Ronald McDonald House in Christchurch, New Zealand on a street in downtown St John’s, Newfoundland. However, get a load of this … this is the second instance that this has happened. We bumped into Ruth in Hoi-Ann, Vietnam under similar circumstances!!!!!!!
It was so cool. Ruth was traveling also and it was off to have another cup of tea to hear her journal of experiences collected. Bidding farewell, there was a joke made of whether it could happen a third time. No timeframe.
Two encounters today with two genuine people. Priceless.