I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to write for the Pilot. I have been able to share some great stories about our town as well as to highlight some of the incredible work that people are doing that makes Twillingate such a great place to live.
I always enjoyed writing stories about J.M. Olds Collegiate. The school has a great spirit and I have always felt welcomed meeting with students and staff. One of the annual projects that we have done is a collaboration with the Grade 9 English class. When Jane and I travel to different parts of the world on vacation, the students send me questions about our experiences or the locale.
This year we are travelling for four months. We are spending two months in Mauritius (2,500 kilometres off the east coast of mainland Africa or 850 km east of Madagascar) and then two months in South Africa.
Response: In all it took us three days and a bit (due to the eight-hour time difference) to finally arrive in Grand Gaube. It’s a long trip. We left from Halifax, and if we had travelled the 14,000 km as the crow flies, I am sure that the trip would have been much shorter. Our journey was slightly more circuitous.
The next evening, we boarded South African Airlines to fly to Johannesburg. This flight is supposed to be about 16 hours with a short hour long stop in Dakar Senegal to refuel. Everything was going fine until our descent into Johannesburg. There was a major storm with high tail winds and we were unable to land. We ended up being rerouted to Durban where we refueled again and waited on the tarmac for word of the storm subsiding.
All in all, it was 21 hours of travelling before we got to our hotel room. It was a very quick sleep and we were back at the airport for our third day of travel. This was the final leg to Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, just south of St. Louis, Mauritius’s capital city.
I would like to say that was the end of the travelling, but we still had to get to our apartment on the north of the island. I had arranged for a car rental but this ended up being extremely complicated. (Jacob, this could be an interesting story for another question, if you’re interested.)
For those who wonder why we would take such a convoluted route, the simple answer is that ends up being less expensive even with the addition of hotels and meals. As much as we wish to take more direct flights, flying straight to our destination from Canada is just too much money. Flying out of Washington saved us around $1000. For those who have time restrictions this would not be the best way to travel.