Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Cold Return To Canada

My last day in Mexico and I recommend this for anyone. Take the 20 minute ferry ride from Cancun to Isla Mujeres. It is the same ocean, same sun, same everything as Cancun but it is everything that Cancun is not. You can rent bikes or golf carts and drive around the island. There are pure white sandy and uncrowded beaches. It was the best way to end my time in Mexico.

The next morning, Dec 22nd I woke up knowing that within 10 hours I was going to be back in Canada, cold, cold Canada. I am leaving Mexico with mixed emotions. Yes, China is calling and I will be in the land of dumplings soon enough but Mexico has been everything and more. I said I would return to Nicaragua and I did. Unless somewhere knocks my socks off when I return to Mexico it may be permanent.

Heading North
The ADO bus to the Cancun airport was 72 Peso well spent. I was dropped off at terminal 3, wandered to the West Jet desk and was checked in, through security and eating lunch in 35 minutes. My flight to Pearson would be a quick 4 hours but if I have not said it before flying bores the crap out of me. I think I have done so much of it that the routine of the coach seat and service is ingrained in my psyche. I had a full Ipod, new headphones and a window seat. A quick hello and smile to the couple sitting beside me and that was that. Next stop, Canada baby.

My old pal Caitlyn Tran  and her beau Richard offered to pick me up and after a funny three way messenger co-ordination effort with her sister I was command to stand by post 20 outside so that is where I headed. I walked outside after and easy entrance back into Canada and was hit in the face by the cold, and I liked it. A scramble and traffic stopping load in into her car, a stop at a pub in Oakville for wings and beer and a lovely offer to drive me to the Falls had me snug in my bed by 10:30.

Next up on the return home as a trip to Orchard Park NY and a football game between the Buffalo Bills and the hated Miami Dolphins. This has been a bit of a ritual with and myself over time and one year we made the tough trek to Miami for an away game.

Fran, Kelly, Me, Katy and Nick
It was an early enough start and even with the border we were parked and sipping beer by 10:00 giving us 3 hours of tailgating before kick off. Beer, BBQ burgers, snow and rowdy Football fans is always a great time. Our seats were good and the $9.50US large cans of beer actually tasted darn delicious. The Bills lost as expected but we missed the exciting ending as we had to get out of there before the crowds. There was a large family gathering for Christmas dinner and we would not be late. It was painful to listen on the car radio as the Bills squandered a lead late in the game, then missed a winning field goal in overtime then have Miami march down and win. I expected nothing less.

Nike and his shaved chest with Kelly and Katie

 I found these great Luche Libre masks in Isle Mujeres of all places and had to have them. Kelly lost her sh** when I gave her the Dolphins mask and Katie played along with the Bills mask even though she is a die hard Cowboys fan.

Game Faces
Pre game with Nick
Staying warm with Fran

Stadium View

I made it back to Canada in on piece. I went from 30 degrees in Mexico to - 5 at the Toronto airport, to 0 in Buffalo for a football game. I had great Chicken wings, BBQ burgers and 2 huge Christmas dinner all in 72 hours. I met old friends, new friends, family and of course the animals, you can not forget Maycee, Marina, Leo, Rob, Tucker and McCabe.

With that my time in Latin America is now over. It started in Guatemala and ended in Mexico but there were long stops in Honduras, El Salvador, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia and of course Antarctica. With a 2 year work stint in Western Canada this has been an interesting 6 years. Let's see what the insanity that is called Asia has in store for me.

gracias por todo. Este viaje ha sido espectacular. No fue sin problemas, pero los golpes a lo largo del camino ayudan a crear profundidad con las historias de todas las personas interesantes y temerosos lugares inspiradores me permitió descubrir.

Cuando la gente pregunta cuál era su lugar o país favorito todo lo que puede hacer es responder "sí" con una sonrisa de conocimiento porque cada lugar es especial.
Cada lugar es especial. Sólo tienes que abrir tu corazón y tu mente a lo que es posible.

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