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The successful entries received by 1ST JULY 2009

Many Happy Returns

Canada the country, Victoria the capital of British Columbia our destination,
reached after an eleven-hour flight from Manchester that took us across
the snow-clad Northern Territories to Vancouver, our stepping-stone to Vancouver Island.

The ferry that took us on the final stage of our journey followed a meandering course
through a string of islands that lie of the west coast known as the Gulf Islands.
Through the mist and rain, that was falling we discerned small settlements nestling
amongst the tree-clad slopes.

Our B & B accommodation in Victoria was located a short distance from the harbour
and we were greeted at the garden gate by the family dog,
a black and white collie who gave us a warm tail-wagging welcome.
On the gate was pinned a notice politely asking passers-by to refrain from feeding him as he was in danger of becoming overweight!

Our first impression of Victoria was of a small English harbour town
with streets lined with typically English shops.
Dominating the harbour is the Parliament Building which after dark is lit by hundreds of bulbs
that trace its outline, giving it a fairy-tale appearance. In front stands a huge statue of Queen Victoria placed there by her loyal subjects to mark her diamond jubilee in 1897.

During the days that followed we made many trips around the island
to view scenes of natural beauty and historic interest.
The Museum of British Columbia is housed here and is filled with artefacts and dioramas
tracing the history of British Columbia and its peoples.
Whilst the architecture is British the food, in style and quantity is definitely Canadian!

We had a fantastic time and have returned home
with many happy memories and some extra pounds to shed!

Bootle, Merseyside

Prince William

It began with an early start as we set off to Aberdeen.
A popular song was on the radio ‘White Flag’ with prominent lyrics of ‘I will go down with my ship’,
which didn’t bode well for my forthcoming voyage!

We pulled up to Aberdeen’s dockside and he was there in his full glory.
Prince William,
the tall ship that was to be my vessel for the next ten days,
as I sailed from Aberdeen to Southampton.

After sharing a last meal with my dad and waving him off, it was straight to my duties.
White watch number 13 was how I’d be known. With a crew of 65,
we set sail with crew members manning the yards, the rest waving to spectators, I took the helm.
‘Port 20!’ cried the captain, ‘Port 20!’ I yelled back, turning the wheel.
‘Wheel amidships!’, ‘Wheel amidships!’ I echoed.

It was not long before we were out in the North Sea, heading towards Belgium.
Four days it took, four days of nothing but sea, such an expanse and so beautiful.
The 4-8am watch, sleep depriving as it was, rewarded us with the sunrise, a magnificent sight.

Colossal container ships, like white giants, would sail by, enveloping Prince William in their shadows.
The fate of one of these was apparent as we sailed along the Zeebrugge canal,
passing the graveyard the Tricolor, sections of it reduced to scrap
after their salvage from the English Channel.

Brugge with its twisty waterways, historic buildings, hospitable sea scouts
and fine beer was a welcome stop. The sensation of being at sea was not lost,
despite being on dry land, the legs were still wobbly.

Our voyage continued to Cherbourg,
with an overnight stop for some local culture and entertainment.
Land Ho!
Sailing into Southampton was a spectacle, with the Prince William in his glory,
wind in his sails, steered by a crew who’d shared a life changing experience never to be forgotten. Greeted by my smiling sister, sailing seemed like a much more challenging
and rewarding way to travel to see her,
than the usual day long monotonous train journey!

Charlotte B

What a lovely way to start March.

Dawn to dusk sunshine with a residual vestige of wind, so decided to go on the Ramblers.Association
ramble across Goss Moor to Indian Queens. Just ready to set off when the phone rings
a bit of a nuisance but we decide to do our own thing and motor the 23 miles
down the Roseland peninsular to St. Just.
We set off at l0.55 first through the beautiful churchyard of St. Just,
surely one of the most peaceful, idyllic locations in the whole of Great Britain.
Five brave yachts were coping with the choppy waters of Carrick Roads except for one,
obviously a learner who was having trouble with the spinnaker.
And so along the water's edge, through the fields to St. Mawes,
with the dazzling sunshine reflecting off the whitewashed cottages and houses.
A few emmetts were about but everywhere was pleasantly subdued.
We saw the gig moored in the harbour and one exhausted gigsman
dozing on the pavement propped up against a wall!

And onto the patio of the Rising Sun for our first alfresco meal of the year-
pan seared Cornish scallops washed down with a couple of pints of St Austell Tinners, Ideal!
On our way through St Mawes besides the usual plethora of Spring flowers and blossom,
we noticed that the Hottentot Figs (wild mesembryanthemums)
that covered the cliffs were coming into flower
and we also noticed red hot pokers and agapanthus in bloom.
Quite amazing!

We continued up the Percuil Creek and then ascended a steep path up to the road
and walked back to St Just along a very pleasant path through the fields parallel to the road
with extensive views across the Roads to the centre of Kernow.

Back home at 16.OO to light the wood burning stove.
Though it could be a chilly night it was certainly a red letter day.
Even some mild sun/windburn brought the colour back to our Winter cheeks.
All that was needed was another Six Nations win ......
........ for Wales!


A Misty Day On Helvellyn

The day started with the promise of fair weather, I made my way up Mires Beck. As I climbed higher the perverse Cumbrian weather changed. As I ascended the mist descended until I was all alone in a world of swirling greyness. Arriving at the Hole-in-the-Wall it was time for a brief rest before heading off to climb Swirril Edge.

Whilst sat having a drink on the north side of the wall, I heard voices approaching from the southern side. They obviously had the same idea as me, a well earned rest before attempting Striding Edge. They were sat exactly opposite on the other side of the wall. I sat in silence listening to them chattering away full of excitement at being on the mountain, even in these misty conditions. It was clear from their conversation that this was their first time on Helvellyn, as one said to the other, ‘which way from here’ the other chap said ‘I’ll have a look in my Wainwright Book’.

From my side of the wall I said.
‘Keep the wall on your right, cross over the wooden step stile and you are on the start of Striding Edge’
There was the sound of hasty repacking of sandwich box’s and flask’s into rucksacks
then the tramping of boots as they left in total silence.

I thought, how antisocial I had been in not making myself known to them, I stood up and was about to shout hello, but they had been swallowed up in the grey mist I continued on my walk and eventually arrived at the summit shelter. The shelter was deserted, as I sat in total isolation in the north bay eating my lunch the same two walkers arrived at the shelter. They sat themselves down in the south bay; from their excited conversation it was clear they had enjoyed their adventure.

I was determined to make amends for my earlier bad manners, so I popped my head over the wall and said
‘I see you made it OK from the Hole-in-the-Wall.
They looked at me in total surprise.
‘Was that you who gave us directions’
‘Yes I replied’
‘Thank God for that we thought it was the ghost of Wainwright’

Tony Warren

These submissions were emailed
to Travellers Tales and Stories

with 'Travellers Tales' in the subject
email: travellers@edenonline.net

A Chance Meeting!

It has become quite obvious to me that we never really totally absorb
what other people tell us unless we have a need to or we can relate to it in some way from our own experiences. But, as you know, experiencing new things is refreshing
and motivating and perhaps it is this that is possibly one of the strongest reasons
for staying interested in living.

For some it is the new story from the bookshop,
the possibility of perfecting a special rose, seeing the family grow up happily,
taking the cruise of a lifetime or even taking the perfect photograph.

Thinking about it all,
I quite envy those involved in research
and those who send messages out into the great unknown – Space!
Searching for hidden truths, hoping for a distant reply
and listening for news from beyond the unknown
are all different ways of remaining inquisitive, being alive!
For while the unknown is unknown there is always a possibility
of discovering new truths and realising ideas and hidden knowledge that has been locked away for years.
But the possibility of ever being able to uncover the unknown or reveal the unknowable,
some would consider impossible.
But what was considered impossible a few years ago in some fields of study has now become a reality.

But very often, stepping out into unknown territory
or taking what might be considered as unreasonable chances
are generally far away or firmly set to one side.
A few years ago when I was far away from home in the heat of Majorca during May,
I met some very interesting people.
One day during a walk down the Boquer Valley, away from the crowds in the north of the island,
I was returning from picturing the beautiful bay at the end of the valley.
It was then that I came across a sole figure sitting on a hill.
Calling from the path some ten metres away,
I found that he was far from being alone as his wife immediately appeared from behind some rising ground. Dressed in blue, they informed me that they had sailed into Porte de Pollensa bay,
moored their vessel and had decided to take a walk up the valley in the pleasant warm sun.

As discussions of the beautiful island proceeded
they revealed that they had recently sold their house in East Anglia,
bought a boat and were sailing round the world, travelling from place to place in their yacht!

Now THAT would be a great Travellers Tale!!!