Following Hilary’s list of worst moments, there’s been requests for Roger to publish his. Not as dramatic, but hopefully they reveal our travels haven’t been pure sailing.
Arriving in Calgary
It just seemed a mistake. Texas had been warm and sunny, then suddenly we landed in a freezing, snowing, concrete city seemingly in the middle of nowhere. It hadn’t been planned like this. I expected a Canadian spring and the escape of camping up near Banff and Jasper.
Anyway, to get warm, we checked into a boutique hotel, and in the end loved the “winter wonderland ” of the Canadian Rockies.
“Incident” in Banos
We were coming down the steep path from the statue of the Virgin Mary in Banos, Ecuador, when I saw the young lad coming towards us. His eyes were staring, and as he passed me he lunged towards Hilary. Luckily I was able to swing round and get my body between him and Hilary and any significant incident was averted.
“Heart attack” on the bus
With my low salt diet I often get cramp, especially in hot climates. This happened on the long-distance bus in Northern Chile, and I stood up suddenly grimacing. All the young local women around us, who saw me as a white-haired old man, and who didn’t understand Hilary’s reassurances, thought I was having a heart attack and got very concerned.
Sleeping on the edge
Way back in Italy, we stayed the night in a cheap hotel in Matera. It was an old structure, literally built-out over the side of a massive gorge.
Once I realised that, all I could think of, as I lay in bed during the night, was an earthquake sending the hotel – and us – down into obliteration. I was very pleased to leave early in the morning.
The road heading into Argentina
And here’s more evidence I have a fear of being by vertical edges. After we left the Atacama Desert, the high road over the Andes into Argentina dropped down into a dramatic valley, through a series of breathtaking hairpin bends.
Trouble was, I was totally convinced the bus driver would, in a moment of distraction, lose control, and we would all disappear over the edge. I simply had to close my eyes, and breathe deeply.
Losing each other in Joshua Tree
It got dark deceptively quickly after sunset in the National Park. So it wasn’t a smart idea to wander off to photograph silhouetted images of the trees against the sunset sky and get separated from Hilary.
Returning to the car, it was pretty dark, and I was worried when Hilary wasn’t there. My calls went unanswered; she was nowhere close. In fact, she was out searching for me.
Of course we eventually both met up again at the car, and strong language was used. This warned us to be more careful; it would have been so easy to get disorientated and stranded in the dark.
On the bridge
Finally, the distressing moment on the Golden Gate Bridge when I watched a young girl float away. Elsewhere on this blog there’s a post on this.