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Florida Guide > Travelling

After a delay of nearly 36 hours we are finally on our way to Florida, for our first trip to Orlando. We can’t believe anything can possibly go wrong after all the problems we have had, and we are feeling excited.

We have finally taken off in our American Trans Air ‘plane, en route to Gander in Newfoundland. Almost immediately a video displayed on the monitors for us to watch, and very rapidly our meal arrives. We are a little perplexed by the question, ‘Pasta or Baingers’ but we soon realise that it is ‘bangers’ and make our choice. It is a surprisingly good meal, and we sit back and relax. We are on our way, at last.

The first leg of the journey passes more quickly than we expected, and just before the light fails we approach Newfoundland. It is an extraordinary sight, as below we can see scrubby ground, punctuated here and there by pine trees. It is a desolate landscape, with numerous lakes and rocky outcrops, its barrenness reflecting its arctic temperatures. It is sparsely populated, and we see no signs of human life at all. However, what it lacks in humans it makes up for in wildlife. It is home to more than 150, 000 mooses, over 10, 000 black bears, and more than 100, 000 caribou. It really is ‘bear country’ and the bruins who roam this island are some of the largest in North America.

As well as being a hunter’s paradise, it is a dream come true for fishermen, with its hundreds of salmon rivers and trout ponds. There are remote hunting lodges accessible only by sea-plane, or helicopter, whilst others may be accessed by car. We glide over the rough, but beautiful countryside, and, as we make our descent it is possible to see dirt tracks, though there is no visible sign of human habitation. The light is fading as we approach Gander. It suddenly appears below, the only indication of its existence being the lights at the perimeter of the runway below us. With a slight bump this huge leviathan of the air lands, and there is a screech as the pilot reversed the thrust of its engines. We slow down and taxi to the main terminal building.

Gander Airport, we find, it just one small low building, proudly flying the Canadian flag, and with a large sign proclaiming ‘Gander. ’ Our ‘plane passes some small aircraft, and a helicopter, and is beckoned in by a man on the ground until it is opposite the terminal building. A set of steps is towed out, the doors open, as they are nudged into place, and we realise that, at last, we have arrived.

What a relief that we have completed the first half of our journey.

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Page added on: 15 July 2011
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