back to Canada

Posted from Farnham, Quebec, Canada.

After an overnight bus ride where a teenage boy kept falling asleep on my shoulder, I got to spend eight exhausting and terribly boring hours in Orly Airport before I finally got on my Corsair Flight and made my way from Paris to Montreal. There really is nothing to do in Orly Airport. Then I got to spend another boring five hours in Trudeau Airport before my ride finally showed up and we went on our way to Farnham, Quebec – where I will spend five days visiting friends at the Canadian Skydiving Nationals hosted by Nouvel Air. At least in Montreal’s Airport I could drink. It was a journey. But I’m back in Canada and what’s more, my mother has no clue. She thinks I’m in Ireland. More on that later. IMG_8110 I’ve been around skydiving for the past month, but I have yet to strap a rig on and get current. Why? Well, I really want to jump my own gear. I get weird like that. Or maybe I’m just overly cautious. I feel it would be safer if I jump equipment I’m familiar with when I’ve taken such a long break. Some people find this silly – if I really wanted to jump I’d be up there. Others completely understand. So that being said, I spent my time on the ground. What took a bit of getting used to was spending money. After months of scrimping I allowed myself a real good bite of luxury. The first night (well, we got there at 12 a.m.) my friend and I split a hotel room that was close to $140/night. Yoiks. This ain’t a $7 hostel. At least it had an awesome free breakfast. And we had to rent a car at the last minute which walloped our wallets at nearly $100/day. But hey. It was a convertible, so who cares?

Getting a group photo of the competitors. This photographer didn't get a good vantage point.

Getting a group photo of the competitors. This photographer didn’t get a good vantage point.

It was really good to see everyone, though. At least the people that showed up. It seems that there isn’t much interest in the nationals these days. There were lots of teams, more than I think I’ve ever seen before, so that counteracts my previous comment, but no one really stuck around. Actually it was kind of hard to tell there was a competition going on at all. But maybe I only felt that way because I wasn’t jumping and I wasn’t part of any of the competitions. Maybe. Though a few people I talked to did say it was subdued and weird and they echoed my sentiments. There was a competition going on?

Run for cover? Why?

Run for cover? Why?

Nationals, however, wouldn’t be complete without bad weather. Oh, and did the weather come – in the shape of tornado warnings. Picture a bunch of retarded skydivers standing outside watching a shelf cloud approach. Oh wait, I took photos of it. This is one time I was glad I was staying in a hotel and not a tent as pretty much all the tents proved inferior to the wrath of mother nature. And it wasn’t just one storm. Water beds for everyone. Competition was fierce, or so I heard. Four-way FS is really the main event, and seeing as Nationals were held at the home dropzone of Evolution – Canada’s premiere team, there were lots of teams that were basically tailor-assembled for the comp, but this, of course, also contributed to a great event. Third and fourth place were separated by a single point. IMG_8167 Canopy piloting was the most physically watched, as it’s the most spectator friendly. Having seen many of these canopy pilots when they were just starting out, I have to say that the caliber of pilots coming out of Canada is outstanding. They’ve all improved so much. Only five rounds got completed until the weather inflicted its ulterior plans. But the crowds got to see some swimming. And Canada is sending eight competitors to the worlds. The awards ceremony and banquet were great fun. After the medals were handed out we all danced the night away. And in true fashion, we drank and danced the night away. Before I left, me and my friend went into Montreal and ate some food before dropping the rental car off at the airport. My next stop is Thunder Bay – where it all began. My plan, surprise the mom. She has no idea I’m even in North America at the moment. I can’t wait to see the look on her face.

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