Vector Festival and packing

Posted from Saint-Rémy, Burgandy, France.

Sometimes I think I’m a work-a-holic. I know there’s a few people right now laughing, perhaps gfawing at this idea, seeing as I’ve been traveling for six months, but let me explain. When it comes to work I will work until my fingers bleed. I will work until the skin peels off, then I will show people the peeling skin and bleeding cuticles, and I will keep on working. Yup. I have proof, as this is what happened at this year’s Vector Festival in Chalon sur Saône.

Look Kate! I finally did it!

Look Kate! I finally did it!

From Gothenburg, after a lovely trip to Stockholm where I spent far too much money, I caught a flight with Air France to Paris for a mere 100 Euros. Having about 10 hours to kill in Paris led me to my own devices – which means I finally got that baguette and camped out on the grass below the Eiffel Tower. I spent about four hours there people watching and soaking up the sun – which was wonderful considering I spent the last month freezing in Sweden.

The good thing is Paris’ public transit is awesome. It’s easy to get anywhere, even from Orly, Charles de Gaulle or any of the bus stations.

So from Paris I took a bus to Chalon sur Saône. The reason I took a bus and not a train is because the trains were double or quadruple the price. Granted, they are far quicker, like half the time, but I preferred to pay €25 to get there rather than €120. That, and I didn’t have to pay for a hotel room that night. I was on a night bus.

Getting things done.

Getting things done.

It arrived at 6 a.m. and having no clue how to get to the dropzone that Sunday morning, or if anyone was going to be awake, I elected to hangout at the train/bus station for a few hours whilst a very intoxicated French man tried to practice his English on me. One 20 Euro taxi ride a few hours later and I was at the DZ. They were still setting up, but I was knackered. So I found someone in charge who could lead me to a couch or a bed to sleep for a few hours. Apparently the all-night bus is still my nemesis.

After a nap in the bunkhouse I lounged on the grass, in the sun, all day. My body finally un-thawing after Sweden. And my mind a week closer to heading home. Were my travels really almost over?

But I was here to work.

Inside the packing tent.

Inside the packing tent.

Fast-forward through seven days of packing more than 400 rigs and my fingers were raw, my cuticles bleeding and most of the skin from my hands had peeled off after the friction blisters ripped open. So this is what happens when you haven’t packed for six months and dive right in light a seasoned pro.

Of course, I can’t forget the skydiving, of which I did none. But people had come from as far as Chile to enjoy the boogie. It was fairly well run, minus some plane issues. The Twin Otter was grounded by Friday and sometimes they couldn’t find the Beech pilots.  They took their mandatory tea and lunch breaks. They got another Caravan in to make up for the Twin Otter being down, which was helpful for the more than 400 registrants.

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I spoke more French then I had since Luang Prabang, and at times I impressed myself. A lot of the times it was very broken French, but I was able to communicate in some shape what I wanted to say.

The parties in the evening were fun and epic, but I was exhausted and rarely lasted longer than midnight. I walked back to the hotel most nights, which was unusual for me, as I’ve never actually gotten a hotel for a boogie. Me, the captain of thrift shelled out for a warm bed and my own shower. Well, I had a roommate, but our schedules were a little off. He partied all night and I worked all day.

While I enjoyed my time in France and at the boogie, I was truly excited to head home. After the festival I was flying to Montreal for a short pit stop before I headed home to Thunder Bay for a surprise, but short, visit.

Vector/PD/Vigil Festival in Europe is awesome, and I’m so glad I went. But the next stop is Montreal where I will have a visit with some of my Canadian Skydiving friends at the Canadian Skydiving Nationals in Farnham, at Nouvel Air.

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