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Having gone West yesterday, I was hoping that today would be the day that I would be emulating Richard Barnes.

Yes, I'm getting rather tired of Southern Comfort, of things that take the appetite from life
Go North, young man!

I suppose that living in hope is better than dying in despair.

So I don't know whether or not it was my really guilty conscience telling me something , or else it was the (comparatively early night), or whether I have been totally swept away by the tension and the emotion, but here I was, wide-awake at 02:25 this morning,

hotel renaissance edmonton airport out of the north west passage adventure canada september septembre 2018

By 04:00 I had given up on the idea of going back to sleep a long time since and was out of bed looking at the aircraft coming into land at the airport and catching up on a pile of work. .

I can see that I'm going to have to do something about this otherwise I can sense a catastrophe lurking around the corner.

After all of the alarms had rung, I went and had a good shower. And gathered up all my things ready for the off.

Luckily, at the hotel's check-out while I was waiting at the queue I managed to locate a coffee machine so I was able to fuel up. Maybe I'll feel a little more like it when the coffee starts to work.

Who knows?

At the baggage check-in at the airport I notice that I'm definitely losing my touch. My suitcase weighed a mere 16.6 kgs and that included Strawberry Moose.

That's not like me at all, is it? I could have smuggled a couple of extra children on board in my baggage allowance.

Seriously though, there was one thing that I wished that I had brought as an additional item, and as this story unfolds, you'll begin to realise what it is.

Security was another total farce.

We had probably the surliest member of the Canadian Government's Public Service that I have ever encountered (and I've encountered a few, believe me, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall).

And then my boots rang the alarm bells at the barrier so I was told (not asked, told) to take them off.

And so I made an acerbic remark about the fact that I'd rather take my chances with the freedom fighters than the Security Services, which led to my being "selected for special screening".

The guy in charge of the explosives detector then couldn?t make the machine work so being old and feeble that I am ... "quite" - ed ... I sat down on his table to rest.

He took a great deal of exception to that so my response was that I wasn?t going to hang around all day like this while he messed around with all of his useless equipment.

This led to something of another stand-off as I dug my heels in and refused to budge.

In the end, I was waved through, but not before they confiscated my bottle of water. And for some reason or another they took exception to my book too and we had a little argument about that as well. However I grabbed it and cleared off.

I really don't know what is the matter with these people.

I'm sure that in Canada they must trawl the Government Services for the most obnoxious members of their staff and rather than firing them, they post them to Airport duty.

I'm convinced that they actually go around looking for a fight. So the best that I can do is to make their day and oblige them.

Finding my departure gate was another thing too.

I could see every gate except the one that I wanted, but a closer inspection revealed that there was a narrow set of steps between two other departure gate, and mine was down there at ground level.

No loading ramp then - a walk out onto the concrete apron.

While I was sitting down, I occupied myself by starting to make a list of the things that I don't remember packing.

That's my normal practice of course. Most people make a list of things that they need and pack accordingly before setting off.

I'm the kind of person who packs and sets off and then makes a list of things that he's forgotten.

I can see it being another one of THOSE voyages.

And I must remember to find a large bin-liner in which to wrap His Nibs, otherwise he'll be rather wet.

Down here in what are clearly the cheap seats we have to wait for a while for a couple of other aeroplanes to be loaded up and sent on their way.

It hasn't escaped my notice that the destinations for these other planes departing from the cheap seats in the basement have very Inuit or other First-Nation-sounding names. Clearly the airport authorities don't want these people to mix with and contaminate the expense-account voyagers, or otherwise cause offence by their appearance.

British aerospace BAe 146 Avro rj85 edmonton airport out of the north west passage adventure canada september septembre 2018

Eventually we are called out and we can walk across the concrete to our aeroplane for the next leg of our journey.

We're being honoured, if that's the correct word, by one of the old British Aerospace BAe146 variants. It's either an Avro RJ85 or an RJ100, and the only way to tell them apart without a tape measure is to have one standing alongside another. The RJ100 is bigger.

If you can see the aeroplane's registration number you can research the machine to find out what it is, but unfortunately it's not visible in my photo.

What I can tell you though is that it's a charter flight operated by a company based in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. And knowing how many people there are in our party and counting the empty seats, it makes me think that our plane might be an RJ100.

I ended up sharing a row of seats with an elderly British lady who told me that she has lived in Canada for 75 years, and a rather garrulous British guy who had clearly had more than just a whiff of the barmaid's apron before he boarded the flight, even at this time of morning, and was keen to have some more.

I was in luck because a vegan meal had been supplied for me on the flight. However, having given it a thorough inspection, I was rather dubious about whether it was really as vegan as it was supposed to be.

But at least we were off the ground and moving somewhere in the right direction. That has to be some kind of progress.

To see more details of today's voyage, please refer to this page

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