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East Tour Diary Day 1

Central and East Tourists were up for an early breakfast at 6am, while the West Tourists had a long lie before their flight to Vancouver. We then walked to the airport to check in for our flight to Heathrow which was delayed in taking off. This resulted in a quick dash to board our flight to Toronto which was also delayed in taking off. After a long but uneventful flight and a tortuous route through security we finally arrived in baggage reclaim to discover that 15 out of 20 East Tour and 9 Central Tour bags were still in Heathrow! It took over 2 hours to complete claim forms and with Central Tour completing that task first we bade them farewell and good luck as they left to meet the organising committee and onwards to their Toronto hotel. We eventually left baggage reclaim to be warmly welcomed by a very patient Canadian organising committee including Captain John Shea, past tourists displaying a large welcome banner and a stereo system playing pipe music. We then set off to change terminal for our flight to Halifax, but before boarding the transit train George Bee couldn’t find his passport. After searching his luggage , George andJohn Shea retraced our steps but no passport had been handed in to security. We all then transferred Terminal and while booking in George’s passport was discovered wedged in between 2 of the brush bags! We waited for our flight in the Plaza lounge where there was time for food and a few beers as well as more words of welcome from John Shea and we were all presented with a baseball cap. Almost inevitably there were also delays to our departure and we finally left Toronto just after midnight and touched down in Halifax after 3am to be met by a reception party who ushered on to a bus to take us to our hotel. By the time we had booked in and reached our rooms it was nearing 4.30am before lights out! Rather a long day and a bit!!