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a short interlude in anchorage

A 3.00am start after a going to bed at 1.30 isn’t my favourite way to begin the day but the blow was softened by my friend Melda who insisted on driving us to the airport. It was pretty good of her but perhaps she was just pleased to see the back of my bike and the cardboard boxes and all the other piles of stuff that had been cluttering up her apartment for the last couple of weeks and so was happy to facilitate its removal.

Checking in at Ruzyne Airport in Prague was almost trouble-free but watching the bikes boxes being hauled away was pretty nerve-racking. On the plane I immediately collapsed into a deep sleep making the most of the opportunity to catch up on a couple of weeks of sleep deficit. There’s not much entertaining that can be said about a long haul flight so I’ll confine myself to saying Frankfurt is one of the less pleasant airports I’ve wasted a couple of hours of my life in. We arrived in Anchorage and submitted ourselves to the laborious security proceedures, ending up as the last of our flight to emerge. We were met at the airport by Ron, a member of Warmshowers (a cycle specific hospitality network,) who had been patiently waiting for us and he bundled us into his car with our bikes and bags and drove us to his house where we were also welcomed by Barb, his partner.

Now you might think that the last thing we’d want to do after a 16 hour flight was get in an another aeroplane but when Ron offered us a joyride in his Cessna 205 to check out the scenery around Anchorage I accepted in a second. It seems that here in Alaska a light aeroplane is common form of transport – a sort of second, or more likely third, car. The lake next to the international airport is surrounded by a flotilla of small planes on floats for the summer which make the large distances in Alaska easily accessible to the inhabitants of Anchorage. So, after recovering a little from the big flight, we jumped into Ron’s Cessna – an aircraft dating from the 60’s which is reminiscent of an old Holden station wagon – and flew south of Anchorage to view the mountains and the glaciers down the peninsula.

Flying over Anchorage.

Flying over Anchorage.

Mountains south of Anchorage.

Mountains south of Anchorage.

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