Thursday, 15 April 2010

Flying to Winnipeg, part 2

Read part 1 if you haven't yet... it'll make more sense that way!
So I arrived in Rankin, 20 mins before my connecting flight, and I went straight to the counter to make sure I wasn't going to miss the flight to Winnipeg, only to be told the plane hadn't even left Winnipeg yet. The plane I was trying to catch makes a daily round trip from Winnipeg to Rankin and back. They were waiting to hear if they would be able to land in Rankin before they were willing to take off from Winnipeg. I pulled out a book and waited half an hour. Then I checked in again, and was very happy to learn the flight was on it's way, and would be landing shortly after 4pm. At that point I decided it would be nice to see a bit of Rankin. There was a map of the town posted up in the airport so I went to study it a bit:
Definitely complicated, but I've done a lot of travelling figured it wouldn't be too hard to find the right road to town. Unfortunately, maps make a lot more sense when you can bring them with you as you try to figure out where you're going. So I took off walking in what I hoped was the right direction, knowing it would take about 15 mins to walk to downtown Rankin.

I was starting to feel like I was headed in the wrong direction, but as a truck drove by and the guy offered me a ride, I didn't feel right about accepting it, and waved him off. I kept walking a little farther and finally decided I was better off going back to the airport. As I arrived back at the airport, I knew I still wanted to get into town to get a coffee or something to pass the time, so I called a cab. And while I waited for the cab, a man asked me where I was going. When I explained, he said he was on his way to one of the cafes/restaurants and I might as well come with him. And so I broke one of my hard and fast traveller's rules. I got in a car alone with a strange man in a strange town.

And I arrived safe and sound to the Sugar Rush cafe. When I tried ordering a latte, the only one they knew how to make was a chai latte, which was fine with me. I burnt my tongue, but enjoyed the drink, sitting by the window and watching the people in the cafe. (because honestly, this isn't europe, the interesting traffic is in the cafe, there aren't many people walking in the streets at this time of year.) An hour later, I caught a cab back to the airport.
When I asked a couple questions about the town, the cabbie gave me a quick tour on the way back to the airport. Then it was back to the waiting game.
Shortly after the time the plane was supposed to arrive we heard a jet fly over. I had spoken briefly with a girl who was also waiting for my plane, and when we heard it we grinned at each other, excited to hear it arriving. And then through comments around us, we slowly realized that when you hear and don't see the plane it's a bad sign. The plane had buzzed us, decided the fog was too thick to land and flown to Churchill to refuel and try again. We had a 2 hour wait until the next time it would try to land.
So we sat and talked, got to know each other, bought over-priced smokies and sandwiches from the kiosk at the airport, and waited for our plane to come back. As I learned her story, I started praying we could get on that plane for her sake, if not for mine.
But once again the plane flew over, and took it's passengers back to Winnipeg. This time they gave us our checked luggage and told us to come back the next day for 2pm. So my excellent plan to arrive earlier in the day crashed and burned, and I spent more time in transit than I ever wanted. I also ended up paying for an overpriced hotel room for the night. I almost cried, until I realize how stressed and overtired I was. At which point I set an alarm and crawled into bed.
On the plus side, I made a new friend. And the next day's flight went really well. And, well, here I am, safe and sound, able to be where I want to be.

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