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Unexpected Rewards: Travelling to the Arctic With a Mobility Scooter von Corrigan, Maureen T. (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 08.06.2016
  • Verlag: Vivid Publishing
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Unexpected Rewards: Travelling to the Arctic With a Mobility Scooter

Have you ever packed your bags for a holiday and wondered whether you'd forgotten anything? Passport, plane ticket, hotel booking... But what if you also had to remember to find out whether you could use the shower in your hotel? Or how many steps you had to climb to get to your room? Or whether you could get on and off the trains in the country you were travelling to? These are only some of the challenges facing a traveller who happens to have mobility issues. When Maureen Corrigan, a former medical doctor and health administrator, developed multiple sclerosis she began to make a series of adaptations in her life in order to be able to continue doing the things she loves - chief among them, travel. With her practical spirit and her inability to take 'no' for an answer, Maureen is an inspiration to us all, whether or not we have mobility issues. Her latest adventure, to Norway and the Arctic, provides us with a fascinating insight into how those adaptations play out in real life, as well as taking us on a journey to the starkly stunning vistas of the land of the midnight sun.

Produktinformationen

    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Seitenzahl: 200
    Erscheinungsdatum: 08.06.2016
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9781925442489
    Verlag: Vivid Publishing
    Größe: 5685kBytes
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Unexpected Rewards: Travelling to the Arctic With a Mobility Scooter

CHAPTER 1

THE IDEA

Going on the trip to Norway and the Arctic was very important to me. But why go to those places? How did I arrive at that choice? I think the idea came about because of the polar bears. I wanted to see them in their natural habitat. I was sure Sue would want to see them even more than I did. She has a special feeling for animals and wildlife. As my friend and carer, it was important that she was happy with the trip. We always travelled together these days.

I also wanted to go to a place that was unusual, somewhere far away, with some remoteness - a place that had a bit of an edge to it, somewhere that had some extra excitement going for it.

Gwen, who lives in the same apartment block as Sue and me, had spoken to us about a trip she'd been on a few years earlier. She'd told us that her trip had circumnavigated the island of Spitsbergen in the Arctic. We must have been talking about wonderful animals, starting with her dog and then somehow moving on to polar bears. Gwen had a beautiful dog called Lilly, a Sheltie - a miniature Lassie dog - who, like the bears, had some long white fur!

Her trip sounded wonderful, and when we joined her for a drink one day Gwen brought out some photos. 'You might like to have a look at these. They were taken from the ship, we were so close.' They were very good photos of polar bears. I hadn't planned our yearly overseas trip yet and, yes, it was then that the seed was planted.

We'd also recently watched a television programme, a Global Village series, on one of the SBS channels. It showed Geirangerfjord in Norway. The scenery was stunning. That place became etched on my brain to see one day for sure.

I hadn't been to any Scandinavian countries before. Sue had been in the early 1970s. She'd travelled around most of Europe then, from her working base in London. However, she hadn't been further north in Norway than Trondheim. A trip further north would therefore include new territory for both of us. That was yet another reason to go to the Arctic area.

The Northern Lights came up at some stage. Unfortunately, I realised after a few enquiries that the polar bears came out in the northern summer and the lights were best in the northern winter. However, the lights were always there, and the darker the sky and the fewer the clouds, the easier it was to see them. If we were lucky, we might be able to see the lights anyway.

Yes, that's how I decided in 2010 to start looking in more detail about going to Norway and the Svalbard Arctic region for next year's overseas trip. How would we go there?

I recalled hearing a few years ago about the Hurtigruten coastal run in Norway. But I wanted to go further north than the coast of Norway to be able to see the polar bears. The bears lived on the island of Spitsbergen in the Svalbard region, not on the mainland of Norway. The island was about one thousand kilometres to the north-west, well away from the coast of Norway.

There were boat trips like Gwen's advertised, ones that went only around the island, and there were separate trips that covered the mainland coastal route of Norway. I wanted to go to both areas. When I did see trips advertised going to the two places, they involved flying between two different boat trips. The other thing I wanted was to stay on board the same boat. I didn't want to pack and unpack or negotiate any more airports than I needed to. It was more difficult for me at airports these days, with my mobility problems and aids.

The type of ship that we'd take was important too. I wanted to get off the ship to be in the natural environment. I had in mind something like the inflatable boats - Zodiacs, they were called - that we took on our Antarctic trip in January 2008. Those small, ten-person vessels brought you so close to wildlife and nature. It was wonderful to be on one. And, like Antarctica, we both wanted to b

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