Thursday, March 26, 2015

homeward bound

My funds were dangerously close to zero, so this meant one thing. It was time to go home. I had said I would travel until I ran out of money, and damnit, I nailed it. 

I was on a train from Interlaken to Zurich, with Bertha once again in tow. I'd be sad to be ending this trip, but boy was I glad not to have to deal with that bitch anymore. 

The Swiss scenes raced by my train window and I tried to absorb them, imprinted in my mind. It was just so GD beautiful. The nerves were starting to kick in for my upcoming attempt at getting on a flight tomorrow. The stakes were high since I had literally a few dollars left in my account. I had a hotel room for the night that was already reserved and paid for right near the airport so there was that, at least. Immediately upon check in exhaustion from the events of the past few days in Interlaken started to take over. Tomorrow was going to be a big day. I would hopefully be on a flight back to the States...

The next morning, I jolt awake and grab Bertha. "We're going home" I tell her. I jump aboard the hotel's airport shuttle van and hope for the best.

Upon check in, I'm informed by the Kentucky Fried Chicken guy, aka Colonel Sanders look-a-like that they'd keep Bertha off to the side, just in case I didn't make it on the flight on stand by. That way, we wouldn't be separated. Hopefully that wouldn't be the case, and Bertha and I were mere hours from boarding our flight home. The Colonel's expression in regards to the available seats said otherwise.

They marked Bertha "heavy" (NO SHIT) and I was on my way to try my luck on getting home. 

I sat nervously in the waiting area at the gate. One flight out a day that I could get on. It had been so easy on the way to Italy, that I hadn't thought much of it. But minutes went by, and went by, and I still wasn't getting called up to the desk. I wasn't the only one though. There's a guy in fatigues a few seats away, a fancy couple, and an older couple trying their luck at stand by as well. As time passes and almost everyone has boarded the plane, we are the only ones left standing there. The older couple gets called up, and makes it on. Good for them, I think. 

The hot Army guy (did I mention he was hot?) and I are standing in disbelief at the gate as they close it up. They still haven't told us anything! We band together, which is more than fine by me, and vow to figure it out. Turns out today is Tim's (hot guy has a name) second day trying to get on a flight. He wins. 

At this point I realize I probably reached my quota of allowed times to approach the desk. I don't care though. I'm tired, and cranky. The Colonel (after having many conversations with me already), informs me the plane is full. I look crestfallen. "Guess I'm staying in the airport." I say aloud. 

"Just make sure you shower before you come back here tomorrow, or they won't let you on the plane" he responds. What?! JUST GO GET ME SOME CHICKEN SASSY SANDERS.

Tim looks like he's going to lose it. I want to give him a hug, but that would be creepy. We sign up to do this all over again tomorrow, and chat while we wait what seems like hours to collect our luggage back again.

We become close pretty quickly, sharing our life stories and common purpose of getting home. He's the perfect sort of hot. Unassuming, southern accent, and just out of reach. His low, thick, southern droll slows down my pulse. If I could just find a way for him to lose his pants, and mine, in the same room. Who was this guy and why was I acting like this? I think it's called verbal diarrhea. I couldn't stop talking. Words spilled out of my mouth at an unbelievable rate and I'm not even sure what I said.

Tim has a cousin that lives in Zurich that he plans to go stay with, so my secret wish that he offers to sleep in the airport with me is squashed. We part ways with promises to see each other in the morning, by default.

Well we meet again Bertha, and not in America. Here I am, still somehow lugging her fat ass around the airport. I'm sure she feels the same way about me.
It's before noon, I have no wifi to speak of, and about a 1/2 franc coin burning a hole in my wallet. What to do, what to do. I stroll around the airport pulling Bertha, and sporting my backpack filled to the brim with Swiss chocolate. 

Chocolate is heavy. 

After sitting for about an hour, a girl next to me that I have been chatting with gifts me her wifi code, with the remaining 5 minutes to burn. I send off a panicky message home to the parents, and quickly locate an airport hotel and hop on their shuttle. 

Once in another airport hotel (thankfully just enough room on a credit card!) I am so glad to see that tucked away safely in one of Bertha's folds, is my last of the many, many granola bars that I packed at the beginning of my trip! 

Here I was, just a short train ride to downtown Zurich, Switzerland, and stuck confined to a hotel room eating a granola bar for all three meals. Could be worse. Like if I end up stuck here again tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that..sleeping in the airport and slowly eating my way through all the souvenir chocolate that currently resided in my backpack for family and friends. THESE ARE GIFTS! I remind myself.

I make it through the night without tapping into my chocolate reserves and the next morning on the hotel shuttle back to the airport I am crossing every toe and finger possible that I'll be boarding this flight. Who's at the check in desk but the Colonel himself! 

"Don't worry, I showered." I say in greeting. "How's it looking today? My family wants to see me!"

"Too early to tell!" chuckles the Colonel. Only I'm not laughing.

Once again I part ways with Bertha and head to the gate. Round 2. If I remember correctly, I have a few dollars left on my debit card which would be perfect for a coffee. I head over to the bar area and order one. It's already poured, steamy, and ready for me to drink when my card gets declined. So I guess I didn't remember correctly. It was officially time to go home. While I'm busy turning red from embarrassment, the guy next to me becomes my hero. 

"I've got her coffee." he says, and pays for it, just like that.

"Thank you so much! Chase bank doesn't think I should be in Switzerland anymore." 

Turns out coffee hero guy is flying standby as well, but really high up on the priority list. He has inside information and can access what number I am, and if I'm likely to get a seat on this flight. JACKPOT.

We chat for a while, and then I meander over to the gate. I find Tim, looking dashing as promised. They've started boarding, and here we are again, waiting. We aren't the only ones, though. There's a few newbies that have joined our little group of standby-ers. We are the island of misfits. Just then I see coffee hero guy approaching. The misfits and I have grown tight in the past 45 minutes and I'm hopeful we'll all get on.  

"Hold on, I know a guy." I say, as if I'm a bookie with access to inside information. Which, let's be real, I kind of am at this point.

While the misfits eagerly await, coffee hero guy looks up all of our names and standings on the list. He is confident that I will get on, as will hot Tim. He thinks the others have a good chance as well. This all means nothing until they call us up and give us printed tickets though. Almost the entire plane has boarded.

Just then, Colonel Sanders approaches us. He doles out the golden tickets, as if he's Willy Wonka himself. (Little does he know I've got the motherload of chocolate on my back.)

"Your Mom called and said I had to get you on this flight" he says as he hands me my ticket. Witty Sanders, so very witty.

Tim and I hug in celebration and all the misfits high five each other. It was really quite special. Tim and I talk of celebration on the flight back to the States, but he's in coach, and I somehow ended up in first class again. I don't care that I'm in first class, I would've sat on someone's lap just to get on the flight. Doesn't mean I won't drink the champagne though.

I board first, and wish that I could smuggle Tim into first class with me. I may or may not have visions of the mile high club. 

He boards and says hi as he walks by to his seat, ruffling my hair. Well there goes the mile high club. What was I? His little sister?! At least I had champagne.

We take off, and the panic of going home sets in. 

What would I do when I got back? I had no plan. 

I was exhausted. I fight tears many times and I feel like I could sleep for days on end, Disney princess style. As I start eating my airplane tortellini I suddenly feel nauseous. Maybe I was ready to go home briefly, and have a break from traveling. But was I ready to put down roots? No way. I wanted to be free, and couldn't imagine any one or anything making me want to stay grounded for a long, long time. I did know that I was not coming back as the same person that had left at the beginning of the summer. 

I try to focus on some positive things about going home. Most of them revolving around food. Like the fact that I really wanted a turkey sandwich, buffalo wings, and guacamole. AND A HOTDOG. Could I be anymore American. I had gone all summer without a bbq and a hotdog. It was a fair request in my book. 

I think of guacamole all the way home. I arrive back in the States, and manage to squeeze myself on my second flight. Despite the anxiety I was feeling about my return, the hugs and seeing this happy face make all the difference:

My niece so surprised to see me in person instead of on a computer screen!

As promised, here is a picture of Me and Bertha, to get an idea of her size...

Stay tuned for "THE LIST: a follow up" on what I checked off, and why some of them, I didn't!

**A special shout out to my stand-by "bookie" for the coffee and inside info!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Swiss SUP

The following morning in the attic was not a pleasant one. I was hungover, obviously, from my bachelor party shenanigans the night before, and, AND I was departing Interlaken later that day. My front desk friend Negative Nancy was thrilled I'm sure. Especially when I approached her to hold my bags while I adventured around for a few hours. She reluctantly obliged, and I was off to take in the views on the top of the local mountain, Harder Kulm. 

Normally, I would've hiked up. Normally as in when I hadn't been up until 5 am peeing in streets. Instead, I opted for the lift up to the top, along with loads of other people apparently. After waiting in a torturous line (which I usually avoid at all costs), I was on the lift. 

I knew what to expect when I reached the top, but the view before me was surely a painting backdrop. Unreal doesn't even begin to describe it.

I walked out on the platform that literally juts out over the cliff. Not for the faint of heart! But incredibly awesome. Some girls were taking selfies while mounting the fake cow on the platform, so naturally I asked them to snap a shot of me. 

I had to be quick, because I had limited time before my train out of Interlaken, and one more thing I wanted to do before I left! But first, some french fries. 

greasy snack with a view
Now that my hangover cure was in place, it was time to catch a bus to Lake Thun!

I took a bus to Mountain Surf for some SUP, Swiss style.

The scenery = breathtaking
The water = freezing

I had only done stand up paddling boarding once before, in the bath warm waters of Florida's Gulf Coast. My motivation for staying on the board was definitely the water temperature here amongst the Alps!


After my quick jaunt to Lake Thun, and avoiding the frigid waters by staying on my board, I was back to retrieve Bertha. It was time to make my way to Zurich, (since my funds were almost negative at this point) where I would hopefully get on a flight home the next morning...

*I absolutely recommend going to Mountain Surf for water sports if you're in the Interlaken area:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

That time I joined a Bachelor party

I felt energized from my jaunt in the canyon and knew that a celebration of sorts had to happen. But first, I had signed up for a free walking tour of Interlaken. Why? IT WAS FREE. Despite the extreme fatigue that threatened to spoil any plans of moving for the rest of the day and night, I forced myself to go on the tour. 

Little did I know, my tour would start with a tour. I walked to the meeting point, thinking it shan't be far. Instead, I walked one end of Interlaken to the other, ending at the meeting point, and getting to witness the landing of many paragliders in the park. I waited at the appointed spot for what seemed like hours, but realistically was probably more like twenty minutes, when a giant appeared followed by a group of people. This was our tour guide, Viktor, and the people going on the walking tour that he had collected at the first meeting point. 

He was very animated and clearly psyched about touring us through Interlaken. And so we began our trek. Not before a summer camp-esque ice breaker where all twenty or so of us "walkers" had to stand in a circle, sharing where we were from, etc. It was at this point I buddied up with a couple from Idaho or Iowa.. one of the I's. 

Having been born and bred in the area, Viktor was practically spilling over with information. His enthusiasm was charming. As were some of the scenes I captured:

After the longer than expected walking tour, Viktor plugged his Bar Crawl that I had read about. It was to take place starting in a few hours, and tour some of the local "hot spots," if you will. Midwestern couple asked if I'd be attending. I wasn't sure since my body was screaming with exhaustion from the day's activities, but made loose plans to meet up with them. 

I returned to my attic sauna room and munched on what seemed like thousands of pretzel sticks. Another gem I'd picked up from the grocery store. Welp, that should hold me.

It was my last night in Interlaken. I'd be ashamed of myself not to make a go at the bar crawl. I just wouldn't stay out too late...

I made my way to the first stop on the bar crawl, via foot. Boy, were my dogs barking. As promised, a boisterous crowd occupied the inside of the bar. Leading them all, was Viktor the giant. He was just so tall. I craned my neck and greeted him. He rewarded me with a huge grin, a shot, and beer. Lest no time be wasted!

(photo courtesy of Interlaken Free Walking Tours)

I chatted with my new friends I had met earlier on the walking tour, and about 30 seconds later was sucked into a large group of guys at a table that were the most boisterous of them all. They were part of the bar crawl, and celebrating a bachelor party, of course. After insistence on their part for me to sit with them, I found myself sharing a seat with one of the guys. They all spoke English and were hilarious. 
(photo courtesy of Interlaken Free Walking Tour)

We were onto the next bar, the bachelor party had adopted me as one of their own, and it was to be a long night.

At each bar we were given a free shot, one of which was poured directly from the bottle into our mouths. I became tight with one of the guys from the bachelor party, Louis. He had a British accent and was absolutely hilarious. In the picture below you'll find me, middle, and Louis just above, pretending to bite my head.

(photo courtesy of Interlaken Free Walking Tours)

It was so freeing to be silly, happy-go-lucky, and hanging out with new people who didn't know my backstory. Louis brought out the silliest side of me that I hadn't been in a while. We skipped down the street, arm in arm, laughing and commentating on the budding romance forming with the couple walking in front of us. 

We ended up at the last stop on the bar crawl, a dance club at a hostel. Some of the group was dying off, and didn't make it to the club portion of the night. I was full on part of the bachelor party at this point. Me and about ten guys. Not that I was complaining. 

These are the things that I know ensued at the club:
1. Louis got very, very drunk and disappeared.
2. There were more shots.
3. Viktor the giant kissed my hand as if I was royalty.
4. I danced with one of the best dancers I've ever danced with.

Said dancer was one of the lot from the bachelor party, and had moves that were totally unexpected. He was a manly man, and super graceful on his feet! He whirled me around like I weighed nothing and I could barely keep up with his quick steps. It was a blast. 

We took a quick break from tearing it up on the dance floor, and the groom-to-be took me aside.  "I don't know if you're expecting to hook up with him, but he's got a girlfriend. I have other single friends if that's what you're looking for."

The shock was written all over my face. "No, no I'm not looking to hook up with him! I was just dancing." I quickly replied. 

What was I looking for? 

Just then Louis reappeared. Somehow it was 4am and we were back on the streets of Interlaken trying to find our way to an after hours bar the guys had heard of. I didn't know where we were really, and I knew it was time for me to go back to the attic. Also I really, REALLY had to pee.

I said goodbye to my new friends and thanked them for inviting me to join their bachelor party. I kind of wanted to go to the wedding too, but that'd be pushing it. 

Now I had the issue of how to get back to my humble abode, and the small problem of needing to pee my pants to deal with. I wandered what I hoped was in the correct direction. I couldn't stand it anymore. I was going to burst! I'm not proud of it, but I may or may not have stopped to pee behind a parked car in someone's driveway. Shortly afterwards I started to recognize some of the streets, and found my way back. 

It was 5am and I just peed in a Swiss street. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

hi ho, hi ho, into the canyon I go

I spent the evening warming up, and going back and forth between paragliding and canyoning in my head. Did I want to fly through the air for a few minutes with one stranger in control of my life? Or did I want to (sadly) attempt to conquer the canyon with a group of strangers in penguin suits? 

Ultimately, I'd rather do a group venture than something essentially by myself. Canyoning it was...but was it too late to sign up? I shot off a frantic e-mail to the company and set my alarm just in case. It was in Swiss hands now...

It was no mistake that I dreamt of falling over large cliffs. Or maybe that was the bed. My alarm sounded and I checked my e-mail. Nothing. I padded out to the bathroom with no lock and prayed no one would walk in on me peeing. I checked my e-mail once again...I had heard back from the company and they wondered could I be ready in time for the 9am canyoning departure?! I had to call and let them know.

I bolted down millions of stairs to my favorite lady at reception and asked to borrow the phone. "Why?" Negative Nancy asked. 

"NANCY I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR YOUR SHIT!" I wanted to scream. Instead I politely and rapidly explained my time crunch. I had less than 15 minutes to call and arrange my certain doom in the canyon, get dressed, and pull myself together mentally for this adventure. Although, I was pretty sure no amount of time would prepare me for what I was about to do!

I quickly grabbed anything I figured I might need, and since the company had promised an extra towel for me, the towel-less, I was as ready as I would ever be. Then the van was there to pick me up to bring me to the pre-canyoning location. I was glad that it all happened fast, giving me less time to dwell on the fear radiating through my body.  

I arrived at the "offices" of Alpin Raft, and after signing my life away on a bunch of forms, joined the rest of the canyoning group for instructions. To my surprise I spotted a familiar face. My Swiss hippie friend, Matty, was there with a big smile. 

"You made it!" he said. I had. Turned out the other photographer couldn't work, so he took the trip. I was glad to have a buddy accompanying me on this frightening activity I'd chosen. 

The realization sets in...

We gathered gear in our size, and wrapped it all up into a bundle of adventure. Since I had missed the instructions due to my last minute arrival, Matty helped me compile my items. Next, and probably most importantly for me, we had to choose a helmet. Not just any helmet though. A helmet with a name in bold on it, that our guides would refer to us as in lieu of our real names. This was right up my alley. I reached in and grabbed one. Poof. This would be my name for the day. Poof.

I jumped in the van armed with my new persona, and we were off. To the canyon we go! We were split up into two vans for our ride out, with a good looking guide as our driver as a bonus. I was in a van with a group of fun, young, english speaking people. I was glad I had chosen to do a group adventure, giving me the opportunity to meet new people. 

After a quick pit stop, we arrived at the "dressing" location. If you're picturing a large, open field on the side of the road for everyone to put their gear on, then you are correct. 

We unwrapped our adventuring packages, aka wetsuits and booties, and attempted to get into them. I say attempted because it was NOT easy. Time was also of the essence seeing as it was about 40 degrees and we were all standing there in our bathing suits trying to squeeze into the skintight material. 

After we were all dressed up for the canyon, we were split up into our groups for the actual canyoning. Since I was a loner, they threw me in the mix with the group that had ridden in the other van. I'd be lumbering through the canyon with a small Korean gang. None of which spoke English. And the one other loner, a young Indian guy donning the name "Fanny" on his helmet. 

We drove up and up, until it became apparent that we'd have to go down at some point. My face was frozen in terror. I knew the first thing on the agenda would be rappelling down into the canyon. But surely this was higher than 150 feet? Matty looked back at me and winked. "You'll be okay Poof" he said. Right.

Our van was first, which meant our group would be the first to go over the cliff. Which meant I was mere minutes away from rappelling. My legs were shaking as I exited the van. We lined up, and listened to instructions. Matty positioned himself with his camera to get the best shots of us hurling into the abyss. We peered over the edge, into the canyon. It was then that I realized my mistake. I had been thinking 150 FEET all along. BUT IT WAS METERS, PEOPLE. Big difference, and much further down. My inner freak out grew exponentially. 

"See you down there!" he said. 
"Yeah, I'll be shitting my pants" I replied, my teeth chattering with cold, but mostly fear.
"I'll make sure to get really good pictures of that" was his witty response.

I was feeling generous, so I allowed everyone else in my group to go before me. Ha. "You're going to have to go at some point!" the guides assured me. "I know" I squeaked at a decibel probably only dogs could hear. I stood there, knowing that in a matter of minutes it would be my turn. I tried to recall my days of Girl Scouts, knowing full well it wouldn't help unless we'd be making brownies. 

I watched each member of my group go over the edge, with my heart pounding wildly in my chest. At this point everyone was aware of how scared I was and I wasn't sure my shaking hands and legs would even work properly. Then, it was my turn. They snapped me into the harness and I thought I would throw up. I looked down into the canyon at the now very tiny Koreans (and Fanny) waving up at me. I was the last to go, and they were all cheering me on. I couldn't let Korea down. 

If I could just will myself to put my trembling leg over the guard rail. Somehow, I managed and I was now on the wrong side of the guard rail, gripping on for dear life. "Lean back!" the guide said. He sounded very stern so I figured I better listen. I moved my hands from the rail to my harness, and leaned back as slowly as humanly possible. I was now dangling 150 METERS above the ground. If this didn't challenge my fear of heights, then I don't know what would. 

Most likely where the "shitting of the pants" occurred

I was expected to move, and start "walking" down the side of the cliff. I took the tiniest of tiny baby steps, of course. The stern, yet good looking guide appeared semi-annoyed. I wasn't making much progress, so I stepped up my game a bit and took bigger steps. He helped this along by letting out more rope at an increasingly quicker rate so I basically didn't have a choice. 

Pure terror

About half way down they told me to stop, and push off the wall of the cliff, letting go of the harness with my hands in the air for an optimum photo shot. YEAH FREAKING RIGHT. "Just do it!" they yelled. I did the weakest attempt possible to shut them up, and kept on my way. 

I was about halfway now, and the guide's patience was wearing thin. He speedily gave more rope, and I could hear the Koreans getting louder. I was almost there! Suddenly I landed in the water. I had done it! I rappelled down into the canyon! I watched as the guides and Matty plunged themselves into the canyon by literally running down the cliff wall. Show offs. 

The celebration with Fanny and the Koreans was short lived, because, in fact, we still had to traverse through the entire canyon. But even so, I had done the thing that challenged my fear of heights most thus far and I felt accomplished; and cold.

I jumped up and down continuously in my struggle to keep my extremities from going numb, since it was in the 40's and we were in freezing cold water. The Koreans thought I was funny. The guides told us to follow them, making sure to take the exact path they went, and not to veer off in any other directions as it may not be safe. The canyon seemed unpredictable, as did the Koreans at this point seeing as they didn't understand any of the directions they were being told. 

Let's go over the cast of characters here. I follow in line with our two guides, one who is a cross between Bill Murray and John C. Reilly (from Stepbrothers), and one who is some sort of Swiss God of the canyon. I'm in the mix with Fanny, the very young Indian guy I mentioned previously, and the Korean gang composed of a few guys and girls. They are not actually a gang, but, although despite this fact, they continue to throw random gang signs out there when posing for pictures. One of which, the largest of the pack, thinks he's Spiderman. No, really.

We trudge along for a few minutes, careful not to slip on the rocks, or lose our footing and be swept away, until we reach our first obstacle. 

It is here that I learn that I am meant to lay on my back and be pulled via my feet by the stern guide and rock slide backwards into some water riddled with boulders. Excellent.

I land in the frigid canyon water, sputtering, as the water seeps into my helmet and penguin suit. Brrrr! Once I recover (mostly), I feel slightly exhilarated by the fact that I had made it through the first two obstacles. Bring on the next one!


Immediately I want to take that thought back when I witness what's up next. There's no harness involved, just a free jump into the waters of the Arctic. The Murray-Reilly hybrid stands with me at the edge and starts counting.."3,2,1!" 

But I don't move.

"I didn't do it." I say plain as day. "I noticed" he responds. Ok, I'm really ready this time. Only what if I don't land the exact right way they told me in the instructions and break both my legs off while simultaneously smashing my head on a boulder? I didn't have time for this nonsense, neither did the Korean gang, so I jumped.

I call that series of pictures "hideousness in the canyon." 

The chubby Korean is at this point, shooting his pretend web out of his wrists all over the GD canyon, since he is, in fact, Spiderman. Fanny keeps creepily whispering words of encouragement to me as we trek along, and it's SUPER difficult to move like my usual (nimble) self in this wetsuit. All true.

Next up, the we-harness-you-in-and-lower-you-backwards-down-the-biggest-rock-you've-ever-seen portion of the adventure.

And because Matty was taunting me for a picture in which I didn't sport an expression of absolute horror, I delivered.

Cheesey thumbs up for Matty

Next up was a natural waterslide. 

This seemed fun but I needed a little push seeing as it was pretty much a 90 degree angle.

Next we had to traverse through a tiny sliver in the canyon via zip line and I wondered two things:
1. would chubby Korean Spiderman get stuck?
2. would he use his own line of web for the zipline?

Shooting webs out of BOTH arms 

For our last trick we would zip line a ways and then drop into the water below when they yelled at us to let go...

stellar form

nailed it

And so, it appears that I survived the canyon. Just as I was internally celebrating my victory, chubby Korean Spiderman approached me and pointed. "You panda eyes" he said, laughing. Right. So maybe I was a bit disheveled, but I had done it.

Gang's all here...literally

 We headed back to the field and I could not wait to get rid of the wetsuit and be warm. If only I had a towel...

Matty to the rescue. He let me borrow his, and I was grateful. I just had to get myself out of this wetsuit. Easier said then done. Fanny took it upon himself to assist me. Which at first was fine, until it wasn't. That moment occurred around the time that he was struggling to peel off a part of my wetsuit and exclaimed, "Sorry if I'm being rough."  

I made eye contact with Matty who had overheard, and now could barely contain his amusement. 

All around me, my fellow canyoners were almost naked, attempting to get dressed and dry off. Naked in a field on the side of a Swiss road. I was famished.

As if reading my mind, the guides set to work chopping and slicing at a makeshift table, and we all built tasty sandwiches and drank beer. 

With a half of beer still in my hand, it was time to leave. Just as I was about to get rid of it, Matty informed me that I could bring it along in the van. "Road sodie?!" I excitedly exclaimed. All of the guides wore smirks.."sure if that's what you Americans call it." We did. And I happily sipped my road sodie on the van ride back. 

Turns out Fanny was becoming increasingly a little too comfortable with the group as he sat shotgun on the way back. I was directly behind Martin, the guide that lead the other group but that I thought was pretty damn hot. His accent didn't hurt either. Fanny proceeded to talk Martin's ear off the entire ride back, from his life story in India to his opinionated thoughts on women, marriage and his definitive stance that "wives should cook" and belong in the kitchen. 

I was about ready to smack Fanny and could barely contain myself when we arrived back at the canyoning offices. As Fanny jumped out of the car, he had the gall to ask me for my facebook information. "I don't use facebook" I lied. 

As he walked away Martin commented, "Careful, I think he had plans to make you his wife." 

Not in a million years Martin, not in a million years.

*All photos courtesy of Matty, from Alpin Raft.