Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Adventure Begins

Hooray! You made it. I'm very glad that you took the time to stop in and say hello. This is my record of another eventing adventure so hopefully it turns out to be interesting. With horses, international travel, eventing and the English involved something exciting is bound to happen.

I'm forcing myself to write this. It's 6:30am and I'm sitting on a hard wooden chair in a food court at Hong Kong International Airport after an overnight flight from Sydney. I've got three hours to burn until my onward flight to England, the spiritual home of eventing and my home for the next six or seven weeks. I was sitting in a quiet corner but apparently my table of choice is prime territory for airport janitors when they're on their break. They might be speaking Han Chinese but instinct tells me they're not talking about horses.

This adventure actually started last night when I left Sydney. I might be flying solo but I didn't leave alone - the scales at the check-in counter told me that I'd packed my entire life into a suitcase. At 36 kilograms and $US860 in excess baggage fees, even I had to agree my life was way over-valued. Of course, you can't kick off an odyssey like this with $US860 of excess baggage charges weighing down you credit card, so after much family discussion, a few tense words and a minor dummy-spit we were back at the car having a serious repack of my belongings. While I was understandably attached to most of the things I'd packed, between harsh culling and dressing like an Eskimo we'd manage to strip 10 kilos of me, making me the biggest loser for the evening.

Back at the check-in counter things were looking up. The check-in guy - who half an hour earlier was ordering more fuel for the plane to account for the weight in my bag - was so impressed with my weight-loss program  that he turned a blind eye to the seven kilos that I still hadn't managed to strip off. Little did he know there was about 15 kilos in carry-on hiding safely out of view. Given the potential costs involved, this was a white lie that God would happily forgive me for.

Only two and a half hours now until my flight so this has been a great time-killer. I arrive in London on Thursday evening and I'm headed straight down to Sam Griffith's yard in Dorset where Chris Burton has recently moved and where Tiger is now a resident. They're off to a competition on the weekend so I'll hopefully be able to get my first taste of British eventing before I throw myself into it in the OI at Wilton next weekend.

I'll let you know how it goes.

See you somewhere out there.

Hamish

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