One Long Day in Winnipeg – Nz to Canada and Back in Six Days!

“On a Mish” #234 One Long Day in Winnipeg. Winnipeg, Canada. 19.12.2019. The norm for me when on adventures is being in the wilderness with as few people around me as possible. The meditative state achieved when immersed in a mountain mission is hard to beat, and that is why I keep going back again and again…

When I was asked to be a groomsman for one of my oldest mates Cam’s wedding, saying yes was no issue. The only issue was the 13560km between me and Cam’s wedding location of Winnipeg, Canada. Fitting a trip around the world into an already busy 2019 was going to be a new and different challenge, but who doesn’t like a good challenge?!

It hadn’t been that long since I had been over to Nepal for another annual ‘Active Hearts Foundation Charity Trek’, so I was travel-ready for international excursions. “Bring a good coat” was one of the instructions, as Winnipeg can be rather cold in December. Years of experience in the mountains in winter had prepared me for the potential -20 degree celsius temperatures.

And with excitement building I left the secure normality of life in Te Anau enroute for Queenstown Airport. My trip to Nepal had used up a lot of time when I should have been working, so the plan was to fit the trip to Winnipeg into a week.

With roughly 35 hours of travel each way, I was going to spend a lot of time sitting in an aeroplane. Sometimes for the bros you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do, but now I can admit that there was time during the trip back to New Zealand I questioned our friendship!

Curling in Downtown Winnipeg

The biggest hurdle in getting from New Zealand to Canada is LAX. At the best of times the third busiest airport in the world is a nightmare to navigate, and due to the time of the year (Christmas Holidays) the place was exceptionally busy. With all the right paperwork in hand I joined the snaking line to the customs desks, and when asked what I was doing in the US, my response was met with puzzled looks. I guess it must look suspect to travel so far for such a short amount of time. My temporary access to the US was granted, and it wasn’t long before I was leaving America and taking off for Vancouver, Canada. After more than 30 hours traveling with stops in four different countries, in a zombie like state I boarded my last flight from Vancouver to Winnipeg.

To my surprise, sitting beside me on my last flight were a couple of fellas from Nepal. They were travelling to Winnipeg to go to University, and we chatted until we were stunned into silence by the frozen world we had been transported to. Reunited with Cam and in minus 16 celsius I departed Winnipeg Airport and began what was basically one long day spanning the 19th to the 23rd of December.

I mentioned my visit to Winnipeg to Canadian customers at work (on the Fiordland Navigator) and most questioned my sanity for going to Winnipeg in the middle of winter. After visiting the place I can say that it is the people that make the trip worth it. Every friend of Cam’s that I got introduced to was a quality individual, and it didn’t take long for them to let me into the very exclusive ‘Cam Friend Gang’ (Assassin Rugby HOORAA!).

The wedding was incredible, and I still think Cam is paying Kate on the D-Lo to say she thinks he’s alright. The night of the wedding was also my last night in the country, and early-ish the next day I got into a cab bound for the airport a little shady from the last three days. The trip back to NZ was just as challenging, and as I traveled back through LAX I was greeted with confusion and suspicion due to my 27,120km round trip.

I finally got back to Aotearoa on Christmas Day, and was back at work that afternoon. With everything that has gone on during 2020 I am so happy I made the trip over, and I am waiting for the day when I can head back, hopefully for a little bit longer than three days next time!!

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

Subscribe To my newsletter