Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Into the Twilight Zone

August 30th, 2011

Brief stop-over in Hawaii complete, I was bound for Alaska. The Twilight Zone. During the summer months almost perpetual daylight. That’d already begun to diminish by five minutes or so each day, just as the relatively mild weather conditions would start to ebb away shortly. Knew I’d need to press on out of Anchorage just as soon as I was ready. Not a moment to loose.

Shuttle bus back to the airport I’d left the previous day. Agricultural inspection. Free carriage of thirty pounds of approved pineapples was an irresistible offer that proved to be very resistible. Check in with Alaskan Airlines swift, no quibbling over the half pound I was over on the baggage limit.

All terribly polite and efficient. And as yet no utterance of "Have a nice day". Only criticism I’d have, and it is a minor one, is that full body scanners are probably not best suited to airports in warm climates. Gets your attention. So to speak. And the alternative they offer, full body pat down, didn’t strike me as having much less scope for, shall we say, embarrassment. If you’re male and facing a similar dilemma, imagine Sarah Palin riding a moose. Worked for me. Nice horns.

[At the time of writing the author was partially sleep deprived and riding on a sea of caffeine. So probably not as his best. Humble apologies. But do look out for more Sarah Palin jokes. And remember, people must have voted for her]

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Surfers paradise

August 29th, 2011

Surfers paradise from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Ken ventures down to Hawaii’s Waikiki beach to watch the early morning surfers. If you’re wondering where the serious waves are, it’s the wrong time of year, and the wrong side of the island. Try the north coast in winter when the huge swells from Alaskan storms reach the islands. And the scantily clad beach babes? Right time of year, right side of the island. But this just isn’t that sort of website….

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Welcome to the USA

August 29th, 2011

It took longer to walk from the Gate to Immigrations and Customs than it did for the formalities. Even at a brisk pace. Professional but friendly, cutting a very good first impression. The usual questions. Purpose of visit. The conversation more of a chat. Why did I have a visa rather than the usual waiver? Quickly explaining three months would be simply be not enough to ride across North America, and to rush would be missing the point. Adding I’d come to meet people, to see places, rather than just pound the highway. The lady smiled. Six months entry.

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Customs was a cursory check of my declaration card and directions to the exit. Stumbling out into the bright Hawaiian sunshine. Off to find the shuttle bus to my hostel for the night’s stop-over. Tired, but pleased my preparations had paid off, this far at least. Welcomed into the US.

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