Failing Forward

with Daniel Cassadio

Chapter 13 - Mountain Spiced Rum

Chapter EntriesDaniel CasadioComment

In my room at a YWAM base, overlooking a field covered in snow, a roof coated perfectly of snow and a forest in the distance that looks like a winter wonderland. This is different. 

I wrote this blog: 

Touch down Canada! How are we doing Montreal?!

My flight left Iceland at 16:00, after a 5-hour flight I arrived in Montreal at 16:00. That’s right, I am a time traveller.

I do miss travelling throughout Europe because I simply flash my Italian passport and I can roam freely throughout all those many countries. But travelling to Canada, I had to fill out a declaration form, have proof of travel insurance and what my plan is in Canada. They ask fair questions but man do they always have to be in such a bad mood?

Any who, after about an hour or so waiting in line for immigration I was free to walk and roam throughout the Great North!

In my travels whenever I arrive in a new country it’s always a little kick to the stomach when I walk through the arrivals gate, and there’s no one to greet me into this new foreign country. I really do realise how alone I am. Sometimes negative thoughts come up, but I always try to fight them away. Nevertheless, after an exhausting and stressful encounter with the Canadian immigration it was absolutely beautiful to have one of my best friends from back home John Shone, waiting for me at the arrivals gate. He’s volunteering in Quebec and it has been well over a year since I last saw him in person.

When we were in the car driving away from the airport, I couldn’t believe that I was with John and from living across the street from him back in Bunbury and now here we both are half way across the world. In the snow. Incredible. Is this a dream?

As nostalgic as it all was, it was quickly interrupted because John and I had to hike up a mountain and prepare a date for his girlfriend. He is going to take her up the mountain the next day and find the wine and food that we will place the picnic there now. He’s very romantic… he gets it from me.

We started walking up the mountain at around 20:30, the sun was well and truly already gone. As we started our hike up the mountain, I joked with John; “Do you know how silly this is? The last time we went hiking together up a mountain in the dark, lightning hit less than 3 meters away from us. We really didn’t learn our lesson, did we?” (Although I spoiled the climax of the story, I wrote about it in the Prologue. It’s under ‘Bluffing Lightning). We both laughed at each other.

We hiked for quite some time trying to stay on some sort of path or follow dog prints. But we got quite lost, lost to the point where we didn’t even know where we came from. We didn’t know whether or not we were walking in circles but we loved how adventurous it all was. We only had iPhone flash lights and they kept on coming in and out of battery, we laughed at how similar this all was to our last mountain adventure.

The fun side of the adventure was interrupted when John fell off a ledge and hurt himself quite bad. My best friend was hurt, we are lost in the dark, we are lost on a mountain, we are lost in a foreign country, our phones are not working, the wind is making the trees say weird noises and there is a real potential to encounter bears. They’ve been spotted on this mountain in the past. Flippin’ floppin’ apple sloppin’ BEARS!
John picked himself up and we started to try and make our way back down the mountain. After many more slips (mainly John), tumbles (mainly John) and saves (mainly me), we found ourselves back onto the icy road where we were dropped off! We rejoiced, we were so happy. But we didn’t know where on the road we were, where to go and what to do.

We walked into a street light and we saw a house not too far away. “Let’s go knock on this house and see if we can use a phone to contact Joel”. John said with a determined voice. I agreed but then said “Good plan, but I’ll stay here on the street in case Joel drives past us”. John knew I was right but still said nervously; “Na come with me”. I shook my head, “No brother, why?”. John looked past me; “For like… morale support”. I giggled quietly to myself, “Brother I’m going to keep an eye out for Joel, you speak better French than me so you go and knock on their door and see how far your charm can take you”. John not looking confident at all, walks to the door and starts knocking. I’m on the road looking out for Joel’s car, but then John calls me up to house.

A beautiful couple gets us inside and next to the fire to keep us warm. We started talking to them about our problem and they were very quick to help us whoever they could. They poured us some spiced rum and we indulged in conversation as we got to know these random local Canadians who live here on the weekends.

We were able to use their phone and it wasn’t long before we were able to be in touch with Joel and soon enough he was outside waiting for us. We expressed our gratitude towards the couple who very briefly hosted us and we said our goodbyes.
As John and I were walking down a snowy hill to the car, we were pushing each other around and laughing. “Did that all really just happen?” John and I kept asking each other in awe.

It was quite the adventure with Le Shone. It was quite the introduction to Canada.