Arc­tic odyssey in re­turn to Canada

The Hutt News - - CONVERSATIONS -

Lower Hutt phys­io­ther­a­pist He­len Bryant cel­e­brated her mile­stone 50th birth­day this year and to cel­e­brate she trav­elled with friends through Canada and Alaska. Canada, which stretches from the United States in the south to the Arc­tic Cir­cle in the north, holds a spe­cial place in He­len’s heart – 25 years ago she lived and worked in Regina, the cap­i­tal of the Saskatchewan prov­ince.

WHATINSPIREDYOU TO TRAVEL?

I trav­elled a lot in my 20s, but haven’t done a lot since. I love Canada – the stun­ning scenery, the wilder­ness and na­ture. I’ve al­ways wanted to go back to Van­cou­ver, a bustling west coast sea­port which is among Canada’s most eth­ni­cally di­verse cities. It’s set be­tween the ocean and the moun­tains and lined with trees – and has a bold en­vi­ron­men­tal ap­proach which means it has the low­est gas emis­sions of any ma­jor city in North Amer­ica.

WHATWASTHE HIGH­LIGHT?

We did a seven-day Alaskan cruise, and Glacier Bay Na­tional Park was a high­light. Alaska has 100,000 glaciers, more than the rest of the in­hab­ited world and Glacier Bay would have to be one of the most stun­ning places on the planet with its rugged moun­tains, dy­namic glaciers, tem­per­ate rain­for­est, wild coast­lines and deep shel­tered fjords. The mas­sive 3.3 mil­lion acre park is home to brown and black bears, moun­tain goats, moose, whales, seals, and ea­gles and more than 200 other species of bird.

WHATSURPRISEDYOU MOST ABOUTYOUR TRIP?

On the last day of the cruise we had a nice sur­prise while cruis­ing through the In­side Pas­sage, a coastal route for ships through the is­lands on the Pa­cific Coast of North Amer­ica. I was stand­ing on the bal­cony out­side my room look­ing at the view and I saw hump­back whales, and later an orca – it was pretty spe­cial.

WHOWASTHE MOST IN­TER­EST­ING PERSONYOU MET?

The cruise ship had a nat­u­ral­ist on board who was re­ally in­for­ma­tive about every­thing from the lo­cal wildlife, cli­mate change, and the ge­og­ra­phy. It was great to re­lax but also be in­formed - lis­ten­ing to him and learn­ing about the area re­ally made a dif­fer­ence to the trip.

HOWHAS TRAVEL CHANGEDYOU?

I love trav­el­ling! Do­ing this trip has given me the con­fi­dence to start trav­el­ling again. Lisa at House of Travel in Lower Hutt was amaz­ing – us­ing a travel agent in­stead of try­ing to do it all your­self means peace of mind, the whole trip ran so smoothly.

He­len used House of Travel

Clock­wise from main: Glacier Bay in Alaska; He­len Bryant on her re­turn to Canada; cosmopolitan Van­cou­ver.

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