“Veni, Vidi, VIP”
An earlier than recently enjoyed start for the team, as their few days R&R on Tobago came to a close and Saturday brought a day of traveling by not-so-long haul flights to, ultimately, Guyana. The short hop back to Trinidad was an easy run and, with three flights now completed under the guidance of Chief Cat-Herder (aka. Adjutant) Martin Liversage and Baggage Master Chris Heales, the onward international flight to the team’s ultimate destination, once again with rifles and kit in tow, passed off smoothly. This was also, in no small part, due to the help and efforts of the Trinidad shooters, who ensured that rifles and kit bags arrived at the airport for our collection without a hitch. With an emergency lunch squeezed in to placate those team members prone to the “Hangry” condition, all made the sub-hour flight to Guyana.
Arrival proved even more smooth than departure, firstly due to the sense of relief as a large number of rifles boxes (many bearing certain red & white signature markings) were seen coming off the aircraft and towards the terminal building before any other baggage. What followed was the pleasant surprise of their owners doing similar! As the team dutifully lined up for passport control, they suddenly found themselves being directed towards the desk for “Crew, Diplomats & VIPs”. Being fairly sure that they weren’t diplomats (and absolutely positive that they hadn’t flown the aircraft themselves), those present didn’t let the glamour of the latter get to them and, naturally, carried themselves with the decorum of any traveling England team, though perhaps a bit more quickly than on other occasions.
In thanks for this reception, a number of the team decided to treat the locals to what can only be described as “The English Hakka”, or to use our native word, queuing! The draw of maintaining contact with the rest of the world was strong in some, who dutifully lined up at the mobile phone store outside the airport to purchase a series of local SIM cards. In fact, popularity for these was so strong that the only reason the queue didn’t go right out of the door was that it would have spoiled the effect of the store’s air con…
A (some would say “considerable”) time later, though still actually on the 7th (both in local time and, just about, BST), wagons rolled and the team made their way to the Ramada Hotel in Georgetown, for a quick drink, middling team brief and somewhat more leisurely late dinner, before turning in, ready for the first day of the Championships.