DAY 21 - SUNDAY 26th August - HOME TIME

After the record-breaking Canada Match and lavish haul of trophies and medals at prize giving came the (record-breaking?) team dinner and lash-up...

It all started with the traditional chairing of our Gov.General's winner from prize giving to a team photo all the silverware and thence around all the clubhouse (sic) on camp - the NCRRA, where we were presented with a punch containing three different rums.

Dinner that evening was a simple but hearty affair, on the roof deck of East Side Mario's. In the warm evening air, the team enjoyed, re-lived and celebrated the tour's successes. Chris even tried the re-enactment of a classic shot, using a slice of lemon launched toward a glass, but the wind clearly took it off course, and (reminiscent of the rock sugar that one of the coaches had landed down Jacqui's cleavage from 40 feet in Northern Ireland a dozen years ago) it bounced off Jacqui's right breast and succeeded where no others have before, stopping Jacqui in full flow and rendering her speechless, by bouncing up and getting caught in her mouth! Best shot of the tour!

After the meal, and a short congratulatory speech from the captain, many then moved on to some of the local bars (and not so local, in a few cases), and suffice to say that much merriment was had, into the wee small hours, with a new method of shot consumption (Burt Reynolds) one of the highlights...

So it was probably just as well that Sunday's departure time was not until early afternoon. Still, some hardy souls were up and packing early(ish), and the Adj eventually managed to herd them into the buses to go and tidy up our base at the range and put the GB kit that stays in Canada into storage; and of course, to perform the traditional ritual sacrifice of a pair of the captain's finest (albeit ill-fitting) footwear upon the altar that is Connaught's Shoe Tree.

Back at the hotel, Obergruppenfuehrer Ensor and his baggage team were packing team bags, sorting labels, weighing cases, and ruthlessly rejecting ones that were outside the 23.6 kg limit, to the chagrin of several team members. Maybe that's why Dan left one of his bags behind on departing for Toronto - you really can't take him anywhere! But at last, all was done, and we bade farewell to the Barons hotel, our home for the last nine days, and to Vera's, where most of us enjoyed our last burger; and we also bade farewell to Matt C, who will be staying in Canada for an extra week staying and camping with old friends.

Onto the road for the 4 hour trip down to Toronto, about which one can't find much to diarise, aside perhaps from the occasional brief glimpse of some pleasant views of summertime Canada - the blazing sunshine reflecting off a shimmering Lake Ontario; large, soaring birds of prey circling lazily in the thermals; and a GB team vehicle making an urgent, unscheduled, but very necessary roadside stop...

Like honed triathletes, all made a very smooth transition from the vehicles, to the luggage trolleys, and on through the Toronto airport check-in, and, thankfully, this time Air Canada seemed to be a little more accommodating with the baggage allowances. Swiftly onwards through security and into the departures area, but it turned out to be all so smooth and swift that we now have a 4 hour wait until our flight!

So, farewell to Canada and our friends both local and international; thank you for your hospitality, friendliness and wonderful shooting. Bisley beckons...