Travelling Light (Lisbon 1)

It’s been a while. Two years of Covid-19 has caused not only lockdown but a fairly ingrained aversion to crowds. More perhaps than for most, with Janet’s kidney transplant placing her pretty much at the top of the “extremely medically vulnerable” list. So, after vaccine number four and her consultant telling her she was currently as resilient as she’s likely to be (and even the fourth one beginning to fade in efficacy by early summer (with a fifth one planned for later in the year)), we decided we would visit our daughter in Lisbon.

We travelled light; hand baggage only. For me, as the top images shows, that was clothes to the back and cameras to the front! It was an easy flight out of Bristol, with mask wearing still mandatory on EasyJet. It was of course the first flight too for a long time, and probably doubled our carbon expenditure (for which, in as far as they have an impact, ten trees are to be planted in The Druid Network grove in the highlands of Scotland). It is impossible to avoid noticing that the blog entry immediately prior to this one was ranting about the potential expansion of Bristol Airport…

Those plans for expansion are currently with the High Court and it will be a key indicator of the UKs direction of travel (ah-ha) in environmental terms when we get a determination. I have few illusions as to the likely outcome. And of course I own my own hipocracy in flying again; indeed I have blogged on that subject too!

It is difficult to be certain how many trees one needs to plant to offset a flight. One site will tell you the flight burden per person is 1.2 tonnes CO2e and they will plant three trees for me to cover it. Another tells me the carbon deficit is 310kg and to rebalance it I need to plant thirty one trees! Even for someone willing to look at the problem it’s a hard thing to determine, and that’s before you look at how long these trees will survive both future harvesting and climate change itself! Trees for Life is the organisation some of us have chosen, and it’s on my list to visit the woodlands at Dundreggan when next I get up to Scotland.

One of the delights of flying is the opportunity to view the world from above. Here is one such view as we swept into Lisbon, showing the vast Teja / Tagus river, the Vasco de Gama bridge and part of the city.

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