The Art of the (mini) Roadtrip
Trip Start Jan 14, 2005
22Trip End Oct 22, 2005
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Where I stayed
Chris did an excellent job fixing up the van to make it more cozy for our roadtrip. An extension to our bed means it is now big enough for us both to sprawl out and we also have a little counter for when we are forced to cook indoors.
We had been fully planning to make our way over to Vancouver Island for our three weeks but every forecast we saw showed the coast being battered with rain and more rain
And we were so glad that we did. In the valleys there was hardly any snow, the sun was shining, flowers were beginning to blossom (I went a little crazy everytime I saw new blooms and took heaps of photos) yet because it was the low season nearly everywhere we camped we were the only ones there. Even at all the spots we visited the employees were willing to chat with us for ages. I guess they are quite bored waiting for the tourist season to kick in.
Since our budgets are super tight at the moment we have been staying mostly at Forest Service campgrounds. These are all in out of the way spots, mostly in regrowth forest, They're user maintained which means they are free but also means they have no facilities. Except for possibly an incredibly stinking outhouse that most likely has had the door kicked off the hinges. And we've also seen picnic tables taken apart for firewood. Chris and I are truly baffled what would drive people to do such things. But anyway, obviously no showers in these little campgrounds. So instead we searched out provinicial campgrounds with showers, stealthly ducked in when no rangers were about, quickly showered and dashed out before being caught
We did splash out in Penticton and stayed at the local hostel. Our own private room, hot showers and a beautiful blossoming tree straight out our window. We felt like royalty. The reason for splurging and staying in town was the annual Fest of Ale. Dozens of microbreweries set up in the convention centre. For only one dollar you can try one of the draft beers in your sample glass. We spent many 'one dollars' here.
It has to be said that Penticton was a odd little town. We loved the hostel, the beer fest, our greek dinner at Theos and there was fantastic biking just outside the town but there was a strange dark side. Every street we walked down seemed to have a pawn shop or a seedy night club (or both) and we are pretty sure the lady on the corner as we walked home from dinner was a hooker (and that was only 9 o'clock!) Strange sights indeed for a town of only about 10,000 residents.
We haven't just been out spotting ladies of the night. I've been hiking up mountains til I thought my lungs would bust and biking along trails until I thought my butt would fall off. Chris has bought himself a sweet new bike so I have taken over his Mongoose
Altogether I loved The Valley. You know those signs that say "If you lived here you could be home now"? That was definitely the feeling I had in many of the spots we visited. Well mostly Kelowna and Vernon (not dodgy Penticton). But there was more travel to be had so we headed east to a little town called Nakusp.
This has been my favourite so far. We camped just outside of town in a rainforest type area on Box Lake. We biked around the lake, hiked in some old growth forest and when we were done we soaked our tired muscles in lovely hot springs. A perfect couple of days all around.
Kirsten joined us in Banff on Saturday and we've had a brillant time since then. But I think that will all have to wait for the next entry cause this one has already gotten quite lengthy I think.