Sleeping in Deep Cove

Trip Start Jan 30, 2011
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Trip End Nov 16, 2011


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Where I stayed
SameSun Backpacker Lodge Vancouver
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fear didn't keep me from attempting a run today, but I did get a free breakfast in first, bagels included. After giving enough time to avoid a stitch and check Facebook I headed out into the freezing weather, struggling to take deep breaths as my lungs froze with each one.  I made it over the Granville street bridge and back, getting lost in Granville for a little while, but at least that enabled me to add a few extra metres to the run.  I got a few strange looks on the walk over to the bridge, but that may have been because of my lack of make-up rather than just looking odd in jogging bottoms. The pedestrian lights were flashing warning me to stop, forcing me to start running after walking for the first five hundred metres, even if it was through panic that the oncoming car wouldn't let me cross at a leisurely pace.  Red-faced and glowing, one of the girls in the dorm asked if I was okay, to which I replied I simply hadn't run for a while.  She was baffled when I said I worried about people laughing at me when running, but her reassurance was simply that everyone looks silly when they run.  I think she was being reassuring. A hot shower was followed by reading the sign asking residents to conserve the hot water as there was a shortage.  Oops.  I had a cold shower yesterday, so I think I’m owed a hot one.  By the look of my red face an hour after getting back from the run you’d think I’d run a marathon as opposed to just 5km, but at least it kept me warm as I sat beside the cold window draft whilst Skyping.  On hearing Douglas and Claire were now uncle and aunt to a baby niece we hung up and I headed out into the cold again, this time in a sensible coat and gloves ensemble.

I asked down at reception how to get to Burrard station and was eventually given directions after being quizzed about my reason for going there.  The cold air seemed much harsher today as I made my way over to the bus station, nowhere near the Seabus as I thought it was yesterday, but then I wouldn’t have seen the Quayside market if I’d got it right the first time.  I did a circuit of the station looking for stand two before eventually finding it, and then deciding whether or not to jaywalk to get to it.  I opted for the crossing after seeing far too many house-sized cars whiz by, and was told by a man with a large hockey stick the bus was due in fifteen minutes.  He didn’t seem violent, but I wondered just how many hockey fights he’d been in on the ice.

The bus driver was a bit dopey when he turned up: he stood up as if to leave the bus so I questioned if I was allowed on, to which he muttered 'yeah,’ no smile necessary.  I asked if he was going somewhere or if I should wait outside, again a mutter before his eyes wandered out to the road and I felt quite invisible.  I simply threw in my money, just $2.50 this time, and headed to one of the seats, baffled at the man quite ill-suited to a job in customer service. 

The bus journey took about half an hour, or at least I think it did as I kept on drifting off, unfortunately never managing to delve too deeply into the land of nod because of the cold window waking me up whenever my arm grazed it.  Unsure as to whether I simply woke up because of the cold or if I snored, dribbled, or hit my head, I saw the emerging mountains in the distance amongst a frame of gorgeous green trees.  As everyone else on the bus got off I could only assume this was Deep Cove, and so followed the crowd towards the water.  The quay was amidst the snow-capped mountains and luscious trees, just as I imagined Canada to look when I stepped off the plane.  I took a few pictures of the scenery before heading off in search of some food, as the day had somehow zoomed by to three o’clock again.  The cafes along the main stretch of road were quite busy, with one completely packed even outside, so of course I wasn’t venturing in there

I nipped into a few of the shops on the way to food: one selling single Yorkshire Tea bags made me smile, as well as another selling lavender bags ‘made in England.’  I did consider buying an embroidered Vancouver cushion until I saw the $176 price tag at the back: it was nice, but not that nice.   Next stop was somewhere for a hot chocolate, but because the café was so full I opted for a small gallery for a small one, only to be told the small was milkier for children and so I should have the regular size.  For some reason I didn’t query this and paid the extra $2 to have more than I wanted.  It was quite nice, but not up to the standard of Mika, where at least I can choose to pay a high price rather than being told to.  It warmed me up, that’s the main thing.

Pounding the streets for food still I opted for a fish and chips shop that only had two people in it, but looked nice enough.  A Chinese woman seemed eager to take my order as soon as I walked in, but after being told what to have at the gallery I was determined to take my time.  I debated salmon and chips, but ended up with the slightly cheaper haddock, which was very tasty, even though the batter tasted more like tempura than normal batter.  The chips were nice too, but they still don’t match the ones from home, even if they are better for me.  I munched my way through the tempura fish and chips with fresh tartar sauce before heading out to the bus stop to start the journey back: the bus was waiting at the stop and so I did a mini jog over, only to stand at the door for a few seconds too long whilst the driver read his paper.  He made up for his ignorance by stating my ticket was ‘cool’ when I queried buying another: as he looked like Captain Birdseye it was amusing to hear ‘cool’ used.

As soon as I sat down I was nodding off again, only this time the cold window failed to keep me awake and before I knew it I was sailing through Gastown and Chinatown and landing on Granville street.  I stepped off the bus in a daze, again wary as to any possible dribbling, and nipped into Café Artigano for what the guidebooks called ‘the best coffee in Vancouver.’  I ordered the plain coffee and expected fireworks, but all I got was a normal coffee that dripped on my coat because the lid wasn’t on properly.  The second day of wearing my food. 

Back up at the hostel it was time to face the huge pile of washing that’s been building up since a week last Wednesday, but first I had to buy some detergent.  I only paid for one cup, but I fear it may not have serviced my two loads of washing too brilliantly, although saying that the white top is still white so it can’t have been too bad.  Wandering around the hostel between cycles in my only clean clothes was strange, as my black dress and fancy pumps didn’t quite suit the backpacker style of pajamas and hoodies in the hallway.  I didn’t splurge for two dryers either, instead opting to put it all in one, which turned out fine apart from one sock being a little damp, and just think of the energy saved from only using the one.  I’m saving the planet by mass-washing my dirty clothes, I really am. 


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