Note to self: get a car

Trip Start Sep 08, 2009
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Trip End Jun 07, 2010


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Where I stayed
Heron Guest House, Heriot Bay, Quadra Island

Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Thursday, September 10, 2009

So I woke up today to perfect weather, the best possible way to start the day (having woken up at 4am). This city is beautiful- when the sun is shining, you're surrounded by deep blue waters in the harbour, shining skyscrapers towering into the clear blue skies and of course,the mountains are ever-present in the background. I got so excited when I saw the mountains. Mountains! I can't believe I'm going to be living here for the next 6 months! I had to run some errands in town before getting the bus and yet again as thwarted by the scale of the map... so have done a LOT of walking this morning! I'm writing this waiting for the coach to take me over to Vancouver Island- it seems such a waste to travel on a day like this (as good as any day in this british "summer" we've just had) but hopefully it'll hold for the next couple of weeks. What else? Everyone I've met has been so friendly and helpful, from the bus driver to the 7-eleven store clerk who after finally working out I wanted a CELL phone (not a mobile), guided me through the entire process of setting it up. Also, Skype is amazing- have had two chats with the family already- if you want to chat,look me up!

Update: The Greyhound coach was great, took me straight up to Nanaimo from the ferry- would definitely recommend it. The ferry trip was stunning- it reminded me a lot of the ferry between the two islands in New Zealand. In fact, Vancouver itself seems to be a cross between San Francisco and Auckland. Vancouver Island is very green, woody and spaced out- we drove up one boring highway North for a couple of hours to get to Campbell river. Now, I should have learnt my lesson in San Fran, but on a map, a few blocks looks like nothing. It is generally not nothing. I had my second half hour walk of the day with my 18kg backpack and stuff-everything-in-because-I-might-just-need-it handbag. 

I went for fish and chips at Dick's restaurant, sitting on a floating platform overlooking the bay to Quadra island, in the setting sun. The verdict? Fish was amazing- my first local (I assume) Canadian salmon. Campbell River is the salmon capital of the world. Apparently. The chips on the other hand, were definitely fries. Most disappointing. But 50% isn't bad. I then had another 15minute power walk to try and find some internet followed by a 10minute power power walk back to try and catch the ferry. By this stage, am feeling slightly sick from  the combination of a stomach full of grease, Starbucks spiced pumpkin latte and too much exercise. But I made the ferry. Looking out the window at the cars below, I considered asking someone for a ride to the other side of the island- it's a 10 minute drive to where I'm staying - but decided I didn't quite have the guts. So I asked - very loudly, hoping someone would overhear and offer a lift- the ferry driver what would be the best way to get over to Heriot Bay. He said I really didnt want to get a taxi, at $20- and that most people go and asked if they could hitch a ride with anyone. Eek. 

So down I went, and started knocking on car windows. I felt like SUCH a cheapskate, but mostly people were just apologetic that they weren't headed my way. Eventually after about 15 cars, and having nearly asked everyone on the little ferry, a couple in their 50s said they could drop me off- even though when they showed me where they lived on the map they were in the other direction! They were so friendly and even gave me their number to call if I ran into any problems during my stay. I love Canadians!

This is turning into another mammoth entry and I promised myself I wouldn't do that- will try and be more disciplined in future but just quickly- Heron Guest House is lovely, the views are beyond description. Will take a photo tomorrow.
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