Canada 2008                                         
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Thoughts.......

   " We've just arrived at China Beach on the west (Pacific) coast of Vancouver Island, the Pontiac hire car has been parked up, and we've managed at long last to get our macs off and venture out for a walk. Hey, this is wild rain forest country so it can be forgiven for deciding to piss it down once in a while ok?  

      We're just about to take off on a stroll along a small part of the Juan de Fuca trail - a long distance hiking trial that runs north from China Beach near the Jordan River to Port Renfrew, a distance of some 47km through mostly thick forest - when we spot the sign.  It goes something like, "Black Bears and Cougars are present in this area, if you're attacked - fight back!"  Yeah right - great advice, love the optimism! 

     In a recent conversation with the owner of our B&B he mentioned that not so long ago they'd had a black bear in their garden, peering in through the patio window at one of their guests!  So, I suppose we had to take it at least bit seriously. The question is what do we do with that information?  .......To hell with it,  carry on of course. I'm sure we'd taste very nice but the fact that I'm here writing this indicates that the bears and cougars thought differently, maybe they're watching their cholestrol and consider us a tad too fatty!"



   "The more we travel, the more I realise that unless you drive (ride?) yourself then it usually consists of 40% actually moving, with the other 60% spent sitting about and waiting at the mercy of disorganised a'holes for stuff to happen!  Today is no exception as we hang about Manchester Airport's departure lounge, bored shitless. We should have left for Vancouver at 13-15 hrs - it's now 16-30 and we're no nearer boarding our ageing Boeing 767 than we were then (it looks just about ready for the knackers yard by the way!).  Apparently a wheel got damaged when it landed and they have to fly another one down from Glasgow, so we won't get off the ground 'til 18-30 at the earliest!  It makes for good entertainment though, watching them change a plane wheel......Yes, they do actually use a wheel brace and a jack.

    Now, all this doesn't exactly inspire confidence in a plane that has to undertake a 12 hour flight and undergo two landings, (we have to call at Dublin en route!) a good percentage of which will be over the frozen wastes of Northern Planet. The only saving grace is that because we're flying east to west then we'll have constant daylight so should get some good views if the weather stays clear...............and the plane actually stays airborne!"

 

 


Flying

                                      


We spot this wee fella first.........

      

        
..........Then a short while later we're over Greenland and there are shed loads of the buggers

 


 


The Rockies look kinda "awesome" too



Vancouver

Vancouverites live in a truly beautiful city, which they appreciate and utilise to the full. The purpose of our trip here is to visit our daughter Kevin, she came to live here over 2 years ago & now that we've seen it for ourselves we can understand why she wanted to make it her home. The number plates on their cars say it all.  The plan is to spend a few days mooching around the city and then take off in a hire car to the Sunshine Coast and then over to Vancouver Island, followed by a run east a few days later to the Fraser Canyon and Lillooet.

 

 

Stanley Park:

Stanley Park dominates west downtown Vancouver, it takes up the greater percentage of a peninsular that sits between English Bay and the Burrard Inlet / Coal Harbour. The interior of the park is maze of paths while the outside has the "Seawall" running around it, this goes for a full 5 miles around the park, and has a footpath & cycle track / skate path. Come along here any day of the week and you'll find people making full use of it. The park also houses the city's aquarium amongst many other things, including the intriguingly named "Lost Lagoon" lake.

 




Part of the Seawall around Stanley Park



Siwash Rock

 


From the Seawall, looking across English bay and Sunset Beach towards Downtown Vancouver

 


The approach to the the Lion's Gate Bridge from the city centre passes over part 
of Stanley Park, here it's photographed from the Seawall across the Burrard Inlet





 A gang of these little guys come out whenever anyone passes,
 like little furry highwaymen complete with masks over their eyes!  

  

 
"Rocky Raccoon checked into his room only to find Gideons Bible
Rocky had come equipped with a gun to shoot off the legs of his rival"


............. Can't help but think of the Beatles song when I see Racoons!  This little family live around the Lost Lagoon Lake and seem friendly enough and a tad less smelly than the stink of skunk that hangs around the city!

 

Grouse Mountain

 


No visit to Vancouver would be complete without a trip up Grouse Mountain on the cable car

 


One of the trails on the mountain

 


Mount Seymour (America) in the distance, seen here from Grouse Mountain.

 


Canada has loads of these fellas in the wild, but this
is the best place to see them without getting eaten
- Grizzly Bear Habitat Grouse Mountain!

 


"After you with the nail scissors please Colin"


Deep Cove

Deep Cove Lies at the Eastern end of North Vancouver, We'd originally planned to go kayak paddling from here but eventually decided on Bowen Island instead (see later page).......Nice place though.


 

White Rock

White Rock is a small seaside town to the south of Vancouver, it's a stones throw away from the American Border, the white Peace Arch marking it's situation can be clearly seen from the promenade (photo below).  On  a clear day the mountains of the American Olympic National Park can also be seen from here - unfortunately we chose a murky old grey day to go visit so they're not too clear!   

 


Crappy photo - I cocked the meter settings up on the camera and this is the best of a bad bunch .......hey nobody's perfect!

 


The pier at White Rock, the far mountains are in Washington State U.S of A

 

Jericho and Kitsilano Beaches

 


Jericho Beach

 


Looking across English Bay to Vancouver from Jericho Beach. This whole area is owend by the University  of British Columbia 
(which is vast) so number one child spends a fair bit of time here "working" 

 


From Kitsilano each


Right.....that's it for in and around Vancouver for the time being, we've been here a few days and had a bit of a mooch round, we'll come back later but for now we've picked up a hire car and we're off on a couple of road trips. As much as I like Vancouver, I'm not a big fan of cities so  it's time to move out for a week or so and go see some real Canada


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