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Vancouver Sunshine Coast

26th May 2010

Rainy Day in Vancouver

    The world poured all its cats and dogs on Vancouver today; all day. I reminded myself to make the best of it. Since I would be adrift of the cosy civilisation that I had been enjoying recently, I decided I had to launder my clothes before I ran out. It was nowhere near as exciting as the San Franciscan laundrette.
    I also need to get more basic provisions in for my existence of living in a van. In one of the shops I found a torch that would be essential. I put it in the shopping basket with the batteries it required. When I got to the till I was most impressed with the lady who served me. She pointed out that this model couldn't be opened to insert the batteries. I examined it, and true to her word the whole thing had been glued together. How daft! She was a Ukrainian lady, with a ready smile, who kept apologising because of her English. Can't be any worse than mine I thought. She found me a suitable replacement. How kind and honest.
    I returned to my room to deal with some emails, and then thought I'd drive over to North Vancouver to get a feel for what it was like over there. It would be a useful exercise too since the following morning I would have to drive that way to get to the Sunshine Coast, and I needed to have a feel for the time involved in traversing the city. Whilst over there I tried to work my way higher up the slopes of Grouse Mountain to try and get a view of downtown Vancouver across the inlet. However the suburbs in North Vancouver were totally different to their southern counterparts, which were sprawling random collections of shops, coffee houses, eating establishments and small businesses. North Vancouver suburbs were almost forest like, trees and shrubs everywhere. As for my view across the inlet, all I could see was trees. This was a south facing district, so people must have paid a premium to live there. In my drive I came across a secondary school that was disgorging its scholars after their hard day of learning. It amused me to note that, like their British counterparts, they all casually trundled home without coats in the pouring down rain.
Lions Gate Bridge
leading to North Vancouver
    I made my way back via Stanley Park to get some photographic record of the day. I had been pleased with the van; no problems at all.
Another Raccoon
    When I got back to the hotel, I decided to complete an important task. The van was already equipped by now with a sheet of wood and a sheet of foam; that was my bed. However, the van had all round windows; just like a goldfish bowl really. I needed privacy, I needed some curtain arrangement. I had already devised a scheme whilst in Seattle, and had purchased the materials to effect a solution. I shan't bore you with the details, suffice it to say that with: dowelling, gaffer tape, fabric and staples I furnished four sets of curtains for all four sides of the sleeping compartment of the van. Job well done! The hotel receptionist must have wondered what my game was when I casually strolled past her with all the curtains and rods. I tried them out in the van; about 15secs to erect, and 5 secs to take them down again. Brilliant.
Mounties Aren't What They Used to Be
    By now it was evening, and I didn't have the heart to traipse through the rain into the city for my meal of the day. Instead I stuck to the local suburb and found a lively place that was offering steak and mushroom pie for the day's special. I sat at the bar, opposite the barman, ordered my food and sat transfixed watching him make seemingly every cocktail under the sun. What made me smile was the way he smelled each cocktail, and dipped a straw in to taste it, occasionally doing a tweak, before passing it over to the busy waitresses. Now that is quality assurance for you. What's more he didn't get drunk; we shared a joke about it later.
    The pub also offered beers from all around the world. The British representatives were: Guinness, Newcastle Brown Ale, Speckled Hen and Fullers London Pride. The barman couldn't give me an explanation as to why the foreign beers were the same price as the local beers. I didn't stay long since I knew I wanted to be up at 5am to get one of the early ferries along the Sunshine Coast. Walking through the rain back to the hotel, I reflected a little on Vancouver. Its people seem a little reserved, but are easy to talk to once the ice is broken, and they were a kind and courteous bunch. They were nearly all fitness fanatics; all shapes, sizes and ages out jogging, cycling or roller blading. The city itself really grew on me. A cosy, intimate city, unassuming but plenty going on in the different compact districts. I could easily live here, probably more preferable than Seattle or San Francisco.
...... previous day next day ......
Vancouver Sunshine Coast

Uploaded from Traveller's Inn - City Centre, 1961 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC V8T 4KT on 29/05/10 at 20:10

Last updated 5.6.2010