Strange these American countries; just doing nothing on Vancouver Island. Maybe the most boring post ever. Whatever, still a few nice beach pics.
Vancouver, 7th September
Well, after a 10h flight we arrive at noon in Seattle. Half a day earlier than we started in Korea. As usual, the US administration welcomes us with long queues at the immigration counter. Somehow, we immediately feel at home. This could be a Russian border post, 1 in Uzbekistan or the DRC. No doubt, 1 in the 3rd world. 3h later we’ve passed, got 6 months in the US without any trouble. Queue up for customs – just to give them a form nobody ever looks at. And that’s it – just another 4h after the 10h flight.
Outside it’s very hazy, a reddish pallid sun. Later we learn this situation often prevails during this season due to extensive wildfires.
We need an alternative to Prado. North America is not really backpacky country. So a rented car – at least until Prado will arrive in about 2 weeks. Then to a nearby motel. For reasons of nostalgia a Motel 6. Not any better than ever before, but much more expensive. Dear Motel 6, in future we’ll avoid you wherever we can.
The next morning, more or less recovered from the night before, traveling squashed like sardines in the plane. On to Vancouver. Just a few hours on the highway.
A border which takes just some 10′ to pass – dear Amies, learn from the Canies how to handle simple issues efficiently.
In Vancouver we’ve booked 1 of these small historic hotels. Well, somehow we knew it would not be the perfect choice. Nevertheless, we completely ignored that their rooms hardly have space for a bed. And we simply didn’t know that the rooms are already fully occupied by hungry bed bugs. Finally, we absolutely overlooked that this place is located at East Hastings Street. The melting pot of all excluded from the society, fallen thru existing or non-existing social nets in Canada. Nowadays, a focal point of junkies on their continuous trip, people having been slightly unlucky in their life and a few guys making huge business out of their situation.
Maybe not exactly the preferred area to stay for odd tourists. Whatever. Should you come close to Patricia’s Budget Inn – avoid it at all costs.
A stroll thru Vancouver’s downtown. Also here difficult to imagine that this city has been selected as the world’s most liveable a few years ago. Nowadays everywhere signs of decay, dirty streets, many cohabitants gone to pot next to distinguished restaurants and expensive lounges, visited by elegant people. Somehow rather 3rd world.
Of course, there are also some remains of famous historic Gastown – the tourist and real or wannabe artist hotspot in town.
But also here a strong influence of the situation of neighbouring East Hastings Street, spreading more and more into other areas.
Well, Vancouver’s definitely not our big love. Maybe a real challenge for a hard-core mayor to solve certain issues neglected for decades.
Tofino, 10th September
On to Vancouver Island. To the ferry. A short time to wait and we drive on it with some 500 other guys. 2h to Departure Bay.
Then just 200km to Tofino. And approaching the sea, finally the smoke from the wildfires disappears.
In Tofino something new. For the 1st time we’ve rented a holiday apartment. Wonderfully situated directly at the beach. Unfortunately not with direct beach view – this would have been the 300$ a night Suite on the 2nd floor. Instead, we have a very close view on the parking. Whatever; cannot have everything.
Inside it’s pretty stylish. All brand new, hardly ever used. We got it for 4 days, so it’s ok.
Weather outside: foggy times, sunny times – as it should be directly at the northern Pacific Coast.
A lot of veggies in the sea …
… and temperate rain forest at its shores as part of British Columbia’s Pacific Rim National Park.
Victoria, 14th September
After a few days we have to leave our home-away-from-home with its great parking view. A short trip to Victoria in the south of the island.
The next holiday home. Now directly at the shores of a lake, with a floating dock to make sure you’ll have the perfect sundowner. Not the spectacular beach nearby, but an incredible location.
A visit to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia.
Admiring the hotel we would definitely stay, should we ever stay in such a hotel, …
… the famous harbour …
… and the historic buildings and the parliament; now transformed into a Chinese tourist attraction.
On along the south coast of Vancouver Island. Lonely beaches in the Juan de Fuca National Park, …
… to the village of Port Renfrew – long time ago the last outpost of civilisation in this part of the island. Nowadays converted into a cluster of holiday homes and souvenir shops.
Then along the south-eastern coast. A look at Mt. Baker on the other side of the border …
… and finally to Lake Cowichan. Another holiday destination. This time of the year already pretty deserted.
Well, that’s the end of our Vancouver Island leave from our journey to Punta Arenas and of this post. A few days ago our shipping company informed us about the arrival of Prado on 17th. Thus, we need to move back to Tacoma.
Keep being jealous – the next post will be released soon.