I have no sense of direction. At all. Mrs K is fully aware of this and so she will take the lead on navigation. I mention this, as a key point, because I went from our home to my target centre of downtown without the aid of Uncle Google. This suggests that I’m now getting to know the city. The downtown area has been our focus for the previous 3 weeks and we’ve loved it. Now we have a car so the exploration becomes slightly more expansive.
The car is comedically large. There is the same make/model in the UK and they look totally out of place with the rest of the road users. Here it’s a ‘mid-size’. We love it as it just wafts along the highways making journeys so much more relaxing. Journey’s along roads, not called ‘M1’ or ‘A432’ as I’m used to, but Sea-to-Sky or Trans-Canada Highways seem more like adventures that burdens.
A couple of car trips north of Vancouver have been particular highlights. Skiers will know Whistler. In the summer this is bristling with mountain bikers. The modified ski lifts take them to up the mountain and we got to see them complete the run with a series of jumps. Looks very ‘cool’ but definately something for the youngsters..
Squamish, on the way to Whistler, is more sedate and appeals more we think to hikers. We’ve taken two trips for glorious walks around the 4-lake-trail and waterfalls. During our walks we are also able to spot wildlife as we go. There’s standing advice on these trails to make noise to ensure you don’t suprise a bear; but this obviously scares away most of the birds etc. So sometimes, with great reserve, we maintain silence for a few minutes. Squirrels, Stella Jays (official bird of British Columbia), and the odd family of geese do make an appearance. Mrs K even befriended a squirrel with offerings of nuts.
There are a series of islands around Vancouver. Vancouver Island itself is huge (see ‘size of Holland’) and we go there next week. We have also visited Bowen Island with the car ferry. A small, but very special place for the first natives we understand. Only 3,000 people live on the island and there is one branch road. We drove across, just dipping into side roads. We took a couple of short videos of the view (see instagram). Very idyllic but Vancouver locals joke that it is stuck in the 1950’s.
With all this driving, and some intermittent heavy rain, we have enjoyed being at home (our Airbnb). Mrs K is working on some new ideas for her next art piece (which is looking amazing!).I’ve rented a keyboard; after 5+years of trying to play the piano I’m still ‘rubbish’ but I enjoy it. We also try to go to the gym regularly. Mrs K is a regular runner and has encouraged me to try. Given my knees (injuries in my teens) it’s not something I’ve thought about before. But with some lengthy preparation I managed to complete a charity 10k run in aid of Prostate Cancer around a beautiful lake in Burnaby. It was something to remember.
We only have a few days left in Vancouver, before heading to the island, so we shall try and fit in as many trips as the weather allows.