Travel Mumblings

September 19, 2007

Vancouver, B.C. and The Rockies

Filed under: canada — Tags: , , , — paulparkie @ 19:35

Ok… so I’ve been here a little over two weeks now, and I’m still coming to terms with how unimaginably, erogenously, vast the scenery is out here!

I spent a few days when I first arrived in Vancouver and took some time to explore the city. It’s a cool city, and I love the fact that it’s only walking distance to the sea and a short bus ride to the mountains. There’s more homeless people than I was prepared for, but after seeing what most of them spend there money on, it’s easy to become hardened to it all. Though their scrawled messages on pieces of card, or street tricks to inveigle a few cents from passers-by are always entertaining!

And so, I’ve walked the sea wall around Stanley Park which took the best part of a day, I’ve perambulated China Town (which is apparently the second largest settling of Chinese outside of China), which was an experience… I’m convinced there’s nothing that the Chinese won’t ‘salt, dry and eat’… there were octopi, lungs of some description, flying squirrels (I think), all manner or innards and sea creatures, and many more unidentifiable animal parts! It was there I also thought it’d be ‘fun’ to try chicken feet… yup, that’s right… feet. I thought it’d be good to be able to tick it off my list, but when they came, man-o-man, nothing has instigated my gag-reflex more quickly… they were like little Jeremy Beadle hands… and crunchy, yet slimey… and alas, I couldn’t finish them! Eurgh!

When I haven’t been in Van, I’ve spent about 12 days trekking around Rockies which are awesome, and I’m sure that my photos will never do the scenery justice! We’ve done loads of hiking in ‘bear country’ which was slightly disconcerting to start with… every Canadian I’ve met has had bear stories to tell, and it did take me a few hikes to come to terms with the fact that I was not top of the food chain! The funniest/scariest bit of advice I’ve read for a grizzly attack is as follows: “If the bear does follow through with a charge and attacks, play dead. Lie faced down with your hands round the back of your neck and your legs apart to prevent the bear rolling you over. However, if after 2 minutes the attack persists, playing dead probably isn’t working and you need to start fighting back!” … can you believe that!!?? … Give it 2 minutes, and then have the wherewithal to start fighting back!! Haha, that bit made me laugh, …and cry a little bit at the same time! Still, there’s plenty of ways to make it safer, mainly by making plenty of noise and singing, which is always fun, though I’m not sure how we’re supposed to enjoy the serenity at the same time… meh, serenity versus a good mauling though is a no-brainer! haha

We stayed in a few wilderness hostels with no electricity or running water which were cool… really cool, the pace of life just slowed and time became so insignificant… we sat around the fire, cooked ‘beer can chicken’ and met loads of great people, swapped stories and got the ‘down-low’ on surviving bear attacks if they were Canadian! haha … needing a wee in the middle of the night was also a bit ‘sketch’ … having to walk through the trees to the outside toilet always kept me on my toes…

So yeah, I’ve seen more amazing lakes, mountains, glaciers and canyons than you could shake a stick at… I’ve done kayaking, climbing and white water rafting … this is just the best place to play-out!

I’m off to an ice hockey game tonight and then I’m heading off to hitch around Vancouver Island (all being well)… where bears are only the second scariest thing to mountain lions… aah, the joy!


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