Final Fortnight

It’s come to that already, hard to believe isn’t it? Last Saturday we packed our day packs and headed off to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, daring ourselves to cross the bridge, traipse the tree-top walk, and crawl around the cliff-face walk. What’s more, we did it! Not bad for two people who have strong desire to remain both on the ground, but as close to said ground as possible. So for those that don’t know, the suspension bridge was built around the same time as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, so it’s now well over 100yrs old and isn’t showing any signs of giving way any time soon. In fact it’s doing so well that during a storm in 2006 a 46 tonne tree fell on it… and the tree broke! The bridge? Swatted it off like an irritating bug and went back to business as usual.

Sunday we were too tired to do much so we ran a few errands and repacked our bags ready for Monday. What’s the big deal about Monday? Well, it’s time to hit the road again, only this time we’re driving! So clear the footpaths, and stay off the curbs! Trying desperately to remember all the lessons I learned last time I was here we collected the car – and of course it’s peak-hour in Vancouver on a Monday morning, nice one genius! – and packed it with all our bags and headed east. East as in the general direction, because we discovered unlike the Nissan Note we hired in the UK 3yrs ago, the VW Jetta we’re now driving doesn’t come with a GPS inbuilt. Interesting. We were soon to discover several more slightly alarming details; no cruise control, fine we can deal with that, no plug-in for the iPod, again we can cope, wait, no ‘ponies’??? Yeah, this thing has about as much get-up-and-go as a worn out 2-stroke lawnmower! It’s so bad in fact that when we’d pulled up at the lights next to an old school VW Beetle, we were disturbed to find the Beetle dragging us off! VW Jetta; you may look sleek, but that’s because you’re a drowned rat! Epic fail VW!

So Monday found us slurping our way eastwards, navigating by iPad and J (who admits to having difficulty finding her way out of a paper-bag) firstly heading for the Burnaby Village Museum, which turned out to now be closed on a Monday, so no stopping there! Then we did a quick google search for nearby stores that sold gps’s, luckily for us, we found one! Technologically improved and now being chatted to by an annoying American (there’s no upper-crust British accent on this one yet!) we then made tracks for the Greater Vancouver Zoo, and behold, we found it! A scant couple of hours later we returned to the car, having rambled around and eyed up the Moose, Elks, Muskox and a few other species we don’t see back home. Back on the road we were headed towards Chilliwack and our final stop for the night.

The following morning we were up and on the road as early as possible, our destination? Kamloops! The BC Wildlife park is located about 15mins northeast of there and we had a date with a bunch of animals we’ve only heard of. Once again luck was with us and we were able to check-in early to our accommodation and ditch our weighty bags and hit the road for the wildlife park. With the sun beating down and a hot south wind blowing in our faces we wandered through the park, we weren’t the only ones feeling the heat, for a good ten minutes we stared enviously at some Grizzly Bear cubs as they splashed and played in pond, rolling and play fighting. Who’d have thought a slap in the face with some fish innards would start WWIII in the bear world? We enjoyed the miniature train ride around the park, gazed in awe at the Bald Eagles, sighed in sympathy at the Bison that was desperately trying to hide against a shady tree.

Once again in the morning we were up and on the road again, heading back west and onwards to the Tsawwassen Ferry to Vancouver Island, both of us marveling at the changing scenery, from the rugged mountains and prairie lands around Kamloops (though we were disappointed to not see a cowboy on horseback) back through the lush pine-tree covered rocky mountains (no, not THE Rockies, we only flew over them, not drove through them) and eventually into the really lush green lower farmlands. Navigating our way to the ferry terminal we were delighted to find we could get on the next ferry – three hours earlier than we’d planned! We enjoyed the slow cruise over to the island, we were joined for some of it by resident seals, saw some incredible houses on cliff-tops and quaint lighthouses on our way through the Gulf Islands.

For the next week we’re stationed in Victoria and look forward to visiting more museums and doing a few other ‘surprises’ that we’ll keep to ourselves for now. But for now we’re trying not to watch the days by, we’re officially in the last two weeks and can hear the feint cry of ‘the end’ in the distance, or that could just be the REALLY LOUD seagulls they have around here!


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