Crazy Canucks

Trip Start Jun 12, 2012
Trip End Oct 18, 2012

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Sunday, July 1, 2012

Howdy folks,

It was raining when we woke up, so we had to pack up the tent wet which wasn't ideal. Everybody wasn’t really in a good mood because the weather had once again spoilt our plans. There wasn’t much to do, but to turn the car south and head for Vancouver. After stopping for fuel and a coffee, we made a single stop at the Brandywine Falls and walked 15 minutes in the rain to only barely just see the falls which were clouded in fog. I felt sorry for all the marathon runners we saw in the carpark who were running in the rain and completely soaked. Steffie spotted a black bear on the other side of the highway as we drove down through the fog which inhibited our view over the harbour at Squamish. It was cool to see the ocean again and having lived in Banff for over a year, it is easy to forget how expansive it really is. The drive is supposed to be one of the most scenic in BC, but unfortunately we didn’t see anything and were just happy to arrive back in civilisation.

We were too early to check into the hotel at 1pm and Joe didn’t want to hang around, so we sent him on a bus from Burnaby into downtown to meet his couchsurfing host. Steffie and I took a walk around the neighbourhood and when we finally checked in, we were so relieved to sleep in a normal bed for the night. The room was amazing and they even brought us up some fruit to the room. We just relaxed for the entire afternoon and had a cheap dinner in the room. Sometimes camping is fun, but when it is raining it is even better to lie in bed and watch TV.

Today was Canada Day and we had an action packed day lined up. Steffie skyped her family in the morning and we caught a bus down East Hastings Street into Granville Street to meet Dave and Jack. First we took a look in the Fairmont hotel which had a pretty impressive marble lined lobby. Even before we exited the doors, we could smell the weed coming from across the road at the Art Gallery. Apparently, Canada Day is a pretty big weed fest and the whole area out the front was covered with stalls selling hash cookies, joints and everything else in between.

We continued walking up to Granville Street which was blocked off with a few stalls and giant scrabble and found Dave and Jack in the Famous Warehouse bar watching the Euro 2012 final between Spain and Italy. Dave Clow also joined us there and together we watched Italy get thrashed 4-0. Dave Clow left us and Dave Ashforth was feeling particularly patriotic so he went to HBC to get a Canada jumper.

We all walked down to Canada Place to take in the festivities and there was a lot going on. There was a giant inflatable beaver, food stalls, army displays and even a few cruiseliners plus a battleship docked next to the harbour. We took time looking at all the events going on and even stopped to pick up some maple leaf face tattoos and a load of flags. Not satisfied we walked over to the Olympic Flame where there was facepainting and a free concert stage with Alex Cuba playing. We enjoyed taking photos with every mascot we could find: sailors, RCMP officers, Wally the Whale, but we missed the penny head guy. Sitting down in front of the Olympic flame in the sunshine, we photobombed quite a few of the tourists trying to get a good shot.

We walked back to A & W on Granville Street to grab a bite to eat before lining up to watch the parade on the corner of Burrard amd West Georgia Streets. Little did we know what we were getting ourselves into because the parade went for over an hour filled with everything you could imagine from the Vancouver Police Motorcycle display to Star Wars, UBC cheerleaders and Chinese dragons. It sounds interesting, but standing on the street corner in the middle of a crowd for that long with a slow parade wasn’t that great.

The last thing on our list was to head down to the docks for the 10:30pm fireworks, so we had a good 2 hours to kill. Once we had found a good spot to sit on the edge, it was a matter of waiting as the crowds slowly filled in around us. I was a bit cold because I didn’t have a jacket, but it was cool to watch the float planes in front of us bob up and down with the waves. Eventually the fireworks barrage was towed into place and the time came for the plentiful and colourful display. It went on for quite a while and they had many different fireworks that I haven’t seen before. It kind of reminded me of the good old Skyshow back home, except this time we didn’t have any music. All in all, it was a fantastic day full of good laughs and great friends.
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