Man With(out) A Plan

Trip Start Jul 05, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Friday, July 5, 2013

Another year... Another load of travelling - only this time there's not really a definite plan or end in sight. Jobs have been quit so its essentially travel til the money runs out, and look out for potential work/places to live along the way.

The primary concern before flying out was to beard or not to beard... this probably shows you the extent to which I've prepared this trip. Took the long hard decision of pussying out once I arrived as the heat made it proper itchy but this is not a battle I'm finished with.

So Canada then... first impressions are its completely different from anywhere I've been before I.e. I can go to the loo AND flush the paper down- no dodgy holes in the floor or ass showers (I'm talking to you Asia)...and aside from the toilet thing everything is just... well... normal...

This obviously hinders my usual ability to moan (not that i havent found a few things) but so far no struggling with broken Spanish, everyone, even including lifes most miserable arseholes, bus drivers, are super friendly, tramps are on another level of bum but they actually leave you alone, and technology has advanced so much that you barely feel like your travelling much anymore. Phone is on a worldwide sim, so whilst its easy to keep in touch with people over here, it means I can even continue to annoy you back home :) Google maps even shows your location when offline so it's near enough impossible to be lost - this could take some getting used to...

So yeh trip started in mad Manchester where customs bellend took awhile to get his head round yes, I'm on a one way flight, no I don't know when I'm coming back, and I only know the person I'm staying with as a friend of a friend and actually have no idea where they live! 

Once past that I actually had a whole row of seats to myself on the plane (bonus), and the flight was pretty uneventful other than listening to music on my iPod without realising my laptop was pelting out death metal full blast through its 'speakers'. Guy in front was definitely not a fan of Cattle Decapitation and I was quickly told to do one!

Had the same treatment at Canada customs, but eventually made it through, waited around for a bit then met Serena before going back to her place and meeting flatmates. The 8 hour time difference made everything a bit surreal and as if I was in a dream, but quickly got settled in then headed into Downtown for first burger and beers of the trip. Stopped at a pub on the way home but by this point I literally couldn't stay awake and started falling asleep in every place I sat - bar, bus stop, bus... Fitting in well with the tramps that occupy a big area in downtown - something I was keen to see on my back home and became increasingly familiar with over the next few days.

First few days I just walked and walked and walked and walked. Went to Granville Island, Downtown, all way round Stanley Park, up Grouse Mountain, and then to Lynn Canyon, where I could no longer be bothered to walk. Had taken a bus up to Capilano River Suspension bridge but the admission was $35 so that got fucked off. Walked round a few trails and chilled by the river instead and still had a decent day, then went for an outdoor movie thing in Stanley Park at night, and the following day on Wreck Beach (optional clothing - far too many penises, not enough boobs...) an outdoor swimming pool then took the bus up to Whistler.

Such was the level of activity that I unwittingly found myself living a healthy lifestyle :S I'd personally blame the jet lag but I'd only had about 2 beers in the first few days and had even gone cold turkey from fizzy drinks. Not sure if my body knew what hit it. Even my usual travelling diet of shitty meat sandwiches got thrown out when I discovered loaves of bread cost $4!!!! Positive this had to be a misprint I even asked the Safeway (yeh they have Safeway) dude but he just looked at me weird.

So other things of note...

- Truck horns are insanely loud - bad for someone that already flinches at the slightest car horn :( My phone went flying outside a Starbucks which made me look quite a retard. 

- Bears are pretty awesome - will again probably shit myself if/when I see one in the wild, but seeing one up close for the first time near at the top of grouse mountain was amazing.

- Chinese people with strong Canadian accents - still haven't got used to this one yet...

- Murray won Wimbledon - I watched it with a breakfast of strawberries and cream at 6am :)

- Chaaaaange - why make something 2.29 when you don't have coins smaller than a 5? Also every item is shown with its price before tax, then charge you different taxes depending on the type of item - why not just print the actual price... Idiots!

- Starbucks... When did they get so goddamn big?! Literally one every 100 metres... Good for wifi-sweeping though! 

- Bus Drivers - still can't get my head around this... Lost my day saver and got 4 free bus rides as the drivers were happy to let me off. Free bus rides to landmark locations even with educational talks and another one that said I could ride when I was a dollar short in the fare. In general everyone has been that 'have a nice day' type which can be a bit cringy at times but its almost impossible to be miserable!

Tramps - here they are on a different level. there are hundreds of them that all live in a small area downtown, but its hard to find it amusing as they're all massive crackheads. A tramp out of place in a regular environment is much better... Cue some old shirtless dude ranting to himself about democratic bigotry for half an hour on the seabus... Not quite sure how you become that mental but it was quite entertaining. Also because he was sat next to super high shorts Popeye man (see pics) but yeh other than that it was a bit like watching a load of zombies occupy a couple of blocks in downtown. Maybe I might come and make a film...

- Couchsurfing - My hosts over the first week were all awesome. Unexplainably I was spazily nervous when I went over to the first house proper but they helped me settle in quickly and it was really cool. Stayed with Serena and two other English guys, an Irish guy and Aussie girl first then second house was Caroline from Brazil with a French guy who we literally couldn't understand each others accents, and another Irish guy that was amusingly HAMMERED on one of the nights! Also got made an awesome Thai curry which made a change from the usual diet of eggs for breakfast and pasta for tea! 

So... After finishing Vancouver went up to Whistler for a few days - again had really good hosts - an American guy and German girl, both quite a bit younger but they were the ones looking after me :) Both were quite hippy like but it was a proper chilled place to be for 3 nights - their lodge was also next to their own private lake which went down with a few beers (yeh my healthy lifestyle didnt last too long) and got to see some of the northern lights which was pretty amazing. Probably only a small glimpse of what they could be like but had some crazy patterns and I'd never really seen anything like it. 

Also in Whistler... went to the top of both mountains taking gondola (worlds longest single cabley thing or something) in between the peaks and doing some amazing hikes on both mountains. Was pretty pricey to get up there but borrowed a pass, got some discount and it was definitely worth it (see pictures!) Due to the ridiculous ski resort type prices I found myself living on flappy cheese slice sandwiches most days but having free accomodation was a blessing! Second day I went to Loggers lake which had a rope swing thing I MEGA failed at and got a load of bruised ribs, then up to Lost Lake which was like a Sunbathing area by a lake n that...

Anyways, can't be bothered writing any more for this entry, so until next time.... have a nice day.

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