We left Canada today.

Trip Start May 31, 2009
Trip End Jul 01, 2009

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Where I stayed
Howard Johnson, Gresham, Portland, Oregon

Flag of United States  , Oregon
Saturday, June 20, 2009

Well we were up bright and early (4.30 am!!!!! - unheard of on my part) and made our way down to the Ferry (5 minutes walk from the hotel). Believe it or not the sun was starting to come up at that time of the day, and the street lights had been turned off by 5.00 am.

We had joined the queue of cars the night before, so were more than happy all was well. But when the customs/immigration people were doing their checks, they didn't start with our line, which made me wonder why. Then I discovered that our car (and another couple's) was in the queue for the 10.30 am sailing. Apparently their staff had not directed us correctly. Thank goodness we were one in front of the other, and were able to get out of that line of cars, and not blocked in by a second row!!!

Anyway, we were on our way by 6.00 am, with the sailing taking approximately 1 hr 30 mins to Port Angeles, Washington State, from Victoria (Vancouver Island, Canada). So we said our goodbyes to Canada - another overcast day unfortunately, and it was about 8 degrees - v, v, cold compared to the temperatures we had been enjoying in the interior!

The weather followed us to Washington, and by the time we landed it was starting to drizzle. Port Angeles through to Olympia was what we commented to each other on as "hicksville". The roads reminded Malc very much of NZ roads, but the forests around each side of it were wonderful (although somewhat patchy).

We managed to flounder our way down to the I5 (the drag strip) and then found a number of factory outlet stores in the middle of nowhere. Malc bought himself a stunning pair of Addidas shoes for $40 US and another pair for me for $17. Were thrilled with that. Hit the road again, and arrived in Gresham (a city within the city of Portland) and found accommodation at the Howard Johnston. A mere $44 US a night for a lovely room, pool, exercise room (not that we are taking advantage of either - weather is lousy) high speed internet and breakfast for us both all inclusive. A barg!!!

After a break from driving, we found another suburban mall, and Malcy found himself in an Addidas outlet store, where he found a S/shirt for $20 US and shoes for $25 US. Made the big decision to splash out and spend so much money on himself, only to be stunned to find he received a further 30% discount. He continues to float on a cloud! Another pair of old shoes to be thrown out.

That will be it for the malls and shopping for a while. Tomorrow we head down to Salem, and then out to the coast, where we will be travelling through some redwood forests, and just generally taking in the scenery. Biggest towns we are likely to go through have about 4,000 population. Will take a couple of days to get down to San Francisco, and then spend a couple of days there. Not sure when we will get to update this blog next, as the accommodation we are eyeing up doesn't mention it yet. But we have been surprised before when we have turned up at the door.

We are finding that you get good deals for accommodation if you just turn up, rather than book at the net. They don't like you walking out the door, and will do their best to make you an offer you can't refuse. We tend to look for high speed internet for free, and if possible breakfast (although that last one isn't an essential).

I must say, I was happy to leave Victoria. Not a place I would be racing back to. Strange place, and at night, i.e. after 5.00 pm, the beggers came out in force. There were always some on the streets anyway, but they would actually come up to you at night and ask you to your face, or try and engage you in conversation. We learned quickly, but really, it doesn't leave a nice feeling.

Only five pics in all taken today, and as one is of me not looking my best (shivvering my butt off on the boat before we left Victoria), there isn't a lot to see. Hope to improve on that tomorrow.
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