And then on to mainland Vancouver

Trip Start Jun 15, 2007
Trip End Jun 27, 2008

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The plan on arrival at Vancouver bus station was to meet up with Warren and head over to his house.  However, due to a miss communication this did not quite happen.  We thought we were meeting Wazza at a predetermined time and he thought that we were phoning him when we arrived.  This would have not been a problem, except for one crucial thing.  Of all the places in the world that we have so far traveled, we have had absolutely no problems withdrawing cash from any ATM's.  (TRAVEL TIP: If you are going on holiday or going abroad for whatever reason, get yourself a Nationwide account as they are the only UK bank that don't charge you to withdraw money from foreign cash machines.  Every other bank charges a percentage and this soon mounts up). 
Anyway, we had no probs anywhere except for Canada. For some reason we could only use one bank's ATM and this particular bank was not a particular widespread one. So this limited our accessibility to funds.  We therefore turned up in Vancouver with no money on us - not even a single cent; I kid you not.  Therefore, we were not able to call Warren from a pay phone and tell him we had arrived.  So, off I went in search of a cash machine.  Unfortunately, for me, Vancouver bus station is in the roughest part of town, and it was starting to get dark and it was a Tuesday night which I found out later is significant as it is the day before Welfare Wednesday so all the junkies are a bit charged as they are desperate for a fix and have to wait until they get their money the next day.  As a result, my wander around looking for cash machines, was fraught with danger and much looking over the shoulder.  It has to be said, and I mean this 100%, that I have never ever seen so many dodgy, unstable people in one place. 

I was unable to find a cash machine so decided to take a cab before it got too dark and they all turned into zombies, a la Michael Jackson, Thriller video.  The cab took us via a cash machine and to a safe place to phone Wazza and arrange to meet up.  After such an adventurous and trouser browning experience, I enjoyed one too many beers in the obligatory Irish bar before heading back to Wazza's house.

Next day and another bike ride, much to Nicola's delight (NOT!!!).  Warren is a mad keen cyclist and, like me, agrees that it is the best way to navigate a city.  We headed for Stanley Park where we enjoyed a game of frisbee and a play on the kids playground.  Great fun and very chilled.  I love days like that - just hanging out in a park, playing frisbee, not doing very much, taking in the sights, enjoying the company.
After a chilled couple of hours we met up with a friend of Warren's and headed over to his place for a barbie and a couple of cheeky beers. 

Today our plan was to head over to Capilona Suspension Bridge on the outskirts of town and then go up Grouse Mountain.  As Warren had done these excursions a number of times he decided not to come with us.  So off we set with good intentions, but never got any further than a good coffee shop next to a fantastic bookshop, which is basically where we ended up spending the whole day!!! We just got comfortable with a nice mocca frappucino cappucino smoothie skinny latte, and a good book and before we knew it, it was approaching evening.  Another day spent relaxing and just hanging out.  We love traveling, and I mean love traveling, but every now and then you just want to hang out and do something 'normal'.  Sight seeing just does not grab you sometimes and this was one of those days. 

Friday, and the first day of the Vancouver Jazz Festival on Granville Island.  Jazz hands at the ready everyone.  Granville Island is right in the centre of Vancouver, and is an island (funnily enough) that houses lots of shops, markets, galleries and even has it's own brewery.  We headed down there (on bikes again), and parked ourselves in the square and listened to an excellent female singer whose name I forget but she was so good we bought one of her Cd's.  She wasn't strictly jazz but who cares - she was very good.  Following this, it was time to move on and catch some 'Abstract Jazz'.  Now I like to think I am very open minded when it comes to music, and I also appreciate that not everything is to my taste but abstract jazz, and I feel confident in saying this, is absolute garbage.  It is horrendous - that is the only way I can describe it.  We listened for over an hour and honestly it sounded like a warm up session...... a warm up session of people that have never touched an instrument before in their life. There was no rhythm, no beat, no sense to the noise. And that is all it was....noise.  It sounded like they were all playing a different tune as nothing was together.  Best bit was all the beardy woolly jumper wearing jazz heads bobbing their head along like they were following it.  It was rubbish - OFFICIAL!!!

After an overdose of Abstract Jazz we headed over to the west beaches of Vancouver to watch Wazza play volleyball with his chums.  Unfortunately we had to leave early as it was yet another early night as the next day we would be catching yet another 'stupid o'clock' flight to NEW YORK, NEW YORK!!!!
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pierrelepont on

That was quick
No sooner had I read your Vancouver Island jaunt (A most enjoyable read I might add) than up pops this one. Were you on Jet-Ski's or summat? Ps - When are we meeting up for that pint mate cos at this rate you'll be back home in Rotherham before this evening.

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