Week Forty Two - Vancouver

Trip Start Aug 26, 2003
Trip End Aug 24, 2004

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Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Week Forty Two - Vancouver

Day 273 - Tuesday 8 June

Cactus Quay where we meet Lawrence and his friends Paul and Davy. I think we ended up at Bar None again. A note on the waitresses at The Quay. Their names are Jennifer, Bascha, Cyrcee and Tanya. They are most excellent at their jobs and see the photos (sorry none of Jennifer) for why we became regulars. Lawrence has told us that Coors Light is drank primarily by homosexuals. We decide to change drinks tomorrow.

Day 274 - Wednesday 9 June

We have decided to hire a car and head to Whistler on Sunday for four days. After a stroll along the seawall we head to The Quay for a drink. We meet an Irish guy called Shaun, a realtor, who introduces us to a guy named Jean. Jean is a former 'Rolling Stone' photographer who regales us with stories of his times with all the great rock bands. He took the photograph for Madness' album where they are walking across a road. Jean has since made his multi millions in telecommunications and lives in one of the top penthouse apartments in Vancouver. Pete shows up with his model girlfriend, Julia?. He 50 she 25. Probably ended up in Bar None.

Day 275 - Thursday 10 June

We have booked a tee time for the UBC Golf Club. A taxi takes us out and we enjoy a round with myself sneaking the honours around a very pleasant course. Cactus Quay where Geoff is drinking Vodka and Cranberry, I Vodka/Diet Coke. Both from straws. Lawrence turns up to inform us that only homosexuals drink from a straw. We ditch the straws and end up drinking bottles of Corona with a wedge of lime. Lawrence approves. Tanya and Jennifer join us and Lawrence at Bar None. Geoff and I leave early, wasted.

Day 276 - Friday 11 June

After lunch at The Cactus Club we head down to False Creek where we hire pushbikes for the afternoon. Today is another clear sunny day and we cycle around Stanley Park, under the Lion's Gate Bridge. We stop and sunbathe then ride back to drop the bikes off. Our trip was 18kms. We deservedly call into The Quay for a Corona or two. We freshen up back at the hotel then go for a bit of a pub crawl. Around midnight we decide that we should really go to Tina's birthday party so head back to the hotel and grab a bottle of wine, a face cloth and some toiletries as a gift. We get a taxi to Tina's in the South of the city. We arrive around oneish as most people are beginning to leave. We chat to the boss of the radio station and the manager of the local rugby team which has just beaten a visiting Maori side by twenty points. He knows rugby and we chat long about the Irish team. As usual we probably outstay our welcome and leave after five.

So I have this dream. I'm walking down a deserted city street late at night. It might be Vancouver. There is a full moon and the sky is clear. It has been raining and the moonlight makes black mirrors of the puddles. I open a manhole cover and climb down the cold metal ladder into the sewers. At the bottom of the ladder is a walkway. It's exactly four feet wide on either side of slow moving, crystal clear water. There is no smell and no sound. I turn right and begin walking at exactly the same speed as the water. There are no rats, no roaches. Moonlight spills in to the tunnel like milk from the grates above. The path is dry but the smooth walls are soaked in condensation. My right index finger draws a dry line along the wall. Perfectly straight, perfectly level. After four minutes I come into a chamber. The water runs through it but there is no exit. In the far corner sits a pure white heron. It has stabbed itself through the chest with its pointed grey beak. Scarlet blood oozes from its chest and off its beak. Its long, question mark neck leans on the wall with the point of its beak resting on the path. It is dying slowly, soundlessly. It looks across at me and blinks. Liquorice black eye.

Day 277 - Saturday 12 June

Probably another Cactus Quay day. Watching the girls go by and discussing how we are going to come back here to live. An Irish male escort agency is poo-pooed for all the obvious reasons.

Day 277 - Sunday 13 June

Check out of Opus. Their courtesy car drives us over to Enterprise Rentals to pick up our Ford Explorer Jeep. I am the nominated driver, ostensibly because I have an International Drivers Licence. Another left hand drive automatic to get used to. The drive north is spectacular. The road follows the coast with mountains all around. We have booked a tee time at 'British Columbia's most scenic course' - Furry Creek. All in it costs $145 each. We pick our clubs, shafts and flex. All 'Taylor Made' and board our buggy. It is a steep climb up to the first tee over a gorge. The buggy's on board positioning system talks us to the tee and offers to keep score. At the refreshment kiosk we buy supplies then mount the first tee. We decide to play off the blue tees. The drive on the first drops 180 feet to the narrow fairway of a short par four. I whack three balls out of bounds. Geoff nails a three wood down the middle. To say that this is a spectacular opening hole doesn't tell the story. Maybe the photos will give you some idea. We both play poorly but hold our breath at the scenery on the way round. Every hole is spectacular. To call the par three, 210 yard 14th the signature hole is an affront to the other 17 but it is probably justified. Despite a squirrely, flat swing with a five wood, I manage to hit the green. Geoff carves one right to the only bail out area. We each hit another with Geoff hitting the green this time. The refreshment cart arrives and the gorg. Blonde informs us that there is a bear cub on the 16th. We neck a bottle of 'Canadian' and finish out, my par being good enough. At the sixteenth we find the bear resting on a log. We are reliably informed that mummy bear hasn't been seen for some time and approach to within 15 feet. The bear paws the air and growls in warning as Geoff tries to feed it a Titleist No2. By the end of play I am up ten dollars but Furry Creek is the true winner. We get back into the car and head on up to Whistler. The scenery continues to dazzle. We arrive around 7ish and check into a two bedroom suite in the centre of town. 'Sundial' I think it was called, at $260 per night. We toss for who gets first pick of the rooms. 'Jammy bastard', Geoff says as it comes up tails. My room has a TV and a Jacuzzi. Geoff's doesn't. The season has ended in Whistler and the place is empty except for young mountain biker guys. From our balcony we watch them riding down the mountain. The town is Alpine beautiful with hotels being built for the 2010 Winter Olympics. We have a steak then walk to the 'Crab Club'. It is bunged with fit young men. As we are not but are cold and tired, we have one beer and head back to the room. We sit watching 'Apocolypse Now' like a couple of old queens then crash.

Day 278 - Monday 14 June

After breakfast in one of the cafes in town we drive North to a town (Rumford??) whose name isn't on my map. There isn't much there but the drive alongside the gushing Howe River (a guess) makes up for it. On the way back we stop and go for walk to some waterfalls. After driving back to Whistler we make a corporate decision to head back to Vancouver tomorrow. We walk into town and head back to the now empty 'Crab Club'. We play pool (Geoff wins) and are sent over a drink by the owner. From there we go to 'Buffalo Bills' bar/nightclub. We play pool on a crappy table then progress to the pinball machine. I win a furious contest. From there we went to a nightclub somewhere in town then home to bed.
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