Trip Start Jan 20, 2004
187Trip End Ongoing
Show trip route
Yves wasn't alone in extending unbelievable hospitality to complete strangers. Mary & Carl, having travelled extensively overland in a campervan to China as well as throughout South America, found our website almost a year ago and invited us to spend time with them when we reached Vancouver. The travel and international development discussions over dinner on the first evening were so intense and exhilarating that we found it was early morning before we finally dropped off to sleep. There was no doubt that a second night's stay was essential to accommodate the picnic at Lighthouse Point, a CESO meeting in the local library, CUSO discussions with sister Juanita, and of course incessant swapping of travel stories. It feels now that we've known Mary & Carl all our lives!
But let's return to the initial reason for crossing Canada before returning to Ontario - to revisit friends from various facets of our lives. Diana (former boss, colleague and friend from CHEA) and Forrest discovered a property with potential in Victoria in 1998. We were truly impressed that several years and of course many dollars later they have transformed both the dated house and the bedrock garden into a stunning "House Beautiful" rendition. Going one step further, Paul (CUSO volunteer - Tanzania days in the late 60s) and Mike have not only renovated but also professionally restored a magnificent three story home in Victoria into a work of art. Watching them concoct a gourmet meal for dinner that evening, we could just imagine the multi-talented twosome at work with hammers, screwdrivers and paint rollers.
And so the list of visits continued, and we were overwhelmed with warm hospitality at every stop along the way. But when it reached the point of having breakfast with Marian in Vancouver, lunch with Peg in Langley and dinner with Sue & David in Abbotsford - all on the same day, we realized that perhaps we'd better slow down and camp for a night or two, to catch our breath.
Although we are being treated royally, the ambiguous emotions associated with being back in North America continue to wreck havoc with that euphoric sense that should have enveloped us on coming close to completing a major journey. Everything seems far too easy: smoothly paved road surfaces have replaced the potholed and dusty tracks to which we had become accustomed; numerous clean and well organized campsites leave nothing to the imagination; border crossings are no longer an impediment; propane tanks can be filled simply by pulling into a gas station; and we can even enjoy listening to CBC radio whenever the mood takes us. It seems that the real challenge and adventure of travel has been left behind in Latin America, and we still yearn to return to roads less travelled.