Thursday, 7 September 2017

Leaving for the Hills

Leaving Vancouver as the sun does its best to fight its way through the smoke clouds of the forest wild fires that are roaring away in the mountains

My plan today is to head for Whistler some 75 miles away.

I've studied the map and I'll take the coat route first avoiding route 99 which as far as I can see is a busy route.

This takes me through North Vancouver the place you go to live if you have a few dollars to spare. The route is very up and down coastal routes tend to be but is very pretty. I'm pulled over by what I can describe as a YMCA motor bike cop big mustache too and I think to myself I'm about to be searched again hey ho when in Canada. But no he tells me theirs a big group of cyclists coming through and to be aware of it. Numerous police bikes and cars later I'm surrounded by a 50 plus group of cyclists all pushing up a hill in their colour catching Lycra getting cheered at as they tackle the same hill as me the difference is the weight their carrying probably compares as much as my front lights hey ho it doesn't take long before their wobbling backsides bob away into the distance .
I take the sea to sky route 99 acclaimed to be a breathtaking sight. But unfortunately, due to the wild fires, I couldn't see the sea or the mountain ranges around me. I have to take their word for it.
I struggle today which I put down to jet lag and the noise of the traffic on route99. It's not a bike friendly route so much traffic big trucks and cars speeding way too fast. Yes, I do have my own lane but the noise is hard work I have to resort to my I music through my headphones to drive it out.

I finish the day with 3 pints and a bison burger in a side cafe with great friendly service listening to the sounds of, YMCA I will survive and dancing queen, I think I might have wandered into a gay bar, hey ho the beer is wonderful.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Canada ready and waiting

The Captain says Welcome aboard West Jet,  in a very relaxed manner which I find reassuring, you don't need a highly strung captain taking to the air with 300 people on board He follows this with something which puts a smile on my face as well as questioning how relaxed West Jet are. " we'll be taking off in  a few minutes once we finish off  putting the aircraft together" That's quite a mixed bag of information and I think of the ground crew with some bits of plane on the floor and a diagram.
 The journey itself is long nearly 10 hrs and it takes us from London, over Scotland, Iceland, Greenland Hudon Bay and over the amazing Rockies into Vancouver. I have to admit the Rockies are much bigger than I thought they would be, even from up 30,000 feet and they look amazing. So looking forward to meeting them at ground level.

I get a taxi from the airport as I don't fancy carting my bike bag across town it's so heavy. It has everything in there all the camping stuff and clothes not that there are many clothes the usual 3 of everything. It cost me £15.00 to get it all flown in, that's cheap.
Then into the hotel room and reassemble the bike, it's always a relief when nothings broken.
As the adrenaline wears off I start to get tired its only 5 in the afternoon but back home its 1 in the morning, I need to stay awake as long as I  can, so I head out to try the bike out explore and find some food. The bike works fine and I find myself at a  Canadian Diner and Carb up and drink some ok Canadian Pale Ales. Sitting here watching all going on is like being in a film the waitress is very friendly and there's a lot of 'Sir' and politeness, I do have Pancakes and Maple syrup for pudding.
As I knock back my second beer the tiredness hits me, its only 830 pm but home time is 430 am. Time to sleep I think, really looking forward to tomorrow.