Monday 13th Day 14 & Tuesday 14th Day 15
Days 12 and 13 have been spent in Whistler working on the Land Rover and helping Tim, Sarah, Charley and Jason move into their new house, so nothing of interest for the blog.
Up early on Monday 13th and after sadly saying our “goodbyes” to the family off we went to Squamish where the Land Rover was booked in for a wheel alignment. Afterwards visits to several different stores to try and find final bits and pieces. A pretty successful morning.
Next stop Vancouver. Having programmed the Sat Nav to avoid motorways, our journey was very picturesque. Following what was the old main road, we stayed close to the water weaving among stunning houses and gardens with all the spring flowers in bloom.
Rogers Telecommunications was first on our list. From here the day went pear shaped. Rogers could supply us with a mobile broadband modem – for a cost of $300!!!!! In the UK I think we paid about £30. The exact same model modem we purchased in Russia and have used since in other countries, including the UK, does not work here. There are few telecommunications companies, so little competition. Rogers suggested Best Buy may be able to help us with a cheaper modem. Rovalution was the next stop, to collect the fuel filter housing we had ordered. On being advised they had sold the part to someone else, we were not amused.
Finally to White Rock to stay overnight with our good friends Bill and Joan. After a very nice Indian meal at a local restaurant, with a somewhat eccentric Indian owner, the evening was spent studying maps and guides with many suggestions as to the best routes and things to see in Canada. Bill is from Sidney, Cape Breton Island, and has some fascinating stories to tell which have whetted our appetite for a visit to Cape Breton. including a promise to visit Bill’s 99year old mum.
ThIs morning, Tuesday, 14th, dawned very wet and miserable. After a very hearty breakfast with Bill and Joan and having thanked them for their hospitality and taken the mandatory photos, off we set “on the road again”. Getting out of the Greater Vancouver area was tedious. Heavy traffic, with many trucks, lots of spray and incessant traffic lights – mostly all red! To make matters worse on Highway 1 there had been an accident, a huge 4×4 had slid off the motorway, the second in an hour, so traffic was crawling.
We stopped at Abbotsford to find a Best Buy store for a cheaper modem. No such luck. They don’t sell them at all. Visits to 3 other shops were equally unsuccessful. So, we will have to manage with our Rogers sim card and using one of our mobile phones as a hot spot. As I write tonight, there is no signal here, so there will be a delay before this can be posted.
This afternoon progress has been made and we have covered 200 miles and the good news is, it has stopped raining. Now, just past Princeton, we are comfortably set up in a Provincial Park under a few pine trees, by a fast running river. All for $7.
Today has been quite an eye opener. Although I have visited Canada a number of times, it has always been to Whistler, the Vancouver area, White Rock or Crescent Beach. I have been under the misapprehension that it is all very affluent. These are all million dollar, in some cases multi million dollar real estate areas with beautiful gardens and landscaping. Once into the built up areas of Greater Vancouver the urban sprawl is not pretty. Out of the city the flatlands are mainly cultivated market gardens with farmsteads. Further on were habitations which could only be described as being at the lower end of the social scale. Passing through Manning Provincial Park, which was a lovely drive, the advice received from our Lonely Planet guide is that this is just a hint of what is yet to come. Bring it on!