Thursday, July 24, 2008

Last leg - Vancouver

3 Jul
Caught the 10.30 ferry to West Vancouver and made my way to Coquitlam and teed up the shipper for tomorrows pack up. Stayed in a nice camp/RV ground not far from the shipper and repacked for the next day. Solo celebration with a good Canadian beer and the best steak dinner I have ever had. I thought the one I had with VSP in Williams, AZ was good but this beat it hands down.
The adventure is now all but over. Tomorrow it is a hotel in downtown Vancouver.
The odo on the DR tells me that we did 13,500km together in 5 weeks. We chopped out two sets of tyres plus a sprocket and the chain will need replacing when the bike gets back. God knows how much fuel we went through. Everything worked as planned and nothing broke. I could have taken slightly less clothes - the 'fly home' clothes were hardly used. The merino wool T shirts were a life saver but my thin footy socks were to thin and were replaced with thick wool ones. I bought 2 T shirts and threw 2 out and I also had to replace my self inflating sleeping mat because my one of 25 years finally died. So I got back with no more stuff than I took over.
Canada and the north is expensive but camping out helped a lot. A warmer sleeping bag would also have helped as would warmer weather. I was thankful I had only 1 wet day. Seems I was lucky as this was not the experience of many I came across. I really went to early to benefit from seeing the flowers and wild life and this was not helped by spring being 'late'. The constant riding in forest in BC was just too much and a big let down. The Dempster hwy was a major highlight closely followed by the Denali hwy and the general Anchorage area. You cannot go this far north on an adventure bike and not go to Deadhorse but the Dempster for me was better. It is a riders paradise up north in Alaska and the Yukon. I will never ride BC again it is simply not worth the fuel cost. However Vancouver is a lovely city and on my last night there it was warm and the people seemed in a festive mood. I would come here again.
Many Canadians I met expressed a desire to come to New Zealand. Quite why I don't know. There is nothing we have that they do not have more of and better. Canada, at least the little I saw of it, and Alaska are magic places.

1 comment:

glenn said...

Ha! Wasn't hard to find a coffee guy in New Zealand even without remembering your name or home town! Good to see you got safely home. I'm sure you'll appreciate the journey you undertook as you look back over time.Few people of any age would have the guts,or even the gumption perhaps,to set out on such an adventure.Sorry I didn't camp over with you in Port Hardy after the ferry ride.I just considered the late hour and the cool weather and fog and decided to move along south.(not that it was the seensible thing to do)I drove through the night as far as Nanaimo where I stayed in a beautiful campground.Each campsite was landscaped with the luscious ferns and other vegetation you find in the southern BC coastal area.Very friendly operator as well. From there I moved on to Victoria,BC and stayed with a cousin (Allanah) with a persuasion for all things occult and esoteric.A friend of hers is the Irish folk singer SHEILA RYAN-she shared lunch with me at my cousins place and gifted me a CD,autograph and posed for photos with me giving her a real close hug!Anyways my travel itinery expanded somewhat after this.I continued down the west coast of the US to California and made my way east through the southern states, eventually getting myself to New York City. I left New York on a Friday afternoon and got back to Calgary on Sunday night via northern Ontario.2 days 9hours -4300 kilometers. Had a great trip,16,000 kilometers in all.Cheers,Glenn,Calgary,Alberta,Canada