So 8 hours and three flights later, we arrived in Vancouver from Montreal. The flight was Montreal to Calgary, Calgary to Kelowna, Kelowna to Vancouver... but it was cheap so no complaints! We took the skytrain from the airport to downtown vancouver where we found our hostel we had booked for 3 nights. We were pretty jetlagged as we woke up at 5am and went back 2 time zones (now 7 hours behind UK) so we actually landed at 12.30 in the afternoon. We decided to have a look for a car to buy. We went to a car market and looked at a few things. We finally decided on a 1991 Honda Civic and put down a deposit while the car dealers got the safety checks done etc. We planned to pick it up on Saturday after we'd spent a few days in Vancouver having a look around.
That night as we were pretty tired we just stayed at the hostel bar, speaking to some Scottish people we met, then got an early night - which was a waste of time as the room was like an oven, no fan, and the only window opened onto the main road! So we got pretty much no sleep. The next day we asked to move room, and they were nice enough to put us in another room which wasn't too hot. Then they supplied fans, so we got good sleep after that!
In Vancouver we didn't do too much as time was taken up with buying a car. We had to go back after the safety checks to test drive it, so we did that on Friday. All seemed to be ok so we agreed to pick it up on Saturday.
We visited Stanley Park which is really impressive, it is so big though we really needed more time to have a look around. Jack had heard about a 'clothing optional' beach so of course we had to go there, it took about an hour and a half to find it, and when we got there you had to go down 520 steps to get to it!! As suspected, it was pretty much just naked old men, everyone else had their clothes on! So we started the journey back up the 520 steps, which actually turned out not to be too bad!
Our friend Sarah who lives in Alberta got in touch with her friend who lives in Vancouver so we met with him for a drink and went to see his friends band. It was a really good night.
Then Saturday morning we packed up our things ready to pick up the car. We've had amazing weather since we have been here, but the day we are driving, it is chucking it down with rain! Nevertheless we get the car and set off on our journey. At the dealership they have a deal where you have 2 days to get a full refund if you don't want the car, so we decided to take it for a couple of hours drive just to get a feel for it first. Driving on the right is pretty wierd and their traffic signals are funny too, but i'm sure we will get used to it. We drove up to Whistler and stayed one night there. I can see how it will be really busy in the winter - and expensive! the place we stayed at was in the countryside and it smelled of Christmas when you walk outside, all the pine trees, it was brilliant.
The countryside is absolutely beautiful over here, we're so glad we have the car to appreciate it all. Yesterday we drove fromWhistler to Vancouver Island where we are now and we stopped every 5 minutes at viewpoints and waterfalls etc! So it's going to take us a while to drive places!!
We drove to Horseshoe Bay where we took the ferry over to the island. We arrived there at 2pm,but since we didn't have a reservation we could only get the 5.30 ferry. The crossing was fine and took 90 minutes. We had booked a hostel in Port Alberni, and since we were getting there late didn't have time to stop at all the beautiful lakes and things, but we'll do it on the way back! The hostel is great here and we have met lots of people. Today we are driving to Tofino, which is on the west coast and hopefully we can do some surfing there, so that should be fun.
So the car has driven well, we're hoping that it will last for the next couple of months, that's all we want it for then we'll sell it when we start working.
So, phew, that's the update!! Will let you know how surfing goes!