Well here we are in Canada after a long but not so torturous trip. Wednesday was the longest day - literally - was a bit like ground hog day. When we arrived at Sydney airport at 4am, after a lovely evening the night before with Aunt Rene, Ed, Tom, Stephen and Graciela, and 4 hours sleep, we discovered that we had not been seated together for any of our flights, and did not have any aisle seats!! - this after I had prayed for good seats and a possible upgrade!!. Anyway, the attendant managed to get us seats together- at the back of the plane - not my usual preferred place!!! I should never have doubted. The first flight we had a spare seat next to us - about the only one on the plane so were able to stretch out more, the 2nd flight we had only 2 seats in our row and an exit door right behind so plenty of room and an aisle seat. We met up with Carin Christerson at LA airport and she took us to Manhattan Beach - an absolutely beautiful, quaint seaside suburb that didn't have any feel of being of being in a city. Watched surfers and had a fantastic coffee - a vanilla latte with white chocolate and lemon rind which came in a bucket size cup, and a breakfast sandwich. It was so nice to catch up with Carin after such a long time and to work on persuading her and Brad and the girls to come back to Australia. We really felt like our holiday was beginning at that stage and not just being in transit on the way to our destination. It was a pity we couldn't see Brad and the girls but we'll catch them in Oz sometime!!!
Vancouver airport bore no resemblance to the place we put up a tent next to a runway all those years ago. We caught the monorail into central Vancouver - after being ripped off by the ticket machine which shortchanged us $4!!. When we got off the train, we found our way to the street our budget hotel was on and hopped on a bus. When we asked if it went to where we were going a guy moved a seat out for us and told us he would tell us where to get off as he knew it, and that it was a really good hotel. The guy opposite then said " Why are you going there, isn't it that a really bad area with homeless people and drugs - every city has an embarrassing area and that is ours?" So then a lady further down the bus calls out " Don't scare them" and the first guy says that we would be fine and that people would leave us alone but not to go out at night. It was so entertaining. When we got off the bus we thanked the whole bus for their help!!!
The hotel was good and had an awesome pub in it with fantastic meals and homebrewed beer and cider. We had a quick wander around the block as we like to live dangerously and then crawled into bed after a good meal and had a well needed sleep. In the morning we walked to the bus station and caught the coach and BC ferry up the Sunshine Coast - which is beautiful - to Earls Cove where a girl from the Young Life office at Egmont picked us up and took us to the Landing where the Malibu Princess was waiting to take the 190 women going to a camp and the 20 volunteer men who were going to serve them. We had been expecting Sandi and Gord to pick us up in a boat so this was unexpected. The trip took 3 hours and was like going through a Fjord in Scandinavia. We met a few women and a couple of girls from Washington on the trip and learnt more about the campsite. When we landed at the dock, a couple of jet boats and a skier came out to greet us and then there was a line of people clapping and cheering as everyone got off the boat. It was amazing to catch up with Sandi who we haven't seen for 30 years, and to meet Gord. The campsite is incredible - so isolated and so beautiful. We travelled for 3 hours to get here up an inlet and there were no other places at all on the way. There is a private lodge near but no more on the whole inlet.
Have been having an incredible time here. Sam has become the Lifeguard who they brought all the way from Australia! Everyone here knows him and when they meet me they say "Are you with Sam?" We have helped out with jobs, slept in, chatted with Sandi and Gord - catching up on 30 years of life together. Today I did the high ropes course. It was actually worse than I thought it would be but I felt great when I was back on the ground.The womens camp left and a new load of older couples arrived to do a work camp and prepare the camp for winter. We took a boat out to Chatterbox Falls, about 5 kms along Princess Louisa Inlet- we were in a tinny and evryone els out there were in palacial homes on floats. It was great fun chatting to them and then hopping back into the tinny.This afternoon we are hoping to head off to fish oysters and play frisbee golf and pack to leave in the morning. It will be sad to leave Sandi and Gord. We have really enjoyed our time with them and it has been fun being part of the work team on a camp. Hopefully they will make it to Australia sometime to visit.
We made the frisbee golf - I managed to land mine in the sea and had to throw rocks to get it back. Also walked up to Inspiration Point - well I made it halfway before I froze on the side of a cliff like an oyster on a rock but Sam made it to the top.