Well day 1 turned out to be a bit more than a day – 27hrs travel from Cusco to Vancouver 😳 Said cheerio to the last of the Guinea Bitches (safe travels you lot) and headed to Cusco airport at 6pm local time. After 3 flights, a few delays, a missed bag check and a plane defrost I landed in Vancouver at 5pm local time = about 27hrs total fun times…. Customs in Montreal was fun – in my knackered state I couldn’t explain why I was in Canada, and didn’t realise I had to check my bag for the last leg of the flight; a quick run down again in security to explain why I was on one side of a security door and the man holding my checked bag was on the other and I was back on track 🤷🏻♂️ After a quick hotel check I got on the Skyrail from the airport to Vancouver Central and when trying to open my phone to get the short walk up on the map a “friendly” man asked me if I needed directions and proceeded to take me to the hotel. Cue him telling me all about himself and why he was in Canada from America, moving here to study, was a Geography teacher, where to buy weed (all the essentials). 5 mins later (seemed like 5 hrs at this point) and there was the hotel, and the true reason for his kindness came to light – “can you give me the money for the metro to the airport?”. “I have no cash”. “Can you debit some for me then?”. Tired, disoriented, fuc… sorry, pissed off = 2 options; swing for him, or give him the 80cents change I had from my metro and send him on his way – 80cents it was. Got into the hotel and the fun continues. A lovely lovely man at the counter had a mild disagreement with the checkin rule of photographic I.D as he didn’t have any…. a few choice words later he sat down like a child huffing in Tesco’s cereal isle because mammy won’t buy them Coco Pops and I got checked in. Threw the stuff in the room, freshen up and realise I’m starving after no food for a day. So out to Dunn’s Famous Restaurant it was. And our friend was still in a huff down the front. Only one thing for a first meal in Canada – Poutine, with pulled pork and coleslaw – and what a feed.
Poutine – down a treat
After all the dramas I was fit to be tied for sleep so bed it was. See you tomorrow Vancouver, no more crazy horses please.
16hrs sleep later and it was shower and out for food. Raining, but who cares, out and grabbed a coffee in JJ Bean. Phoned home and caught up with the gossip there then it was off to nearby diner The Templeton for dinner – more dirty food, a BBQ Burger with rhubarb and strawberry pie for dessert – holidays eh 🤷🏻♂️ Caught up with brother and sister duo Evan and Nikki for a chat and a beer.
We met during my Central Europe trip last summer where they were travelling with their mum Lynn (Stefi from the Rio meet up was our guide) and was super catching up with them. Evan has just landed back from Edmonton for a family thanksgiving that Lynn decided was too much to do so took off for a cruise in Greece, I was a poor second place. Nikki has since been to and fallen in love with Russia. Was great seeing them for a laugh, pity it was a short meet, but there’s always next time… Then back to the hotel for bed. Tour time tomorrow.
Breakfast in the hotel then out to catch the “Park Tour” bus around the north, west and south parts of the city. Went through Stanley Park which seemed a cool place to waste a few hours walking along the shore/around the Totem poles/relaxing in the gardens had it not been pissing down! Then jumped out for a nosey around Granville Island between showers, a tiny island with a load of independent bars and shops with a market that would put St George’s to shame.
Food stalls galore and hard to pick so settled for eats in Edible, didn’t disappoint. Quick catch up with the bro, then back on the bus to finish off the tour. Slept for an hour then went for dinner in the Kingston Taphouse next to the hotel – yet another great feed. Holidays are tough. Few postcard scrawls and it was bedtime again.
Up and out for breakfast in Purebread – ridiculous spread of cakes, buns and breads to choose from, and super coffee to boot.
Endless coffee, chocolate and raspberry cake, increasing waistline
Tried for the Jam Cafe but a minimum 1 hour wait wasn’t enough to tempt me there. Jumped on the City Tour bus to take In the east side of Vancouver, including Gassy Jack, the founder of Vancouver by way of a tavern he paid the settlers to build with his whiskey.
Gassy Jack himself
And the Steam Clock – the only one in the world, so you can imagine the selfie hunter presence there….
Did a full loop then changed for the free shuttle out to Capilano Park; well worth the spin. A stunning tree too walk, a cliff face walk and a suspension bridge full of more selfie grabbing feckers awaited. All lit by fairy lights.
My phone died about 15mins into the dander but made for a better time as I was able to take it all in without panicking about shots. The place speaks for itself and was a gem, cool spot to burn a few hours. Although the selfie hunters were slightly annoying. Instagram profile pictures on overload. Back in the city shuttle and to the barbers for a badly needed trim – took about 5 years and 1 stone weight off. Feeling slick I headed back to The Templeton for dinner, and a few pints in the Kingston grill before retiring for bed.
Last day in Vancouver, last day in Canada – if you don’t know by now, it’s was time for home! I’d booked a flight back to surprise the folks and mum for her birthday and in all honesty it came at the perfect time as the head wasn’t doing well for being on my ownio and no group to keep me company. Time to chill and sort out the next stage of the journey. More adventures definitely await, but for now it’s a couple of flights, a bus, a train and a taxi home, bunch of flowers, and actual face time with the family. Slainte.