Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Campervan: Vancouver - Osoyoos

The first shop...
So as I said before, I was sent on a wild-goose chase around Vancouver to find five exchange students and a campervan. It was harder than I initially thought as even after finding one, we went several miles in the wrong direction before having to hitch-hike our way to this Walmart (yes Mum, I hitchhiked). The group were scared of going anywhere beyond the carpark after the traumatic experience driving a mile of Vancouver's suburbs so they didn't want to pick us up and looked terribly stressed about it after we arrived. After the food shopping we convinced them to continue on as even two weeks at Walmart would soon lose it's charm.

Me, Ryan, Anne, Paul and Gabby after the first night...
So the campervan crew to start with was made up of Gabby (Dutch - fuelled by coffee and a love of life), Paul (Austrian - Can go from child to grandpa in two seconds), Anne (Danish - she grabs life by the balls - well when she isn't asleep) and Ryan (Aussie - says it all). So our plan was to tour through British Columbia but I didn't really know the route when I arrived and to be fair either did the rest of them. However the general idea was to drive down along near the US border and then drive up ending in Jasper near the end of my two weeks.

So we drove out of Vancouver heading south east towards the town of Hope but went past and hopelessly (coudn't help myself) drove on working out where to camp as it was dark even before we left Vancouver. We just parked at the side of the road which turned out to be a popular meeting point for truckers during the night.

Lightening Lake
We woke up freezing cold - similar to my single-glazed house in Dundee during winter - which was probably something to do with parking in a valley shaded by rather large mountains. After breakfast we drove to Lightening Lake and ignored the first of many 'Closed' signs. The lake was entirely snowed over and we enjoyed the first taste of the Rockies.

Eager to see more we headed to Princeton where we stopped at our first Tourist Information - the first of a inter-province tour or Tourist Information Offices. It was also only the first day when we experienced our first key-loss scare. We were advised of several nice little towns along the ways with attractions from gold mines to mountain goats - both of which were very elusive.

Headley - Mountain goats and gold mines.
As we drove on we moved from an icy mountainous landscape to wine country in the middle of Tuscany. The Mediterranean mindset was also there as we fell asleep on a lake-shore reaping the benefits of the boiling temperatures. We had arrived at Osoyoos which is known as Canada's desert but didn't look or feel like Canada at all but more like the US. However that might have had something to do with us having to stay in the near vicinity of a MacDonalds to steal wifi while Ryan sorted his banking issues. We parked up at a beautiful lakeside campsite for dinner and went for a "swim" in the lake. The contrast between the temperatures that woke us up was incredible it was nearing 30 degrees now. Our dinner was just spagetti bolognaise but -as with all camping food - it tasted amazing! With the italian dinner and sunshine we definitely felt miles away from Canada.

Again, to avoid campsite fees, we drove on and parked at the side of the road alongside some deer. The days were surprisingly tiring and so we fell asleep ridiculously early (for me anyway) but only to be woken up by the carbon monoxide alarm through the night, the first of many appearances.


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