Leaving Golden I felt refreshed after being stationary for a couple of days, though I did perhaps get a little carried away catching up on my junk food quota! My two nights at the motel allowed me to pause for a little while and take stock of my trip and I also appreciated having my own room. While the van has been working out ever better then expected there is no escaping the fact that it is a pretty small space and it was nice to be able to lounge out on the sofa.
After Golden I headed for the rockies, my first stop was Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park. Although quite a few other tourists
After leaving Nelson I headed north up along Kootenay Lake. As the weather and the scenery were both picture perfect I decided to camp for the first time this year and to give my new tent a whirl. This turned out not to be my most successful camping experience. Although the rec site was in a nice spot, there wasn't really anywhere particularly suitable to put a tent! I selected a rare piece of flat(ish) ground but it was too rocky to use tent pegs so I had use rocks to pin it down. After winning this battle and then climbing in to my little one man tent I discovered an hour later that my inflatable
Leaving Hope I had the choice of two highways – the 5: an express route towards Kamloops or the 3: a slower, scenic drive into the Okanagon. Not really much of a choice! On highway 3 I passed the “Big Slide” - the biggest landslide in Western Canada before driving through Manning Provincial Park.
So far I managed to camp for free in the van – either at the excellent recreation sites (government run free campsites) or by finding a spot out of the way, usually on forestry roads. A little research tells me that in Canada this is permitted as long as you are parked out of the way and
For my last night with Richard and Karina we went out for Thai food before playing some board games with a bottle of wine. A very nice way to end my time in Comox with good friends, before an early start the next day to get the ferry to the mainland.
I was heading to Squamish but first stopped off at Capilano suspension bridge in North Vancouver. As well as a pretty impressive suspension bridge they have a “canopy walk” where you walk high up in the trees and a “cliff walk” where you walk on a platform around a vertical rock face.
On my way up to Squamish I also stopped at the
Well the mini road trip is over and I am now back in Comox to take stock, tweak a few things with the van and get ready for setting off on my big cross Canada trip. It's an exciting time for me and also a little scary. This also marks the last time I will be in Comox during my time in Canada and I am going to have to say goodbye to a lot of awesome people - though i'm sure not for good. I have been here for nine months now and have had a fantastic time, largely due to the great people I have met and two Canadian roommates in particular: who I owe a lot of this enjoyment to.
Since my last post
For the last nine days I have been exploring North Vancouver Island in the van as a sort of 'mini' road trip - to both test out the van setup and to see what the rest of the island has to offer. The further you go up the island the less people there are so I had been looking forward to seeing the 'wild' part of the island - and so far it hasn't disappointed.
I have mainly been staying at recreation sites (free government run campsites) which have all been excellent, and mostly empty so far as it's still a little early in the season. On my second night Gemma and JR joined me and we spent