As you may be aware from my earlier blog on our Vancouver events, our week in Canada did not run entirely smoothly. However, we still managed to thoroughly enjoy our time in this city of which we had heard nothing but good things from anyone we know who’s visited.

Our arrival began well enough, with a jellyfish tank before we’d even reached passport control followed by a giant moose clothed like a Mounty. We arrived at our hosts in the early evening as planned and were shown our room, which I’m ashamed to say we collapsed in as soon as possible as our bodies were under the impression it was approximately 3am. We of course woke up stupidly early, though this did come with the benefit of watching a beautiful sunrise. An interesting jet lag effect of travelling West, which I don’t remember coming across in the past, is waking up really REALLY hungry. I was hard pushed to avoid eating everything I could lay my hands on before lunch.

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With food such a high priority, we were delighted to see a huge range of healthy foods available when we went shopping. Kathryn was especially thrilled by the many varieties of bird food (i.e. nuts and seeds) on offer alongside the ubiquitous Maple Syrup and we spent a happy hour browsing the aisles, finding various items we’d never seen before. We were also delighted to find that barring main roads, pedestrians seemed to have right of way. I found myself still trying to cross when nothing was coming because I felt guilty watching cars slow down from 50m away when we’d easily be across the road by the time they reached us! I remain to be convinced that red rear indicators are the way forwards though. They’re hard to distinguish from the brakes which are often being used at the same time anyway as the car slows for the turning.


Our hosts generously drove us out to Lighthouse Park not far NW of Vancouver for an afternoon of strolling through the forest. The air was fresh and sharply cool but, with next to no wind, we remained pleasantly warm as we wandered among the tall, straight trees. Ferns and mosses grew abundantly and pine needles covered the ground in between.


Juniper Point gave us a stunning view across the Salish Sea to Vancouver Island in the distance, the other side of which is Pacific ocean until you hit Japan! Point Aitkinson (where the lighthouse sits) gave a similar view, but we were distracted both by the view across to Vancouver City with the pointy peak of Mount Baker behind, and a small number of Harbour Porpoises gently cruising around nearby, occasionally coming within about 50m of the shore. Readers of the previous Vancouver blog are probably wondering where in all this the problems began. It was as I started playing Hide and Seek with our host’s 5 year old son near the porpoises that I slipped and gouged a hole in my elbow. The details of sorting that out are in the first paragraph of “It never rains, but it pours.



Vancouver itself is set in very pretty surroundings. The only negative I would mention is that the architecture is a little mishmash and doesn’t have the beauty and sophistication that many European cities have, but everything else screams out in its favour. Trees line almost every road with many covered in moss and ferns, which goes to show the cleanliness of the air. Flowers and blossom were everywhere but possibly we were just lucky with the season. The city also has a considerable amount of coastline providing spectacular views across to mountains and some beaches, one of which seemed to have been informally requisitioned by dog walkers.

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We didn’t manage to explore as much as we’d hoped thanks to the colds we both contracted. We did however walk to, through and back from Stanley Park (approx. a 4.5 hour round trip) for some tree hugging – it turns out this is not always a one way activity, they can hug back! We had a peaceful picnic lunch by Beaver Lake with ducks aplenty and the promise of a staggering display of water lilies in the right season.

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Our final ‘tourist moment’ came just as we finished our final event at UBC and Kathryn pointed out of the café window where two Bald Eagles swooped over the building opposite. Apparently quite a common sight, but one we were very glad to have caught before heading home to prepare for a 6am flight to Los Angeles the following morning. We spent the majority of the day in LA trying to catch up on some sleep in the nearby Travelodge (highly recommended as a comfy budget option) before an evening flight to Rarotonga.

All in all we had a wonderful time in British Columbia. It’s certainly somewhere we’d like to revisit given the opportunity.

Stay tuned for our Rarotonga blogs in the near future!