Friday, May 28, 2010

Wow this place is biiiig.

Stardate 28 May 2010, 14:54:33 PST, Captains Log
Well I think Eh, summed it up pretty good on face book when he said this place was biiiig! Many hours of driving and I have barley even touched the surface of what is here on Vancouver Island. There are a few things that are definite about Vancouver Island though. The people are friendly, it rains a lot (well almost constantly for the time I have been here) and it is a beautiful part of the world that I would love to revisit one day, preferably with a car. And a lot more money. And a tent. And many other things.
At the last posting I had been in Tofino and hadn’t been far. In the past few days I have ventured back to the east coast of Vancouver Island and am headed south to see that bit of the island later today.
On Wednesday I journeyed from Tofino to a town called Port Alberni, which is fishing and lumber town, with some lovely displaces of history and maritime stuff, and during the peak season, a fully operational steam train that services a tourist route, that I would be quite interested in taking at some stage. There is also a mill and falls, but they are the best part of 30 minute drives outside of town and were not within my range for that day.
After Port Alberni I headed into Nanaimo, and stayed with a scouting friend, Brad. He took some of his time off to show me around a bit of Nanaimo and the surrounds. Whilst not being a particularly old town, there are some lovely buildings and it seems that a large part of the town is supported by the ferries and some corporate organization that are within the town. But curiously there isn’t very much tourism focused stuff in the town, it is more of a passing through town kinda place. I’m kinda disappointed that I didn’t have a 3rd bus on Wednesday that I could have used to explore the township of Combs and add that to my list of places, but unfortunately scheduling & transport did not permit it and it will have to wait for another trip.
Well today I write to you from the town of Chemanius as I wait to take the bus down to Victoria. Chemanius is very proud of one thing, their murals. And they are quite extraordinary, painted on a large number of buildings throughout the town; my favorites would have to be the one done by a famous Canadian painter, Emily caar, and the one on the legion building, of passing the torch. As far as other things to see in the town there isn’t a lot, but I would defiantly recommend heading into Hansel and Gretel’s Sweet shop. Lots of English and imported sweets and such a lovely little store. The other thing to note is that the people in this town have just been soo friendly and always wanting to have a chat.
Well I am headed down to Victoria tonight, will get to see Speakers but have no internet at the time of writing, so we will have to see when this posting actually goes up.
Keep safe, as I plan to do so as well
Gonzo, with Eh and Stig riding shotgun

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

its times like this you wish


well the road trip has begun. i have my 60 day greyhound pass and about 43 days untill i fly out of NYC. whilst that sounds like alot of time, i still have to cross north america. its going to be a long slog, but i will get there!

well where am i now you may ask?
well at the end of skeeter i went on a short road trip up to cambell river, enjoying the view of the georgia striaght as we continued up the road. then after returning to nanimo, i made the decsion to head to Tofino that night instead of the following day. so after the 3 and a bit hour bus ride i made it here, got one of the last spots in the hostel for the night and settled in for a suprisingly refreshing night of sleep. i am styaing at the whalers guesthouse (hostel) in tofino with a great view across the water. which i seem to keep bragging about. i spent today walking arround the town exploring and finding out what was arround. i visted a large number of small gallerys and took in the views arround town. i went for a 30 minute walk up to the tofino botanical gardens to discover that it cost $15 to enter so i decided to give that a miss and walked straight back to town. then after a short walk out to a beach i spent an hour or so just looking and walking arround the beach and taking photos.

unfortuatnly the weather today has been shocking and i was stuck in the rain for most of the day. on a side note for travelers. Tofino is a very expensive place to visit. there is one place in town that hires bikes and does so for $40 a day. if you want to take a short (and i mean SHORT) boat ride to one of the near by islands be prepared to fork out $30 and if you want to go on a wale sighting or a ride up to the hot springs be prepared to part with $70-$140. im glad i am only spending the two nights here, because the town is very touristy and whilst is very pretty, you can tell that it has lost its soul, having once been a fishing town but now a tourist town & apparently become a ghost town during the low months

tomorrow i am off to a town called port alberni for 4 hours and then its throught to nanimo. i am not expecting alot from that region but i have people i want to see and say good bye to. i have made some good friends and i am going to miss them. that is an important note.

 its times like this you wish.........
- that you could tell the weather what to do
- that tourism operators didn't try to gorge every last penny out of tourists
- - that you had more time to spend with your friends to let them know that they matter to you--

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Vancouver

you know those lists. your pub? your cafe? your tea? your cinema? well here we go with the quick fire "Gonzo's Vancouver"

My Neighborhood - Collingwood, which ironically is next to Carleton
My Train station - 29th Ave, because its a nicer walk
My Fish and Chip Shop - the Sea Horse Fish and Chips, Crn Kingsway & Rupert - REAL fish and chips
My Burger Joint - See fish and chips :-P
My Shushi place - it the sincliare centre, i am quite fond of the Sushi Cafe
My Tea/Hot Choc Haunt - Blenz, where they take proper care of your tea. either Vancouver Public Libary or Bentall 5 for my favorate
My Work Place - Canada Place/Vancouver Convetion Centre
My Scout Group - 1st South Vancouver
My Rover Crew - 1st South Vancouver Rover Crew
My Church - St Thomas, Vancouver, on 41st near Victoria Drive
My Pool - Bonsor, Burnaby
My Place to rest my rump - Rupert at Kingsway, in Vancouver

any other My things you want to know? Comment below!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Vancouver - The Highlight Reel

 well if this was a telivson show, or a bad movie, this would be the point that the clip reel with all the highlights of the first 6 months of my trip would scroll before you and show you the best things i have been to and done.
so what is the best things that i have been to and done.

one evening, as we were walking along the street in burnaby, the water on the road had frozen. what did we do? well me and mark glided and slid along the road, rather recklessly, but very fun. and i would like to do it again one day. and i think it may have looked kinda like that magic view that you can imagine, whilst also being slightly unco.

just like my last visit (which was alot shorter) i will miss people the most. i have formed new friendships, tried new things and consilidated existing friendships. to those friends (you know who you are) i will miss you, but i will keep in touch.

for my Vancouver 2010 event high lights they can be summed up fairly easily. getting to just be here and see vancouver come alive for two full weeks was amazing. John Furlong, CEO of VANOC, coming up on the first saturday of the games as i was standing in the street marshaling and saying "thank you" to me. just being their to exeperince the opening of the Parlaympic games. to witness the look on the face of the Italian curlers in thier last stone victory and the view of the Check players after they defeated korea in over time in the ice sledge hockey. the spirit of sportsmanship & what sport is all about spoke to me then and there.

the chance to sleep in a hole in the ground in the back country on mount seymore, with just a tarp keeping the snow off us.
for waking up on Christmas day and seeing frost (wasn't quite snow) on the ground.
being invested on top of mt seymore into 1st south vancouver and looking down onto vancouver from that glorious mountain.
less than a week after arriving waking up, getting out of my tent and being able to see the snow line, in november.

so to vancouver, and for the last few weeks i will spend here on this trip, thank you. i will probably come back here, one day. no promises when. there is a great big world for me to explore and that is where i am headed. to my friends and those that i have met. keep in touch
to the rest of Canada, USA, Europe & SE Asia, i look foward to exploring and discovering the magic and secrets you have to share with me.

stay tuned to Gonzo Travels, and you will be able to keep upto date with my day to day activites via twitter & facebook and via my travel mascot('s).

well that does it for the highlight reel. but stay tuned, more highlights coming soon. feel free to comment.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Good bye Vancouver, Hello world.

Well Hi,

i keep promising to get better at this but i haven't really been traveling or seeing or doing all that much. i have just been living but here are the high lights and the cool things that have taken place in the past two and a bit months. i promise that the blog postings will become more common once i am on the road (cant promise the same for photos but i will do my best). having worked during the Olympics, work has been light on, even though i had a store i was in go "are you looking for work" that was this week and a bit late.

after the olympics came the paralympics. i was inspired, i was lifted, i was taken by the magic of it. i went to the opening cermony with Kit and Patti at BC Place. it was amazing and managed to hit all the right heart notes. what i have begun to hate with olympic cermonies is that they are over done and dont seem to quite hit the mark for me any more. but the parlympics was done realy well and i truly enjoyed it.
during the parlympics i found my way out to the few free thigns i hadnt made it too during the olympcis that were reopend for the second event. i also went to the wheel chair curling (sooo much like lawn bowls) and the ice sledge hockey (and i thought normal hockey was brutal). at the vairous venues you were able to try a fwe diffrent things, in a simulated enviroment, such as curling, sledge hockey & visualy impiared shooting. gave a great perspective and was alot of fun to try them out. the atmosphere was just electric and i realy enjoyed my parlympic experince.

and then it was April.

it has started to warm up. the cherry blossoms have come out. (soo pretty) i suffered from pretty bad hay fever due to the new and exciting pollens in the air.
and then it was Easter. and i manged to finally find my local parish and have been going there ever since. also since i have been here i have started walking. now when most people walk they walk a few kilometers. then there is me. on Easter Sunday after being at church for the Vigil and the main service (i was asked to read a passage at the vigil, and it was my second time there!) i decided to go for a walk. having walked to church i kept walking along 41st. and i kept walking. and i kept walking. and then i reach SE Marine Drive. when it was all said and done i walked around 20kms on Easter Sunday. yes i am a bit special. but i felt good for it.

a few days later it was time to take a boat ride over to Victoria, on Vancouver island. because some genius decided to name two terminus stops near one another with words starting with Bridge and brig (and because of my special brain) i missed by bus to Twassen ferry terminal. so after a not so cheap taxi ride, i got onto the boat and headed over to see the Barenaked Ladies, a candaian pop/alt rock group perfrom. and it was worth the money. it was their first show of thier national tour and it was great to see these guys perform live. the following day, after getting home from the pub (where they had a small army of beers on tap, i wish i had the time and the money to try every one of them), we wanderd arround the heart of Victoria. victoria is belive it or not very english feeling. more so than vancouver. also curiously if the line that defined the USA and canda continued and they split the isaldn, then Victoria would be part of the USA.

then came ANZAC day weekend. Saturday i traveled out to UBC and met up with the rover crew and we set up the crews activity for Nite Hike. then with Mark, Kit & Amanda we set up to register and participate in the 26 station, 24km over nite hike. it was a lot of fun and was a test of the body & mind. at one stage the symbolism was significant to me, and don't tell the others, but i did have a slight moment, in the predawn glow. after helping the crew to pack up and have breakfast, i headed down town for the Memorial service. this was important to me and after that i joined the others at the pub for lunch (there is an Aussie themed pub in Vancouver, its cute but odd).

the following week i was invited to head over to the sunshine coast, where PJ was held (@ Camp Byng). i wanted to go over there and just see it for what it was. strangely enough, the feeling of extreme familiarity that i have had in Vancouver Island was also still present for me on the sunshine coast. after a day of driving around and exploring and a lovely dinner provided by Patti's folks, it was time to return to the main land. the sunshine coast and Vancouver island are two areas i strongly recommend visiting and making the time to see. they are just so beautiful and would not be the first places considered by tourists due to the boat ride to get over to those destinations.

well that is it for this posting. photos are above as allways and i did a test video posting the other day and that is visible below but it really is just an experiment, as whilst i am on the road i may not have the energy or the enthisam to write but may feel up to doing a video.

well, im off. a route plan will be up in the next few weeks, for my cross north america trip. and the log of RPM85 (my personal blog) will possibly also get some of my other musings as the weeks go on.

Adios Amigos and keep Smiling


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hi there,

well i decided to try the multi meida thing. a breif sum up of what its all about. I went to the island, i went to the sunshine coast, i saw a concert and i had alot of fun. and this is more of a trail testing post to see if i can get the media thing to work for me. a REAL post card is in devlopment and will be up soon