1 Nov

SETTING OFF

WEDNESDAY

As we were due at Travel Land at 10.30 to begin the process of hand over of our little Bounder I was awake and up early to begin packing. We had spent the previous couple of days shopping for items we knew we definitely needed, or, would like to have and had spent ages de-ticketing, washing and repacking so we were fairly organised. Most things fitted into two large storage crates we had purchased these will eventually stow in an outside locker to help organise external storage. They are 120ltr capacity so like two large trunks and as we were taking them out of the apartment to the car I was expecting Stuart or Marlene to come and check if we stripping them of their belongings!

We aimed to leave at 9am and were 15min late, but the traffic was lighter than we had expected and we arrived approx 10am, the staff by now recognise these two intrepid (read awkward) British novice RV’rs and silently groan.. but as ever were very friendly. We were introduced to Matt who was the days victim for our interrogation, he was to explain all the functions and features to us and answer our questions, this process took about an hour and a half to complete, we picked up a few small items for the workshop to rectify but overall were very pleased with our choice and discovered a few subtle features we did not know we had (ice maker in the fridge…)

Our next stop was Craig in the business department where we seemed to sign so many bits of paper we felt we should be charging them, after all one day we may be famous and they have all those free autographs! We also decided to purchase a 5year warranty which seems to cover absolutely everything which might break down on us, and if we don’t claim we can get a good proportion of the cost back. It wasn’t cheap but peace of mind never is.

On to our next process and Ravene who was the Representative for the Insurance Broker, the registration of the vehicle is completed with the insurance and with our added complications of not being residents this took a while to complete, it was also due to the fact our reputation had gone before us and Erin who we had spent some time with on Monday had apparently taken a liking to us and gone back to the office telling them all about us and our trip, so Ravene was up for a chat.

It was maybe a good thing all this took some time as by the time we were ready to move again a considerable amount of the ‘jobs to be done’ had been completed. Hurrah! We were ready to unload the car into the RV and sat down in the driver/passenger seats to start our journey. It was by now 3pm. We had hoped to get
away before 2.30 so that we would miss the worst of the traffic.

First obstacle was a delivery van which came and parked alongside us just as we were ready to pull off, totally blocking our exit.. but, when we did set off Robert successfully negotiated his way out on to the main road and up to 200th and into the gas station, topped the tank with 100dollars of fuel and away we went.

Highway 1 was busy, but in some respects that was OK as it meant we could take our time although we had been assured the Canadian drivers are very forgiving.

Unfortunately before we got over to West Vancouver area it began to rain. On to Highway 99 which is the route to Whistler and extremely busy with roadwork improvements in preparation for the Olympics, rain was the last thing we needed. As we progressed Robert’s confidence in driving such a huge vehicle grew and despite me delivering a few kittens we arrived at Porteau Cove about 5.30pm. By now it was raining heavily and Chief navigator’s role includes jumping out and directing for parking up so I donned my trust waterproof and headed to the back of the Coach.

We have a reversing camera, but, because of the rain Robert had no vision through it, we had laughed about the fact it had a microphone from the outside to in, this however was a godsend as I could shout instruction to Robert and with very little re-positioning we had arrived at site 36 Porteau Cove, overlooking a very wet but still picturesque Howe Sound. We had already decided most important was food as we had had a Trail bar since our breakfast at 7am and were very hungry, so while I prepared a risotto, Robert unpacked the bedding and made up the bed and I unpacked the kitchen bits and pieces. All in all we got settled very quickly and felt comfortable and strangely ‘At Home’.
Tea time!
The site is between the water (about 10ft from the waters edge) and a rail track (about 20ft the other side) we had experienced the Canadian trains last time we RV’d and they are very long and very noisy, so when one passed by at about 8.30 I wondered how much sleep we would get if there were many to follow. Thankfully there were no more, the lapping water and the heating noise had more impact on our sleep and we had a disturbed first night.

THURSDAY (am)

At some point during the night the rain stopped and the trees stopped dripping on us, Thursday morning dawned grey but with some prospect of brightness. Waking up and pulling the blind on the window at the side of my bed to look out over water and pine covered mountains, no cars, lorries, houses, people, absolutely nothing but nature was probably the best first night experience I could have wished for, perhaps the sun would have made it slightly better too, but it is 30th October, what can we expect!

So I am at this time sitting in my passenger seat at my computer work station looking out at the most serene of views. This is what we had hoped for, and feel so lucky to have achieved.

THURSDAY (pm)

So here we are at the end of day1, I am now sitting in the recliner/rocker swivel chair (not to brag of course) as Robert has just put it ‘making ourselves comfortable’. Tea is cooking in the combi microwave, a system I was completely ignorant of until we used one in the apartment. I am now a convert and fan albeit a novice at the cooking process.

We took a stroll around lunchtime along the beach path to the look out point, then retraced our steps and walked in the other direction passing the wardens office to the boat launch and pier. The procedure out of season at Provincial parks (of which this is one) is to park up on your chosen site and the warden will catch up with you when they are around. We popped our heads in the door of the lodge as the lights were on and introduced ourselves to the young lady in there whose name badge showed she was in charge. Conversation progressed, as it does, and we discovered that whilst she came to Canada from Brighton, she was born in Burbage… not so big a world is it!

We were able to glean information about the area, its wildlife and the Provincial Parks and their booking system, so a friendly informative conversation all round. Unfortunately at this point it had started to rain so we headed back for some lunch, we had had a spot of bother with locks on collection, which had been resolved, then last night I struggled to get out of the door when we arrived, I couldn’t turn the internal part of the lock, I think with the manoeuvrings and setting up we forgot and when we went for our walk Robert locked up, both locks, now trying to re-enter proved a little difficult, one lock releases the handle the other is a dead lock, this was the one I had bother with and now refused to budge. After several minutes and perplexed looks on Robert’s face he finally managed to open it, there seemed to be no real reason for it not opening in the first place…hmm job on list for sorting….

We spent the afternoon looking through a huge folder of manuals and instructions for appliances etc. which we had discovered stashed in the overhead locker. We re-categorised them into some sensible order so that hopefully we can get the right one if the need should arise. It rained almost all afternoon and unfortunately despite our scanning the horizon at regular intervals we saw no eagles, otters, orcas or harbour seals, as we had been led to believe were around by the warden. As usual the wildlife is very shy of us.

The coach (apparently that’s the term we have to use to be correct) has been a real home from home, warm and comfortable, we so far haven’t found it lacking in anything and despite the rain we have been just as comfortable as we were in the apartment.

Tomorrow we are off to Whistler, via Squamish, where we can pick up a few provisions hopefully, mainly washing up liquid as I forgot to bring some with us, that’s one way of getting out of washing up. I am looking forward to going back to Whistler, the short time we spent there on our last trip was very enjoyable, that was in August however, I think November as it will be on Saturday may prove to be a little wetter.

P.S. Friday pm Have arrived in Whistler tonight…more news soon….allOK

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One Response to “”

  1. Elizabeth November 1, 2008 at 4:12 pm #

    wow! lots to read!Everytime we read about your adventures Al comes up with a new and cunning way to join in. Today the suggestion was to stow away in your luggage come the end of January, then get a sports car and steam ahead like smoky and the bandit!Us, jealous, maybe a tiny bit!

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