Tag: Fraser River

622. Saturday 16th June 2018. Exploring and relaxing around Vancouver…

Lots of photos. lots of information covering Monday to Saturday.

Monday 11th June 2018

While Linda and Doug had dental appointments, Donnis and I took Poppy the French Bulldog for a walk along the seafront at Jericho Beach. The beach has the snow capped mountains as a backdrop  in one direction and downtown Vancouver in another. Across Burrard Inlet, which is littered with container and cargo ships waiting on being loaded, is Point Atkinson Lighthouse in north Vancouver.

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Point Atkinson Lighthouse.

The beach area here is also littered with logs which are continually being found floating in the bay. Those logs are dragged ashore onto the beaches and used as convenient backrests, seats and tables by locals having a day at the beach on the gray sands. All along the coastline are piles of logs which have been washed ashore over the years.

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Vancouver seen from Jericho Beach. Note the gray sand and logs for leaning and sitting on or using as a table or even to shelter when a cold wind blows.
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Looking over driftwood to north Vancouver.

An interesting fact about what is known as Vancouver Harbour and the shipping lanes leading into it. From Burrard Inlet to the USA Border roughly 25 Klms by road is over 365 Klms of coastline. Like most coastlines it weaves in and out, twists and turns and creates little bays, headlands and inlets.

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Burrard Inlet with container freighter and snow capped mountains in the background.

Dental appointments completed, Doug and Linda joined us for fish and chips at Spanish Banks East Concession.

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Linda n Doug waiting for Fish n Chips.
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A happy Frank AFTER Fish n Chips. My hair always seems to be messed. Doug claims he has never seen me with neatly combed hair. Harrumpf!
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Gotta love the driftwood. It sort of breaks up the monotony of the gray sand.

It is described by Google Maps as a snack bar. This is a little shop which sells fish and chips and hamburgers, ice creams, sandwiches and amazingly, real espresso coffee. The young lady who served us took the orders, made the coffee, fish and chips and burgers, serving other customers and single handed running the impressive little shop.

Tuesday 12th June

Today we dropped Linda at a doctors appointment in downtown Vancouver while we walked to the waterfront. The day was overcast, threatening rain and rather chilly. After Linda joined us we walked to Granville Island Markets.

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Inside the food court at the markets.

Regular readers will recall that I am not a fan of markets and that we also visited these same markets when we first arrived in Vancouver at the beginning of May. The markets are huge with the advantage of an enclosed foodie hall with lots of seating outside on the banks of False Creek which has some wonderful views of three bridges and the little water taxi’s taking passengers to various locations in the city.

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Doug Linda nd Frank enjoy a light snack outside the food court at Granville Island Markets.

Also from here we can see the dozens of float planes taking off and landing. The bridges are, Burrard St Bridge, Granville St Bridge and Cambie St Bridge. False Creek also has a large marina and the creek itself drains into Vancouver Harbour.

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Just a small part of the huge False Creek marina complex.
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I love this cute little boat. It would be great on The Broadwater on the Gold Coast.

For me the saving grace is the food outlets which are always crowded. I just love the sights, the smells, the sounds and the crowds – even on a Tuesday.

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Signs on the jetty around the food hall at Granville Island Bridge.

We all wanted something different to eat so went our separate ways agreeing to meet on the dock outside. The hand -made chocolate outlets are always busy. Luckily I did not feel like chocolate today. The walk back to the car was pleasant although cool with a few drops of rain.

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This you lady with the flaming red hair tried again and gain and again to stand on her head. Once on her head sh then tried to straighten her legs and each time fell over. Gotta give her top marks for trying.
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Somebody lives permamently aboard this boat. Lots of untidy stuff strewn around. The large German Shepherd dog in the centre cockpit is a deterent to “strangers.

Wednesday 13th June

Last night as we snuggled beneath the blankets we could hear the rain beginning to drum against the roof and windows. This morning I woke to a weak daylight and heard the constant drum of the rain.

Oh well, this is, after all, Vancouver, which reportedly has the best climate in Canada but also has the most rain.

In the afternoon Donnis and I took a walk, mostly just to clear the cobwebs out of our brains and also to avoid cabin fever.  The weather seems to be deteriorating.

Thursday 14th June.

Another wet day and therefore we did not do any exploring. Earlier this week we discussed flying to Mexico for a week. It seemed like a good idea except that Hurricane Bud, a category 4 system was threatening the Mexican west coast and Californian south  coast. Even if the hurricane moves back to sea and does not cross the coast it will dump lots of rain and quite frankly we have had enough of the rain. No sense in flying to Mexico and possibly spending 7 days in unpleasant conditions.

Friday 15th June

For some crazy reason I was wide awake at 5.30am. Looking out the window from our room high on the westside hill I could see a cruise ship slowly moving up the Burrard Channel. It is the Royal Caribbean owned Radience of the Seas. It will pass under the Lions Gate Bridge into Vancouver Harbour and dock at Canada Place to discharge passengers. By midday it will start taking on passengers before heading off at 4pm on a 7 day cruise to Seward, (known as Port of Anchorage) Alaska in the evening.

It is overcast and quite chilly at 12°. Some rain fell overnight. The rest of the day may be another lay day waiting for better weather.

Saturday 16th June.

The good weather arrived and we are in shorts and Tshirts today

Yahoo! Yippee!

Along with Linda and Doug we caught a bus into downtown Vancouver then caught the SkyTrain to New Westminster on the right bank of the Fraser River.

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We have taken over the front of the train.
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Great view at thefront of the train.

New Westminster was settled in 1858 and was considered the capital of the new Province, British Columbia. The original reason for the settlement was Gold. Like gold rush locations around the world the gold finally gave out. The plan by Major-General Richard Moody was to establish “a city of beauty in the wilderness”. By 1860 the population of nearby Vancouver exceeded that of New Westminster. As well, Vancouver was a more accessible coastal port and not subject to the vagaries of a river system which had raging snowmelt in summer and barely a trickle in winter as well as legions of mudflats, sandbars and floating logs. By 1866 the mainland and nearby islands were brought together as a united Province, British Columbia with even better harbour facilities at Victoria the capital of Vancouver Island. Despite lots of arguments by both New Westminster and Vancouver residents, Victoria became the capital of British Columbia.

Today watching the swift flowing Fraser River we saw dozens of floating logs and other debris and can understand the difficulties of boating in this tidal, mudflat, sandbar and obstacle studded river.

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Embedded log at Westminster.
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It is this floating debris boaties have to be careful of. It may look innocent but it does not show what lies beneath.

We walked around the waterside to look at various market stalls and food out lets.

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Westminster Saturday Markets.
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Worlds tallest tin soldier.
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Ferry service.

We decided to have an early dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory   http://www.oldspaghettifactory.ca/#menu  one of a dozen in a chain stretching through several Provinces in Canada. Generally they advertise that all meals are complete. That is, an entrée or a soup, sourdough bread, main course, ice cream and a cup of tea is included in the price. I chose  Seafood Fettucine Alfredo which included scallops and prawns. To accompany the main I had a sourdough roll, minestrone soup, Spumoni ice cream and a cup of tea. Cost? $16.95. Great meal, great service great atmosphere but gee it was noisy. We sat in what was once an old trolley car in NW.

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Timber ceiling inside our trolley car at The Old Spaghetti Factory.

Afterwards it was SkyTrain and bus home and very tired.

621. Sunday 10th June 2018, Calgary Zoo, family BBQ and a flight to Vancouver…

This post is back to the usual format of a full week but next week may be daily posts. It depends on what adventures come our way.

This is still a long post with lots of photos.

Monday 4th June 2018

So begins a new week here in Calgary. Donnis will be spending most of her days with her mum in the nursing home.

I am struggling with the tail end of the head cold and because of the dry climate when I blow my nose there is some blood. Yuk. Yes I know. Perhaps I did not need to tell you that. Just be aware that a dry climate can be disruptive to your sinuses. Joan has a humidifier which we need to put into our bedroom. Fingers crossed it helps me. I had no problems in Vancouver or PEI as they both have some humidity closer to what I am used to. Each morning when I wake, my tongue is stuck to the roof of my mouth. Donnis also has the same problem.

Any light exertion here in Calgary does not bother me as we are 1,045 m above sea level. However in the mountains around Golden and Kicking Horse the average height above sea level is 1,627 metres. Normal walking was OK but once there was an incline my breathing became laboured.

It is the beginning of summer but the nights and early mornings are cool to cold. When the sun does appear there is little warmth until almost midday.

Road workers carrying out maintenance as well as new projects are in full swing and there are barriers and Stop Slow people everywhere. Alberta is the corporate centre of the sand oil extraction industry. Alberta Province and particularly Calgary is in a financially healthy condition. There is an abundance of money. New buildings, new roads, new housing projects are very evident. All this work going on does contribute to traffic problems. That said, there is a bust side to the boom. Many sand oil jobs have been cut in recent months. The cost of a barrel of oil is around $60 at present. At one stage in 2016 it was as low as $26 a barrel. The loss of about 20,000 jobs in the last 12 months has meant the bottom has fallen out of the real estate market. Houses are sitting, For Sale for 12 months with no buyers. Part of the problem has been the boom when houses in new estates were being offered at the same or lesser price than an established house. (Hmmm. Sounds like the Airlie Beach real estate market)

The Province of Alberta is rich in a natural resource – sand oil. At present the oil is exported to other Provinces and more particularly to the USA. That oil is sent to market in BC and the port of Vancouver by miles and miles of railway tankers.  Alberta wants to build a CAN$7.4 billion pipeline through the Province of British Columbia to Vancouver. The pipeline would deliver many benefits to BC including reduced fuel costs. Today a litre of unleaded in Alberta is on average $1.20.3. In BC that same litre of fuel is $1.57.7 on average. So BC residents are paying roughly an additional 30 cents per litre for fuel. The BC Government has voted NO to the pipeline but demanded the oil be landed in Vancouver for the same price as Alberta despite having to be shipped hundreds of Klms by rail. Not surprisingly, there is a heated two Province disagreement which does not appear will be resolved easily. Jobs and economic benefit versus environmental concerns is no different here than it is in Australia where the argument is about coal extraction and shipping. Two sides with equally good arguments with no winners.

Today I accompanied Joan on a shopping excursion to Costco. That was an experience, sort of like watching Walmart people videos. Costco people are different. It seems going to Costco is a family event. Mum, Dad and three kids, at least one in a pram. Family groups are everywhere. After shopping they all gather at the food court area where you can have lots of food for only a few dollars (plus tax). Most of the food is high carbs, high cheese content, deep fried and highly processed. Hot dogs, giant size, sell for $1.50 while a large coffee is $1.99. Coffee comes in one size – large. A slice of pizza, as large as a regular pizza is $1.99. Mostly, it seems, the people eating here are overweight.

In the food department everything is in wholesale lots. If you want a can of mushroom soup you need to buy a carton of 12. Want cereal? It is only available in a box of a minimum of two bags. A kilo of minced meat, you have to buy a package which contains 2 x 1 kg bags.

A single person or a couple would probably spend more than they save.

However there are some items which are well priced. A pre- packaged Caesar salad at least three times larger than you can buy at Woollies or Coles in Australia for $5 at Costco is $8.99. (later when we opened the salad I changed my opinion. The Costco salad was terrible. There were no bacon pieces and the lettuce leaves were all stems.)

Shopping at Costco, especially the one we visited at Heritage Gate, which is the busiest store in Canada, is organised chaos. Staff, and there is lots of staff, are friendly and helpful. They are constantly picking up things like clothing which customers just drop on the floor. For those who do not shop at Costco be aware you need to be a member with a photo id card to gain entry. Guests must be accompanied by the member and guests cannot buy under their own name.

Tuesday 5th June

Another lay day for me, while it was a look after mum day for Donnis. After dinner we drove to the airport to meet Alecia who has flown in from the oil fields for a few days.

Wednesday 6th June

Tonight I fired up the BBQ and we invited Simone and Lazar for dinner. Joan had bought some Short Loin Lamb Chops from…Costco…imported from Australia (lamb is an expensive luxury in Canada). Alecia made a rub of butter and Rosemary. I cooked some huge sweet potatoes on the BBQ until the skin blackened and juices began to seep out and veggie kebabs on the BBQ and set them aside while I quickly seared the chops in the flames created by the melting butter. I reduced the heat and slowly cooked the chops until juices began to flow. I let them rest until the table was set. All were impressed at how the meat was pink, juicy and tender and the sweet potato just slipped out of the blackened skin. Better than throwing a shrimp on the barbie any day.

Friday 8th June

Today we took Donnis for a Chiropractic appointment. Alecia and I went for a drive. We saw a huge Church of Latter Day Saints – Mormon – High on a hill overlooking Calgary.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints_in_Canada

080618 mormomThe church and grounds are very well maintained, almost picture perfect. Compared to most other churches it really stands out as an example of wealth.080618 mormom1080618 calgary-alberta-temple-lds-1058967-wallpaper

Afterwards we joined Simone, Andrea, baby Evan and young Miles for a day at Calgary Zoo.

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Initially I was somewhat disappointed in what I thought was a small number of animals. 080618 zoo023The enclosures are large and roomy and many are set up to take into account the climactic conditions the animals would encounter.

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The eyelids on Giraffe always make them look serene.

Photography was often difficult as viewing chambers were partitioned with glass which is often scratched, smudged, dirty and reflects other images.

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One of the first exhibits we saw on arrival were the penguins. The waterway runs through the rocks to an indoor facility which has subdued lighting plus snow and ice all around . The penguins all seem well fed and happy. I guess there are no seals, walrusses, birds of prey or other creatures trying to turn a penguin into a light meal.
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Inside the penguin enclosure is this large poster displaying some of the things which are happening due to climate change.

The zoo is divided in various themes such as Canadian, African, Asia, South America and even Dinosaurs. The Canadian section includes both Grizzly

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Grizzly Bear. Just take a look at those claws. Volunteers walk around the zoo giving little talks on various animals. They showed us a claw from a grizzly and compared it to a Black Bear. The Grizzly claws are much larger…all the better to dig with…or slice open an enemy. They cannot climb trees. Black Bears with smaller claws can climb trees. I guess you first need to determine if you are being threatened by a Grizzly or a Black. If its a Grizzly you can climb a tree to safety. If its a Black Bear then you need a different escape plan.

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and Black bears,

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An Albino, White, Black Bear. Which sort of looks like a Polar Bear but isn’t. There are no Polar Bears on display at Calgary Zoo.

Moose, Bison, Mountain Sheep

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This fine specimen of what I woud have called a Muntain Sheep or even Mountain Goats is in reality a Dall’s Sheep. Same thing really. Yes it looks like a stuffed animal but it is alive and breathing surveying its limited territory about the size of three or four average house lots.

and goats of various species and even a Rocky Mountain Cougar.

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This Cougar in its den (another animal you need to be aware of when hiking along forest trails in Canada) was watching the attendant cleaning another part of its enclosure. There was a fence between them which can be re-opened once the cleaning is finished.

Some animals, such as the Lemurs have a large almost interactive enclosure.

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Entry is gained via a heavily gated enclosure and a bridge. An area is loosely roped off but the Lemurs are free to walk amongst visitors although crouching down to their head height or trying to pat them is actively discouraged.  Wisely the Lemurs keep their distance from humans.

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Everybodies favourite, the Meerkat.

About 5 years ago I visited the Western Plains Zoo at Dubbo NSW and one of the animals which fascinated me was the Hippopotamus.

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There they had a large enclosure including areas of a couple of hectares to waddle around and a huge waterhole to do what Hippos do best. I was able to photograph a Hippo with its mouth wide open. Here the Hippos seemed to want to sleep a little and swim a little. 080618 zoo020Their water hole was not all that large but was enclosed on one side by a glass wall. I guess the idea is to see the Hippo underwater although in this case the glass was covered with algae on the inside. Hippos defecate in the water and their little tail acts like a propeller to break up the solid matter in the water. The water here is murky, I guess there is a lot of fecal matter in suspension.

The butterfly atrium was a sort of habitat for butterflies as well as a display of mostly tropical plants. 080618 zoo014The high glass domed green house had misters set in the roof as well as around the walls. It certainly gave the display a real humid tropical feel.

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Donnis Alecia and Andrea.

One of the plants which appealed to me was the giant water lilly, Victoria Amazonica.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_(plant)

These plants are at least a metre in diameter and the spikey side walls remind me of the spikes on pitcher plants.

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Giant Lilly Pads

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Although the butterflies live in a protected environment they still have mishaps and still only have a limited life span. Often their fragile wings are damaged yet they still fly around with grace.080618 zoo015080618 zoo018

The Panda enclosure was large, roofed and noisy with hundreds of kids squealing at the sleeping Pandas. Honestly that is all they did…sleep. Even 4 year old Miles wanted to leave the Panda enclosure because of the noise of other children.

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These giant Panda’s are well known for sleeping. They performed at their chosen activity today.

Late in the day we went into the Gorilla complex although the large male Silverback died two years ago. A young male has now been placed in the enclosure

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Young male Gorilla.

and I was fortunate to see a mother with a baby clutched in her arms as she lay in a den like shelter under a large fallen tree.

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Mumma Gorilla with baby wrapped in her arms.

Nearby was the African Mandrill the largest monkey species and considered Old World Monkeys. Their large sharp teeth look threatening although, apparently showing the teeth is a welcoming gesture. I am not willing to give that theory a try. Mandrills look both threatening and majestic at the same time.

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The Old World Monkey…Mandrill.
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“Just a Taste” sculpture.
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Flamingos flock together and seem to take turns being lookouts, sleeping, eating or drinking.
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The fat and relatively slow moving Komodo Dragon. Like several other species which normally live in a hotter more humid environment, their enclosure is micro environment temperature and humidity controlled.

Saturday 9th June

A final BBQ hosted by Andrea and Brett at their home in, coincidentally, Queensland Street.

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Back Row Joan, Donnis, Miles, Simone, Lazar, Brett Front Row Alecia, Andrea
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Andrea is replaced by Frank and Leo the dog makes an appearance.

Sunday 10th June

We flew from Calgary on a wet and cold, miserable, grey day, to sunny Vancouver. The original plan was Doug and Linda would pick us up from the airport and drive to the marina where we would meet Fred and Peggy and take a cruise up the Fraser River in Fred’s recently re-furbished motor cruiser. Imagine our surprise when we were met by Fred standing inside the airport. It seems Linda had rushed Doug to the hospital with Atrial Fibrillation. Peggy was waiting a few blocks away with the car. Fred and Peggy had driven all the way from White Rock, almost 50 Klms away. An hour later we were further surprised when Doug and Linda walked in the front door. Doug had had his tests, was feeling fine and would have the results in a few days.

Even after only a few hours my sinuses are already responding to the higher humidity, sea level and even some sea spray. My breathing is much better.

So ends our 6th week away from home.

606. Thursday 3rd May. Vancouver…

Monday 30th April

Today was mostly spent wasting time and packing our suitcases. Some things went in. They were then taken out and put in carry- on bags. Some things were taken out of the carry- on bag and put in the suitcase. Just when I thought it was safe to relax we then took things out of one carry- on bag and moved them to the other carry- on bag. Eventually it was time for bed and no more moving things around.

At least until the morning.


Tuesday 1st May

I had a terrible night of not much sleep. As has been the case as long as I can remember I have setting and waking to an alarm, I seem to wake every hour including the final hour before the alarm sounds. At that time I can never get back to sleep. While waiting for friends Graham and Wencke to take us to the airport we did a bit more suitcase and carry –on bag shuffle. Not for the last time I might add.

At the airport we joined the queue waiting to book in. Then we joined another queue to go through security then joined another queue to go through Customs or Immigration. Of course joining a queue was not yet over. To actually get on the plane, Air Canada Flight AC36 which is an A388 we joined another queue. We discovered although we are sitting in adjoining seats they are numbered H and J. There are no seats numbered I. Hmmm! On looking around there are no seats numbered F.

Tuesday 1st May Vancouver

During the flight we met hostess Dana a friend of Linda’s whom we drove around Brisbane a year or so ago. It was just after dinner was served and we were soon served some nice wine from the Business Class section.

The food on the flight has been acceptable. Nothing flash but certainly edible and sufficient. It also included wine and I had an extra couple of Vodka with orange juice. I still did not get any sleep during the flight.

A long 13 hour flight finally landed us in Vancouver a little before 7am. Outside temperature was 9°. A couple of things are worthy of being noted for future travellers. Canada now has a system of an E Visa which is linked to your passport. You no longer have to fill out an entry form to declare you are not carrying too much money, drugs, guns or certain foodstuffs. Instead you now line up at a screen and your passport is scanned, you answer the questions, declare how long you are staying in Canada and your photo is taken and a receipt is issued. You then meet a Customs/Immigration/Security person who asks a few questions and then you are free to collect your luggage. Next you normally go through Customs and sometimes even have your bag inspected. Now the bags are scanned as they come off the plane before they are put on the carousel. Once you collect your bags you are basically free to enter. Quick and easy.

Next we bought a Skytrain Ticket including a bus ticket to Linda’s house. Cost was $15 for the two of us. The bus driver went one stop beyond where we wanted but we still managed to arrive at the house by 8.30am.

Despite people advising us not to fall asleep, we fell. Three hours later we woke feeling less than refreshed but at least feeling better. We went for a walk 20 minute each way walk to a shopping centre. I was a bit surprised at the prices which are somewhat higher than home.

We went to bed expecting a reasonable sleep.

Wednesday 2nd May

A reasonable sleep probably means we are almost over jet lag.

As the day progressed it seems we are not over the jet lag.

We woke to news here in Vancouver about fuel prices. WTF!!! Same story almost as the story about fuel prices in Brisbane the day we left. In Brisbane they are complaining about near record fuel prices of around $1.57 per litre. Here in Vancouver they are complaining about near record fuel prices of $1.67 per litre.

The sun is shining but it has no warmth. Temperature at 8am was 7°.

Our friends from White Rock, Fred and Peggy arrived at 1pm to take us for a drive for a fish n chips lunch at a riverside suburb called Steveston.

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Fishermans Wharf at Steveston. This was the last photo I took before the battery gave up and I fund I had two flat batteries and no charger.

Daves Fish and Chips is a well known local seafood restaurant.   https://www.davesfishandchips.com/    Daves is one of about a dozen fish and chips outlets along the boardwalk all of which are doing a good trade. The good thing about seafood here is they serve real fish such as halibut or cod or local lobster, crab or even scallops. Not like some so called Australian seafood outlets which serve imported Basa from Vietnam. There is a big difference between wages in Canada and Australia. Australians are much better paid.

It was while I went to take a photograph of the seafood market area the camera battery died. No problem. I just inserted the spare. Uh oh, it has not been charged since the last time it was used. It was about this time it dawned on me I had not packed the battery charger, it was still at home in Australia! I was facing seven weeks of travel without a camera.

Much of Vancouver is built around the ocean harbour and or the Fraser River. Boating in and around Vancouver is hazardous as there are many floating logs and  tees and other bits of timber. Much of it is floating just below the surface. Vancouver is a centre for the timber industry. Logs are floated down river to mills for processing or export to USA. Many logs and parts of logs beak away from the main body of the flotilla.

After lunch we found camera store. They did not have a genuine battery charger but did have a universal charger which includes a car adapter.



We then drove south of Vancouver to White Rock which is only a few Klms from the US / Canadian border crossing. Fred and Peggy live in a beautifully appointed high rise apartment called The Beverley, which has sweeping views of Boundary Bay, Semiahmoo Bay, the Strait of Georgia  and the USA Peninsular.   http://www.whiterockcondo.ca/the-beverley-1501-vidal-street-white-rock

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View over White Rock with snow capped Mt Baker, a dormant volcano in the USA.
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Mt Baker

White Rock is a large rock not otherwise found anywhere in the region and is believed to have been deposited by past glaciation. The whiteness of the rock was contributed to by aeons of bird guano. Long before white man arrived in the area, local First Nation Tribes would use the rock as a meeting place. Later settlers did the same. Now the local city fathers dictate the whiteness be renewed by cleaning off any guano accumulated in the previous 12 months then a coat of white paint each year.

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The white rock for which the town is named. My Baker can be seen. US border is out off sight to the right of the picture.

In the evening we went to White Rock Beach for dinner at one of the dozens of eating houses along the shoreline. We chose Oceanside Yacht Club which is not a yacht club at all, it is, in Australian terms much like a pub.   http://www.jrg.ca/establishment/oceanside-public-house/

There is a nice promenade along the shoreline which has a train track running beside it. It is separated by a low fence. This is the main train line connecting Vancouver Canada with Seattle USA. We will be travelling to Seattle on Friday but unfortunately we will travel by coach instead.

A public jetty runs out into the ocean.

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Jetty at White Rock

Local seals and sea lions enjoy sunning themselves at the end of the jetty. Being late evening when we arrived the seals were out feeding in the bay instead of sunning.

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White Rock Jetty

Thursday 3rd May

After a peak hour traffic crawl from White Rock to Richmond we took a LandSea Vancouver Delights tour of Vancouver.   https://vancouvertours.com/tour/vancouver-delights-capilano-tour/

Our driver was quite skilled and knowledgeable about the city.

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Vancouver from Stanley Park

First up we visited one side of the famous Stanley Park which straddles the Stanley Park Causeway and Lions Gate Bridge on the way to Vancouver’s Northshore.

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Stanley Park, Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver surrounded by snow capped peaks.
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Lions Gate Bridge from Stanley Park Vancouver

The Lions Gate Bridge was opened to vehicular traffic in 1938. The cost of building the bridge was bankrolled by the famous Guiness Family of Ireland . A toll of 25 cents was imposed on all motor vehicles. The toll remained in place until 1963 when the Guiness Family sold the bridge to the British Columbia Province at a pice of almost CAD$6,000,000 – not much more than the original cost of construction during the depression years. However they were not entirely generous in the transaction. Remember they were collecting most of that 25 cents per vehicle from 1938 until 1963. With vehicle traffic increasing every year they made a tidy sum over the years.

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At Stanley Park

Next on the list was the Capilano Salmon Hatchery.

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Capillano Salmon Hatchey

There are two interwoven stories here. Salmon return to the area where they were born in order to lay eggs or spawn. They then die. Swimming upriver through rapids is part of the deal which includes wild bear and equally wild mountain lions looking for a quick meal. This ancient essential ritual was interrupted in 1958 when the Cleveland Dam, needed to supply Vancouver with drinking water was completed.

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Capillano Dam

The salmon simply could not swim or jump above the dam wall. Instead a series of “fish ladders” were built to one side of a diversion. The salmon were caught, the females milked of their eggs and males were milked of their semen. This way eggs became fertile, new fish hatch and at the correct time in their development are released back into the river to begin their voyage to the ocean.

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Peggy and Fed at Capillano

Capilano Suspension Bridge was next.    https://www.capbridge.com/eat-shop/

This swinging bridge hangs down and over Capilano Canyon and the Capilano River roaring its meltwater far below. Normally one or two people on the bridge is a mini challenge in maintaining balance. During peak tourist periods such as spring and summer, such as now, the bridge becomes packed with 100 people walking each way. A fair proportion of those people freak out with the swinging and contribute to congestion and further swaying as they insist on not moving while maintaining a rigid fear, overcome with immobility while ignoring pleas from family, friends and other equally fearful people who just want to get off.   Donnis and I took up the challenge and went both ways  without ill effects except for tired rubbery legs.

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Capillano Pedestrian Suspension Bridge or as it is more popularly known, The Swinging Bridge. It does swing too.

Next challenge was a Cliff Walk.

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Entrance to the Cliff Walk.

This is equally terrifying to those not ready for the adventure. The narrow timber walkways in themselves are quite easy to navigate.

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Cliff Walk

That is until congestion by those unable, unwilling or more interested in watching other walkers frozen in terror.

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…yet more cliff walk.

In several places there are clear glass panels designed to create fear and panic.

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more cliff walk

Today a walker suffered a panic attack and several Vancouver Rescue and Fire Units attended to help the person off the walk. Chaos reigned and the normally busy bus carpark became a scene of absolute vehicular congestion as did the road outside the centre. Traffic along the road began to build creating even more problems.

In the meantime walkers could not move either forward or back. The cliff walk came to a standstill. Management in their wisdom placed rubber mesh over the clear glass to reduce people getting fearful. It did but still the fearful people who maybe should not have taken up the challenge in the first place, became frozen creating a new set of bottlenecks. Once again Donnis and I managed the complete walk without any fear and in several places where glass was installed had to push past groups of people unwilling or unable to move forward.

Luckily we had a fine lunch experience at the Cliffhouse Restaurant before embarking on either adventure.

On the return drive we entered Stanley Park from the opposite direction and went to Prospect Point to view the bay, city and mountains.

Granville Island was our next stop, a place we have been before. It is a sort of market with lots of food outlets, artists outlets, knick knack shops, theatre and whatever else people think they can sell. Fed and I are not market people so went for a walk looking at, well, whatever we found to look at. Donnis and Peggy bought some food to take home to cook and eat tonight.030518 namutchuk

Downtown Vancouver, Gastown and Chinatown were drive by commentary destinations. As we moved into Gastown the cities population of drug addicts, no hopers and homeless were everywhere. It was sad to see so many people lined up for their methadone treatment, selling drugs on street corners, or tents erected in parks o beside or under bridges.

Vancouver Lookout is a high rise building with a revolving restaurant and observation deck.

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View of Vancouver from The Tower

The sights of Vancouver, old and new buildings, buildings being pulled down, buildings being built, the harbour, bridges and snow capped mountains.

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Vancouver from the tower.