While England is melting we have arrived in gloriously grey Vancouver… actually a perfect way to start as means we are getting on with sorting ourselves out rather than lounging in Stanley Park. Very straightforward through customs – a new automated system means our last minute panic of printing supporting financial evidence etc was completely unnecessary and I STILL don’t have a stamp in my passport!
However, it has been an eventful few days since then, involving police stops (they didn’t like the fact we only had one -Chilean-number plate), insurance and registration (they didn’t like the fact we couldn’t find 2 VIN numbers on the vehicle – off side wheel arch, if you were wondering) and customs (they didn’t like the fact the vehicle was manufactured in 2001 but first registered in 2002 – lovely Mr Cosman of Canadian border security is forever now our friend). A quick trip toregister and insure the vehicle took 7 hours – but we are now legally on the road. After 7 hours in an office our first meal out was McDonald’s – not quite what we intended!
We have done a little sightseeing and city wandering; Kits beach, Stanley Park and Granville Island – the last kindly hosted by Shawna – a friend Rachel’s sister met travelling 20+ years ago. And an awful lot of organising… not entirely sure how 2 people need so much kit – and I know the empty 40L of fuel cans will come in use at some stage but at the moment they just take up room!
Since we arrive we have stayed in the lovely apartment of Richard’s step-brother Freddie, Kelly and Josephine, who have conveniently gone on holiday for the week. It is impossible to explain how much of a life saver this has been – space to have a kit explosion, a comfy bed to deal with jet-lag and everything else we could need to get ourselves sorted in a great part of town. Freddy, we owe you one!
So, tomorrow we hit the road. First night in the tent. Whistler, here we come…