Day 1 – Vancouver to Birch Bay

89km of 89km so far

Ready for some adventures

Ready for some adventures

Big day ahead! I woke up early at my friend’s Jennny who kindly let me crash at her’s for convenience. I headed to downtown for a last couple of errands. I went to the bank to ask their permission to use my plastic money abroad and change my permanent address to my Greek home. I also bought a couple of freeze dried food, just for the emergencies. Side notes, how annoying it is to hear at the outdoors shop that the stove I have takes canisters that have just been discontinued in north America. I only have one left and if I don’t find any in the states, I will have to buy a new stove all together. Annoying companies that can’t decide on one standard!

Since I was in town, I stopped by the office to have some Kunal sponsored coffee and breakfast with a few friends. Good to see some familiar faces before my 2 months of isolation.

Joe, Me, Simon, Oliver

Joe, Me, Simon, Oliver

Safety First George! And have a big umbrella with you!

Safety First George! And have a big umbrella with you!

Goodbye Vancouver

Goodbye Vancouver

After some more goodbyes and tears, I left downtown and started heading south to unknown territories. Kind of weird thinking that I will not be around this city anymore, a place where I spend my last 3 years. Somehow, even though I am leaving Vancouver, I couldn’t get off my mind this song as I was cycling south for good.

Today’s ride was pretty much crossing the borders, which from Vancouver is just 60km plus my typical detours, getting lost etc. I had already looked online for an easy and bike friendly route, which took me over some scenic and some not very scenic spots of the city. I find very interesting the two opposite sides of the city. While it’s been nominated for the best city to live in in the world with all this amazing countryside on your doorstep, it only takes a few kilometers to come across heavy industry and nature abuse.

I want stuff...

I want stuff…

...to throw away!

…to throw away!

For the first time I also saw where all the big studios are.

"...yeah for this shot we'll just need a small set extension"

“…yeah for this shot we’ll just need a small set extension, just a couple of CG days.”

Some dead trees floating in the river

Some dead trees floating in the river

One of the challenges of the day was how to cross Fraser River. Most of the bridges are not good for bikes and there is an underpass where bikes are not allowed. I ended up crossing it via Pattullo bridge at New Westminister, which even if it was still a bit scary, it had a pavement for pedestrians and bikes.

On top of Pattullo bridge

On top of Pattullo bridge

I love street art

I love street art

The rest of the ride was mostly on a straight road heading south to the borders. It went by very fast, thinking about all the things I am places I am going to see in the next couple of months. I got even more excited when I started seeing the familiar place of the borders, but this time on a bike.

I guess good thing I got some insurance.

I guess good thing I got some insurance.

And here I am… in the border of the US and A! In the past I’ve spent a good hour in the borders, but luckily today it was completely empty and after telling the officers about my plans, they let me off in no time. Goodbye Cadana-land!

How about that!

How about that!

Right after the borders, I entered Blaine and through some nice roads I ended up at Birch Bay, which seems to be a summer resort full of cabins and hotels by the water and private beaches.

Nice boat coffee place

Nice boat coffee place

No George... you are not allowed to have your snack in this beach!

No George… you are not allowed at this beach!

ch3_20130904_00809

I got to the Birch Bay and headed right away to the national park and the campsite over there. It was almost empty and I chose to stay at a hikers/campers spot, for just $12. I set up the tent and headed to the showers, just to realize they need 50 cents in quarters which I didn’t have. Oh well… good thing I am not having any date tonight.

Home sweet home!

Home sweet home!

I left and headed back to the little village to look for food and beer. I went to a restaurant and got a really nice table, right by the water. While writing this post, karaoke kicked in with all the elder locals giving their best shot in 70s rock’n'roll and some metal. Good fun… but this stupid wordpress has a major bug with the image uploader and it fails every time making me wait 2 minutes for each photo. I started having a headache… and the old’s man karaoke is no longer fun. I can also see the well predicted storm coming in with thunders, so I better wrap this up and head to bed.

Dinner spot

Dinner spot

Good night and thanks for reading!

3 thoughts on “Day 1 – Vancouver to Birch Bay

  1. delightfularea

    You didn’t almost even start and I am looking so much forward for the rest of it. You have an ability (through your writing at least I can say) to make things look feasible, entertaining and simple.

    Share the fun!

  2. Olga

    Αν και πολύ καθυστερημένα καλό ταξίδι Γιώργο και καλές περιπέτειες!!!
    Σε διαβάζουμε…και σε περιμένουμε στο Ελλάντα!
    Φιλιά!!!!

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