The 84th message from Canda

Published on 25 June 2015 at 05:51

Thursday, June 25, 2015

"When I wake up Lena and her husband are already up. We have a little chat and I'm served a lovely breakfast. I had a really good night sleep, although I did have some cramps in my calves for which I had to get out of bed to release it. Thankfully I don't have to bike today because I can still feel it.


After breakfast I quickly get dressed because Nina has to go to work. Her husband has already left. I decide to quickly send some pictures for my blog while I still have access to Wi-Fi. Nina quickly fixed me a bag of lunch. She is a sweetheart...


As I drive through Salmon Arm the weather is beautiful and the surroundings are incredible. Driving the pick up truck is even more enjoyable today because I connected my MP3 player to the radio, since the car's satellite radio sometimes cuts out in the mountains. Driving down this road is so beautiful, I could take pictures forever!


I decide to stop for a cup of coffee before I leave Salmon Arm. The road is two lanes and still fairly quiet. My thoughts go to cycling. What if I had to bike all this? It is beautiful but I notice that I am feeling satisfied with what I have done so far. The road's shoulders here are quite narrow sometimes and the situation is not without danger for a cyclist.


There is something new to see around every corner. The sun is shining and it's becoming warm in the car. After a couple of hours of driving I arrive in Kamloops where I stop for lunch. The service in the quiet restaurant not very fast. I order a breakfast which is still available. The food is great!


After lunch I get back on the road. The views are exhilarating and the riverbeds are beautiful to see. Past Kamloops I leave Highway 1 for Highway 5 which they call the Coquihalla Highway after the river that runs alongside it. It is a four-lane highway and quicker shortcut to Vancouver.


The weather changes here and it starts raining for a while. This all is because of the fact that this highway is high up in the mountains. There are warning signs saying: “High Mountain Road – EXPECT SUDDEN WEATHER CHANGES”.

When I see the road and how steep it is and how long it takes before we get to the crest I am glad that I am not cycling through the Rocky Mountains. Actually cyclists are not allowed on this road; they have to take Hwy 1, the Trans Canada Highway.


I stop in the town of Hope to get some gas since my tank is almost empty. I also have a coffee and a cookie. It is warm outside and I hear that they expect a heat wave in BC for the next few days with temperatures in the south and in the interior of around 40°C.

Another interesting fact I hear is that the Sylvester Stallone movie “First Blood” was shot here.


When I continue on I fairly soon enter the Greater Vancouver area and promptly end up in a traffic jam. There's not much I can do about that, but I am not amused, although there is a limo passing me with partying young people who spontaneously wave at me.


When I get to a suburb of Vancouver I decide that, while I am early to look for a hotel in the area of Port Coquitlam. This doesn’t appear to be easy. When I drive to downtown Port Coquitlam, I stop for something to eat first. I ask around if there are any hotels in the area, which there are, but when I pass by them they look like expensive hotels.


Since I am the area, I decide to look for the cemetery and the gravesite of Terry Fox. This appears to be on top of a hill which is going to be a challenge to bike when I get back here on Sunday. Anyway now that I know where it is, I continue my search for a hotel. When I try to use my GPS to find a hotel I end up in Surrey another suburb of Vancouver but unfortunately the hotel isn't there anymore.


As I drive around I notice a Days Inn and check it out. I can't get a better deal than $119 per night. I book for two nights and the room looks great.

Once I settle in, I realize that I am really tired and I go to bed early when I start falling asleep in front of the TV..."


Han Schomakers, editor

Translation by Sytske van der Veen

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