While i'm getting my life back together, please look at a fine selection of my photos:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Banff and Jasper National parks all the way to Nelson

I'm in Nelson now, a groovy little village at Kootenay lake. Very touristy and a lot of hippy kinda kids. Don't now why that is, perhaps it's because of the art school. Funny to see hippykids with a laptop entering their dad's SUV.

It rains a lot lately. Yesterday it was dry and i wanted to go. But my ipod crashed ;-( .
Music is a priority for me so i decide to try to fix it first. As it turned out, it was the database that was corrupted for some unknown reason. Luckily all music files were still there. After some research i found the Winamp ipod plugin ml_ipod which has a databse cleanup feature. It worked great. Took me half a day all together though. I was really happy i got my music back and donated eur.10,- to the programmer. It made my day. :o)

Because of the heavy rains the day and nght before the tent got messed up and required cleaning. After that i browsed around town. Lazy day. as so many. I love it. Doing nothing comes naturally to me ;-).

As most days i end up spending the evening with nice people. This time a nice couple in an old motorhome from Vancouver. Free dinner and beers and some real scotch whisky! We talked about Canadians, their politics and music. I had a good time. Note: Canadians are afraid that Bush is after their water. I met quite a lot of Canadians mentioning this a the major threat to Canada in the not so far away future.

Oh , and the day before i spend the evening with a Hongarian father and son, enyoing some real Tjech beer. For some reason traveling solo is less alone than at home in your daily routine. Awkward.

Anyway, back to the route of the past weeks.
From Vancouver the route went to Whistler, Lillooet, 100 mile house, Clearwater, Jasper, Banff, Revelstoke, Nakusp, Kaslo and finally Nelson. For some reason it's difficult to go south ;-)

This area of BC, Jasper and Banff and Kootenay national parks, are very, very touristy and therefore fairly expensive. But it's fun, the scenery is great, nice people, reasonable weather although the last couple of days were bad. Even the roads are a bit challenging around here.
But i miss 30hp to make it entertaining, did i mention this earlier?

But not very adventurous. No major breakdowns etc. Bike is good, although it uses more oil than any bmw i ever owned. That's a bit concerning.

There are a few highlights i want to share and remember.

On my way to Whistler i met a fellow traveler. He just returned from a 14 month world trip on a brand new f800gs. He had no major problems in the 35000km he put on it.

We had a chat, went for lunch and he paid for it. Nice guy, i forgot his name though. And he did not had a website to learn from his experience. I left him my emailadress, it would be nice to hear from him. He was just in the 'returning phase' trying to settle back in to normal live and i wonder how that is.

I spend a few days at a free campsite just outside a nice small village called Lillooet. It was 37 degrees celcius....in the shadow. Way too hot to ride. And the campsite was free!

Experiment late night
The orange color of the trees is light reflecting from campfire.

I like it, but i haven't seen it on a large vivid screen yet.

Yet again, as it usually happens, another biker appears. Scott bought a brand new KLR after 30 years without a bike. He loved every mile on it. There's was no money left for a decent luggage system so he had to improvise with Curver boxes and lots of bungees. Funny, but it worked.. sort of.

We made the heat bearable with some cold beers.

Leaving Lilooet, a picture from the road out of town. It's Highway 99 and basically every mile on this road is worth riding.

For some strange reason the lush forestry turns into something like mexico, dry and desert like. Beautifull and weird because it's not like the rest of BC at all.

Canyon just outside Lilooet.

Campsite at Japer national park. Funny, wildlife crossing the campsite. No bears, but elk. Funny: on the background you see a couple. They turned out their parents were Dutch (as many people around here).

One of them even had a typically Dutch landscape tattooed above her ankle. (I should have taken a picture).

Me, somewhere halfway Jasper and Banff on the icefields parkway.
Beautiful ride, although the fact that you have to pay to take this road.

In alaska scenery is free, and campsites way cheaper. But i does cost you quite a bit to get there though... ;-)

Campsite Banff national park. Here i met Save, a filmmaker from Tjech. Moved to Canada ages ago. He prepared a dr650r for a three week trip to Prudhoe bay, Alaska. He researched a lot and prepared for everything. As a result he needed three hours to pack up. He was seven days on the road now. Good guy though, being a filmmaker he continuously made pictures and video. He took a video of me explaining what i did and will do. I hope i'll see this one day.

Packin'up! His packing ritual sort of reflected his chaotic personality ;-)

He made wonderful sourdough pancakes for breakfast though!
Jummy, with maple sirop or sugar.

On the same campsite Petra en Wim turned up. A Dutch couple travelling with peddlebike for two ears now. Their webite is easy: http://www.wimenpeetzerereet.nl/.
From rotjeknor ;o)

In revelstoke i got company from a father and son. because of a truck (or car) accident the highway they needed was closed for the night. The son turned out to be a Deken. They invited me to have breakfast with them and we spend a few hours talking about Holland, faith etc. He was kind enough to request his Lord for my safety and protection on my travels. For some reason - i have to soulsearch this- i was deeply touched and i hardly kept my eyes dry. Amazing. Honest, kind and good people. And when they left i got a bunch of really delicious sausages!

That's it for now. Weater still cold and rainy here in Nelson, i just have to wait it out i guess.

-happy trails.

Port Coquitlam - chillin'with family

Next stop after Vancouver was Port Coquitlam. My cousin Cornelis and his family lives there. Cor emigrated about 8 years ago from Holland. To the left his girlfriend Desire and daughter Ammy.

I spend a week on their couch enjoying their hospitality. Thanks guys!

The waiting was due to bad service of DHL couriers. My brother send a sprocket and chain set and that took about 6 days ;-(

The proud offspring of Cor and Dee ;-)

Good to go after putting new chain and sprockets on. This didn't go without issues. Kedo.de send an endless chain, which the the local bike shop kindly broke. Furthermore i forgot to bring a size 30 socket to get the front sprocket off. The local bike shop mechanic (again) was very helpful. Nice people.

So here i am, with shiny new sprockets, reqdy to go another 15kkm.

Vancouver Island, BC, CAN part 2

From Nanaimo again to Victoria. I stayed with Jorgen (the one with mustache). I met him in Fairbanks at the start of my trip. I called him in Nanaimo to ask him if i could stay for a few days to get my rear tire fixed. He agreed, and i'm very thankful for that.

I was very determined to change the tire myself. But even after 30 minutes jumping on it the bead didn't break. Time for a different strategy. Damn. We made the walk of shame back to the bikeshop ;-(

This concerns me a bit. What if i get a flat? Do i need to buy a beadbreaker? Or just buy slime and put that in in case of a flat to get me to the nearest shop? Oh well, just another thing to think about.

After i removed the rear wheel i noticed that my bearing on the left side was shot. Quite annoying, not even 15k on it. I already replaced the front bearings in Anchorage after my Prudhoe bay and Inuvik adventures, weeks ago. The bikeshop replaced tire and put new bearings in for $90. Not bad.

BC celebrated the 150th aniversary of the state of BC so lots of things to see. I went with his family to the park to witness the grand opening of the weekend in the park.

Impression of downtown Victoria:

It's a tradition that every year with the anniversary, the Victorian Symphonic Orchestra gives a 'floating concert' in the harbor. This attracts thousands of people. The concert takes about 2 hours and finishes with fireworks.

During the festivities the 'snowbirds' gave an air show above downtown Victoria. I made quite a few pictures, about 20. This one turned out to be the best.

Victoria has a great nightlife. One evening i decided to experimented with low-light. Below the result. Not bad for an amateur. Pretty sweet ey!?

Skyline just before sunset.

The city is rich and clean and even the homeless addicts are friendly (and numerous). Canadians tent to say that Victoria is the city of the newly wed and nearly dead. I guess this says it all. Big problem here and over all Vancouver Island are the huge increase of real estate prices due to migration of wealthy Canadians. Bummer for the locals...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Vancouver Island, BC, CAN part 1

I've seen another wonderful place on this (part of) the earth. I've seen de scenic coast from Port Hardy to Victoria to Tofino. Rode Woodlog gravel roads through the beautiful forrest in the interior. Met wonderful people in friendly Victoria, Touristic Tofino and Cumberland, a small village with a lot of attention to food, health and art. Below a few photo's to illustrate what i've been doning there... all pictures in real size are on the Vancouver island Photoalbum.

The day after arrival from prince rupert to port hardy, i found this campsite in a very nice forest in port hardy. relatively cheap and clean. Awesome trees.

Traveler's diner: Campbell chunky soup with noodles: cheap, tasty (sort of....). I have the habit of eating out lunch and make my own diner, or the other way around. Saves money.

(Hi Mom, you see? nothing wrong with my diet...)

Beach of Vancouver island (eastcoast) somewhere before Nanaimo. It's georgeos there. Unfortunately there's limited beach access. Luxerious houses everywhere. Real estate prices are insane because rich people escaping Vancouver settel here.
From Port Hardy to Nanaimo is a scenic route near the coast. It's worth taking this road instead of the fast and boring highay to Victoria. I still wonder how this big tree end up here...

Ben and Jon, buddies in Victoria. I spend a few days in Victoria with Ben and Jon. Good times.

Jon is a good guy. Can make eveything himself.
I met Ben in Dawson city and we met again in Victoria. The following few days we traveled together. Ben is an interesting and fun guy to be with.

Cruisin' Victoria in '58 landrover Ben could use from a friend. Chicks dig it more than motorcycles ;-)

On the road to tofino. We would travel for a few days. We went from Victoria to Tofino and back to port Alberni via woodlog roads.

Beach at port renfrew. The woodlog industry causes/caused lots and lots of driftwood.

In Greenpoint, campsite and natural reserve, your're not allowed to use it for campfires. Reason: the authorities want to preservve the natural environment. Without the woodlog industry there would be none or little driftwood.

Silly canadians....

Woodlog roads through the interior vancoucver island. beautiful gravelroads through dense forrest: good times! Detail: woodlog industry only logs trees out of sight so the tourists see the trees, but not the vast empty patches after logging. Crazy ey?

Tracy. I met her in a restaurant in Cumberland on my way to Victoria. After a few days of traveling with Ben i went back to see her.

She let me stay a few days at her house to chill out. Weather was bad so that was a welcome gesture. She's a remarkable person. I miss her good vibes and conversation (and her cats too..).

From Tracy i went back to Victoria, i needed a new rear tire. I met Graham (London, UK) at a hostel in Nanaimo. Both looking for shelter for the rain. He's doing the same sort of trip, but without Alaska (bad decision ;) ). We hang out at the hostel and downtown Nanaimo.

Good guy, hope we meet again somewherre down the road.

From Nanaimo i needed to go back to Victoria for a new rear tire. I could get a tire elsewere, but i wanted to check the generosity of Canadians ;-) In the 2nd week of my trip i met a guy from Viictoria in Fairbanks, Jorgen. I got his adress and he told me that i should give him a call when i'm in Victoria. So i did and i had a bed for a few days. I was lucky: the weekend i was in Victoria the 150th anniversery of BC was celebrated Full report in posting Vancouver Island, BC, CAN part 2 ;-)