Micha's Canadian Adventures
Kinda diary like thingy which will get updated as and when I have time,
and actually remember what we did...
IntroductionI convinced work to give me a month of holidays to go visit Dini in Terrace, B.C. So starting on August the 7th I will be in 'Beautiful British Columbia' for nearly 4 weeks - the rest of the time will be 2 days spent in a stopover in Auckland, and travelling on planes and buses. I'm hoping to do some travelling while there, but expect most of my time to be spent in the Terrace/Kitimat area, because unfortunately Dini had to work more than expected, and we won't get many free days to go anywhere, and I don't really have my own transport, even though Dini's offered her car..
For the trip I bought myself a nice shiny camera, so expect to see lotsa piccies when I get back and get them scanned in! Always assuming I can drive the darn thing... planning on doing a photography course when I get home *grin*
Sun, 5-Sep-1999Well, I ddin't quite make the 6:00 awakening, despite having an alarm set - instead I woke at 7:00 and was much rushed to get to the airport and stuff - the plane was due for takeoff at 9:00. Nevertheless I made it, but I got an awful seat in the plane - right at the back and in the middle. Ickypooh!
The flight itself was the roughest so far. Still not bad, but there was a tad of turbulence around. Finally got to Brisbane, where the nosey customs people interrogated me until they got about $80 out of me for letting me bring my camera into the country - rip-off! I bought it duty-free, and now I have to pay duty on it?
Found the parents, and off home we went, to another breakfast. Danni and Greg (sister and her fiancee) were there as well, so a nice big happy family get together.
It was actually warm enough for me to take off my sweatshirt, and later on in the day, to dive into the swimming pool... (I had to get the leaves out) - and just as a reminder, this is winter here guys and gals. There I was, freezing myself silly during the Canadian 'summer' and then I come home and jump into the pool during our winter. Something seems wrong here.... *grin*
A nice dinner wrapped up my homecoming.
Oh yes, the power had gone out 2 days earlier, so my marathon uptime of my 486-Linux box of about 100 days was broken at long last.
Hmm, and this just about wraps up my holidays, and the purpose of this diary. Tomorrow it's back to work, and fun stuff like that. But keeping this diary makes me want to start up a more permanent one, not perhaps daily, but one in which I can write whenever important or interesting things happen.
Sat, 4-Sep-1999Woke earlyish, had breakfast and chatted with Erra's parents until the zombie awakened and crept out of his crypt *grin* Then we went online and stuffed around there for a while, went out into the sunny living room and had a game of Scrabble while listening to Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. All this was merely wasting time until Ama and Tiny could get here, which they finally did at around 16:00. After that we hit the city, went up to the Sky Tower which overlooks Auckland, and had a wander around that for a while, taking photos. We stayed until sunset, having a coffee, and watched a rather interesting little black streak - we're waiting on reports that it was a meteorite or something.
Tiny had to dash off to collect his sister, so we went on ahead to Pizza Hut for dinner. After dinner Tiny had to go somewhere again, so we moseyed on down to the cinemas which looked rather futuresque, had a game of Gauntlet in the arcade, and waited. Tiny ended up not being able to make the session, so Ama, Erra and I went in and watched Tarzan, whcih was pretty cool for a Disney film - including a hanging! *muah*
After the movie we had to wait for Tiny, because he had gone in to watch another movie with his sister, so we went in search of a coffee shop, one of, which after much wandering, we found, whereupon we settled down to enjoy our caffeine containing nourishment.
After catching up with Tiny again (a procedure involving much use of mobile phones) we went back to Erra's place, and just hung out there for a while. Tiny had to leave early at around 1:00, and Erra and I drove Ama to her mum's place around 2:30, so it was bedtime by 3. Yayy, and I had to be awake to catch my plane at 6:00!
Fri, 3-Sep-1999Finally arrived in Auckland, 2 hours later than expected, around 7:30. Not yet wanting to wake Erraticus I jumped on the internet terminal to check email and stuff. Still nothing from Erra, so I moseyed on through customs, and hired a car, figuring that the initial plan of catching a bus to town and then meeting Erra there was a bit of a pin with the luggage.
Fought my way through Auckland, and finally located Erra's home, where his mother made me rather welcome. Erra wasn't there, he apparently had run off to the airport to wait for me. Ooops. A shower later and I felt a lot more human again, and kept chatting until Erra turned up. Then we grabbed the hire car, and got ourselves thoroughly lost in Auckland despite maps. We ended up wandering around the museum which was pretty neat, then went up to One Tree mountain from where we got a beautiful view of Aukland. Nighttime and darkness fell at a respectable hour in this civilised corner of the world (18:30) so we went and watched a movie (Wild Wild West, just a tad overdone, but still watchable), and then returned to Erra's place and jumped online - what else??
Thu, 2-Sep-1999This day pretty much went down the drain, due to flight and crossing the dateline. Kept reading my books because I couldn't sleep much again. Later on I just sat staring out at the moonlit clouds.
Wed, 1-Sep-1999Incidentally, Windows telnet sucks for vi editing, if this looks really strange and weird - don't blame me!!
Well, here I am sitting in Vancouver aiport, waiting for my flight to LA. The rest of the bus trip was fairlyu routine, and I got to see some bits of scenery during the daytime I had missed on my way up due to night and bad weather - ironically now that I'm leaving the sun is shining. Not fair! *pout*
Flight to LA was pretty good - I had an entire row of 3 seats to myself, so I could stretch out comfortably, even though it was only 2 hours or so. LA airport was much better this time, didn't get nearly as much checking as when I arrived from Australia - they must trust the Canadians or something. Flight to Auckland was delayed by 2 hours - hmm, this is starting to be a trend for NZ Airlines, since the flight from Auckland to LA was delayed as well. This time however I had no connecting flight, and since it meant that I would be arriving slightly later it was good - I didn't think that Erraticus would appreciate a phonecall at 5am *grin* Instead I settled back and kept reading the Mallorean, a most excellent series.
Finally time to board, and unfortunately I didn't get a window seat. Nor an aisle seat *grumble* But I did get a seat in the second row of economy. Hmm, I was abnormally lucky, and one person left for another seat, so I grabbed the aisle seat, then the other person left, so I grabbed the window seat, and again had a whole row to myself.. but someone else came up to get the aisle seat. Still, much better to share 3 seats with 2 people sitting on the window than cramped in between two people.
Tue, 31-Aug-1999Woke up late because we stayed up late. Sat around making sure I had packed everything and generally taking it easy - I had gotten the time wrong but luckily we found out last night that the bus didn't leave till 13:20, so plenty of time. Finally mosied on down, with plenty of time to spare, so we sat and had some breakfast at A&W, a burger place. Finally it was time to go, and a slightly moist farewell later the bus rumbled out of the by now familiar Terrace area, and I watched it roll by with a lump in my throat.
Thisbus trip was a lot nicer than the one coming up, apart from the fact that I was leaving - but I didn't have a cold at least. I couldn't really sleep either, so I stayed up pretty much all night reading. Bus change in Prince George at 22:00, and on we rolled through the night.
Mon, 30-Aug-1999Woke up sorta earlyish to meet Kar who was coming to Terrace for some reason or other. Managed to get to the hospital in time, but couldn't find her, so my pen is stranded here in Canada. (I left my pen at her place when we visited a week or so ago) We waited around for a little while, drank a hot chocolate, then left for home again, where I made a phonecall to Alcan enquiring about job possibilities, and then left for Kitimat to do laundry, and meet up with Keven who arranged a tour of the Alcan smelter for us.
Arrived, threw clothes into machine, watched a movie, played on the internet, put more clothes on, went out for a bit, then met up with Kevin (barely, we almost missed him!) The smelter tour was very interesting, Keven showing us the main operations building where they smelt the aluminium and make it into huge ingots, each worth several $10k. Furnaces and everything, quite neat, we even got a small aluminium sample straight from the line!
After the smelter tour we went out for dinner to the Chalet where we had a really nice dinner, some kinda beef roast they set alight at your table, and with all the trimmings. Back to Dini's parents' to put on more washing, then out to Rosarios to meet Keven for coffee and dessert, where we stayed and chatted for a few hours. Back to do yet more washing and watch another movie, then back home for packing. Tomorrow I gotta leave on the bus for Vancouver, then it's out by plane to Auckland...
*sniff* I dun wanna go!!
Sun, 29-Aug-1999Woke up fairly early because someone was coming around to drop off a bookcase. Hot pink, mm-mmm! After that and some breakfast we got ready for a walk, stuffed some water and apples into a backpack and drove off towards Lakelse, near which the trail started. The first half of the hike was really picturesque, winding along through moss-overgrown forest by the side of a creek. Then it crossed the creek and started climbing quite steeply up a mountain, and due to all the rain it was quite slippery in places. Unfortunately time ran out and we had to turn back just before we reached the top, where there apparently is an alpine meadow and lake. Ah well, maybe next time, if our legs have stopped hurting by then!
The way back was only marginally faster being downhill, and we found some blue berries to munch on - nice! This is the sort of thing which is way different from home, where you don't get edible berries and whatnot growing in the wild.
Got Dini to work on time (with only minutes to spare!) and then I went and did a little more shopping. Now I'm seriously contemplating a nap, a luxury Dini doesn't have, but then, you need some priviledges while on holidays, don't you? I was thinking of taking a drive down to Prince Rupert, but the Tourist Info centre isn't open on a Sunday, and I wanted to get my little passport thingy stamped. Ah well, again, next time.. Instead I might take a nap, play SNES, and watch the last Batman movie..
Sat, 28-Aug-1999Got up late, and took our time getting breakfast and stuffing around on the computer a bit. Then we went out to the comic book store where Dini hangs out a fair bit and chatted with some of Dini's friends in there until Dini had to go to work. Despite moderately clear weather I was totally unmotivated to do anything and went back home and jumped on the net. I had just decided to go on a walk after all when a friend of mine got online and we chatted for a few hours. By the time I had finally decided that ok, I would go, it was too late and not enough daylight left. Tough, so I turned around and played more SNES, and watched the Batman Forever video before getting Dini from work. On the way home we stopped to grab some icecream and drove to a dark spot to see some stars, but the clouds had rolled in again, grr! So off home into the warm.
Fri, 27-Aug-1999Another fairly lazy day, since it dawned rainy again. I played SNES (Lufia) for a few hours and let Dini sleep in, then we went for breakfast (okay, it was after lunchtime, but anyway...) at Denny's, which has an awesome menu and reasonable prices, and the food when it arrived was pretty good as well. We met up with some more of Dini's friends there and gasbagged for quite a while, and then it was already time to take Dini to work. I hung around for a while, then grabbed my B.C. passport and took it to the Tourist Info Centre here in Terrace to get stamped. On the way back I dropped in at her work again because I wanted to do some shopping and asked Dini if there was anything in particular she wanted. After an hour or two we decided on bread and cereal, so I left for the shops. Bummed around there a bit, yakked with some guys (Joe, who it turns out Dini knows, and Adrian) in a card shop for an hour or two about Magic the Gathering (they're up to 6th Edition!! Last time I played we were still in 4th!), dropped by a camera store for more film, and grabbed the food. Then it was homeward bound to play more SNES and hang out on the net as it was getting dark.. oh, nearly forgot! I actually saw some (a little, but it's a start...) blue sky today!! On the way to the shops there were actually some breaks in the clouds... I would've grabbed a picture but I left the camera at home. Ah well, but I can certify that the sun does come out occasionally here!
Thu, 26-Aug-1999Slept in somewhat to recover from the last 2 long days. Today was fairly lazy - we went and had breakfast at a nice cafe/restaurant called Rosario's in Kitimat where we'd been before, but without Kyrcee we could kick back and relax and enjoy our coffee's and whatnot. After that a brief visit to the mall where we cashed in our winings from our scratchie's (a week or so ago Dini bought us some scratchie's and we kept cashing in the few dollars we'd win for more) and got todays (we finally lost, so no more :() we went back to her parents' place and finished doing some laundry. Dini had to work again today (boo hiss!) so Keven (Uriah) picked me up around 14:00.
We went back to Rosario's for coffee (all up I must've had nearly 10 cups today, and I ended up feeling slightly ill this afternoon!) and I met up with some of Keven's friends, Scott and his wife Sandra, and we chatted for several hours. After tanking up on caffeine Keven took me up a back road (dirt) to Bish creek, which apart from the continuing rain and logged areas was very nice. On the way we saw 3 bears (1 by itself and a mother with cub) and a deer, so we were happy. Back at 19:00 and we met up with Scott and Sandra again who were celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary at The Ole' Keg pub. Freezing cold, I grabbed a soup and then dinner, and after yakking for quite a while more, Keven dropped me off in Terrace around 22:00. He's also going to try to organise a private tour of the Alcan smelter for me, and gave me the names of some people I should try to contact for work around here. Doesn't hurt to test the water, does it?
A bath to thaw out, and here I am writing in my diary. Now it's bedtime, coz I'm absolutely bushed, and Dini's due home in half an hour or so. *big-yawns* Nini for now, more tomorrow.
Wed, 25-Aug-1999Up early (breakfast at 8:00) after a very good sleep in comfy beds - even Kyrcee for a change slept through with only minimal fuss sometime during the wee hours. Breakfast was great, cereal, bacon and eggs, sausages, french toast, pancakes and fruit salad all being part of the menu, and good conversation with other guests and the hostess to boot! Kathie's Bed'n'Breakfast is a very highly recommended place, if you're ever in the area.
The day unfortunately dawned rainy again, so after standing around for half an hour deciding what to do we went via the post office (I spent $27 on stamps for postcards!) to a coffee shop (our first attempt was the only internet cafe in town, but it was closed...) Hmmm, there seems to be a recurring theme of attempting to get online - are we junkies or what?!? The coffee shop, Bitter Street, was beautifully set up, and provided the perfect place in which to wait out the rain and finish writing the postcards. Kyrcee even found 'Kyrcee's car', a 1930 Ford nicely restored to a dark green parked in the back part of the shop. When asked for her license however, she looked quite distressed and couldn't give a straight answer.. Hmm, perhaps still a bit too young to drive!
From there we decided to skip bear-hunting (midday, so few bears asleep anyway) and started the drive home. This time in daylight, the road didn't seem nearly so bad, and we made pretty good time, stopping at Bear Glacier to take piccies.
I turned off in direction of the Nass Valley Lava Flow, which occured about 200 years ago and buried 2000 natives. The entire area is protected land, with heavy fines for the removal of any lava rock. Dirt road again, some good, some bad, slowed us down, but we did finally get there. The landscape reminded us of a tilled field but large scale, each furrow being 2 or 3 meters tall. Most of the lava has been overgrown with lichen and moss now, with even a few small trees making a spirited attempt at survival. We stopped to take some piccies of a small lake and waterfall, and the water was a beautiful green colour - indeed all the rivers and lakes in the area are that milky green, and I guess it must be minerals in the water.
More dirt road back on the way to Terrace, this time some quite dangerous stretches as it was raining, the road turned muddy, it was narrow and windy with a cliff face to the left and a sheer drop into a lake some 20 m below us to the right - and no guardrails or trees! Anybody remember 'Test Drive'?? *grin*
Finally the road did get paved again, and we picked up speed back to Terrace. Brief stopover to get the car washed (all the dirt roads sure left their mark..) and then back to Kitimat - all up over 800km return trip, which was a very nice break despite! the almost continuous rain! Grrr :) (Yes, I am determined to enjoy myself here despite the weather...)
Dini went to drop off Kyrcee, and I think it's about time for a nice long, hot, steamy.... relaxing bath!
So I guess this is where I leave off and Dini can have the keyboard.
Tue, 24-Aug-1999*yawnstretch* We finally woke up around 10:00 or so, had showers and left the Hotel (it was still raining!) in search of breakfast. This we had in Hyder, so across the border again, in a small coffee shop, which refused to serve toast (it was past their breakfast time) or hot chocolate for Kyrcee (because they didn't have it). All up, rather disappointing for a coffee shop/bakery, but it was nicely decorated and they did have very nice apple pie.. On the way we also dropped into the Stewart Info Centre where I got my 'Northern B.C. Passport' stamped, and got information about the area.
Turns out the road we were following the night before is the one to Fish Creek, where there is a bear-watching area.
So after 'morning' (I use the word in it's loosest meaning here!) coffee's in Hyder we continued down the unpaved road towards the bears and pulled in to a parking lot near the road. Shortly afterwards I saw a bear crossing the road a little distance away. We wandered around a bit, and in one area there was a bear asleep with many people stationed nearby watching with cameras at the ready. I lined up in the rain with the rest of the hopefulls, learning how to use my camera tripod (yes, first time I pulled it out!) and being ingenious with a plastic bag to prevent the camera from getting too wet.
I took a shot of the bear yawning then waited it out with the rest of the people. Kyrcee was getting impatient and got a little loud, and some rangers came over to warn us that bears are attracted to children crying and running people, so to keep a close eye on her. She ended up being in the car for a while with Dini, to whom the entire excercise was boring and commonplace anyway, she having had bears in her front yard. Well, foo to her!! :)
At long last the bear woke up, and people started clicking, me included. It actually had stopped raining for a bit as well, so I'm hoping for some good shots of the bear as it wandered about the little lagoon, but unfortunately it didn't go to catch any fish.
After it had disappeared we decided to keep going - another 30 km or so along the road is the Salmon Glacier, and despite some horror stories about the road being covered in avalanches and sheer drops into the canyon and whatnot we decided to check it out ourselves anyway (after all, the warning came from Americans, and we all know they tend to exagerate a tad.... *grin*) Slow windy driving, and yes, we did indeed find avalanches (a couple of boulders had fallen on the road, but left enough room even for campers to pass easily) and dropoffs (several 100 m more or less straight down, fun!) but it was nevertheless not a problem. The glacier itself was luckily not covered in mist and I got some very nice photos of it (I hope!) Very spectacular!
From the glacier we returned to Stewart, crossing the border yet again. On the way we stopped in at the Hyder Museum/Library because they have an internet terminal there - unfortunately the librarian was out so we couldn't use it.
Going from Alaska to Canada we actually have to stop for customs - and this time the lady asked for my passport because I was neither U.S. nor Canadian... not a problem because I had luckily decided to take my passport... In Stewart we went looking for a place to stay and decided to check out Kathie's Bed and Breakfast - I had picked up a brochure earlier that day and it was partially in German. It was very nicely laid out and reasonably priced, especially compared to the hotel, so we booked in. (And yes, the lady running the place is German) After booking in, we went to the Stewart Library, again looking for an internet terminal, and again being foiled due to the library network being down (ironically the librarian also runs the Stewart ISP, and is the only person without internet at work in Stewart!)
Dinnertime! On recommendation we ate at a pizza/pasta place in town. Quite nice food there! Back to the Bed'n'Breakfast, and because it was still sortof light, I decided to check out the bears again while Dini took Kyrcee for a walk down the main street in Stewart. Saw lots more bears, but had missed one fishing by minutes unfortunately. Tried to take more piccies, but it was already too dark, ah well, memories I got anyway! Back home (stop at customs, passport, etc) and it's bedtime at last - a long day but very nice!
Mon, 23-Aug-1999Hrmmph, after getting woken up at 7am by the alarm, we've still managed to waste the entire morning. Kyrcee ended up getting brought over rather than us going straight to Kitimat to pick her up, and then we went and visited Gloria, Dini's boss, had a coffee at Hava Java, before moseing down to Kitimat. On the way we met a really stupid Corvette-driver, who couldn't decide between driving at 90km/h and 160km/h... so we kept catching up to him before he took off again - once we even overtook him. Idiots like that should get their cars confiscated and given to more deserving drivers!!
Finally in Kitimat, doing washing and going to meet Uriah for coffee.. I lost a pair of jeans in my last wash, so I have to borrow one off Dini for the time being - she is most upset that I actually fit into them *grin* Although to be honest it is a bit tight around the waist...
Well, all things going right, we'll be off to Stewart and Hyder later today, which is on the Alaskan border. Since Dini finally has a day off we will stay the night and camp, then look around there tomorrow. The plan is to come back on Wednesday and stop in at the lava beds about halfway between here and Stewart. These lava flows are the youngest in Canada being only about 200 years old. The natives still have memories of the flow since it buried 2 villages and about 2000 people.
Well, more when we get back!
Yayy, we actually left :) It's now 2 days later, and I'm back at Dini's parents' place while she's dropping off Kyrcee to the child's father, and I get a chance to update my diary! Around 18:30 we ended up nicking Dini's parents' car (much nicer, a Pontiac Tempest automatic with 2.8l engine, for Aussies, it's similar to a Magna sedan in size and comfort) and I hopped into the drivers seat just outside of Kitimat. From there, quickly past the flat to pick up our stuff (we wayyy overpacked, but that always happens!), grab fuel, and off towards New Hazelton.
At New Hazelton it's a left-turn up towards Stewart and Alaska. Beautiful scenery, nice drive, some rain but not too much, until finally it started getting dark and with it some rain when right near Bear Glacier the car started overheating (or at least, the temperature warning light started glowing). We stopped for half an hour at the glacier lookout (couldn't see much coz it was already pretty dark) and then kept going (we nearly stayed there the night, but figured we needed food). After the stop the drive turned adventurous - dark, rain, unfamiliar winding road, and fog combined to slow the drive right down. We did eventually get to Stewart however at 22:30pm, and stopped at a chinese food place for dinner. It actually got busier the longer we stayed there, strange place! From there we kept going looking for somewhere to pull over for the night (we had brought a tent, but figured that in all the rain it would be ridiculous to put it up and camp in the car instead) and crossed the Alaskan border into Hyder. Dirt roads, yayy! Guess the Americans don't bother to pave their roads ;) More winding wet, dark, foggy, and now dirt!, road later, we decided to turn around, get back to Stewart and stay the night in a Hotel, because we didn't know where the road was going and couldn't see much in the dark anyway. Finally around 23:00 we checked in to the King Edward Hotel/Motel. Nini-time!
Sun, 22-Aug-1999Pretty good day - in the morning Dini and I went out to the historic village in Terrace where we learned a fair bit of the early settlers of this area, and saw some of the typical housing and items which were around in the early 1900's around here. Finally got some pics which had me in it because we bullied the tour-guide into taking some. :)
After the historic village we lazed around at home after lunch (kinda breakfast, but anyway), Dini snoozing while I started playing a rather addictive little SNES game called Lufia. Later on Dini had to go to work (again :() and I went on the Terrace Nature Trail - very beautiful and I hope I got some nice shots of Terrace from above the town. The walk itself ranged from easy to medium, as it was quite steep and rocky in places. It took me about 3 hours to complete, but it went through some very nice areas - I even spied a squirrel, but as usual I didn't manage to catch it on film.
Feeling rather sore and exhausted I went back home, and kinda lost track of time continuing on with Lufia - I had planned to snooze until I had to pick up Dini, but them's the breaks - I finally looked up when the phone rang, with Dini demanding where on earth I was! *grin* Ah well, some things never change..
On the way home we grabbed more scratchies with our winnings, but $2 is all that resulted - luck's running out :(
Sat, 21-Aug-1999Lazy day!! Had to get up earlyish in case Kyrcee's grandparents (the other lot, not Dini's parents) came by to drop of Kyrcee, but they didn't. We ended up doing very little today, snoozing catching up on missed out sleep and playing computer games and whatnot. We ought to have gone on a walk or something, seeing as it was only overcast and not actually raining, but neither of us felt like it.
After I dropped Dini off at work, I went and bought some postcards, and who knows, I might actually get off my butt and write them!! So all of you waiting for one, you should get one in the next week or so... *grin* Firstly though, catch up on email and keep playing with this page here.. like the graphics I added today?
Well, I ended up bringing Dini pizza at her work, and stayed writing the postcards. Hmm, need to buy more! On the way home we got some scratchies, and all up won $10 off them, making a slight loss - try again tomorrow!!
Fri, 20-Aug-1999We had to get up early to pick up Kyrcee from her grandparents in Kitimat, and then we bummed around there for a while, watching tv and chatting. Later we went out in the rain to look at a few sites around Kitimat and taking pictures - the first time there I forgot to bring the camera. This time I got a picture of a 500 year old Spruce tree, the oldest in B.C. apparently, and of a beautiful little waterfall near the aluminium smelter.
We also checked out the smelter, but unfortunately didn't get to go on a tour since they were already done for the day. Interestingly enough, the smelter gets alumina (a slightly refined version of the ore from which aluminium is extracted from) primarily from Australia. The 900kwh of electricity it requires are generated by a huge dam and a hydroelectric installation, so it's fairly clean.
When we got back from sight-seeing, Dini's parents had a birthday cake for me (Blackforest cake by a strange coincidence!!) and they had gotten me a cool Kitimat - t-shirt as a present and a B.C. keyring. Much nifty :) I finished off my first roll of film with a few pics of Dini's parents and Kyrcee - hmm, I will have to start getting some pics with me in it soon!!
After that, rush to get home and get Dini to work on time, and I spent most of the rest of the rainy day soaking in a hot bath listening to a neat local radio station and reading my book - what better way to spend a rained out cold evening?
Drinks after work (Dini's, not mine!) finished the day off nicely.
Thu, 19-Aug-1999Up moderately early (I let Dini sleep in till 11, then I threw Kyrcee at her *muah*) drinking coffee and chatting with Gord. Then I drove him down to pick up his 'truck' (4WD Wagon) from a workshop, an we all went and visited Kar at her work again before chuffing off home. On the way I dropped in at a souvenir store to get a little something for Tatiana.
I drove on the way back, missing the waterfall again, this time due to Nadine and Kyrcee being asleep and a bursting bladder. Very nice drive again, but still fairly rained out.
Dini had to work this evening, so I dropped Kyrcee off at her grandparents, ~55km away in Kitimat. I ended up staying for dinner, Disney's 'Sleeping Beauty' and finally got back to the apartment at around 11pm. Hmm, time to check e-mail, write this, then off to pick up Dini from work.
All up a rather nice day, even if a lot of it was spent driving...
Wed, 18-Aug-1999Today we left (late as usual) for Prince Rupert to visit Dini's cousin Karolee (Kar) and her husband Gordon. The way was beautiful, even though it was raining for quite a bit of the way. Ah well... c'est la vie. On the way we passed an awesome waterfall which unfortunately I didn't get to photograph due to slow reflexes. I also missed a bear (completely) but I'm hoping to find some later on these holidays.
Finally arriving in Prince Rupert around 2pm, we stopped by at Kar's work, said hi, chatted for a bit, then left again to return at 5pm. Ate lunch and then we drove back out a bit to a walk past the Butze Rapids, which are tidal rapids near Prince Rupert. Kyrcee in a backpack thingy on Dini's back despite numerous offers to carry the little munchkin, and off we went. Of course we ended up taking the wrong turns and going a rather different way, but it was still a very nice, even if rather soggy walk.
That evening (we got back late from the walk and had to find Kar and Gord's house ourselves) we went out to dinner in a very nice little seafood place, and afterwards dessert across the road. To say we had enough to eat is an understatement!!
Tue, 17-Aug-1999Relaxed lazy day with Kyrcee, we got back to Kitimat in the afternoon and spent the rest of the day with Dini's parents and finishing off our washing - Dini's mum had already done 3 or so loads for us during the morning! Dinner was a BBQ and I was in charge of the steaks, which miraculously ended up edible.. I had never used a grill like they have before, so I was not sure at all of the results, but hey, it worked!
Mon, 16-Aug-1999Woke up (lateish, despite Kyrcee) and didn't get out of the house till about 2 or 3pm. Drove down to Kitimat to Dini's parents place to put on some washing (I had pretty much run out of clothes and was borrowing a t-shirt from Dini, and Dini had about 6 loads worth herself!). After the first load was in the dryer and the second load was washing, we drove off to meet up with people at Lakelse lake for a BBQ. The lake is about 1/3 of the way from Terrace to Kitimat, so we backtracked a fair distance.
As we were rather late getting there we had leftovers and then went for some walks near the lake, very beautiful area. I saw a squirrel which steadfastly refused to stand still for photos and some guys at the lake had a remote controlled airplane they were flying - unfortunately I didn't get any pics of that.
I met some of Dini's rellie's for the first time there, like sister Shari with husband Joe, and their kids. Dini also made me some 'smores' - they are neat! A smore consists of 2 gram-crackers with a piece of chocolate and fire-roasted marschmallows squished between them - yummm-Y!
Sun, 15-Aug-1999 and beforeUh, fuzzy-wuzzy memories, which will get remembered and written down at a time other than 11:20pm after a rather full day.... ok, here's some:
Yayy, thank goodness for camera logs - this day was the day I grabbed Dini's bike after dropping her off at work, and went on a little tour of Terrace and Ferry Island. The island is just outside of Terrace on the main highway to the east, includes a nice camping area and hiking/biking trail. Unfortunately the island was too overgrown (although very beautifully so) for picture opportunities.. but I did get a nice shot of the old bridge over the Skeena River on the way back from the new bridge. I also stopped in at a burger place for dinner.
The first week or so was pretty much spent doing very little and recovering
from travelling and my cold - I was really not feeling that great! Besides,
first holidays in over half a year, come on! I needed a break.. after all,
I'm primarily here for rest and relaxation!
Sun, 8-Aug-1999 - ArrivalThe bus trip got better at long last - the first stop in the morning was in Prince George and nearby was a bank where I finally could get myself some native cash!! Racing back to the bus depot, I scoffed down a nice hot soup, bought plenty to drink, and felt lots better! It was also getting daytime again, so the cold abated somewhat. By now I had been travelling for over 48 hours and starting to feel rather the worse for wear.
More passengers got on the bus, and I chatted with my new neighbour for a few hours, him pointing out sights and whatnot. Finally he jumped off at ... (ok, so my memory's bad, shoot me :P) and I was alone again. It also started raining so I spent a few more hours dozing, trying to reclaim some of the sleep I had been loosing. Another quick stopover in Smithers where I grabbed a burger, and off we went, last leg of the journey towards Terrace! I was also finally getting a bit excited at actually being in Canada, and about to meet Dini!
Around 5:30pm, 15 minutes early, we pulled into the depot at Terrace. I grabbed my luggage, went inside, and met up with Uriah, a friend of Dini's and mine, since Dini had to work, bleck! He drove me to Dini's work, I got keys, and then he drove me to her place, where I finally had a shower! Ahhhh, human again!!! That shower was the best thing in a long time! After that, Uriah picked me up again and drove me back to Dini's work where we chatted until Dini finished up.
Sat, 7-Aug-1999 - The TripIn a nutshell:
Brisbane -> Auckland, nice flight, nice airport, not a problem..
Auckland -> L.A., night flight, trouble sleeping due to cold creeping back, horrid airport with customs and all sorts of things - they even took my apple away from me!!
L.A. -> Vancouver, not too bad a flight (daytime, cold let up, good chat with someone), great airport (even though it was deserted and I didn't have any time to look around), very rushed due to having to catch the bus.
Vancouver -> Terrace, rotten bus trip (last couple hundred km's were ok) due to nighttime, cold came back big time, and no native currency to buy drinks during rest-stops: nobody would accept VISA.
... to be elaborated...
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Last updated: 2003.06.10