Trans – Canada dash 5000 km/10 days

Days 1 & 2 – Vancouver – Revelstoke
Fly into Vancouver which was having a rare sunny day. Take an $80 taxi ride from airport toW. Vancouver and the show-stopping home of long-time friends of ours. Overlooking Bowen Island with the Nanaimo ferry making its   hourly sojourn across How Sound between Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo ( home of the infamous and personally sampled Nanaimo Bungee jump). Wonderful lunch sitting overlooking the Pacific at `The Beach House in English Bay. Another turgid and expensive taxi ride back across the totally snarled up Lions Gate Bridge (one of the Lions dressed in `Canucks` gear) to Granville Island – one of my favourite markets on the planet, Have a wicked espresso at the Pelican café in the market itself which is where we always have coffee when we visit. As it’s a Friday – only a few buskers and business people around. Take a 5 minute ferry ride over to Hornby and trot down to Water  Street and GasTown which still has a faint whiff of the seediness of its origins as one of the earliest water-front areas.
It  really has tried to `Posh up” over the last 30 years or so with many chic restaurants and Brewpubs moving in but still………………. Quick drink at the cavernous waterfront Steambrew pub  all wood leather, beams and strewn animal skin rugs built around the brewing paraphernalia.
Walk over to Coal Harbour for supper at Carderos. Great harbour front table overlooking the marina in yet another huge warehouse space. Great live music in the cosier side bar: meet friends –  who were previously at another function – around 11ish – few more drinks and back across to W. Vancouver and that incredible ceiling to floor view – who needs a television?
Day 2
After a deluge of rain all night, we’re back to typical Vancouver weather – grey and damp. Back over to Granville Island for excellent breakfast – say Goodbye and we’re on our way. Well that was the plan. We spend an hour attempting to get out of Vancouver whilst tussling with our 3 year old GPS system `Tallulah” who is throwing malfunctioning tantrums worthy of any toddler. We decide she’s toast – it’s really important to have an efficient system on this trip. Even though we are travelling the highway back to Toronto, many of our `nights are off-route and out of the way.
Bye bye $160 and posh British enunciation – Hello robotic static mid-Atlantic drawl (Stacey) and reliability – we’re gonna need her.
Torrential rain accompanies us on our journey out through the Coastal Mountains on highway 1 through Chilliwack and Hope following the swollen Chilliwack, Fraser and Thompson rivers up to the plateau and valley that hosts Kamloops. Continue along the broad lush floor into Revelstoke.  Nestling under the protective twin peaks of Mount Begbie , it’s all going down in Revelstoke on Saturday night!……………
We haven’t visited Revelstoke for almost 9 years and even though it is heralded as `the place to ski in the Rockies, (it has the highest recorded snowfallin Canada) the ski resort is outside of town and not much of any associated tourism or wealth appears to have spilled over into this town. We are told that there is not a room to be had “in season”, but right now, on a Saturday night it’s like a ghost town. It’s a gorgeous evening but barely anyone is walking along the streets and there are very few places open.  The “Amble Inn“ (built 1820`s), a gorgeous lavender and ochre painted, picture perfect gingerbread Victorian mansion made up for what Revelstoke lacked. Creaky and crooked with `fun-fair` `fun-house` floors – you know the ones that trip you up sloping in unexpected directions – many of the architectural features, both inside and out seemed to be intact which is all the more amazing when you see photos of the house roof-deep in snow (which is an annual occurrence), Stroll back into town – passing 1 woman and a pram and eat greasy food from the only death wagon in town, Fizzy beer at the Sandman Hotel and then back to a roaring fire lit just for us in the mansion’s cosy lounge. Two cats and a pile of interesting coffee table books  – heaven.

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