I am currently sat in Vancouver on a 14th floor apartment with a balcony that overlooks downtown. Out to the West I get to see a beautiful sunset over the coast and surrounding mountains. Things really do have a way of working out nicely at times.
I flew in from Vladivostok about a week ago now. This is where my bike will be getting shipped into in about four weeks time. So I certainly have some time on my hands. As soon as I arrived I checked myself into a local hostel. It's always a good place to start as you meet so many other travellers and who knows what might happen. I spent three nights there and met some cool travellers and I got to treat myself to the opening showing of Star Trek. It's been about four months since I last sat down and watched a movie so this was a real nice treat for sure.
While I was at the hostel debating what my next move was I put a message out on social media if anyone was in the area. I wanted to meet people. I was last in Vancouver about five years ago and have very fond memories of this place. But, I did all the tourist stuff back then and I am pretty sure it hasn't changed that much so I was a little reluctant to spend money when I still have such a big distance to travel. So my plan was to try and meet the locals and get a really good feel for the area and see what happens next.
What happened next was great. Through a friends mum back home who sent some messages out to help me, a guy downtown had replied to my call and offered to host me for a bit. And that my friends is how I have ended up writing this to you with an incredible view of the city every time I look up from the screen.
My new friend Bryce has been great. Within four hours of arriving at his place I had watched the sunset over the city while drinking a beer, been treated to a meal in a local bar and then taken to a house party to meet his friends. Exactly what I was looking for and Bryce, I cannot thank you enough for your help. One of the best nights was seeing the festival of light on the beach. Thousands of people out to watch an incredible firework display. Music, beer and good company.
This city is real cool. It's chilled and relaxed and has a very liberal feel to it. You can smell it as you walk down the streets! I am sure there are unhappy people here but I have yet to meet them. Even the homeless guys ask politely and say hello to you. The bars are cool, the food is good and the beach is full of beautiful women. I need to be careful and not stay too long or I will never leave.
The plan now is to leave here in a few days and go explore somewhere else. Hopefully I can meet others around. But Vancouver is my base to work from until the bike comes. Hopefully I will get to see Calgary and Whistler while I am here. Banff would be amazing too. If you are reading this and you would love to help then please do get in touch through my social media.
As always, thanks to all of you who have helped put me in touch with others, offered advice, positive comments or 'bought me a beer'. Your help is much appreciated.
Aaron and Penny