This Novice Hiker

Squamish for Not-so-beginners

If you’re eyes could see what I saw yesterday ae.

I really really made the most of nature’s belays yesterday as I hiked, scrambled, climbed and slid my way up and down the hike to and from Echo Lake. In the last week I feel like I’ve gone from 1 to 100 with regards to the difficulty of my hikes. My previous two posts covered Squamish for beginners, hikes with very little incline that I would rate novice/beginners at most. If they can even be considered hikes (more of leisurely walks).

Echo Lake Hike takes you across the mouth of the Squamish River, right by The Split, the hot spot for Wind Surfers here in Squamish. This part must be taken by boat and cannot be swam due to the glacial feeds into the water as well as the strong tidal currents.

Our boat was small (and new to it’s owner, our guide) so we went across two at a time, three of us squished into this tiny boat (not that I’m one to complain the trip was for free as a promotion to the hostel!) . This made for an interesting journey, the engine took a little longer than normal to get started and wasn’t very strong. We pushed on through and had to row a fair bit as we exited the strong currents. When we were dropped off, the guide headed back for the remaining two guests, friends of mine from the hostel.

18580877_1712164589080528_1812417362155012096_n(1)

The Squamish Split (Echo Lake Crossing)

After ferrying everyone over we tied up the boat and had a brief safety chat (waivers had already been signed at the hostel). Our guide was more concerned about slips and trips than bears and cougars. The majority of the incline is steep and often slippery; it follows along a waterfall so if you take a bad slip you’re dead. Comparatively, a bad slip hiking The Chief should result in no more than minor injury as the trail is very well marked, very well trodden and far less hazardous

We went on our way. The pace was good as we stopped for viewpoints and to learn more about the forest around us. The incline, albeit somewhat treacherous, was definitely easier than our descent. I was challenged with climbing and scrambling opportunities in abundance. You got a real sense of danger that got your heart pumping real good.

echolakesdrop.jpg

You can’t see the death drop here but trust me it’s a death drop. Photo courtesy of Simon Kausch, fellow hiker from the hostel)

We didn’t get so many good photos of the climbing and scrambling as we were a bit preoccupied with all the climbing and scrambling. Here’s a bit of a blurry one from a slightly easier part.

echoscramble

Image courtesy of  Logan Leedahl 

It wasn’t all plain sailing and smiley though. It really pushed me to my limits when we reached the snow. There was a lot more than expected and it was all gullied along our trail next to the waterfall so we had to head off trail (which was also very snowy). I lost my leg down into the snow at one point. We were far away from the falls at that point though so I wasn’t too shocked, I did get a chilly bum though.

Echo Lake

It was not long after this point here that my leg slipped all the way in up to my bum ^    Image courtesy of Simon Kausch

After the moss, the foliage, the gravel and the snow we reached Echo Lake. It took just under three hours I believe: including our various stops for food and viewpoints. The reward was a beautiful snow covered lake and some hot rocks to sunbathe on – I never mentioned it was more than 25 degrees – b e a utiful.

Echolakeactual

Echo Lake (under that snow) Image courtesy of Simon Kausch

The descent is less blog-worthy. It was tough and my legs turned to jelly. I skooted a fair amount of the way on my bum and got pretty scratched and bruised.

I’m not sure what’s going to top this anytime soon (although I definitely have someone in mind to share my biggest adventures with).  Here’s the whole team at the top.

echogroup2.jpg

Simon, Logan, Tayla and myself at the top. Image courtesy of Tayla Eddy

Over and out

The Ever-loving Abigail

x

Squamish for Beginners Continued

Today I took another little trail ideal for the more placid adventurer, or someone like me who isn’t looking to venture too far from home when I’ve got work this afternoon.

The Stawamus River Trail is a completely flat trail working it’s way along the bottom of the Chief on the Squamish side. If you stick to the main gravel footpath you’re looking at no more than a half-decent dog walk, but if you venture along the interlocking paths on the waterside you’ll find the woodland is dense enough to make you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere and that there may even be bears around any corner. I didn’t see any fresh prints today, just claw marks on the trees again – I’m supposedly in bear country out here but I’m yet to be graced with their presence.

18513838_1948704908698913_783721722091143168_n

Stawamus River, Squamish

There were lots of logs and rocks I could hop along that let me venture out a little further into the water. The water was shallow, clear and fast moving. It made this great gushing sound that made me want to stick around for ages just listening. Though, walking by myself I didn’t want to settle down too quietly anywhere. I may not have seen a bear or the elusive cougar yet but I’m not silly- I’m not in Essex anymore.

I also saw my first beaver dam since being out in Ottawa in September. Such hard workers ae. This was a little further out from the river in a little tributary, hence the less appealing colour of the water.

18512689_1816917661958666_8113098165927804928_n(1).jpg

Beaver dam, Stawamus River, Squamish

I chose a safe spot to settle; out in the open in a grassy plot just behind some houses. The grass was long and made for a nice squishy bed. I sat surrounded by dandelions in a field full of wishes.

18512631_1868080140097471_8705734563931881472_n(1).jpg

Wishing field, Squamish

I lay down blowing dandelions for ten minutes or so, soaking up my surroundings. I can’t tell you what I wished for. If it’s anything like birthday candles then the magic only works if the wishes are kept secret.

 

The Ever-loving Abigail

x

 

Squamish for Beginners

I was somewhat distracted writing my last two posts by the company I’ve been keeping. I forgot to mention a bunch of the nice ‘travel’ things I’ve done here in Squamish over the last week or so. It’s easy to forget I’m here holidaying when I’m working so much.

But I went along some real cute trails and learnt a little bit about fly fishing down by the Mamquam River.

Squeezing trails in to the hours I’m not working means I’m limited to short, not-so-strenuous trails close by to my places of work.

bluffstrail.png

Smoke Bluffs Trail Map

Smoke Bluffs was a great start. This trail begins just beyond the adventure centre and less than ten minutes walk from the hostel. There’s a slight incline, so it comes with a few decent viewpoints.Although I found that most that we seemed to stumble across were slightly obscured by big-ass trees. I’m reassured there are greater sweet spots along this trail so I shall return again soon for a sunset and some beers. And for those of you who climb there’s tons on offer. This park is made up of loads of mini trails leading to climbing sites of varying difficulty (I’m yet to get my climbing gym membership as I await my first paycheck.

Oceanfront Interpretive Trail is a fancy name for the track leading along the estuary to the ‘beach front’. This isn’t a beach as I know it but I’m sure on a gloriously sunny day the glistening water would look pretty sweet with a mountainous backdrop. We in fact did this little walk one night after I finished work. It’s pretty un-scenic as it happens. But great fun at night when there could be bears creeping around any corner. My eyes darting about constantly, waiting to see two floating red dots reflecting in our torches. No such encounters.  The night time chill on the beach was pretty sweet too. It was a ridiculous time to go the beach without warmth, sunlight and the vivid mountain views, but we had the place to ourselves, I could hear the water and not much else, and I could still just about see the snow capping the mountain peaks in the moonlight. I felt like I’d stumbled upon my own private little spot.

Later in the week we also took a real small track through the woodlands across from Smoke Bluffs. The only evidence I can find of this online is something referred to as the Loggers Lane Interpretive Trail. Walking through the woodland in the pouring rain it felt like I was in a very soggy England as I happily splashed through puddles. The trees were dense so I couldn’t see through to the mountains surrounding us. I could’ve been anywhere – I didn’t mind though, I was in good company. This easy walk has zero incline as is really just a decent place to look at some impressive moss and walk the dog (miss you Monty).

18443363_146993192506906_550088420450369536_n

Reuben at Loggers Lane 

Finally, a little jaunt along the Mamquam River was also on the agenda. This walk took a little more time out of the morning. Walking across town for forty minutes or so to reach our destination. Apparently there’s more bears around this area. I saw a few paw prints and scratches along the trees and it got me all excited – still yet to see one bloody bear.

18444165_663029660570686_6812413340908781568_n.jpg

Reuben along the Mamqaum

The water is pretty clear and super chilly. Reuben piggy backed me over to spots along the middle of the water and showed me a little bit about fly fishing. It was nice to learn something new on my trip. This boy has taught me a lot although I don’t think he knows it.

Since my trip to the Mamquam I’ve googled more photos and found a lush looking waterfall I’d like to visit. We shall see ae.

The Ever-loving Abigail

x

Feels for Reals

Another seven days have passed since I last wrote. I’m wondering if this is becoming a bad habit. We’ll see if I can get back to it. Away now for almost six weeks.

This last week I’ve went for walks in the pouring rain and juggled my two jobs, Work life balance at the minute is not quite spot on. I spent six months saving before I came here; working 36-56 hour weeks, hopefully as soon as I get my first pay check I can figure out how little I can get away with working whilst I’m here. It’s a working holiday and I really need to remember the holiday part. I’m feeling permanently exhausted at the moment I definitely need to take some time to rejuvenate really soon. (maybe a spa for my long weekend! I’ll keep you updated on that idea!).

I’ve also spent my time eating a lot more than most travellers on a budget. These past few days have been really great for scavenging – one really good thing about working in a hostel is all the left over food and all the meals travellers fancy sharing with you. Working in the cafe I get free soup and smoothies and then coming back to some more free food when I get in makes for some really cheap living. Really cheap living but also super fat living.

I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about paddling the shores of Whakatāne (spelt correctly first time;) ). Whakatāne is a town on the North Island of New Zealand 11,368 km from where I am now and 18,450 km from Moreton, where I call home back in the UK. Whakatāne is where Reuben, my beautiful Kiwi from my previous post, calls home. Despite being surrounded by beauty here, Reuben’s longing for his home is contagious and I can’t help but find myself curious about this coastal NZ town, and what my next great journey will hold.

My thoughts have been soaring past the mountains that surround me to a far far away land and days to come. This girl has got feels for reals. Not just feels for adventures to come but who I might be able to share them with.

It’s nice to feel comfortable enough to say I really want the company without feeling that I need to spend my travels with someone.  I think over the last month or so, or even the last few years of my life, I’ve proved to myself that I can be independent – it’s really nice to be at a stage where I can accept that wanting companionship is not the same as an utter dependence on another human being (not yet anyway).

I’ve rambled a bit in this post and I’m not at all sure it’s beneficial from a travel perspective. But I hope that despite the lack of anecdotes and travel advice, solo travellers can take some comfort in reading that someone else is going through the same thought processes as them. I’m sure I’m not the only one to fly half way across the world to fall in love.

DEM FEELS FO REALS

Bold statements over here,  I’ll leave you with that.

Over and out

The Ever-loving Abigail

Mountain Views and Bushman Lingo

Mate.

It’s been more than a week since my last post (#soznotsoz), I’m still alive and more than well. I’ve been having too much fun it seems, and working pretty hard too.

It’s also been more than a month since arriving in Canada, fancy that, it’s now officially the longest I’ve been away from Ole Blighty. Before now, the longest I had been away was four weeks interrailing (euro-railing) in the summer of 2012. This short and sweet trip was a whistle-stop tour; whizzing around with some buds from sixth form. I remember thinking at the end of my time that I could do it again all by myself and what a totally different experience it would be.

I think I underestimated the warmth of people all around the world. I’m a super optimistic person, but travelling by myself I’ve come to just realise how bloody good people can be. Here in Squamish I have found home (for now). As much as I would like to say I’ve found home among the beautiful trees and mountain views (see below) it is the beautiful people that have welcomed me and are making my time here so special… mate, all gushing out now.

18381825_308024979619420_6537630696339406848_n(1)

My dorm mates are strong, sincere young women. We’re real different, but it works and it’s sorta hella special. I feel like I’ve found a matriarch in Raquel, she might come off as having a tough exterior sometimes but it all comes from her big big heart. Apparently Gemini’s and Sagittarius are complimentary opposites (Raquel’s star sign and my own), I think there might be something in it y’know… And Camille, well she’s a real cutie. She skips around, like me, and her little twinkly eyes and contagious smile keeps all the volunteers chirpy on the most part.

The guests are pretty rad too. And my god do I wanna get to know em. Working at the front desk is pretty sweet because it gives me ‘an in’. If I smile and answer all their questions I’m sure they find it easier to speak to me when I’m off shift. There’s some you don’t wanna get to know so much, but generally I wanna hear ALL the stories.

My favourite so far is a kiwi chap who bowled on in earlier in the week. Bloody beautiful smile and this mad-endearing reserved way about him.  Living where I work meant that it wasn’t long before I could get him chatting away. Being the inquisitive extrovert that I am I challenged myself to get to know this quiet type. We visited the Sea to Sky Gondola on my day off, one of Squamish’s biggest tourist attractions. We spent plenty of time walking and talking, soaking up the big ole BC. He’s only a bloody bushman / fisherman / madman, making a living in these real strange, dangerous environments. I’ve never met anyone with more interesting stories in my life swear down – or more interesting lingo.

I’m getting there with the lingo – I’ve realised Kiwi’s finish their sentences with eh (pronounced aye) even more than Canadians do for sure. There’s also a list of other things that crop up too – hard, true. I can’t think of all the phrases just now but I’ve started thinking like it. Thinking in sentences that end in eh, imagine that eh? We’re speaking the same language but I have to proper concentrate, not so much on his accent but on all the different lingo flying left right and centre. And the jargon too, reckon I’m learning a bunch about farming, bushman life, Māoris and I can’t even think what else. Side note –  ^This is why some people reckon I’m smart cos I’m just real curious and will ask aaaallll the questions and not shut up^.  I’ve been mistaken for an Aussie twice and a Kiwi once in the last week so something’s rubbing off.

Maybe I’ll return to the UK with some hybrid-traveller voice, sorry in advance folks.

As I sit here typing and looking out the window I still can’t believe where I’m at. Six months of saving and a lifetime of dreaming and I’m actually here making memories. I miss you all at home, but my god have I made a good decision. No amount of photographs on the internet can prepare you for these landscapes. It’s actually real, I can brush my fingers along the rock faces, dip my toes in the snow still settled on the mountain trails and taste the spray from waterfalls. Bloody magical stuff.

All my love

The Ever-loving Abigail

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday Was Résumé Day – Today I have a Job

Comparing a résumé to a British-style CV is a pretty simple task. When looking for a working holiday job my only advice is to keep it basic. I only put my six months of relevant experience on my one page resume (one job). It’s never been so short. I wrote in bullet points and only included the bare minimal – I didn’t even need a Canadian cell on there (just one way I’m saving money here, cell plans are extortionate – I shall put off getting this for as long as I can).

If you’re heading to a new country to be a server, do manual labour or work in retail (to name a few examples) don’t bother spending any time writing about your A levels or your hobbies – no one cares – save it for interview if necessary – forget all the fluffy stuff.  All decent sized towns here have writing clinics to help newcomers with such things. I know many of the travellers in this hostel have made the most of these services over the last six months.

I’ll be working at the local vegan cafe, preparing fresh food from local ingredients – I’m pretty excited. It’ll be a world away from my previous job at a burger joint in the UK.

This morning I celebrated my success with waffles at my new workplace:

18161004_444153895932953_1639520533076770816_n.jpg

Banana buckwheat flour waffle topped with cashew cream, chia jam and figs

I’m looking forward to preparing and eating good food, and having a little pocket money.

The Ever-loving Abigail

x

Little Catch Up: Dive Bars, Timbits and Hostel Living

Catching up on a few days writing here. After another mini staff training ‘bootcamp’ on Tuesday the day was drizzly. Besides a little light reading and job searching online my activity was minimal.

At my first weekly staff meeting I offered to organise the next staff outing. I’ve got a little budget for it as well. I’m trying to throw myself into hostel living. I’m really excited to get planning. I’d like to do something that the volunteers wouldn’t otherwise do on their days off.

We also discussed a little about lead roles in the hostel and what each of the volunteers might be able to take responsibility for e.g. Art Lead, Maintenence Lead etc. I think blogging or events planning would make sense for me given my previous experience.

That night my supervisor invited me to head over to the karaoke night in town to hang out with some locals. The Chieftan – It’s a bit of a dive bar. Online definitions describe a Dive Bar as a disreputable, slightly seedy, place for locals on a budget – often dimly lit. But in recent yeras, these bars have attracted students and hipsters alike as the affordable places to go and mingle with locals. And where better to go as a traveller in a new town?

So, out of my comfort zone once more, I went to a karaoke night. Not my usual night as someone who you will never find getting up to sing. As confident (gobby) as I am – singing is not my forte – singing badly isn’t even my forte. I can’t get away with it. However I am a very good hype girl / cheerleader / drunken supportive dancer.

I shared pitchers of the shitty brew recommended by the local – with orange wedges in – an acquired taste. Something I shan’t divulge in again. Getting pleasantly tipsy I smiled and chatted to a few of the resident hipsters and some slightly more rugged bearded types. People that work in mines and live on boats…  

I danced the night away. Cheesy tunes and cheap beer.

I walked back to the hostel with a friendly Scot in the early hours. We went via McDonalds – I really respected his choice to opt for a strawberry milkshake like myself. It was funny to see such a dreaded, bearded, worldly hippie drinking a pink beverage through a straw and tucking in to a big mac.

Back at the hostel I stayed up chatting for a few hours with my new dorm mate and yet another handsome German. I think I’m going to get along just fine in Squamish.

The Next day, very tired, I snagged a lift up to Brandywine Falls. It was beautiful, but not quite as magical as other falls in the area. You can’t feel the spray on your face.

18094755_1831581047104512_1403555485101064192_n(1)

On Tuesday, Canada was dancing with locals in a dive bar.

On Wednesday, Canada was lounging on bean bags watching Oilers v Mighty Ducks (Hockey pals 😉 ) after a day among the pines.

As for Thursday we headed back to Vancouver and I tried my first Timbits, a truly Canadian experience apparently. (Tiny doughnuts in assorted flavours from Tim Hortons).  We also visited Lynn Canyon, a cute spot on the edge of the city.

18160899_212826322544548_2906261973857468416_n

Today, today is resume (CV) day.

The Ever-loving Abigail

x

The Stawamus Chief

Walking around downtown Squamish yesterday morning was strange. I see a McDonalds, Timothy Hortons, a dollar store… all the chains you find in the big towns and cities. I can’t help but think a town set in the mountains like this should have some level of protection against these eye sores. But I’m in North America, the country is very young. Houses in Austria for example would stand out as heritage buildings, blending in to the scenery with slightly smaller winding roads.  But this is one of the main routes up along the West Coast (The Sea to Sky Highway / BC Highway 99). If the roads were quaint and narrow I fear the congestion would be too much for this small young town. A town that only came into existence in the early 1900’s. I never imagined a town like this, I think I was picturing Squamish through rose-tinted euro-centric glasses.

However, as strange as this little morning jaunt was. I found some absolute treasures. There’s an abundance of healthy living options here. Gyms, yoga studios, adventure sports shops, vegan cafes – a small town like this has a lot of options for special dietary requirements. Eating out at these places doesn’t cost much more than cooking at home as well – because supermarkets everywhere in Canada are sooooooo expensive.

My favourite find was the thrift stores, like our charity shops in the UK, but with a lot more second hand sports equipment: roller blades, skates, wetsuits, helmets, hiking boots etc. I’m going to be able to kit myself out with boots, a light waterproof and some decent base layers for less than $60 CAD for sure. I sort of wish I’d bought all of this there and then. I never anticipated returning to the hostel and deciding to go on a hike straight away. We headed off to the first peak of the Squamish Chief – Conrad, Anaise and I.

18094646_1707654016201729_1517472874082861056_n(1)

(South/First Peak we hiked 3km with an elevation of 535m)

With a fair few breaks along the way the hike (and scramble, there were plenty of ladders and chains to help us drag ourselves up) took us 90 minutes or so. Longer than it should have really but we were going at a very leisurely pace. Conrad, an avid hiker, could have done it a lot quicker bless him. Anaise and I are not in such peak health, but I believe after the next three months we will be.

The trail took us alongside a beautiful waterfall. This is our local source for drinking water. I’m yet to purchase a water bottle and took advantage of this source along the way, collecting water in my hands as it dripped straight from the rock face. I can’t explain how magical this felt. The sun penetrated through these great trees that stood all around me and I found myself doused in the spray as I re-hydrated. This moment trumped everything on my trip so far. As I drank water from my cupped hands I felt at one with nature. It’s cheesy as hell but it’s true.

I reflected on my first impressions of this strange, interesting town. I wasn’t quite sure where I’d ended up. Looking down from the first peak I remembered Why Canada?

This is why Canada folks. Yesterday, Canada was drinking water from my hands in the golden hour. Tomorrow Canada will be something else.

The Ever-loving Abigail

 

Back to Work: First Day

Part One – Pre-show Jitters

I’m nervous again for the second time on my trip and I’m feeling pretty good about it. My work exchange at the Squamish Adventure Inn begins today. If all goes well this will be my home for the next three months.

In fifty minutes I meet at reception to begin my first trial shift. I’ll be doing some housekeeping, working the front desk and contributing to the hostel’s own blog. I’m not feeling too anxious about the work at all – I’m gonna smash it. It’s just the great outdoors on my doorstep… it’s so bloody great. No Instagrammers or travel blogs can prepare you for this, it’s sooooo big (and full of plenty of things that can kill me).

I’m super excited to get out there and soak it all up but I’m not feeling the most prepared at the minute. I’m without hiking boots, climbing shoes and a solid ‘outdoorsy’ wardrobe (a proper waterproof… not the barbie looking thing I own, see below)

IMG_0009.JPG

This is a photo of me the first time I went off on some travels – Interrailing in 2012 and I’ve been rocking that tacky waterproof at festivals and on particularly soggy days ever since. I’m wearing those same Doc Martens now too. I feel my first task after getting settled into my new room and my new job will be heading out to find some proper gear so I can be a proper outdoorser.

Thrift stores here I come… and Save-on-Foods. Can’t bloody wait to get some groceries.

Part Two: Hiking, Beer and Pooches

We sat down for introductions with coffee, peanut butter chocolate and shortbread. I started with two other lovely Workawayers: Conrad and Anaise, from Austria and from France. They are both super smiley (and attractive) and seem eager to dive straight in. My job’ll be keeping this morale up; tends to be my role in the workplace. Skipping around smiling and keeping spirits high.

After our little orientation we had about twenty minutes to go and move into our bunks and then head back down for staff activities.

18013624_230896097392833_2664219611582431232_n

(Excuse the average quality photo, taken at Brohm Lake – I’ll play around with sharpening the image up)

Our volunteer co-coordinator had organised a little hike around Brohm Lake followed by a visit to one of the local microbreweries.

The hike took no longer than 90 minutes with a few little inclines here and there, nothing too strenuous but enough to get me excited for the bigger challenges to come. We stopped off at a few nice chill out spots and some of the volunteers jumped in for a chilly swim. I wish I bought my swimsuit along – I didn’t thing my new companions were quite ready to see me in my underwear. Besides the views, the best thing about the hike was the dogs, a Collie and a Westie came along with us. It was so nice to be in nature and back with animals again.

After a refreshing walk we headed off to the micro-brewery, frequently referred to as a ‘pub’. I’m certain it doesn’t qualify as a pub but I wasn’t ready to have that discussion with people just yet. Why get cocky when you’re getting free beer?

My new little life has started off fabulously.

The Ever-loving Abigail

x

The City Meets Nature

My lens couldn’t accurately capture what I wanted to show you but I’ll try my best with my words. It doesn’t normally take me long to write up posts but I’ve had to ponder over how to squish this all in.

Despite being somewhat of an anosmia sufferer (lacking sense of smell), I still had what I can only describe as the taste of blossom lingering on my tongue yesterday as I made my way from the bus stop at the end of Granville. This road runs from where I’m staying all the way to Downtown and to the Vancouver Harbour; it’s cheaper than other Canadian cities I’ve visited at only $2.75 CAD for a single trip, approx £1.60.

I walk past a tourist hotspot – a poutine stop – and I ask myself ‘To tourist or not to tourist?’ – thinking back to the advice of some lovely Québécoise I went in and grabbed a box to munch on before I head off on what I assumed was going to be a long day of walking.

As I make my way downhill without a map I walk past a great rush of suits all heading for the food vendors lining the streets. I check out what’s on offer: Tacos for $5, Japanese hot dogs- a phenomenon I think is yet to hit the UK, and smoked meats – a delicacy more popular in French Canada. For future reference these food vans are definitely the way to go. I didn’t catch anything costing more than $8.

I’m pleasantly surprised so far by the cost of day to day travel and lunch options. Everywhere seems to have generous happy hours too – $5 beers being a popular promotion.

The lingering taste of blossom in the air is starting to combine with the smells of the harbour front, and being 420 there’s a hint of marijuana everywhere I go.

I reach the waterfront and I’m met by a view that no one had prepared me for. Returning to Toronto and Montreal this month I knew what to expect as I’d been to these locations before. Vancouver is entirely new to me, I’m quite sure everyone back home knew how much I’d love this place before I did.

In front of me the city meets nature. The cloud bank kisses the mountain peaks, the sparkling harbour is dotted by boats preparing for the summertime and seaplanes coming in to land. Over to my left is Stanley Park covered in the tallest trees I’ve ever seen – this is my destination, I wish Monty was with me.

After walking along the waterfront of the park, looking back over the harbour onto the city where I had just been, I turned into the woodland and lost myself among the trees. I peer around and it reminds me of Jurrassic Park as I sit among the ferns. I sit here on a rock for a while breathing it all in.

18013575_1443977592312091_2111293046678093824_n

Late afternoon I found myself catching the bus back to where I’m staying at Matt and Ola’s. Matt’s an old friend from work back in the UK who I got in touch with when I knew I was heading out to Squamish. Their hospitality has been amazing. Having a beautiful place to stay for free for a few nights is such a treat I’m not sure how I will thank them. The company is great too, there’s a real sense of communal living here. People are sharing their stories (and their food) with me once more and eager to talk to me about their hobbies and interests. It’s a giant house full of travellers – much like a fancy hostel (one with a sauna and a games room!).

I shall have to update more later as I fear this post is too long once more.

The Ever-loving Abigail

x