Monday, 4 March 2013

The 5th Craziest Thing I Have Ever Done.

                                                     #5  Toronto to Vancouver by BUS!

     This may not be crazy, but. It definitely could make you crazy. When I was in high school a good friend of mine moved to British Columbia. The decision was made to visit our now distant friend, by bus. It sounds fun and exciting but only for a bit. 

 The pluses of buses -It is affordable.You get to see a lot of things and meet new people. The Downfalls - No showers!  It is very timely stopping in every town waking up at every stop. 

     With the companionship of my friend Jason, we set out July 1999 on a Greyhound bus. Making new friends with fellow riders along the way, we were headed north to Thunder Bay, then due west through the prairies, until we got to the beautiful Rocky Mountain towns of Banff and Canmore. We were so lucky going from Calgary to Banff late afternoon, our driver acted as a tour guide pointing out the interesting facts as we enjoyed our first mountains ever. 

    80 plus hours later and about 60 bus stops later we arrived in Vancouver, with only a few friendly faces still there, we said our goodbyes and found out our luggage was not with us. We had to do some laundry to get by, until they found it. In need of a shower and a good night's sleep, we set out for our hotel. After a seemingly quick 2 day stay in Vancouver, we kept on moving.

     From Vancouver we took the hour ferry boat ride to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Explored Nanaimo's beaches looking out into the Pacific Ocean and spent the night in a hotel. In the morning we yet again hopped on another bus for another 15 hours, to a little seaside town named Port Hardy. We explored the quiet town, and stayed at a cozy Bed and Breakfast. By the time we reached this destination we were starting to feel the craziness of constant travel.

      The following morning we were Prince Rupert bound on a BC Ferry heading up the beautiful Northern BC coast. The views were magnificent. The odd whale was spotted too. I found myself with my first touch of sea sickness. Thankfully it wasnt until the evening. We spent 18 hours on the ferry. After that long day at sea, we retired to a hotel near the port.

     The next day we were picked up by our friends and it was a short 3 hour drive to their home in Kitimat, British Columbia.   We had a fantastic time. During our 5 day stay, we explored the surrounding forests rivers and trails of Kitimat.  Stumbling into a family of Black Bears, Mom Dad and 2 cubs, had to be the highlight of the trip. It definitely got the adrenaline pumping!

    At the end of our stay, our gracious hosts and friends dropped us off at the bus station we had about 78 grueling hours of bus time left. We knew we could do it. It just wasn't going to be nearly as fun, just like going home from any trip. One highlight on the way home was a day spent wondering around at the West Edmonton Mall. 50 hours later we were back home.

     Would I do this again? No. Lots of good things came from this trip. Three years later I did it again, this time meeting my friend in Edmonton and spending a few days there before heading to Northern British Columbia. So if you so choose to go great lengths by bus, break it up a bit or you might go crazy.


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