Those were the exact words Dan used as he unloaded all the suitcases back off the bus to which he had just hauled them onto. For this was the wrong bus, this bus was headed south from Seattle to Portland, not north across the Canadian border into Vancouver.
No, that bus had left half an hour earlier. Somehow Dan had misread the ticket and after 15 months of solid travel, we had just missed our first point of travel. It had to happen at some point I guess, but it’s still a huge kick in the nuts. A 4 hour bus journey from the centre of Seattle to the centre of Vancouver seemed just too easy, so perhaps we’d let our ‘travel’ guard down.
Stranded on the side of the road with all our luggage and nowhere to go we needed a plan, and quick. A kind staff member on duty let us borrow his phone so that we could call the company to find out what time the next bus to Vancouver left, and if we could guarantee tickets on it. They advised us that we had to wait for 2.5 hours and that they would only seat us if there was enough room and that at this point there were still 14 seats left, so we had a good chance of getting on with our original tickets. Our other option was to repurchase 6 new tickets.
We chose to wait it out and try our luck.
We headed to the nearest Starbucks and fired up wifi so we could use Skype to make more calls. We needed to let our next Homeswap host know the we had missed the bus. Then we peppered the bus company with calls every 20 minutes to check the status of how many seats were left? We got a different answer every time and it was all becoming less clear and more stressful with every minute that passed.
In the end our luck turned, but our nerves were in shreds, thankfully we were able to board the next bus and finally got on our way to Canada, albeit 3 hours late!
On arrival at Vancouver train station, we were met by Peter; our home swap host who helped us pack up his car before heading off to the nearest supermarket so we could stock up on some provisions. He then set us the directions in the Sat Nav to the ferry terminal to catch our boat across to Bowen Island. However, time had again slipped away and we missed the 6.40pm boat we had aimed for, only to be told that the next boat left in 2hours and 10 minutes…..aaaaaaaagggghhhhh what a day!
Thank goodness for long summer evenings and the ferry terminal being in a pretty cove, we purchased some fish and chips, headed to the park and waited for the next ferry to arrive.
And what a crossing it was!
Bowen is an island situated just off the coast of West Vancouver, the ferry is just a 25 minute hop across the water giving you some amazing views of the British Columbian mountain ranges and we were treated to the most amazing weather for the 10 days that we stayed there.