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.
After an amazing 10 days in British Columbia we left Bowen Island and headed to the airport for our next destination.
Bruce and Barbara were our next home swap owners, and guess what? Yes, they also went above and beyond the call of duty to make us welcome. They had arranged to be at the cottage for our arrival, which was midnight!
They were kind enough to greet us and make sure we settled into the house ok. The next morning they spent the next hour or so showing us how everything worked, where everything was and familiarising us with the surrounding area before darting off for a work engagement back home, a 3.5 hour drive away!
Their home is awesome, based on the shores of Lake Joseph in Ontario, known as Muskoka Country, where celebs such as Cindy Crawford, Mike Myers, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russel, to name but a few, call home.
Whilst here we managed to catch up with some of our oldest friends from Singapore. Scott and Stacey were staying with family for the summer, just 1.5 hours away. We met them for an awesome lunch and spent the afternoon catching up and learning about their home towns. It was surreal to be in their ‘backyards’ after all these years and a highlight of our stay for sure.
The falls are formed by Lake Erie draining into Lake Ontario, the combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world, with a vertical drop of more than 165 feet (50 m) the Falls are the most powerful in North America. The volume of water approaching the falls during peak flow season may sometimes be as much as 225,000 cubic feet per second !!!!!!
PER SECOND! Mind boggling.
Not the place that you'd want to arrive only to find out that your camera battery is dead! Yup, dead as a dodo.
Thank goodness for iPhones! All the pictures taken that day were from Clair’s phone. They say that the best camera is the one you have with you, how true that was this day!
Goodbye Canada and thank you for such an awesome time.