And they’re off…to Vancouver

Well – suddenly it’s stopped being a surreal future, and instead it hits home as “here and now”. As I’m writing this we’ve just got through our first day on the road, and we’re in¬†Canada¬†– which hasn’t been as difficult as we’d imagined, but it’s been a lot, lot longer. Emily woke at 2am, and […]

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2 days in…and loving it

Well, we’ve been in Canada since Wednesday evening, and we’re sitting in a coffee shop now, updating our diary. Our first impressions? Canadians seems incredibly friendly, and Vancouver seems like a wonderful city – relaxed, with lots of greenery – and amazingly considerate drivers. Every time we wonder whether we’re safe to cross the road […]

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Wow!

Well, we’ve had a bit longer to get used to it now, and to recover from the jet lag. And it really is fantastic to be doing this. The children are having a great time – enjoying exploring all of the places that they can, and becoming more relaxed within strange environments. After a few […]

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Whale watching

We’d been offered three choices for whale watching – a rigid inflatable (zodiac), where you sit in the full immersion/survival suit for 3 hours, a big catamaran, or a small silver, odd-looking boat. We chose the silver one because it had an inside deck, whereas all the others were open all round. As it turned […]

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Being normal

Today was the closest we’ve been to normality. A family we’d met on Salt Spring Island invited us over to their house for lunch. Alix and Brian had three children – Anna (6), Will (3) and Reid (1) – who had lots of toys. Charlotte and Emily had a fantastic time playing with all of […]

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Luminara 2003

On Saturday night, in Victoria’s Beacon Park, we went to the Lumina Festival. This is quite unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. For a start, it was a family oriented festival starting at 9 o’clock in the evening – but the reason for this is that it’s a lantern festival. The park is given over […]

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Vancouver – Back to the City

We were back to the same downtown hostel we originally stayed at. That was quite nice for us all – somewhere familiar and a kitchen where we know where everything is! This morning the girls and I went to Science World while Sarah caught up with the mail. Charlotte enjoyed herself playing with all the […]

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Hire Cars, and Higher Costs

We’ve learnt a lesson today – that booking a car in advance on the Internet is MUCH cheaper than waiting until the last minute and trying to get a deal. We’ve rented a car from Discount Rent-A-Car, and in advance I’d checked out a price on the Internet – $159 Canadian dollars a week (about […]

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Roasting to the Rockies

We’ve left the coast, and are heading towards the Rockies. Today we completed the first part of the journey, from Squamish (right on the coast) to the village of Squilax, on Shuswap Lake. We started off on Route 99, the Sea to Sky Highway, which winds up from Vancouver, through Squamish and Whistler following the […]

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Squilax, Shuswap Lake

Our current hostel (HI Shuswap Lake at Squilax) is exciting because most of the accommodation is in “cabooses” – these are the carriages that you see on the end of the long trains in the old westerns, where the guard sits, and the baddies always meet their untimely end. And, if my memory is right, […]

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Fire, Smoke and Evacuation

Well, we’ve had our first bit of real tense-excitement now on our trip. The area that we are in has been declared a “National Emergency Area”, because of raging forest fires. It started with a single trail of smoke on the northern horizon, which grew and grew into an ugly streak across the sky. Then […]

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Revelstoke – Oasis of calm

We’re now in Revelstoke, a calm and peaceful town between the smoke and fire around Kamloops, and the tourist-filled roads of the Rockies. The air here is much clearer, and we can see the high peaks of the Rockies to our East. The town is absolutely beautiful – full of wooden houses which have been […]

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BBC Day 1 – Revelstoke

First the BBC director Mat phoned. As a result of the forest fires we were in a different town to the original plan – some 150 miles to the east of where the crew were standing! But we’d warned them already, so while we were able to have a relaxing morning, they had a drive […]

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Life with the BBC

Well, we’re now travelling in a different way to normal backpackers – not just because we’re doing it with two small children, but also because we’ve got a camera team with us, working for the BBC Holiday programme. The idea is that they’ll follow us for ten days, and at the end of that have […]

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Down the Icefields Parkway

Before I write any more, I have to say “WOW”. Today we drove down the most amazing road, the length of the Rockies from Jasper to Banff. It was around 150 miles, and it took us 10 hours, because we had a couple of long stops, but also because we didn’t want to rush past […]

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