We are in Vancouver, yay! I am currently lying in bed with the laptop on my lap and do my very best to stay awake to what I find an acceptable time for a very short afternoon sleep. And no that is not at 11 am, to my great sorrow. The flight went well. We were again treated to the same delicious dry falafel salad as on our first flight. And what a joy! We were selected three times for an interrogation about our travel plans. It already started in Iceland (!) Where we were questioned by the ground steward, in Vancouver it continued. Oh well, we’re in Canada, that’s all that matters! Before we left we still had a small situation. We had forgotten to enter early and couldn’t check into seats next to each other. That will be uncomfortable on such a long flight. So whining and begging at all info counters at the gate. The first could not do anything for us and suggested an upgrade to business class. It turned out to be € 1000 per ticket! The lady at the second counter office could do a little more and placed us in front of each other on the aisle. But the third counter was a hit, this lady could place us next to each other, yay! The persistence paid off! As a bonus we had a nice neighbor, a physical one physicist who was searching for “dark matter” using Bolzmann equations. The view from the plane over Greenland was spectacular! Unfortunately I always catch a cold from the air conditioning, and I always forget about liquorice to take against the cold. This time I was lucky because yes .. liquorice turns out to be an Icelandic specialty and at the airport I was able to have a nice one buy a large bag from the duty-free shop (and there is no gelatin in it by default, joepi) Anyway, it turned out to be too late in the day, I already had a cold from the first flight to Iceland and the second flight, a lot longer, didn’t make things better. When we started to fall I noticed that moisture had come behind my eardrum during the flight and I had not could do more. Shit, that hurts! Quickly put a cup on my ear and waiting anxiously and hoping that my eardrum would not burst. Fortunately, everything survived but it was not pleasant!
The past few days have been tiring. In addition to my cold, I had a headache, I also suffered from a jet lag, as if there was a fog bank in my head. Sleeping wasn’t really possible. Up to now, every night around 4 am I am completely awake again, then it is already light and the sky-train starts to ride. Even earplugs and our homemade sewn together eye masks with lavender from my mom’s garden don’t work. I follow all anti-jet lag tips (actually just what you should always do, lots of water, healthy food, no alcohol and on time to bed) except “no coffee”, that’s just a bridge too far, real coffee after all that horror coffee in Iceland! We haven’t had much time to catch up on sleep yet. On Monday and Tuesday we have been busy getting the bikes free. Of course, the first time it turned out that some things were missing in paperwork and the engines were not cleared by customs either. So with a stack of paperwork instead of our engines sent away again. Everything neatly solved and the next day we were successful. Bikes were unloaded. It’s always an exciting moment when you have put the parts back together to start it and see if it really works again. Arjette’s bike started after starting a few times, after which we could drive to the gas station and fill up. Erik’s bike however had too little gasoline to start, and the battery wasn’t completely full, luckily on the way to the gas station we got help from two very friendly Canadians who had jumper cables and we shook the last bit of gasoline to the right side to just make it to the gas station. It was nice to see that everything had arrived safely because it didn’t feel good to me. We were warned in advance that some loose goods were sometimes stolen and that we had to pack them well. We had both motors secured in their own steel frame which we were allowed to pick up for a box of cakes at Motoport. We then carpeted them. But when they were picked up and lifted into the truck, it turned out that the wood didn’t hold to well. As an emergency solution, quickly put some lashing straps around it. But because the shipping company had promised us that the packages would be sealed in plastic, we thought it would be okay. Unfortunately when we asked them about it afterwards, it turned out that sealing was not possible at all. Fortunately, when we just picked them up, we saw that someone neatly drilled new screws into the panels and fastened it extra well with rope. Nice! Thank you! It is nice to have our trusted motorbikes and all our stuff with us, even though our little hostel room is bursting now.
Now we finally have a bit of time to recover. And that is necessary too. My cold is slowly diminishing, but I am still very tired. It is also an intense week, especially with the Iceland trip in between. Today a week ago we flew to Iceland and have not taken a “day off”. My pedometer has turned green all week! Erik had even walked 17km on one day without even realizing it. We should have rested for a whole day, but on Monday morning (after we arrived on Sunday evening) we started out at 6 am. Yesterday I moved too fast. On our first “day off” we went skating, there is a huge skate park near the hostel. Then with the sky train to Vancouver Downtown and from there to the Stanley park. There would be beautiful totem poles that I wanted to see, and it was nice by the sea. But I was already tired after skating, but I in the end wanted to do a bit of sightseeing in Vancouver … Once in Stanley park it was super hot and we had not yet had lunch. Suddenly all fatigue came out. Once walking back towards the tram I almost fainted. Shivering and sweating with spaghetti legs I went on the bus. I felt so bad. Of course it was in the middle of a busy shopping street and we then had to take one more bus and two subways and a long walk back to the hostel. There was no place to lie down anywhere and I had already eaten all the snacks. The whole way back I felt terribly faint and had to put my head down every so often. Eventually reached the hostel without fainting but man man, really not nice! Eaten a huge plate of pasta of which I fortunately quickly recovered. Now I’m just very tired. Today I am wise and stay in and around the hostel. Downtown Vancouver was fun, by the way, and Stanley park too, we saw our first bold eagle and a seal swam in the harbor.
Fortunately it is very nice here. So we are in a hostel, yes, a real one, with backpackers and all. And with those notes on the fridge that you have to label your food with your checkout date and that you really have to do your dishes immediately and not leave them in the hope that someone else will do that because they also want to cook, haha . Nostalgia! In a private room though. We have outgrown the dormitories. But it’s not such a party hostel. In fact, there are quite a lot of travelers our age and even two other motorcycle travelers. We do this often and it works great. A private room in a hostel is often cheaper and less impersonal than a hotel. A big advantage is that you can cook yourself and you have a little chat with others. We have met all kinds of people here. Our hostel is located in a cozy Asian hodgepodge neighborhood. Everywhere there are people with an Indian background, the women in beautiful dresses and the men with turbans. There are also a lot of Chinese people walking around and I worry every time if old Chinese men cross a road and the traffic light starts counting down, will they make it or not? You can’t do that to those people!
Erik has no jet lag, by the way. He says … but he has been forgetting his stuff for 3 days. Monday after his customs visit he phoned very sad because he had lost his coat. Then he went again to the warehouse, customs and the supermarket to look for it. It turned out it lay downstairs in the hostel kitchen and he just didn’t take it with him. Also Tuesday I found out at the bus stop that he had forgotten his coat again. Run back to pick it up. Once back at the bus stop, he turned out to have forgotten his money, back to the hostel … no jet lag …! But together we manage. He seeks out all metro routes because I find that too confusing now, and I pay attention to his stuff haha, teamwork.
If I have recovered enough, we drive on. The plan is now to take the ferry to Vancouver Island.