Travel Stories from Western Canada

Red Kayaks

I’ve been putting off writ­ing about the trip for so long that I’ve actu­al­ly for­got­ten some of the things I found inter­est­ing. I’d bet­ter write the ones I haven’t yet for­got­ten now before the trip becomes just a dis­tant mem­o­ry.

BC Look­outs. For some rea­sons in British Colum­bia, they put up look­outs at all the wrong places. So you’re dri­ving in the moun­tains and you see a beau­ti­ful view. You start look­ing around for a look­out so you can stop to enjoy the view and take some pic­tures. Just when the beau­ti­ful view can’t be seen any­more, there it is: a look­out! Seri­ous­ly. Why did they even both­er?

Mis­lead­ing Sign. On our way to Banff, AB from Jasper, AB, we stopped at the Pey­to Lake look­out. I wasn’t feel­ing too great (it was that time of month) and didn’t real­ly feel like doing stren­u­ous hik­ing. I read the sign at the begin­ning of the trail and it said that to get to the look­out there was only a small steep part on the trail and I thought, hey, I could do one small steep part. That turned out to be One Big Fat Frickin’ Lie. When they said a small steep part they real­ly meant half a dozen big, stinkin’ steep parts. A cou­ple of peo­ple who passed me on their way back and saw me look­ing like I was about to die were nice enough to cheer me on and told me that it was total­ly worth it. And it was. But boy, did I almost die from exhaus­tion.

Banff Before Jasper. There is a good rea­son peo­ple usu­al­ly go to Banff before they vis­it Jasper instead of the oth­er way around like we did. If you go to Jasper before you go to Banff, you just won’t be too impressed with Banff. In Jasper, we ran out of time before we ran out of things to see (and we were there for three days). In Banff, we ran out of things to see after only half a day. If I could do the trip all over again, I’d skip Banff and either spend more days in Jasper or in Van­cou­ver Island.

Haunt­ed Room? While we were in Can­more, AB, if we were not dri­ving around, I’d be in bed read­ing. We spent two nights in a two-bed­room con­do type thing and once every night while I was alone in the bed­room, the bed­room door han­dle would be mov­ing up and down, like some­one was try­ing to open a locked door. The door wasn’t locked. Each time I thought it was Troy and I would open the door to allow him in but there was no one in the hall­way. It didn’t scare me or any­thing. It was just weird. It actu­al­ly hap­pened again the morn­ing we were leav­ing. I thought to myself, sil­ly ghost, and it made me smile. :)

Whale-watch­ing. Going whale-watch­ing on a Zodi­ac off the coast of Tofi­no, BC was a lot of fun, though I can under­stand why it’s not rec­om­mend­ed for peo­ple with bad neck or back and preg­nant women. It can get real­ly bumpy! We saw some hump­back whales and at some point a cou­ple of them went cir­cling our boat and got so close to us that I was wor­ried that they would go under our boat and cap­size it. Of course it didn’t hap­pen. They’re whales, not some sil­ly shark from Jaws. Duh!

TV Show Set. Troy’s par­ents and I went to Squamish, BC one day and upon fol­low­ing some worn-out signs to some beach (which turned out to be not much of a beach but it did have a breath­tak­ing view of the fjord), we came across the set of a new Cana­di­an TV show called Search and Res­cue. They were film­ing six months worth of episodes there. It’s prob­a­bly going to be a real­ly lame show but I’m going to have to watch at least one episode when it’s aired next year just to be able to say that I’ve been there on the set. :)

Ques­tion­able Malaysian Food. When we were in Rich­mond, BC, we went to a cou­ple of South­east Asian restau­rants. It’s fun­ny that a lot of the stuff in the menus that they claimed to be Malaysian was what I know to be Indone­sian. Like Gado-Gado. Gado-Gado is SO Indone­sian but in the menu it was described as Malaysian veg­etable sal­ad with peanut sauce. Huh? We ordered some­thing called Indone­sian Spring Rolls in one of the restau­rants which turned out to be some­thing I didn’t even know exist before. Not a big fan of the spring rolls but Troy and his dad seemed to enjoy it. At least the Nasi Goreng I had was pret­ty authen­tic.

Sug­us Can­dies. We vis­it­ed a cou­ple of malls in Rich­mond for some “Asian expe­ri­ence” and came across a cou­ple of Asian super­mar­kets that, sur­pris­ing­ly, didn’t sell any duri­ans (blas­phe­my!). But what they lack in duri­an depart­ment, they made up in can­dy depart­ment. Those places actu­al­ly sold my Most Favourite Can­dies Ever: Sug­us can­dies! OMG, I was in heav­en! None of the Asian super­mar­kets I’ve been to in Ontario car­ried those. I wish I’d had the fore­sight to stock up on the can­dies, but I only picked up one small bag of assort­ed Sug­us can­dies and a sin­gle block of Black Cur­rant-flavoured ones, and they’re all gone now. Sad lla­ma. :(

I can’t think of more sto­ries from the trip. Troy might be able to remind me of some more. Will have to ask him. But for now, this will have to do it.

5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Amaz­ing I just got back from Bali, and I nev­er expect­ed to hear about Nasi Goreng from a west­ern Cana­da Trav­el­er! as a cana­di­an I have salute your trav­els and your adven­tures in food; and you are defi­ant­ly right gado gado and nasi goreng were fix­tures on almost every restau­rant in Bali… they are not Malaysian

  2. Always nice walk­ing down mem­oirs with you, Fir­da. I’ve been doing it since I don’t know exact­ly when but, say, 9 years?
    Van­cou­ver will always have a spe­cial place in my heart. Tor­pe­do meat­balls was always my home base. Instant pick.

  3. Malaysia seems to claim cou­ple things which are belong to Indone­sia. Batik, angk­lung, and recent­ly is using the song called “rasa sayange” which is orig­i­nat­ed in Maluku by the way.

  4. Hey Fir­da!
    Your blog is real­ly worth, i fol­low it since last year. I real­ly enjoy all your texts and, spe­cial­ly, your pics! They are both very nice. Keep up the good work :D
    By the way, i’m from Brazil. :)
    Bye!

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