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.

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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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