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I love my life! Taking my time, soaking in the sights and always taking the road less traveled.

Hitch hiking?

CANADA | Friday, 1 June 2012 | Views [1424] | Comments [1]

As I count down the days until Summer camp, I'm looking for different way to fill my days. After hanging out in Nanaimo for a day, appreciating the time to myself. On Wednesday, I got myself up early, routinely packed up my bags and squeezed all the food I had into every nook and cranny. 


I decided to give hitchhiking a go. It's been drummed into me how safe and easy it is in Canada, more so on Vancouver Island. So how to would it take me to get a ride, or rides from Nanaimo to Tofino? I caught a bus with all my bags from the hostel in Nanaimo, to the beginning of the highway heading North. From here, I plopped my bags on the ground, not knowing how long it would take to get someone to pull over. I had chosen a spot right next to the traffic lights so I could stare all the commuters in the eyes as I flopped and waved my sign around in the air above my head and beamed a big, cheesy grin. I started at 10:06am and at 10:09am, my first ride. BAM! Doesn't get any better. A gardener in a beat up old red box pulled over and told me to hop in. She was only going 30kms or so in the direction that I was heading, but it was a start! 

She dropped me off by the side of the road, I got myself set up at a nice little spot, easy to pull over and started waving my sign at every car that sped by. Within 3 minutes, BAM! A van pulled over. No, the lady behind the wheel didn't offer my any candy to get into the van, but asked if I needed a ride to Tofino. I threw my stuff in the back and away we went! Calli was pretty cool. Big on her cars and reggae, we made a few stops along the way and eventually we arrived in Tofino at approximately 2:30pm. She dropped me off at the hostel, and from there, things only got better!

My doppelganger - Pee Wee! 

The hostel was fully booked, woopsie. BUT, the dude behind the desk told me I could sleep in the games room (where the pool table and foosball was) for only $22/night. The normal rate for a dorm is about $36/night. I booked two nights, games room that night and the dorm the next evening. I was bunking with a French fella named Baptiste who has hitch hiked all the way from Montreal to the island, super cool! We hung out for a bit, smashing the foosball table whilst the rain poured down. 

I had come back to Tofino because last time I was here, things were to rushed due to some unforeseen Germans going crazy. I was surprised when the very same crazy German walked in about 30 minutes after I had checked in... Super! I can not escape! Half the hostel that was in Victoria the week earlier was in the same hostel in Tofino. It didn't matter though, I had made a handful of new pals and that evening we decided to head to the only pub in town. It also happened to be old mate Eike's birthday. I met Eike and Max two months ago in Victoria when I first started to hit up the hostels, and we've kept in contact since. These two wicked-cool Germans have been hanging in Tofino for the past two months, working as dishwashers and loving the beach life. 

First time round in Victoria

Second time around in Tofino!

The pub was jam packed. It seems that everyone in the town swarms there to have a few drinks and take part in some awful karaoke. I hung around with some guys from the hostel, sung a few songs and then left rather early. 

There were no plans on Thursday morning, I got up, had my super cereal breakfast and bumped into Baptiste. We had slept in the cold games room with Silvan, from Switzerland. Baptiste and I wanted to explore, and what better way than on a bike!

We met up with Silvan and another French fella named Tobine and together the four of us got our basic fixie bikes, I demanded the one with at least 3 gears, and rode out of town. Where to first? Of course the WW2 place crash.

Seeing things a second time round really isn't that bad. I've found that a lot my trip thus far has had repeated offences. I've been back and forth through many of the same cities, visited many of the same sites more than once and even met up with the same friends, again and again! The first time is always great, but usually the second time is better!

Climbing through the swamps

It was more of a challenge to get there this time, due to all the rain. Last time was a bit to rushed, and it was really great to take it all in this time.

Lunch on a WW2 bomber!

We continued on, down towards Long Beach and (unknowingly) locked our bikes up in a little Indian reserve, where I believe it is almost considered  trespassing. Because after exploring Long Beach for a bit, we came back and one of the bikes had been nicked! This sucked, it turned out to be Silvans, but we stuck together and the hire company drove out another bike. Tobine continued on, while myself, Baptiste and Silvan rode back to town. We got back at about 4:30pm, 6 hours of riding and hiking. AWESOME!

Baptiste and I had agreed on having a chilled out evening, kicking ass on the foosball table, which we had both become quite addicted too. A cool gal named Sammy invited us to a bonfire that was happening on the beach at 6:30pm, we were going to pass, but then old mate Max swung by the hostel (he had told me the night prior, but I had kind of forgotten). So we ended up on the beach with half of the hostel (not really) but there was a few of us, with our pitiful fire.

Good bunch of folk, with delicious marshmellows, courtesy of team Holland!

Myself and Baptiste left at around 8:30pm, hit up the sauna in the hostel with half a dozen other folk and just relaxed there. It was a relaxing way to end an exhausting day. 

A super cool scientist girl named Theraesa was heading towards Nanaimo today, and I ended up catching a ride with her. We stopped off for lunch in Port Alberni where she caught up with some more scientist friends, I felt like I was on set of the Big Bang Theory. 

Alas, I am in Nanaimo, again. It's funny, 2 months ago I thought the place sucked, but now it is what I am looking for. Just time to chill out before camp. Also, when I caught a ride with Sammy from Victoria to Nanaimo a few days ago, I left my bag full of cables in her car (camera charger, etc..) so I am hoping to meet up with her tomorrow or Sunday and head back to Victoria with her. AND today I left my favourite bottle in Theresa's car. Oh what is happening to me! 

It just past 7pm now, I think I will head back to the hostel now. The Starbucks lady just asked me if I've purchased anything, of course not!

Tags: bonfire, germans, hitch hiking, nanaimo, pee wee herman, tofino, ww2 bomber



hahaha just imagining you on the side of a road waving around with that sign

  Stink Jun 7, 2012 12:35 AM



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