Friday, 11 June 2010

Park Life

MP3 track of the day - Park Life - Blur

Weather: sunny and cloudy to start with, however clearing late afternoon to be perfect (Just like the BBC weather said).

My first job today was to extend my stay here at this hostel for a further three days; there is lots to do here and I liked the hostel. However when the woman said that it was $26.25 a night I queried this as I had paid $20.00 previously on ''. She seemed to get a little 'upperty' but accepted the amount and booked me in. She was nice to me when I arrived so I hope I didn't upset her ... still we are talking about $18.75 here and I'm on a budget. I then booked my hostel in Seattle and emailed them to see if they had any information about me being able to catch a baseball (rounders) game whilst I'm visiting.

I headed out early towards Stanley Park; now it appears that the harder you try to save money, the more you spend. Firstly I had to get some cash out of the bank (missing that pendulum again) and then I realised I didn't have any change. I had gone passed loads of corner shops that I could have purchased a cheap bottle of pop in, however I though I would wait until I had located my bus stop to the park, as there was bound to be a cheap newsagents there ... no. There was a bakery thing and they charged me $2.35 for a bottle of pop (it must be the most expensive bottle of pop in the world!) however I now had change for the bus and so I hopped on ... $5.00 already spent.

My first objective was to walk around the whole of Stanley Park; this was no mean feat as the 'riverside path' was round 10km long. During my walk I took a few photos, eat chocolate and actually, towards the end, got lost and ended up on 'English Bay Beach' (which was very nice, just not where I wanted to be).

Once back where I had started I then hunted for food. Now my original plan was to stop at one of the many 'hot dog' stalls along the riverside path and pay around $5.00 for lunch; however there weren't any, not one, zip ... nothing. I therefore found a map and tried to located eating places, however I only found four restaurants marked. I decided to give a the 'Bar and Grill' a whirl as I was pretty hungry by now and it was the closest.

Looking at the prices within the restaurant my face dropped; it looked like I wasn't got to get much change out of a $20.00 note, but what choice did I have ... walk the 40 minutes back into town ... I don't think so. I therefore sat down and ordered the 'Angus burger with bacon and cheese' with fries on the side ... oh and a coke.

Actually it was really good; the burger was a proper burger with bacon, cheese and lettuce. Still I was right and it cost me $20.00. I therefore decided that after this big lunch, I would have a snack for tea and re-coupe some cash ($25.00 spent).

After a 5 minute walk I went passed the aquarium I am going to visit tomorrow only to find a 'hot dog' stand there as well .... nooooooo! My 'ying' and my 'yang' must be waay out of kilter. Anyway I decided to put this down to experience and to remember the 'hot dog' stand for tomorrow.

It was early afternoon and I decided now to concentrate on the inner parts of the park. I had done the riverside path and to be honest, it wasn't really worth it ... no great views to be had. I therefore went in search for the 'totem-pole free exhibition' where I took a few photos and tried to pick out the features taught to me at my lecture yesterday at the university. I then headed into the park to walk around some of the biggest 'red wood' trees within the park (they are huge) before heading to Beaver Lake.

Funnily enough I didn't see any beavers, however I did see a few racoon's and some ducklings. I also met a Scottish couple and a couple from Northumbria; both were very pleasant even if they weren't from the midlands!

The day was getting on and I had covered allot of Stanley Park; I therefore decided to walk back into downtown Vancouver along the waterfront. Now my impression of Vancouver, up until now, was that it was pretty grim with loads and loads of homeless people (they are everywhere ... one asked me for my half drunken bottle of pop ... what the most expensive bottle of pop in the world ... no way) everywhere. Also the public transport here is run by electricity (very commendable) which means that there are cables in the sky over every road (making nice photos of the city impossible). However I had now found a very pleasant part of the city (be it quite small) and so I walked along the harbour front and took some photos (the harbour front still isn't as nice as Halifax's).

Finally I went to the store I got the wicked deal on chocolate yesterday to purchase more breakfast bars (as I had run out) and tea for tonight. This lot cost me round $6.00 and, as a bonus, there was a 'Coke' van outside handing out free bottles of promotional Coke ('ying and 'yang' back on form) and so I got one.

Back at the hostel I turned on my netbook to update my blog, upload my photos etc only to find that 'Mr Gates' and 'Mr Norton' had other plans. After 3 hours of the 'hour glass thing', restarting and generally shouting 'work you &*£$"!' the netbook is finally working correctly. Therefore I'm sorry if this blog seems a little rushed as it's getting late, stuff to do and I've got a oriental chatting into my ear about something.

Toodle Pip

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