Foggy monsters

Dear future me,

Proud owner of a new rear tire and a hole in my wallet, I continued my journey to Victoria. Still on Vancouver Island, I had to go cross country to get there. Not that it is on the other side of the island, but why bother doing 110 km on a straight highway if you can do 240 km on a narrow winding forest road .That’s motorcycle logic! Just before I took this little detour, I came through Chemainus. This little town is famous for its murals (wall paintings) and it’s a true magnet for many tourist. The funny thing is that they actually invented the murals to become a tourist attraction, so the town could reflourish after it couldn’t live of the land anymore. I think that’s just brilliant. A few hundred kilometers further they seem to manage well in living of the land, because I found myself in the midst of the lumber industry. Although I understand that we need timber so we can eat Satay or pick our teeth, it still makes me a little sad to see those warzones in the midst of an otherwise beautiful island. Thankfully, these dark thoughts vanished as snow in bright sunlight, when I entered an almost treefree area: yep, the city. I must say, Victoria does have a lot of trees and it has a very pleasant vibrant feeling. I just enjoyed walking around and visiting the fabulous museum where I got distracted for hours by an exposition that had nothing to do with Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada or even North America whatsoever! This wise nennie knows everything now about the first race to the South Pole, where the brutal but down to earth Norwegian ‘won’ and the adventurous and considerate Englishman lost his live. The exposition was so interesting that I had to sprint (literately) through the rest of the floors. Here I was one minute running through ancient Chinatown in the museum, the next I found myself outside in the real life streets of Chinatown. I suddenly craved for Chinese food, I don’t really know why. All this running did make me very tired though, so instead of participating in the Victoria Marathon on Sunday, I decided just to watch other people being very miserable after 42-plus km of torture.

Did I mention that the sun finally made its comeback and that I experienced a unusual nice Indian Fall (does this even exist?). It made me wonder how I could appreciate the island from a birds view. Especially with the snowy mountains shining as pearls on the horizons. So I tried to join a scenic flight in a floatplane, but people seemed more interested in keeping their feet on the ground than to fly as a bird. So I had to move to Vancouver to try my luck over there. Still, no flights available. There was nothing else left to do than to join the others and use my feet too. I could have taken a bike, but hey, I’m Dutch. I’m only biking in Holland (where it’s perfectly flat). I saw other people making the most of their field experience on two wheels, while I was a happy camper walking around Stanley Park. Floatplanes where flying all over the place, but so far I hadn’t got a call yet for my tour. Or the other day. But I didn’t mind too much, I was far too busy exploring the sunny and ugly sides of Vancouver. This city reminds me a lot of old student areas in Leiden, Holland. Yuppie neighborhoods, where you feel a mixture of unlimited liveliness and safety. Sure, I felt the liveliness around Chinatown as well, except in a total different way. This was the first time I didn’t feel safe. Not because it was unsafe, the people were harmless, but it reminded me of the old days of perron zero in Rotterdam. A zone where everybody seems to be addicted and homeless. I hadn’t seen that for a while in a western country. Together with the endless traffic, high buildings and the absolute anonymity in a big city, I just wanted to escape this crazy world.

Just when I was ready to leave Vancouver behind, I got the call. Or actually the e-mail, since my phone doesn’t work in Canada. It was almost as it was a sign for little foggy monsters to start harassing me and make my brains malfunction. First of all, it was the most beautiful day you could ever wish for. But just that day I decided not to check my e-mail, because I was busy moving to Abbotsford to see Faye and Stan, a lovely couple that I met on the road and who invited me to their home. And I was busy talking to a German woman, who just finished her one year motorbike adventure from South America. She never biked outside Germany before, she fell on her first dirtroad, broke something in her arm, rehabilitated and just went on. Wow, she is a very brave woman. So while I was saying goodbye to her, I got this e-mail. The scenic flight would leave in twenty minutes. What to do?? Well, once I crossed the Hague in ten minutes to get to a theater play, so sure I could get to the harbor in twenty, fifteen, ten, no five minutes. Yeah, right! The floatplane was already in the air when I arrived. Hugely disappointed, I was very happy to hear that there would be another flight in the morning. I was less happy when I found out that Abbotsford was more than an hour drive from the harbor.

So the next morning, I got up very early to brave myself through the morning traffic in Vancouver. Sure I was on time, but why couldn’t I see anything? I guess the fog must have had some part in it. Still, my flight would take off and yes, finally, there I was, high in the sky! It took less than 10 minutes for us to return to the harbor as the fog was getting thicker and thicker and there was absolutely nothing to see. Disillusioned, I drove back for another hour, only to discover that my speedometer cable came loose again. A fresh nennie would look on Youtube to see how to easy it is to fix this problem, however, a nennie with ugly little foggy trolls on her head thinks she has to take the whole bike apart. Where it should have been a very pleasant day at White Rock, the place Faye and Stan would have wanted to take me for the afternoon, Stan and I were sweating over some bolts which didn’t want to leave their safe environment and held on to their nuts for life. After many hours of hard labor, we did end up with the bolts in our hands, only to discover that we didn’t had to remove them in the first place. We left the putting-it-back-together-labor for the next day.

Sometimes the foggy monsters did get scared and jumped away, especially when food was served. Faye turned out to be a queen in her kitchen and she served me all kinds of delicious Dutch food. I felt I was home and dreaded the day I had to leave. In this the trolls sort of gave me a helping hand by making the putting-it-back-together-thing another gruesome activity. By the time we were finished, it was too late for me to cross the border and leave for Seattle. So I could enjoy the nice company for yet another day. How was I to know that the trolls were having fun in their game and came up with another trick. The day I finally crossed over to the States, they made me wait for 3,5 hours in agony at the border as I was not sure if they would grant me an extension. The custom agent however, looked deep into my blue, ehh, green eyes and decided I was worth it. While my butterfly molecules were jumping up and down with joy, my brain molecules suddenly realized that I left my back protection in Abbotsford. I couldn’t go back and it never occurred to me that I could just make a phone call. Instead I had lunch with Faye and Stan again, because the next day they agreed to meet me half way (which means a one and a half hour drive for them). This time I felt I really needed to let go of my guardians Faye and Stan and deal with the foggy trolls that were bugging me for the last days. So that night I went out for monster hunting with some friends in Seattle. The others thought they were just hitting zombies with their paintball guns, but I know better. Since that night I haven’t seen or felt the monsters anymore. The fog has cleared, the sun is out and I am on my way to the warmer weather in Oregon. 

SYL,

Annemieke, 22 October

Reacties 3

Rian 23-10-2013 12:44

Wauw!! Alweer gaaf allemaal hoor! En tof te lezen over die motorcycle-logic!! Gelukkig maar, anders (her)ken ik je straks niet meer...hahaha

groetjes Rian

Joris 24-10-2013 20:59

Yes, eindelijk Oregon! Ga naar Bend, mooie route ook en dan feesten in www.mcmenamins.com
Grtz!

Harrie 24-10-2013 21:44

Mooi verhaal en inderdaad motor logica . Het gaat je goed af, goede reis veder en veel plezier . Hoop wel dat je goed weer blijft houden.
Groetjes Harrie

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