A Travellerspoint blog

Canada

Good bye Canada, hello USA?


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With bittersweet feelings our Canadian road trip comes to an end, just to give space to continue in the USA heading South. Canada is and remains in the middle of our hearts. Beautiful scenery, relaxed and kind people, stunning wildlife and well, somewhat cool weather, let's call it fresh. We enjoyed our time there, well over a 100 days.

When crossing the border to the USA we had some questionmarks. Without a visa (with ESTA) we can stay up to 90 days and we can return to the USA more than one time but leaving to Canada "does not count" as a reset. Our last entry was to Alaska in mid September and before that we had to drive to Delaware due to an earlier mistake with the licence plates (tags) of our car. So we were unsure how well the officers at the US border will welcome us. We also have some historic bad feelings with border crossings. So we were quite tense and hoped for the best knowing that we are not doing anything wrong. I was reading the google reviews of different crossings near Vancouver / Seattle and based on that we chose Lynden, WA, which is a relatively small and less crowded entry point. It was a good decision especially that this route was the shortest to our next overnight stop, a Wagyu cattle farm.

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The first officer we met was very kind, asked the usual questions (from where, to where, how long, etc.) and he asked us to park the trailer a bit further and invited us into the building for the next steps. We did so and there a very upbeat, smiling and kind officer greated us. Asked the same questions but seemingly he was happy for us doing such a cool long tour with the kids. I just started to feel very comfortable when another officer came to us and started to flex his powers. He started a fairly long rant about how dangerous it was from a federal law point that we own the vehicle while not having proper visas and this is a signal to him that we want to establish our life in the USA (which we are not) and so on. Then I mentioned to him the practice of registering boats or airplanes under Delaware companies or running internet companies never visiting Delaware and we agreed to disagree. At this point I was quite sure that we will not be permitted to enter. Finally the kind officer took over the discussion, stopped his upset colleague and started to stamp out passports with the entry stamp. He wished us great travel and they did not even want to see our trailer at all.

So we walked out of the building with a big smile on our face. Such a relief that we can continue our trip as we planned and we do not have to worry about how to leave Canada with our dog and US plated car without entering the US by land. Now we focus on the next steps and plan our drive on the West Coast towards San Francisco.

Posted by divatmotoros 05:16 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Brentwood Bay and Victoria


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It was quite some time ago when we explored Saint John in the beginning of July. We have met a lovely couple there who were also travelling across Canada to visit their families and originally they lived in Vancouver Island. We met twice at the Rockwood Park for a simple reason: they also had a Rhodesian Ridgeback. We went for a walk there, had a lovely chat with them amd before we left Saint John they even gave us a handwritten note woth exciting things to see on our journey to the West. They invited us to visit them once in British Columbia so we contacted them once we got to Vancouver Island. They kindly confirmed that we can stop by to see each other again.

What we thought to be a one night stopover and maybe another nice walk for the two dogs became three days of pampering and fun! Nicky and David were amazing as they waited us with dinner and insisted that we can stay as long as we like and to do some activities together. So we stayed and the next day we drove to Victoria during the day. Although it was raining we enjoyed a walk in the harbour. The vegetation and parks are beautiful.

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We also made a quick detour to a lighthouse and a II. WW site of Fort Rodd Hill Otentik.

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Then in the evening we cooked a traditional Hungarian "gulyásleves" together discussing the differences and similarities of a gulyásleves and a pörkölt (stew). The next morning Nicky prepared her horse so our kids were absolutely excited to ide a horse again (after rare opportunities in the past during our journey).

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We also went for a hike together and especially the two dogs enjoyed running and playing a lot!
How many ridgebacks can you count in the autumn forest?

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We have seen some houses decorated for Halloween already!
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Another highlight was a big bubbly bath for the kids in a large bathtub and another suberb dinner. The dogs enjoyed resting by the fire what is one of the many special skills a ridgeback has!

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All this kindness and friendlyness due to the fact that we had the same breed of dog. As David said with a huge smile: when they first saw us with the ridgeback they knew we can not be that bad of people! There are no words to tell how grateful and happy we are that Nicky and Dave was so open and kind to us! A highlight of ozr travels so far!

After this excellent stopover it was time to leave Vancouver Island and sail back to the mainland to continue South. Our next stop is a cherse factory and then we start the next leg of our travels: heading South.

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Posted by divatmotoros 05:54 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Wild Pacific Trail and Sprout Lake Provincial Park

Amphitrite Point Lighthouse


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We left the really beautiful Bella Pacifica Campground and moved on. First we drove to a lighthouse at the lower end of Vancouver Island, it is called the Amphitrite Point Lighthouse. We had issues with the car on our way at least three times again. We lose power, the yellow wrench icon comes up then we stop. After a restart it runs fine until now. We stopped at a repair shop but they were not able to read the error codes as they were too busy. We plan to continue to Victoria, the capital of Vancouver Island and try to service the car there. As a temp action we bought an STP Cleaning additive and put it into the tank so I hope it can help cleaning the throttle body control. Will see.

The trail leading to the lighthouse was beautiful. There is a rainforest, some rocks and the Pacific Ocean so it is for sure a very powerful mix of nature and landscape.

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Then we almost had our first ticket from a police officer. We stopped in Ucluelet in front of a laundry to have lunch and do the laundry. Right after we finished our lunch (but before our coffee...) a police officer told us it is an improper parking as in this town there is one dedicated RV parking. So we either move or she will give us a ticket or will tow us! Well, I told her we pack up and leave. I started to put the dishes and the coffee into a safe place and closed the slideout, when the police officer came back and urged me a bit. I told her I am working on it and we leave i. 2 minutes. She said she waits for that and watched us leaving in deed.

Then we drove on to Sprout Lake Provincial Park and had the yellow lights twice, but on the last 25 kms the car was running very smooth. i hope the cleaning agent started to do its job. The lake we stopped for the night is also very nice and there are some ancient petroglyphs. The campsite is in winter mode meaning there is no staff on site, you have to fill in a form, put cash into an envelope and drop it into a box. The nightly rate is also much better, it is now 13 CAD while it was 35-50 CAD in other parks in the summer.

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Posted by divatmotoros 03:06 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Bella Pacifica Campground, Tofino, BC


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We spent a few lazy days at the Bella Pacifica Campground. We added a day and we kept doing nothing on the beach. It is amazing to us, coming from a country without a sea. "Just watching the tide roll away". One day it was sunny, the other a bit cloudy and foggy but regardless beautiful. The Pacific Ocean.

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Then we went to Tofino for a walk and we have seen a boat leaving then a small aitcraft landing to the same dock.

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Posted by divatmotoros 04:17 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Cathedral Grove - MacMillan Provincial Park


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Walking in a forest which is over 800 years old is mesmerising. The photos will not tell how it feels to see these behemoth trees, none of you can hug alone. The tallest is over 75 meters high and even the fallen trees are breathtaking. They are huge!

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After our stop at this beautiful forest we headed on to our Pacific Ocean campsite for the following days.

Posted by divatmotoros 18:35 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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