I’ve had a lazy day today after the last few days travelling. There were various jobs that needed doing before heading off to Peru at the weekend. I started by paying for the hostel and recovering my passport, had breakfast and then headed off in to the city in search of the British Consulate. I hadn’t had chance to get an international driving permit before I left the UK, too many festivals and problems with motorbikes got in the way, so I hope that somehow I may be able to get one here. Not at the consulate though because that is only open a few times a week and today isn’t one of them, not only that but they only deal with a very limited range of things and driving licences wasn’t listed.
After being disappointed at the consulate I spent the day wandering round Vancouver, a city that most visitors like. It has its share of tall buildings and plenty of people but for me has a really nice feel. I’m not a fan of London having grown up in a village in the midlands and spent most of my life in small towns or villages in the north of England I find London overpowering. Vancouver somehow isn’t the same.
In my wanderings I went down Hastings Street to the waterside looking over Stanley Park and the harbour. I walked along the front reading the tourist information notices that expained some aspects of the history of Vancouver. At Canada Place, the wharf where the cruise ships berth, there was only one in today one of the Holland-America Lines ships the Westerdam. It was a big ship with probably a few thousand passengers and there were coaches waiting at the kerb to take them on excursions.
I joined a few of them in the tourist information office, my request was different from theirs where is there to go that doesn’t cost much and I can get to by public transport. I was given a map with some ideas but the woman lost interest at the mention of lack of money. I headed round the corner to a coffee shop and had a latte before heading up in to town to find some galleries and museums. The Gallery was expensive so I looked in the shop then headed to the library where they had a collection of photographs from early in the 20th century. I also tried to find books on Autogyros for my next project in my mid-life saga, the library building is quite new but the contents are in the process of being reorganised and lots of the stock was in temporary wooden units so I ended up having to use one of the information phones and an assistant came to help.
At lunch time I went to a shop on the other side of the library mall and on the way back I was accosted by a woman with a party of young people, all of the group including the woman were all deaf and wanted me to take a picture of them. It turned out to be great opportunity to revisit some of the sign language that I had learnt years ago, much of which I have forgotten. Though most of the cameras were easy to use one girl wanted a picture on her phone and it took lots of attempts to get it. It was chance for a good laugh and I think that all of us (with the exception of the typically sullen teenage boy) enjoyed the interaction.
I spent the afternoon reading a book about a pilot of seaplanes who had flown in Alaska and the Puget Sound. He had started life as a journalist but grew tired and took up flying as an alternative.
This evening I had the hostel daily special which was meatballs and pasta and a local beer called “Angry Scotch”.