21.07.2006 35 °C
finally a chance to update my blog! i'm doing well, my funds are looking a little low but I have no intentions of heading back to work just yet Even if I head back early, i think rather than working for centrelink i'll have it work for me for a while hehehe...
Well, I've been in Canada for over 2 months now but unfortunately will be heading to tokyo tommorrow. Canada has been the most wonderful experience. Its people are so warm and friendly. I really do mean that. The service is unbelievable compared to europe/london and even in australia. Everyones really talkative and fun to be around.
The initial plan was to WWOOF my way accross from vancouver to the east coast (toronto). First stop was the town of Nelson (9 hours drive from vancouver). Was planning to ride there but got sidetracked into a sea kayaking trip with a local outdoor fanatic and a hardcore french climbing/mountaineering. Just saw his ad at the backpackers and he wanted some people to go with him cos it'll be cheaper. How could i pass up on an adventure like this! So off we went to the way backcountry town (population 50?) of Lund. The area we paddled is called Desolation Sound. Its world famous apparently and its just so beautiful. We spent 5 days on the water and carried all the food, tent, and water with us in the kayaks. As I mentioned, these hardcore dudes are hardcore. We did about 7 hours of paddling each day. Just drove me insane especially when we were going against the current. I just tagged along the back and paddled like a mad man trying to keep up. I guess the dragon boating paided off.
Anyways here are some pics.
Florian, the french guy. He studies alavanche engineering or something.
Owen, the local canadian. There are sea lions? or BIG seals in the water sleeping on their backs with fins in the air. Wildlife is adbundant in the area include whales (which we luckily didn't get close to..). Only the seals came close, about 5 meters and constantly trailing behind us. Just curious i guess as there aren't that many people out there.
cold shower under waterfall.. and yes it hurts. I lasted about 2 seconds i think.
attempting to cook brownies.. he's got the whole oven setup and even comes with a bloody themometer!!!!
heaps of OYSTERS!!! ... but there was RED TIDE which is a type of alge infection or something which makes your red and puffed up and does funny things to your immune system. We ate heaps and had double sized fingers the next day...crazy..i stopped eating.
Well, after that little adventure I headed to Nelson to meet Anh and started WWOOFIng. Didn't know what to expect but it turned out to be the most intereting 2 months of my life. As a background, Nelson is the artisic/hippiest/most organic town in Canada. The people here are sooooo different from anywhere! Everyone is a character and has interesting stories to tell. The whole Kootney area (which includes Nelson) has a short but steep history of Indians, Dukoborhs, loggers, miners, hippies, draft dodgers from the US, and immigrants from all over the world. For your information the Dukoborhs(of Russian decent) are the fundamentalist group/sect which stripped naked and burned down their property to protest godless government in Western Canada. Humm... We ended up staying in the Nelson area for the whole time we were in Canada.
Anyways here's the first host family.
Host Ric and Cher. Lovely family. Ric is a physic and does astrology and brain gym. Cher was a former teacher at a Waldorf school (their lucky kids got to go to waldorf!). Which might be why their son who lives with them was living in Japan for i think 3 years as a monk. He's studying accupunture and chinese medicine now. Which minds me, i had accupunture here. Didn't feel much difference as it was just a general tune up apparenlty.
Also as you can see, Ric is a great cook. They are vegetarians and everything they eat is organic. Its expensive to eat organic anywhere but in Nelson, many people are like minded so there are lots of local organic produce which makes it cheaper. Did i mention it tastes heaps better and is better for you than chemicals?
My favorite view from the dinning window.
well as you can see, it was pretty good going as our first place to 'work'... we spent 4-5 hours a day just clearing forest, buring rubbish, tending to their vegetable gardens and some odd jobs.
we built that rock wall, potatoe tower and the retaining wall for that pathway.
this is sierra their dog. they also have a 22 year old cat. Unfortunatley their dog got run over by a truck recently. But around here, everyone has dogs! why!? because it stops bears and kyoties from getting too close.
they took us up to the kootenay glaciers and I saw my first bear...from a car i'm glad to say.
Next place was at Sam and Lyn's place. We call it the 'funny farm' cos things here are different but they are amazing and funny people! They have a huge chunk of land..i think 120 acres as their parents used to run a dairy farm there. They've been together for 15 years but just got married 3 weeks before we started there.
Thats Sam and Lyn. Sam's a logger/surveyor. He basically hikes up mountains all day and comes home tired as hell. But he's got millions of stories about "when i was a young guy...the ocean was only up to my knees....". He also does furniture repairs and staining. Lyn works in a nursury and does glass window part time. They are both into things like Qi Gong healing and are very open to wacky weird stuff like the coral castle in florida and talking to plants and animals and stuff.
took that old truck up the mountains to fetch a load of rocks.. and here's what we built..
a rock wall!
we also built the 5 garden beds...its now growing really well with some vegies ready to eat. Previously it was a meter high grass! took us 2 weeks to dig and build all that stuff.
thats me watching the world cup while they were at work..heheh..just taking a break..
thats me again?! can you see a trend?? its like working at centrelink, but i don't get paid here.
well...sam decided to take us to the radio tower to see nelson from the top of the mountain. we got lost. why? cos the logging roads got deactivated and we spent an hour tromping on snow without knowing where we were going...
but got there...well worth the hike.
here's sam cleaning out his creek water filter. he spent like 30K building this creek waterline like 30 years ago. the water going to his tape from here is soft and delicious!
but....while he was cleaning the filter..i kept on looking around for bears cos it was perfect bear country....perfect place for one to hang around...and surely enough..there's one just meters above us and heading parallel to us!@#$#@
if you look right in the middle of the picture..and a bit to the left, you'll see two eyes..thats the beast which made me piss my pants. It then started going downhill and at that stage I started crapping myself. Bear Tip: make lots of noise..it works.
Next place was in Winlaw, about 40 minutes from nelson. This place was really special...it was INFESTED with mossies! OMG! )#(R$#()@*$R i've still got scares from them!
Anyways, Bonnie and Richard lives here as well as richards mom joyce. They were the first farm to have animals, include a donkey, cow, sheep, geese, laying and meat chickens. Of course its all organically raised and super tasty!
tasks included moving the lawn, fetching eggs, feeding chickens, weeding the garden, waking up at 5.30am! to chase back the stupid cow which jumped the fence (zzzzzzzzzzz), shovling loads and loads of shit from the barn...man that stunk like crazy...and the mossies .... it was really the only time when i thought "why am i doing this..!@?". But looking back on it now, it was quite fun.
here's bonnie. she's a real character! p.s. replace real with weird. heheh..but she's nice.
unfortunately richard is very ill but it was good to help them out for a while.
Tulaberry farm! this place is amazing. Judi and Alex are the most amazing people i've meet in terms of their positive energy and atitude towards everything. They are both former nurses but have gone into semi retirement. But they are real go-getters. Up bright and early and work non-stop till night. Alex works as a contractor in Vancouver and usually isn't around that much so its basically judi running the farm.
They have laying chickens, hundreds and hundreds of meat chickens, a hugh veggie patch, apparently the only certified organic raspberry patch in the province, strawberries, fruit orchard, cows, and an awesome swimming hole!
buckets of strawberries and hiding between the corn.
these are the baby broiler (meat) chickens.
humm...gutting chicken was a whole new experience. didn't know there was so much effort into one chicken. But these organic grain feed free range chickens taste declicious!
thats alex on the right.
the comment is a lie.
Finally we visited bryce and julie-ann's farm. Don't have many pics as they haven't been downloaded/resized...or maybe i'm getting too lazy...
this place is also in Winlaw...land of the mossies! had to sleep with gloves on as well!
view from outside our trailer we were in.
stagnant pond = mossie breeding ground!
reminds me of nepal..ah..
well. thats it for canada..i'm off to tokyo tomorrow and a new adventure awaits. i'm hoping to walk around shikoku island. might take me 2-3 months. but might do some wwoofing until the weather cools down a bit. its summer here in canada and will be too in japan.
until next time..which might be a long time cos my brothers got the camera and laptop and heading to new york.