Sunday, May 29, 2011

Port Angeles - Vancouver

After arriving in Port Angeles on tuesday 24th May, I could pay a visit to James, WF7W or take last the ferry of the day in 30 minutes and go to Canada. I chose for the latter and took the ferry. After arriving in the nice port of Victoria I had to go through the Canadian customs as a `foot passenger`. Even with a bicycle.. The customguy was quite relaxed as he asked me : 'so tell me, what brings you here ?'.. I started telling my previous expierences and soon he told me to stop and placed a stamp in my passport 'Valid for 6 months' so I'll stick around some time longer. Hopefully the next 5 bordercontrols will also have a happy ending.

In Victoria I could go and search for a place to set up the tent again but two day ago Andy, VE7VAW had a QSO with me on 2 meter and invited me to come over. We kept contact by radio and phone and some 10 minutes after clearing customs he bicycled into town to come and 'pick' me up. We cycled to his home in the more residential area near Victoria passing some nice markers nexto the coast as there was the 0-km marker of the TransCanadian Highway 1. Yes, it's kilometers and kg all over again.. Andy proposed to use his guestroom and join for dinner the evening. He is married to Nelly, who was born into PA-land.. She still spoke Dutch so it really was nice to speak it again but now face to face. We saw on TV how the icehockey-team of Vancouver - the 'canucks' won the West coast conference.
The other day Andy took me on the bicycle for a trip through town ; we saw the downtown area, the floatplanes landing in the harbour and met with two friend of Andy to discuss the route to follow after visiting Vancouver. It will depend on the weather .. Afterwards we headed to a shoppingmall to search for a new Canadian SIM-card that was compatible with my EU-HTC phone. To keep a long story short ; in Vancouver I found out that only Rogers Wireless was compatible but only with Edge, sortlike in the US with ATT and T-Mobile.  My Canadian number is +1 778 6689074 and it costs me 0.25 dollar for receiving incoming international calls but no datalimit ;-) Rogers has no coverage North of Lake Superior and in some National Parks.

Back at his house we had a loveley dinner with the family with witloof - inderdaad - and nicely done meat, soup and dessert. One of the more (the most) decent meals I had in a long while.
I was able to listen and talk on 40 meters with the HF-set of Andy and the local BEARS-group had a meeting that evening and a test of their communication where we could go to but there was no time enough to do it all in a orderly fashion.

In the morning I took of again and drove with Andy to the meeting place just North of town where Nelson VE7FTL would go to. He is a local bicycle mobile HAM and proposed to join me and show me how to ride the stretch to Sidney where I would take the - bigger - ferry to Vancouver.
He used a Slim Jim on the back of his foldable bike and a small portable VHF transmitter. We had some coffee on the way and did some talking about the hobby. Nelson is a cartoonist - more work of him is on
We said goodbye some 15 minutes before the boat set sail to Vancouver, rain was pooring down. I reached Vancouver at 7 o`clock in evening and saw two orcas during the boattrip ! There is snow on the mountains surrounding Vancouver at about 1 km up..
There was bicycle transport in a tunnel just before Vancouver where three other bikers joined me in the little bus. It was for free.
Cycling was quite easy in the city of Vancouver since it had some seperate bicyclelanes.

I booked for 4 nights into the local Downtown Youthhostel but only used 3 since I'm ready to leave on sundaymorning the 29th. May.
Nice hostel just out of the citycentre. Lots of young people around and some other bikers, talked with Polish, Canadian, French, US, Turkish, Swedish and German boys/girls. I did my third shaving in more than a month now and I'm really getting grey now..

I did some sightseeing in the city on foot and on bicycle.
You can see the route of the trip on the APRS-page.
The city-center is very crowded and modern/clean looking but rather expesive. I bought some Cannondale legwarmers (extendible cyclepants) since it is still snowing on my route up North and a longer USB cable for the HTC.
I went out on fridaynight to take in some calories in the local Irish pub and had some Guiness's before I went to the cinema.
Here the movie 'Hanna' was shown, vy nice movie and very recomendable watch the trailer here .
The filmmusic was written by The Chemical Brothers.
The movie will not be released before 6 Juli in .be
The city center of Vancouver at midnight looked and felt very different than during rushour ;-)

I had some 3 QSO's on 2 meter in Vancouver - a city of some 3 million inhabitants and more than 20 repeaters in an area of 10 miles wide.. I called on al of them and only 3 came back during 3 days .. not too much activity if you asked me. I'm ready all the way to go up to Kamloops and thereafter I decide if I go on to Jasper or divert directly to Banff. Right now the flux is going up to 101 again so ..

I'll try to do 40 meters here in the evening from 04 to 05 UTC on 7177 kc if all goes well and 20 meters 14306 if flux is above 120 from 05 to 06 UTC.