Sunday, 23 October 2011

A weekend at home

In case you haven't seen 'The Chief'
Some of our weekends at home in Vancouver consist of shopping and cleaning and tending to our ancient Jeep (a full time job in itself); I have no plans to bore with you such activities.  But those 'at home' weekends that take us to new bits of our local area I might do a quick blog on, mainly for my mum. So...

Saturday:  It turns out that Vancouver is situated in a rainforest, stretching from Alaska to northern California.  Which does mean that it gets quite a lot of rain.  Coming from London, we thought this would be water off a duck's back (tee hee) but it turns out London gets 29 inches of rain a year, and Vancouver 43.6 (still less than NYC at 47.2). And when it rains here, it really rains, not that that should put you off visiting, that rain turns to snow on the mountains and the summers are great...

Not our piccie, but check out the gruesome face!
It rained on Saturday but no fear, my book of BC walks has a whole section devoted to such days, so we hiked up alongside the Capilano river to the salmon hatchery and Cleveland Dam.  The hatchery showcases the 'salmonid programme' which rears and releases hundresds of thousands of salmon into the ecosystem every year.  After 1 to 7 years at sea (depending on the species) they fight their way back from the Pacific, up the river then up the very stream in which they were born. The hatchery had glass pannelled one of these streams and we saw the very ugly salmon (they change body shape and colour the closer to home they get) leaping over each obstacle in a bid to mate.  Awesome. 

Sunday was very very sunny, although quite cold.  My bike has been neglected in the rain so I took her out for a big mountain day.  From Marine Drive we headed up Cypress Bowl road to the ski resort which hosted part of the Vancouver Olympics (yes, it was the one without any snow; last month we visited where they trucked it in from).  A solid 15km up hill, climbing 910m.  The uphill was hard.  The downhill was TERRIFYING with my hands aching from the brakes.  I wouldn't say I got hypothermic (now I've experienced that in a Scottish sea loch I can compare) but extremely cold.  But stunning views of Vancouver (mauled by my camera phone) and a 1200 year old tree.  

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