Hey there little birds!

Week 9, where should we even start? That week was an intense cocktail of emotions, adrenaline and unexpected events.

Our Chevy packed with clean clothes and fresh picked apricots and cherries, we waved goodbye to our lovely hosts in Penticton, British Columbia, and set our GPS* to Peachland, British Columbia, where we ventured on the highest ziplines in North America. More than the thrill of it, the views were absolutely stunning.

After swinging from, and to, each side of the canyons, we came back on solid ground - but only for a short time. A few hundred kilometers later we put Chevy on a ferry and crossed over to Vancouver island.

Our idea was to drive clockwise around the island. The first part to Victoria, the main city, went very smooth: beautiful and very tranquil. But just like the calm before the storm, the second half did not fail to bring back the thrills. We spent the whole day driving through impossible dirt roads, holding our breath more times than we could count, going over tiny wooden bridges and steep uphill curves. Our dear friend Google Maps** was a little confused guiding us to Pacific Rim National Park - to the point that we had to give up and follow our guts, just like Christopher Columbus.

As the sky was getting darker and our guts weaker, we decided to settle for the night and pursue the adventure in the morning. Over there, in the middle of the jungle and against any odds, we found the most perfect camping spot right by a lake. As the sun rose over the beautiful landscape, we catched a glimpse of cellular service to realize we had landed in the middle of the island - exactly the opposite of our original plan of going along the coast...

Anyhow - a few hours later and our van looking like we had crossed the Sahara, we made it to Bamfield, a tiny fishing village reachable mainly by the water (go figure!). We took a break from pretending we had a 4 wheels drive on the dirt roads and jumped on a water taxi to go explore the beaches and even further isolated corners. Even if it wasn’t exactly our original plan, it had some kind of magic being in the absolute wild, and just enjoy the unexpected turn of event that made discovering this place so unique.

We then continued our expedition around the island and reached Tofino, a little hidden, yet touristic village full of charm. We had been told kayaks were the best way to visit the islands around, but unfortunately (!) we found an hydroplane tour before we could even make it to the kayak rentals... so... We changed our minds like puppies on a tennis court***

As we were almost getting used to being up in the air, we decided to go bungee jumping the next day - a first experience for both of us. We had agreed to « touch the water », so the guys in charge of the jumping station thought it was hilarious to dip us deep into the water to our waist, just like dipping chips in salsa. And as if that wasn’t enough, it made us both lose our t-shirts and swing under the bridge in our bras!

Oh well, at least some people enjoyed the show...

That evening we took the ferry back to Vancouver and met up with Elo’s family. Chris, Elo’s cousin, took us to his friends house party. We had so much fun socializing (after weeks of entertaining each other) and later on trespassing Chris high school buildings. All the bruises we got the following day were definitely worth the adventure and the time stargazing on illegal ground.

As we were not quite ready to rest yet, we kept the adrenaline rush by going cliff jumping with Chris and his friends. Thankfully we had just gone bungee jumping the day before, so the 17 meters felt like a piece of cake - if an ant would fall of it...

Since Elo had already been a few times to Vancouver, I spent the last day visiting the city on my own while she stayed at home to work. While on the balcony, a bear came to steal the garbage and was sitting 3 metres from her, eating peacefully. Pretty rare incident for the neighbourhood and pretty spectacular for a supposedly restful day!

Phew, what a week! We sure made the best of week 9 and these memories are definitely going to keep sparkles in our eyes for a while.

Vancouver was our last stop in Canada. Up next: crossing the border back into the USA and I’ll tell you guys a big secret ... shhh...

Till later little birds,

Hanna & Elo

*juicy yet highly important detail: our GPS had been stuck with an Indian accent all summer long... or in other words, don’t let Elo be the guide...

**trust issues broke our long term relationship, but we are now on good terms again

***because of all the balls flying around... get itttt...

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