Nearly fell, nearly fell

Back in Vancouver and the first thing I do is a super impressive fall on Granville St in front of many people. I was striding along trying to balance all my bags and slipped on one of those damn slippery metal grates. It wasn’t so much a fall as a one kneed splits slide for a metre or so cutting my knee in 3 places. Quite painful really! How did I get through a ski season with no injuries only to fall in the city? I think this knee needs some stitches! A very nice man stopped to ask if I was ok (the only person to check!) but as I was on the verge of tears and didn’t want any sympathy or would have lost it…so instead I was quite rude to him, so sorry nice man!

The night improved greatly with a much-anticipated Harry Manx gig at the historic, decadent and plush Vogue Theatre on Granville St. Harry was as always in fine form hypnotising the audience with his famous Harry effect, and joined by the amazing David Lindley they entranced us with that live music magic. Harry is so lovely, always remembers me “Kate from Australia!” and is happy to sign my cd’s. Such a privilege to see him live once again.


Lady luck

Heading back to Vancouver is again another feat in public transport, dodgy un-linking bus and ferry times means a stopover in Nanaimo after all, the place we’ve been trying to avoid and I’m flying solo for the first time in months. Nanaimo’s saving grace was a pretty decent hostel right in town, some cool company and an awesome second-hand bookshop. Here I willed a copy of Tim Winton’s “Cloudstreet” to be there as I’ve been craving a read of it for some time now. As Lady Luck would have it there was a pristine copy waiting for me in a dust jacket cover I don’t have. I’m slowly collecting all the different dust jackets, so far I’m up to about 10. The last one I picked up in a thrift shop in New York.

Brekky is found at Mon Petit Choux Cafe, a pretty little space with marble and gilt topped tables serving a delectable selection of pastries and breads. A star-shaped pastry Danish with Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise and sweet ruby coloured cherries is flavoursome and oh so pretty. I also pick up a tasty Tomato & Parmesan Tart to take with me on the ferry. Dinner was found the night before at Acme Food Co where you can sit up high at the Sushi Bar and watch magic at work. The Leyland Roll of Avocado, Cucumber and Prawns with a Tempura Scallop atop won me over. Can’t wait to hit the Sushi bar’s back in Vancouver, who could get sick of Sushi?

We’re going on a Bear hunt

The sky is a vibrant blue the next morning, just in time for our Bear watch boat tour that has us out on the water for a solid 3.5 hours. Even rugged up to the gills in layers of yellow jackets and red thermals the cold still finds its way in but bumping along the water at high-speed is a fantastic distraction from the cool. We searched the water edges but alas, no bears were to be seen. Plenty of honking, barking, stinky sea lions though! Back at the dock they meet us with Hot Chocolates and a heater to thaw out.

The sun kept on shining all evening beckoning us to plop down and eat our pizza by the water’s edge. Moreish pizza slices made from a delicious hearty dough, it’s crust dusted lightly with sea salt and herbs. Fatty Stewart the cat wandered over for a mooch and cuddle. I’ll be sorry to leave Tofino with it’s delicious bakery Common Loaf, the place to find veggie rolls and White Choc & Cranberry Muffins. Also it’s laid back anything goes beach town vibe, but even sorrier to be saying goodbye to Sarah, my roomie and travel buddy for the past 5 months. I think I could stay a while here if I had more time to play with. It’s like my own Pearl Bay from SeaChange. But where is my Angus/Max/Diver Dan?

To the Island

Getting to Vancouver Island is no easy feat. It involves many buses, ferries, another few buses, a train and a good deal of walking. A simple pop across to the Island requires dedicated, logistical, timed planning. Lucky it’s worth it. Victoria is as described many time over – a mini Vancouver with it’s urban grungy vibe but with more European style buildings and plenty of cobbled laneways leading you to vintage shops and plenty of second-hand bookshops. Nanaimo through the rain covered bus windows looks completely unappealing, a bit of a shit hole really. We stay on the bus as it’s Tofino we really want to get to in search of surf and sand. The hostel is a welcome, friendly relief after a trudge through the rain again with couches scattered about, the fireplace is raging and the big picture windows for spotting migrating whales frame the water which laps right up close. I bump into Anna from my old job at Silver Star which is a lovely surprise. The fog hovers on the water like a blanket and the steady rain brings with it an invitation to relax. I nab the coveted armchair by the corner window and curl up with books and magazines. I gladly hog the chair for the next 4 hours, enjoying the coziness of it all and the fireplaces glow. All that’s missing is a brown cat or 2. Relax, you’re on Island time now.

Not so wet coast

Vancouver and the city is in fine form.  The rain has been banished and outside is a glorious spring day. The apple tree blossoms are in full bloom like giant spokes of sugar pink fairy floss with their transparent, delicate papery petals showering the streets. Granville Island Market is calling. We catch a little toy style wooden boat across the harbour and the water is calm and clear. With the sun on my face, suddenly I feel like I’m on holidays again. The market is a jumping, busy hive of activity. I want to clap my hands in happiness. A total sensory feast! A Mini Key Lime Tart eaten outside in the sunshine starts the morning then it’s back inside to pick up a loaf of French sourdough from Terra Breads before heading over to grab a wedge of Baked Ricotta marinated in Paprika, Garlic, Herbs and Oil to go with our bread. Fish ‘n’ Chips for lunch sees us happy and full and fighting off the seagulls who I swear are on steroids, they are enormous! For dessert it’s back to Terra Breads where it’s gotta be a Cranberry and Maple Tart. And that’ll do, time for a food coma nap.


Who doesn’t love a free night (or 2 in my case), in a 4 star hotel? Just before work ended for the season the hotel I worked for gave us all a comp night. Thank you muchly work! 2 big bedrooms, fireplace, huge kitchen and a hot tub to soak in were ours to enjoy, a small step up from hostel life. The girls certainly didn’t complain as they came and crashed it but were under strict instructions not to sit in “my” chair, a divine leather armchair right by the window. I bribed them with food.

Get yer book here

Couldn’t pack these! So I read them and left them instead.

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