Nov. 10th When we arrive in Vancouver, we are completely exhausted, after 3 very short nights in the night bus to cross Japan, the airport of Tokyo-Narita and a couple of hours of sleep in the plane... But still, we don't really feel tired but rather excited to be in a new country, especially Canada !!We know absolutely nothing about Vancouver and the area. But through the windows of the plane we saw a beautifull mix of ocean and forests, and high mountains whitened with fresh snow... Compared to Japan where most of the days were very warm, here it seems to be already Winter !!! Plus, during our flight, we listened delightfully to the waitresses speaking "québéquois"... We had even forgotten that Canada was bilingual ! On our very first day in Vancouver, after walking in the large streets full of organic food shops of Kitsilano, or along football fields, when we arrive on Jericho Beach, we are treated with a magnificent moon rise above the high buildings of downtown, lighting even the snowy mountains and the ocean. In this chilly night, it feels real good to be in Canada !

The side-car won't arrive in Vancouver before 3 weeks, so untill then we can't camp. After counting again how much money we got left, given the price of a night in a hostel... Oups !! Hardly enough to stay here 3 weeks!!! So, the first urgency is to find a work. But we don't know anybody here... We try to gather information here and there, but eventually, a french baker gives us the phone number of his contractor who might need help. And the next day, Laurent begins to work as a painter. That's already a relief !

But Whistler, Canada's biggest ski resort, is only 2 hours away... We can't resist its call, all the more since with all our experience, we are sure to find work there for both of us. And indeed, finding a job in no problem, what is difficult is to find a place to stay. We end up agreeing on sharing a house with 3 other people in Brackendale, 45 minutes away from Whistler. But on the day to move in, the 3 others have suddenly "changed their minds" at the very last minute, and we are left alone to rent this big house... At least the landlords, our neighbours, who emigrated 40 years ago pennyless from east Germany, are very helpfull and trusting, they lend us furniture, blankets, and even bring us wood for the chimney.
Just a few days after moving in, there's 2 feet of snow on the ground, and we drive back the sidecar from the harbour of Vancouver on the snow-covered highway. After all our registration troubles in Japan, we had taken the precaution to go and ask several times about what we would have to do in Canada. But when we actually go to make this "6-months tourist registration and insurance", now nobody wants to do it anymore ! The ICBC and the Customs argue on the phone for an hour, each one standing on its positions... To tell us in the end that the maximum that we can get is a 20 days transit registration. But we had planned a world tour...! So, we have no choice but to hitch-hike every day to Whistler, where we're both working as housekeepers in luxurious mansions and condos, until we can get a proper registration for our bike. We spend our first Christmas eating french chocolates around the fireplace, thinking of all the family on the other side of the ocean...

March 01 The first signs of spring are coming... and it's our last month of work in Whistler. Soon we'll be cruising again... After the cold winter and a lot of incertitudes about the registration of the bike, the money that we have to spare for the rest of the trip, and the tiring hitch-hiking everyday, we enjoy now the relaxed athmosphere at work, and also a good Kokanee (BC's "glacier" beer) at a Café while watching the skiers coming back from their day of ski. We also have recently received our snowboards from France, and on our days off, it's our turn to play on the mountain! It's really good to see Whistler from the top and enjoy some of its world famous powder snow...

March 31thToday we are leaving : Even though we have sent back and given away a lot of stuff, we wonder how on earth all that is going to hold on the sidecar...? And during this 4 month hibernation, we have nearly forgotten everything : where did we put this bag, and how did it stay there...?!!

Moon rise above Vancouver
Arriving in Downtown Vancouver
First snows in Squamish
Hitch-hiking to work...
Whistler-village early in the morning
Begining of spring
Laurent on the Blackcomb glacier
Japan Canada 2