Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Winter Photo

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Job, New Town

A few weeks ago I got a phone call out of the blue from the IT manager at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden asking if I was still interested in a job I had applied for about 3 months ago. Indeed I was, so I made a trip to Golden which is about 150km East of Revelstoke during one of my days off to check it out.

All looked pretty good and I was offered the job, so I gave the required two weeks notice at 7-Eleven and my hostel job. Kinda miss the place and the other staff there, but I don’t miss the crazy work schedule. It’s nice to be back to 40 hr week with a weekend at the end of it!

I stayed at The Dream Catcher hostel in Golden, it’s a new hostel and has been nicely renovated, it’s super nice and the couple running it are really nice people. I also found a good place to live a couple days later about 10mins walk from the center of town. It’s a nice 3 bedroom townhouse, and the owner spends most of his time away so I pretty much have the place to my self!

As for the job, it’s an IT job - systems support and network admin - a little bit of everything. It’s a comfortable size with something like 100-200 users all up. There is a total of four of us in the service and technology team. KHMR seems like a pretty good resort and place to work.

I’ve also managed to phone home a couple times finally too.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Work Work

I was scheduled to have three days off this week, and had hoped to get the camera out and snap a few pics of Revelstoke in general, and make some phone calls home to people.

However, schedules change and it’s going to be another 40 odd hour week at my paid job plus the usual 20 hours at the hostel where I ‘work for stay’.

So some weeks I work near 60 hours over a 7 day period, sounds insane, it probably is, actually yes it is. There are days when I work from 6am - 2pm, sometimes then followed by a double shift at the hostel 3pm - 11pm. I don’t know how I manage to do it, I somehow fit in enough sleep with out going nuts, thou that is questionable :)

Hence why no recent updates here, there isn’t exactly time to do anything interesting.

On the plus side, this arrangement I have found my self is pretty good. One job is where I live, and the other is less than 5 mins walk from here. No travel expenses or living costs apart from eating, this will allow me to save a decent amount for next summer to travel on, which will be good!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Jimi Hendrix Shrine Vancouver




Jimi Hendrix shrine; corner of Main and Union Street, Chinatown Vancouver.

I came across this during my overnight stay in Vancouver last week on my way to Revelstoke. I had the thought to Google this, and was surprised to learn it had been a small restaurant owned by Jimi’s grandmother Norah Hendrix. A young Jimi Hendrix spent summers in Vancouver, and lived in a house near by - read the whole article here.



I’ve officially been somewhere amazing, didn’t even know it. I’m glad I went back to get my camera.

Monday, July 5, 2010

To Revelstoke

I left James and Debbie’s in Victoria yesterday after staying there a couple weeks. Being a Sunday afternoon the bus to Swartz Bay was full, and there were a lot of people on the ferry. The two bendy buses from the Vancouver end to Bridgeport where you meet the Skytrain were jammed full.

Unlike my last ride on the 620 bus when I was going back to Victoria, there were no ‘near misses’ (nearly missed? That doesn’t make sense) with trucks. That driver was insane, the second time he nearly hit the truck he was passing - over double yellow lines onto a yellow median strip. That was extremely close, I was sitting in the back of the bendy bus seeing the rapidly diminishing space between bus and truck as he swerved back in, the other guy in the back seat was like 'faaarrk’ as it happened. Was actually freaky. Feeling that this was reasonably and unnecessarily dangerous I reported the incident on the bus companies website.

Anyhow, I had a 5am start to catch the 6.30am bus so I stayed in a private room at C & N Backpackers 5 mins walk from the Greyhound bus station. I discovered this street lead into Chinatown. Being the evening I went for a wander with the camera and happened across the Vancouver Chinatown Night Market.



I didn’t buy anything here, but I did get five t-shirts with different Vancouver prints on them for $20 from a gift shop, mainly because I needed some t-shirts.

Again the bus from Vancouver to Revelstoke was packed full being the first day of summer holidays. After 9 hours of riding the Greyhound bus I was in Revelstoke.

Tomorrow I start my training on the front desk at the hostel here and will attempt to motivate my self to find another part time job in town so I can start saving some money!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Victoria and around

Got to Victoria about 3 weeks ago after a week in Vancouver. Victoria is on Vancouver Island, and is the provincial capital of British Columbia.

Stuff I did here included having a drink at the Empress Hotel, a tour of Parliament which was quick and interesting followed by a visit to the Royal British Columbia Museum across the street. The museum had displays on aboriginal life pre and post European arrival, which for me not knowing much about them was quite interesting. Finished up with a Victoria cream from Rogers’ Chocolates.

Here’s a picture of the Parliament buildings in Victoria:




More photos of Victoria and around can be found here.

Have been staying with some friends of my Aunty's here, really nice people. Painted the downstairs bedroom over a couple days, it went from light blue to a nice ‘modern brown’ type colour (that’s the best way I can describe it) that matches the rest of the house now, it looks quite good.

I had a job interview on Saturna Island a couple weeks ago at a vineyard. There were several jobs going, three of us got picked up from the ferry terminal in an old Ford F250 which seats four people across the front seat with ease, there were two other guys that rode their bikes to the vineyard. The interview went well then we walked back the ferry terminal. I saw my first snake on the way, it was quite small and harmless. Torie scared it off the road. We then plonked our selves at the pub for the afternoon until the next ferry at 4pm. Had lunch and some drinks, one of the more enjoyable job interviews I’ve had :o)

There is no jug (electric kettle) in the kitchen. Very perplexing when you simply want to make a cup of tea, hot chocolate or God forbid instant coffee. I turned the kitchen inside out twice looking for a jug, I never found one. At first I had trouble believing there was no jug, who doesn’t have one? How can this be? Maybe I should look again in-case I somehow missed it.. Other suggestions offered include microwaving a tea bag in a cup, yes from cold. I said every time someone does that God kills a puppy ;-)

It’s not boiling, merely hot, so tea, you have not!

Coffee pot machines are pretty standard issue like a toaster. Seems silly to goto the effort of loading it, filling it, waiting for it to dribble out one cup of coffee, so I make 3 or 4 cups in it, then proceed to drink them all because it’s there, then suffer from coffee overdose.. As I’m writing this I’m on my second cup.

Left hand drive cars driving on the right hand side of the road seems normal now but did it seem really weird and comical at the same time when I first got here - this is so silly, how can I take this place seriously? I still look the wrong way when crossing the road, and have to check again. Intersections seem like a circus because everything is happening back to front.

In other news, there was an earth quake north of Ottawa last week. Protesters had a fun time trashing and smashing their way around downtown Toronto during the G20 summit there. The Queen is visiting Canada at the moment too, personally I like the Queen and our connection with the commonwealth, it’s good.

A book I recently enjoyed reading was In a Sunburned County by Bill Bryson, I don’t often find books I can read with out getting bored silly, so that’s saying something!

Canada Day was the day before yesterday. I had hoped to go into town and find my self in a pub, but I was shattered from my overnight bus trip back from Revelstoke. This lameness aside, Canadians enjoy their national day with beer, parties, and fireworks displays. It’s good to see them take it seriously and have some fun. Unlike our national embarrassment day..

As for Revelstoke, I went there to see about a job. It’s an 8 to 10 hour ride on the Greyhound bus, I’m glad I had that good book to read. To give you some idea of the distances involved and the size of this country have a look at this:



That’s about the same distance between Wellington and Auckland!

Left Victoria at 7.30am, bus, ferry, bus, skytrain, to Pacific Central station, then left Vancouver at about 2pm, and with a couple of stops for food and 564km later we rolled into Revelstoke at 11.15pm. I then had to walk 30 mins to the hostel, that was after I asked someone in Denny’s for directions because I forgot to work that part of my trip out! Sure made for a very long day. That aside Revelstoke is something like twice the size of Dargaville, except it’s on the main highway and rail line between Calgary and Vancouver, has mountains, a big hydro electric dam, big ski resort and good range of shops, services and places to eat with out feeling touristy. Quite a neat place. Some photos here.

And after three weeks of waiting I received a new charger for my phones from Cellphone Shop today. I had to really economise cellphone use to make it last this long after my charger went 'missing’ in Vancouver. On the plus side I have one charger that will do both my old Nokia 3200 and the new one, so I’m happy with that.

On Sunday I’m going back to Vancouver, staying the night then catching the Greyhound bus to Revelstoke to start a part time job and look for another.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Stanly Park

Stanly Park, Vancouver BC.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Vancouver

Not exactly a lot of I did this, I did that stuff to write about. I was fairly busy with orientation at SWAP and getting stuff sorted out - bank account, cheap mobile phone (no such thing here) and searching for jobs most of last week. I must of applied for 30 or 40.

Weekend was fine and sunny, I got out to Stanley Park for a look. It’s a really nice park with a sea wall walkway right around it and a big forest in the middle. I managed to walk around the eastern end, and back through the middle via Beaver Lake.

Vancouver city is pretty nice, mostly neat and tidy. Like anywhere it has it’s not so good places, such as the eastside tragedy. I didn’t see this for my self, well I ventured into the edge of it when West Hastings street turned into East Hastings street. With-in a couple of blocks it goes from normal downtown type of street to looking a bit rough with homeless people and other scruffy buggers about the place.

The street the hostel is on is slightly amusing, it’s quite normal with small pizza places, bars and other usual stuff all with a slightly trashy theme. What got me are the two, shops advertising 25c peep shows.. right ok! Anyhow my curiosity wasn’t so great I had to find out more hehe. I’m told Granville Street used to be pretty seedy. Since it’s been opened to traffic again it’s improved a lot.

I like the SkyTrain. It’s kind of like the London Underground, except its all new. The trains are fully automated with no drivers. If you sit up front you can look ahead out the front window, and of course down the tunnel when underground which is interesting. Vancouver is also one of the few places in the world that still has a trolley bus network, the buses whiz along with their futuristic electric sound.

Reality is I have only seen a tiny bit of Vancouver’s downtown area.

On the job front I have given up on Vancouver for the moment. I have some ideas about what to do next, but we’ll see :)

I’m all packed up, and heading for Victoria on Vancouver Island to stay with some family friends for a bit.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Getting there..

Left New Zealand at 2pm, 12hrs of not much sleep, 6.30am arrival at LAX. Checking in for the next flight later that day was not enjoyable, then I found my self restricted to one part of the airport once checked in with about 8 hours to burn and very very tired. I wanted to die :)

The United flight to Vancouver was good, smaller plane. There was some kafuffle with the seating, so I got shifted right up the front, that suited me. They were really good about it, and gave me a free drink and nibbles then I nodded off which helped.

Arriving at Vancouver was a nice experience, the airport really is something. Working holiday visa processed no problem. Got on the sky train into town, found my hostel after some confusion and then proceeded to sleeep.

Orientation at SWAP the next day was informative. I got a bank account opened later that day no problem. The customer service at TD was simply amazing.

Booked into the hostel until Wednesday next week. Two of the guys in my room are from my hometown in NZ.. Crazy.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Go Canada!

Note: This used to be on Tumblr, but decided to consolidate a few things into Blogger.



A couple years ago I was walking to work one morning thinking about how I wished I had of made more of my working holiday in the UK a few years ago..

The possibility of doing another one bugged me for a few days… After poking around IEP’s website, Canada jumped out at me! Also spending some time visiting the U.S. seemed pretty exciting.

Various details, hurdles and procrastination aside. This year before I applied for and got a working holiday visa for Canada.

Also a B1/B2 visitors visa for the U.S. This is a requirement when visiting or transiting the U.S. with a working holiday visa for Canada. Turns out this is valid for 10 years, handy!

Destination Vancouver!