Wednesday, 3 August 2011

into the wild

Just a short post to say it will be my last for two-three weeks! We're setting off on Friday, and as we're camping the whole way and camping whilst we're (even more) north there's not much point me having my laptop and it's heavy, so I'm mailing it to Mick's cousin in Vancouver to pick up before I go home!
It's a glorious day, I cannot explain to you fully enough - nor can I show you, because I'm using a cafe's wifi and it's painfully slow and I do not feel like sitting here for an hour uploading pictures! I imagine I'll just have a massive Yukon photo dump when I get home... 
So, Friday. I am so excited, yet so nervous! I've been doing my usual excessive list-making and getting stressed out to the point where afternoon naps have become a normal thing because my brain's too tired! I really just want the day to come and to just go, this waiting is making me mad! I'm trying to keep in mind that it doesn't matter how much preparation I do or how much I buy, I am still going to be underprepared so trying not to get to crazy about it! It's going to be such a challenge, the highlight of my trip I am sure! 
I'm not sure what else to say really except wish us luck and I will talk to you guys soon! 

Monday, 1 August 2011

Top Image I didn't take! From
A map of Canada, because I felt it was about time you lot saw how bloody big it is! Also nice for you guys to have an idea of how bloody north I am aha!
Also a map of Yukon itself, so you can see where I will be travelling and the river I'm canoeing on!

So after a brutal 3 day journey, we are finally here in Whitehorse, Yukon! Well actually we arrived at 3am yesterday, but as the hostel didn't open 'til 8 we had to sit in Tim Hortons freezing our arses off and looking like absolute hobo's (it was cold so I was wearing a raggy old tuque of Mick's and wrapped in a grey blanket that we found for $4 in Zellers, that under the ingredients list says '50% polyester, 50% unidentified material). Because of the way our layovers worked, we hadn't really slept for the whole journey, and when we had it was that travelling-kind-of sleep - you know the kind where your cramped and you wake up and roll off the seat because the bus has jerked or some babies crying or you're dribbling on the person next to you etc etc... Mick's dad has so many air miles so we used those to get a flight from Toronto to Edmonton, the equivalent of a three day bus journey that we were originally going to endure, but that left at 6.30am meaning that we had to leave Peterborough at 3 so didn't sleep that night! The flight to Edmonton's four hours but because of the time difference it meant that we arrived there at 8.30am, well effectively 10am once you take in the typical flight delay! We then had a layover in Edmonton until midnight that day, which was spent drinking coffee, eating obviously-a-drug-front chinese food, then more coffee. Had had quite a lovely time on the bus despite the lack of sleep - for the most part Mick and I were sat right at the front so could see everything. Except, there was nothing... in terms of civilisation! We've been told that Yukon really is 'wild' but you don't really understand how much so until you get there, I don't think. We drove on the Alaska highway, a road which by English standards would definitely not be called a highway, which was so up and down and round the bend I thought we might just die a few times. Not to mention the bus driver was a bit mental... Absolutely loved the guy though! He was an Essex boy! Couldn't tell from his accent because he was also black so had that wonderful immigrant English going on, but he drove rather fast and at one point, on the wrong side of the road. I'm not kidding! He almost ran over a sheep and drove off the cliff, such quality. SAW SO MUCH WILDLIFE THOUGH. I SAW LIKE FIVE BEARS AND THE MOOOOOSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cannot tell you how excited I was to see the moose. The driver was looking out for them for me and told me that I was very lucky to have seen that many and I should travel with him more often (: Absolutely wonderful.

But we're here, alive. And so so so stoked on life I do not know how to explain! We're staying in a hostel called Beez Kneez downtown, owned by a friendly lady called Nancy. She's rather funny, she does everything herself so often is running round with piles of bedcovers but always has time to pop into the room to make us all laugh with a story... It's a tiny hostel, smaller than some of my friends houses back home! I much prefer these kind of places to corporate HI's though, they have so much more character! We're staying in a cabin aka glorified shack in the back garden (pictures up at some point!) which has a giaaaant comfy amazing bed in it. I don't want to leave but due to lack of funding tomorrow we're moving to a campsite!

Yukon is a strange place, it really is. I couldn't possibly explain how but you would understand if you were here. We're in the capital city (not really like the others though - there's no high rise buildings, only 25,000 people live here, which is actually 75% of the Yukon's population) and yet we feel like we're right on the edge of the wilderness. I suppose we are, in a sense. We're surrounded by mountains, but it's totally different to Lake Louise. Yes Lake Louise was tinier and isolated still but it wasn't the same - I mean a city was two hours away, whereas this is the city! And the people are different. But how could they not be in somewhere so isolated? Apparently they only get weirder the further north you go...

WHICH WE ARE, BY THE WAY. I am hoping I get to tell my dad about my plans before he reads this. Please don't have a heart attack! 
I'm so excited I can barely contain myself. On Thursday Mick and I are setting off on an 8 day canoe trip along the Yukon river, from Carmacks to Dawson City! (See map) For 8 days it's just us and the river, hopefully not a bear. We'll be canoeing all day and then camping at night, wherever we desire. No electricity, no shower, no proper toilet... Such an adventure. I feel like I'm selling it really badly but honestly it'll be the craziest thing I've ever done. I cannot wait for the sense of freedom... It's so strange because I've been wanting to go to Yukon for a while and kayak, and whenever people asked me what my plans were that's what I said, but even as I said it I felt a little bit like it would never happen. The same way when I told because I wanted to go to Canada and live in the mountains near a lake it wouldn't happen either. BUT IT BLOODY IS. kdjas,fndskfhsdjkfhsdkfhsdlalsdjask Isn't it wild? It's so mental. I can't get over it. Got to spend the whole day tomorrow sorting out renting stuff and buying food and dum de dum...

Ah, I'm too excited now to type anymore. Hope you enjoyed the update though! I'm hoping to get another one in before we set off, but if I don't, if you haven't heard off me in two weeks though I've probably died, into-the-wild style, haha! (Probably shouldn't joke about that... oops!)