What I Did On My Holidays


Chapter 34

Stanley Park

1/12/99
Day 25

Today was just a stroll in the park. Stanley Park to be exact. The centre of Vancouver is located on a peninsular, with a river to the south, a bay to the north and lots of sea out west. The tip of this peninsular is all park except for the major road running through the middle to a bridge that connects to North Vancouver. So you have this great peaceful parkland with a freeway through the middle. Shame about that.

As well as being physically bisected by the road, this park also suffers from a split personality. Some of it is roads, car parks, kiosks, manicured gardens, mown lawns and stuff, and some of it is just a gravel path through the forest. Forest so thick and rampant that you could almost imagine that you were exploring the wilderness that Canada is famous for. Well, wilderness that has a major road through it. Probably works better for the hearing impaired.


Not bad for a park right next to the centre of the city

By the way, it was raining in Vancouver that day. While this did make for a somewhat colder and damper walk in the park, but it did mean that we had the place pretty much to ourselves. What sort of a weirdo goes walking in the rain?

We had lunch at a restaurant right at the northern tip of the park. We sat watching the bay, North Vancouver with snow capped mountains behind it, guys painting the bridge. All very pleasant. The surprise was the occasional seaplane appearing above the trees and zooming overhead. Not as much of a surprise as if the seaplanes had done like a Pink Floyd sound track and gone crashing into the trees, but nevertheless unexpected.

The foresty bits of the park were definitely more interesting than the cultivated bits. For one thing, it felt so much more alive. Lots of greenery, spongy squelchy leaf litter, trees growing out of fallen logs and water everywhere, dripping from trees, trickling away in the undergrowth and trickling down the back of my neck... Completely un-Australian.

Australian bush land always looks dry as a bone. Even after it has rained, the bush looks like it hasn't rained for months, maybe years. More likely, it hasn't actually rained for months, maybe years. This really soaking wet forest was so very different. Here it looked like it never dried out. Cool! Cool and wet.


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