The Grouse Grind and Paolo the Canadian charmer 

During our speedboating session, Abe had persuaded me to do the Grouse Grind, the next day. The Grouse Grind is a hike up some rocky stairs to the top of Grouse Mountain, where I was hoping to be greeted by an incredible view after my efforts.

So off I went on a lone adventure, hopping on a free shuttle bus from Waterfront seabus terminal all the way to the bottom of Grouse Mountain. When I hopped off the bus ready to tackle this mountain, I went to the information desk to ask where the trail started and how long it would take. The lady looked at me and told me it’d be about 2 hours and that it’s a very strenuous hike… Emphasis on the word “strenuous” as I looked like a child in a backwards cap and a backpack. I’m pretty sure she was hinting that I got a coffee from the Starbucks next door and got back on my shuttle bus to the hostel. 

I made my way to the beginning of the stairs, feeling pretty empowered that I was doing this alone and immediately got distracted by the number of people in Lycra stretching at the entrance. As I thought to myself “how hard can it be?” I saw a notice board that a few people were reading before embarking on their own personal journeys. I began reading, “If you are doing the Grouse Grind alone, make sure you tell someone where you’re going and what time you’re setting off.” Oh shit. Mistake number 1. Nobody knows I’m here, I wouldn’t even have anyone to tell if I wanted to… OK breathe. I continued reading. “Once you’ve started the Grouse Grind, you can’t turn back – nobody should walk down the stairs for safety reasons.” Oh Shit.theres mistake number 2 in the making. If I can’t do it, I can’t even walk back down! The only way is up. Filled with fear, I began. Passing countless children under the age of 5 on the way up, my fear partially subsided. Partially.

After a tiring hike, and contrary to my belief, I made it to the top. Where it was completely foggy and I could see no view. But I was still beaming with pride. Weirdly, at the top of Grouse Mountain, there is perfect WiFi so obviously I decided to step in to the balcony with the non-view and facetime everyone I knew.

This was me at the top of Grouse Mountain with the view… Oh wait.

 Whilst my facetime was connecting, I got interrupted by a man also on the balcony, who began the conversation with “Are you catching Pokemon?” My answer was no and that I was facetiming, but ignoring that, he continued to chat to me about my trip and asked me if I’d tried the sushi in Vancouver (to which my answer was no). After 10 minutes of polite conversation, he disappeared inside to apparently meet a friend so immediately I began my face timing again. As nobody was answering, I was about to give up and go inside when the man came out to the balcony with his name and number written on a cardboard cup holder. “Let me know if you’d like to go to sushi later on.” He said. Still covered in sweat from the hike, and with my cap backwards (yes it’s my thing now), I questioned Paolo’s taste in women and that night I went for sushi with Danielle, who did the same hike in the afternoon and also got chatted up some keen hiker. Was it Paolo’s pick up hotspot? So if you want a challenging but fun hike, or just to find a date for the evening, I’d suggest you try the Grouse Grind. (Shout out to Paolo the Pokemon catching Canadian). 
Peace and love xxx

Bikes, Speedboats, and turning your cap backwards

The day after the Richmond Night Market, my new friend, Danielle and I went down to breakfast in the hostel. It was Sunday and my plans consisted of a run or cycle around Stanley Park as I hadn’t been to see it yet, whilst Danielle was going to Granville Island on a tour with the hostel. I started chatting to this guy at breakfast who shared my vision of the day and we decided to rent bikes and cycle the Seawall around the edge of Stanley Park. Renting bikes for a couple of hours was fairly inexpensive at about 20 Canadian dollars per person and was definitely worth it! My new pal was called Abe, was English/Vietnamese; a very friendly guy who had just come back from a trip to the notorious Banff, which he definitely made me believe was one of the coolest places ever. If only I had longer! If anyone is planning to go to Canada, 5 days is not enough; although I did enjoy a snapshot of the incredible adventures that it has to offer. 

In the afternoon, Abe had wanted to visit Bowen island so we planned to see how long it’d take us to get there. We went to get some information and the member of staff that helped us said that the best way to see this island in the time that we had (an afternoon) would be to rent a speedboat… so obviously we jumped at the chance. In Canada, to rent a speedboat, you dont need a boat license… You don’t even need a driving license! It was about a 30 minute bus journey to Horseshoe bay from near the Waterfront seabus terminal. To rent the boat cost around 90 Canadian dollars for an hour and a half (split between two) but you could have up to 4 people on the boats. Plus it was worth every penny! 

Abe and I agreed that when you’re driving a speedboat, it’s a backwards cap kind of moment so here’s me trying to look cool and trying not to capsize the boat at the same time… I find it hard trying to look cool at the best of times so this was a difficult task.

Love and Peace, 

Rose xxxx

The Richmond Night Market, whales and a cheese flavoured potato spiral 

Vancouver: Part 2 

After my UBC mates had departed and new people moved in to their dorm beds, I began to feel like it was my bedroom and these were my guests… I’d normally ask where they were from and why they were visiting Vancouver but the majority had been on trips to Whistler and Banff (a place I didn’t know much about at the beginning but people RAVED about it… To me it was a mysterious place with a funny name but I acted like I knew more!) Turns out Banff looks and sounds incredible and I wish I went to, so if you are going to Canada, plan better than I did!

That said, I would not change anything about those 5 days apart from I would have extended them! The day of my university crew’s departure I booked myself on to a whale watching tour through the hostel but the weather hadn’t been great so far so was a bit apprehensive about paying $150 for the trip when I didn’t think I’d see any whales (a girl I’d met previously said she saw none). I had also annoyed myself by panic buying the lunch that the whale watching boat provided, rather than being savvy and bringing my own. The guy that worked at the hostel had booked the trip on the phone in front of me and I always make the wrong decisions when rushed, so paid $10 for a rubbish sandwich and a couple of cookies. However, the actual whale watching was incredible. We saw two transient orcas and a humpback whale!! After watching Blackfish on Netflix, and becoming obsessed with Orcas, to see them in the wild literally made my life. 

The night following the departure of my university crew, a new girl moved in to my room from the UK who’d been traveling around the US before coming to Canada. As I’d been pretty unsuccessful trying to get an invitation to go on any adventures with a few of the new girls in my room, feeling a little disheartened assuming I’d be either dining alone or sleeping that evenung, a new girl moved in. She was from the UK, really friendly and invited me to go with her and a friend to the Richmond Night Market, which so far I knew nothing about. (Obviously I accepted the invite.) 

The Richmond Night Market is a weird and wonderful place. It is filled with Asian Food Stalls and other Stalls selling stuff you never knew you needed until you were blinded by the lights of the market. I would definitely recommend a visit but if you buy a spiral potato thing (they are really popular) on a stick, don’t get the cheese flavour. Just trust me on that.

Peace and Love from little Buck 


Little buck hits Vancouver

On September 1st 2016, my sister and mum dropped me off at Gatwick airport and waved me off on my 6 month adventure. First stop: Canada!

After being on the verge of a mini meltdown a few times that day, I sucked it up and got on the plane to Vancouver, riding solo, which feels so scary when you are as small as I am. My friend, who was meant to be coming with me, broke her foot last week so has wisely postponed coming out for a week or two. Fortunately, I was seated next to a very friendly and very Bristolian guy named Kyle, who told me I could share his magic stars with him… sharing chocolate goes a long way in my eyes so we were immediately pals for life.

After a wonderful 10 hour friendship with Bristolian Kyle, we parted ways and I headed off to my hostel continuing to talk myself out of my frequent mini meltdowns. As I arrived in the room at my hostel, I sussed out the bed situation and took a top bunk as I had no choice, but that’s fine as I’ve always liked the top bunk so jokes on everyone else as I’m loving life up here. I got talking to a couple of girls (an Australian and a New Zealander) who asked me if I was a student at the University of British Columbia waiting to move in to my uni accommodation, like they were. I told them I was just traveling and continued chatting. After speaking to many more people at the hostel and being asked what I was here to study countless times, I realised that I was basically crashing their fresher’s week. But fortunately, my student pals adopted me and we had some funfilled adventures together (they told me I reminded them of the inbetweeners – brilliant) before they left to move in to their accommodation. As I said bye to my first Vancouver friends I seriously considered making a last minute application to the University. (Shout out to Grace, Roisin and Georgia).

Above is Lynn Canyon Park in Vancouver; a beautiful place I visited with my UBC pals. It rained a lot… Reminded me of home.

Little buck’s adventures to be continued…

Peace and love people xxx