Tuesday, 31 August 2010


Naomi volunteers some weekends to take some paraplegic people trekking. I decided to join as it would be an experience and also helping out the disabled. We left around midday to North Vancouver after eating some lunch/breakfast. There are some nice trails around and when we arrived I got to meet a bunch of volunteers and 4 people in Wheelchairs, they were each put on special single wheeled off road modified chairs where 2 of the volunteers would have to support it both at the front and back of the chair.

I helped out in front for the good portion of the 2 hour trek and ill tell you what; it really gets you into shape especially having to carry them up and down stairs.

I got to meet some cool people and had a lot of fun.

We stopped by the supermarket and I got some food for my trip. Oh, and guess what I found some Mi Gorang noodles!!!!! YAY! For those who don’t know they are the best 2 minute noodles you can get and taste amazingly good.

Later I chilled at Naomis place whilst she was dancing (I’ve seen a bunch of videos and she’s incredibly talented), I cooked up a roast and started marinating my beef Jerky im attempting to make. I also made another pop can stove which involves the base of two pop or beer cans fitted together with a series of holes on the outside. The fuel used is Methyl Hydrate and it works a treat as you can see in the pic.

Volunteering on a Hike, North Vancouver
My home-made Pot Stove made from Beer cans! works a treat, Aye


Naomi and I set off on the bus to Stanley park where we were suppose to meet some of her soccer buddies but because we were running last we missed out on playing pitch and put golf. Instead we cycled…well I cycled and she bladed around the park… it really is amazing and some of the views were really amazing. And for a park in the center of the city it certainly is one of the best ive seen.

Because I was drinking some beer I was pouring into a energy drink bottle at some point I accidently left my tripod on a bench but thankfully after leaving it there for a good 30 minutes no one had taken it, I was happy to be able to use it later to take some pretty cool shots of the park and city.

We made our way back to Naomis place where we ate some leftovers and I had a nap.

We later met up with Eric (whom I met with Naomi in Santorini in Greece) and his girl friend for bubble tea, I tried the mango one that was sickeningly sweet but still good with those crazy slimy balls at the bottom of the glass.

We played this card game called Guillotine which is a crazy game and to took a while to get used to, it was fun for 2 games then we set off back home.

We had a few more drinks and then we got some Nachos at a vegetarian place down the road where I met another one of Naomis friends (Jesse) where we talked for a while about cycling.

Olympic Nuk-Shuk, Vancouver HDR
Olympic Nuk-Shuk 2, Vancouver HDR
Drinking and Cycling... Always Fun
Cruising about Stanley Park, Vancouver
Naomi Posing on a Pole.
David Lam Park, Vancouver, Small World.jpg

Today was another day for me to sort out stuff for my trip, last night ‘again’ on craigslist I found a bike lock for $15 so I went to meet the guy selling it in westend Vancouver. Cycling there would have been good fun if it wasn’t for the pissing rain. I cycled there anyway in jeans for some reason… anyways the guy (Another Aussie) was nice and we chatted for a while. I ran some errands around town stopping by the library to find a guide book about cycling the pacific coast, unfortunately not finding it.

Also I made an appointment at a travel health clinic to get my shots for central and south America that will set me back $140 for a Tuesday midday appointment.

Although it’s a Friday I decided to stay in to save a little bit of my money, I know its lame but ill have a better and longer time further south when I finally get there.

Vancouver Library


What a busy day. Running about a bunch of stores sorting out different parts for my bike and other shit I needed for my trip.

Last night I was looking on Craiglist and found a guy selling his front Pannier rack for $20, its normally worth $40 so that was a good deal. I was suppose to meet the guy at the community center around the corner from Naomi’s place but went I arrived to meet him it turns out the community center had moved. I rushed to meet him and fortunately caught up with him.

I then went shopping for bicycle parts including tools, lube and pannier bags.

Whist doing this I had my bike locked up using a baggage lock I bought in India, its not the securest lock for my bike but it had to do.

When exiting one of the stores I see a guy standing around my bike and when I approached him closer he sees me and hops into his car. I thought this was a bit suspicious but thought nothing of it until I unlocked my bike, it seemed this guy tried to rip my bike from the post as there are now deep scraches from the chain in the frame of the bike. By the time I realized this the guy had sped off in his van… what a prick!

Anyways, later I looked around thrift stores for something I could use to modify my back rack so it could support my rucksack, whist looking I found a pair of aluminum crutches for $3 I only took one but it seems to be perfect to support my bag. I mounted it using cable ties and its now rock solid.

Across the road from Naomis place was another thrift store, this place was amazing where you are able to sort through all the junk and everything is dirt cheap, I spent a good hour and a half looking through all the junk. I even finally managed to find myself a cell phone for $5, a bumbag for $1 (for the front of my bike that a specialized one costs $50) and another bag that fits my laptop very snug.

I headed back to home for a nap before Naomi and I headed to a party, it was her ultimate frizbee teem. Now, I had heard the name of the sport but never played it, it seems to be more or less like netball but using a frizbee instead of a ball and played on a court similar to American rules football. This party was just a gathering of her teammates to have food and a few drinks and it was great fun, I got to meet some randoms and the food was so good.


One month today ive been traveling for 5 years… that’s Crazy.

After eating the left-over spag-bol for breky at Christinas I cycled down the hill to the hostel where I was meeting with rose to take me to Vancouver, I said my farewells to everyone and after packing the car with my dismantled bike got out of there at around 1pm.

It was a good but hot journey in her car as the air conditioning was broken but still Rose is a barrel of laughs.

Looking at the road from Merrit down towards Vancouver I thought I really should have cycled it, it was downhill for what seemed like forever… ive have to do this at some point.

We got into Vancouver where I was dropped off at Naomis place, I first met Naomi in Greece 2 years ago and shes always happy to put me up every time I pass through Van.

She fed me a nice meal and an extraordinary dessert which was blueberry and lemon zest cake… it was delicious.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Again, I have changed my Bog posting to www.jonostravelblog.blogspot.com

Sunday, 4 July 2010


I arrived back at the hotel where the boys were staying (I even paid for the night) after spending most of the morning with Megan. I said farewell to her and got some shit done (no pun intended (only ill get this)) in town before the boys and I headed to join the rest of the tree planting crew 4 hours away down a dirt road into the middle of nowhere.

I slept for most of the journey and when we arrived at camp it was raining and very muddy. It really was a shit show. It was good to meet some new tree planters and catch up with some old ones. Back to Planting!!! L


After the epic hike up the mountain yesterday all of our legs were ruined, so i suppose you can understand why we slept in till 11am. We packed up our gear and left it at the shelter and headed further up the mountain to toboggan falls which was quite an amazing sight, the waterfall cascades down a 45 degree slope for about 300 meters or so.

After we decided to hike to a peak to get a view of the surrounding mountains, it was a difficult and even dangerous hike up as most of it was shale rock and at times very windy.

We made it to the top no problems where I took a panoramic and several pics of us as proof we did it, it really was an incredible view from where we were.

We hiked back down to the shelter to have lunch and pick up our gear for the trek back down, we didn’t leave the shelter till 3pm and it was 22km to the trail head.

It was a tedious walk down but we didn’t want to be caught out in the dark, even though it did rain, didn’t stop for any breaks and our feet were caning we made it back to the car at 8pm.

We drove the hour back to Jasper where we rushed having showers before grabbing some pizza as most places were closed. Sunday nights in Jasper is local night were all the locals drink at the Athabasca Hotel bar, it was a pretty crazy night as one of the girls working at the pizza shop we ate at earlier and I hooked up. Megan was crazy and although she talked a lot was a pretty sound girl… I went back to hers to “watch some cartoons”.

360 Pano at a peak near Mount Robson


After a heavy nights drinking last night and not getting back to the hotel till 4am we hungoverly packed up out gear to leave at 9.30, get some food and hit the road.

Chris spent the early hours of the morning wrapped around the shared bathroom toilet throwing up meanwhile the rest of us crashed in the cramped bedroom where Alex and I were sleeping on the ground.

It was a bit of a slow start to the morning due to all the alcohol consumed last night but we got things organized and headed to the base of Mount Robson where we had to purchase the nights camping ground at the 22km mark and watch a crummy 13 minute video where we left after 2 minutes cause we didn’t want to spoil the sights that we would see on the hike anyway.

The hike at first was relatively easy leaving the start point at just after 11am and not too steep although at times it did pick up and with the weight of our things in our packs it was quite tiresome.

From the turquoise blue fresh water lakes, the gigantic crazy waterfalls, the amazing glaciers and of course the huge snowcapped peak of Mount Robson, this hike certainly was worth it although physically demanding.

The pictures Ill put up with this will certainly not justify the views we were seeing but trust me when I say it really was spectacular.

At about the 20km mark the boys wanted to get to the top of a peak to get a nice view, I did too but without having to climb the crazy cliffs and steep inclines to get there.

We found one peak that looked doable but we had to cross a bunch of glacier freezing shallow water rivers having to take our boots off to cross them only to find the last river too deep to cross. At this point we had to turn around spoiling the boy’s plans and I suppose mine too only to have to cross the rivers again without boots. The water was unbearably cold to a point where our feet were hurting from the chill.

Another 2km walk to the campground and some more amazing views along the way including the thundering crashes of avalanches on the other side of the mountain we made it to the campground we paid for. There were quite a few people here all camped out (Mostly Eastern European’s and Germans) with a cabin to chill out in.

It really was a hell of a walk and after eating our cold baked beans, tuna, bread and a shot of rum we headed off to bed.

The hike Up

Me on a bridge up to Mount Robson
4 Day break between tree planting contracts


Me and the boys headed to Jasper for the short 3 day break between contracts and moving camps to Alberta. We left shortly after cleaning up camp at Tachick camping grounds near Vanderhoof where our base camp was for a few shifts. The road trip towards Jasper in Cole’s car was pretty cramped as we had quite a lot of gear but the views we got on the way into and through the Rockies were pretty spectacular especially passing by Mount Robson, the tallest mountain in BC.

We stopped off for a short hike through an ancient forest with some humungous trees apparently 2000 years old for an hour or so to stretch our legs and get some air (Cole’s car doesn’t smell great at the best of times but with four sweaty tree planters inside… you get the idea). Anyways it was a nice little break in the road trip.

We arrived at the tourist office in Jasper looking for a trek we could do nearby to get to a peak of a mountain and get a nice panoramic view, unfortunately the woman helping us told us there was a late start to the spring and a lot of the routes were inaccessible because of snow, this was a little disappointing as we really wanted to do a hike as the camping is cheap.

We went in search of some accommodation but the cheapest we could find was a nearby hotel for $80 a night for 2 people (so, f’ing expensive) but we managed to squeeze the four of us in the shoebox of a room that had a shared bathroom down the hall.

We went on a night out drinking in the evening going to a place that brewed their own beers, it again was a little pricy but the beers were very tasty and brewed in the area.

Jasper is a small touristy town with only 5000 permanent residents and I should have expected the prices to be steep but just not that steep, and although I have been making very good money planting, I am just wanting to make my money last as long as it can when im traveling to and around my next destination.

The night out was good fun, we went to several bars meeting with some randoms and also played a bit of pool.

During the course of the evening the boys and I agreed on hiking up to the 22km + trail to Mount Robson the following day from the base 1 hours drive from Jasper.

Mount Robson
Ancient Tree 2000yo

Tree Planting Canada 2010

For the past month I have been tree planting in and around Prince george in British Colombia in Canada, I did this last year as I was told that the pay for seasonal work.

Last year I was on Katies crew of 12 people and as it was my rookie year the pay was alright, but not great. This year however and as my planting skills have improved my daily pay has skyrocketed from averaging $100 - $150 a day last year to upwards of $250 a day working with Babs crew of about 12 people. Three of the guys i worked with last year Chris, Cole and Alex came back this year that certainly made coming back easier. The work is incredibly tedious and stressful on your body because your working as hard as you can all day to plant the trees and make good money, its generally 4 days on and 1 day off and the days you plant the one thing we all look forward to is whats for dinner. Dinner is cooked by our camp cook Judy who makes excellent food and there is always more than enough to go around.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010


A night of sleeping on the hotel floor turned out to be a very good nights rest and because we were delayed another day from setting up camp for tree planting we had the whole day to kill. Personally I would have loved to have spent another day in Kelowna with Christina and her housemates but shit happens.

It was still a good day where we spent most of the day at the swimming pool costing only $2 for entry.

All of us were doing flips and dives off the varying height diving boards and it was good to chill for the day after the amount of traveling I had done over the past 5 days.

We just muffed around town looking in op shops including Vakue Village (love that place) and I tried sorting out my tax rebate but unfortunately did not have enough time in the day to sort it out, next time im back in PG, ill get it done.

Because all of us were short on money we decided to camp out for the night in a park close to town, earlier in the day we went dumpster diving in the wholesale supermarket skip where we got our hands on cheese and vacuumed sealed gourmet cooked sausages that were all still good despite being expired a while ago. The food we collected we made toasted cheese sandwiches over a camp fire before crashing in a forest between a dirt service road and train tracks.


I had a terrible nights sleep on the couch at the girls place, I honestly don’t know what time of the day it should be for me cause of the amount of traveling ive done in the past few days. But I took a sleeping pill that managed to put me to sleep for a few more hours at mid-morning.

I said farewell to Christina and I got ready to leave with one of her housemates as she was headed into town dropping me off at the greyhound station.

As it turns out I could of saved myself $20 for my trip to Kelowna yesterday if I showed my youth travel card I had got in London a long time ago. Damn!

Anyways, I saved a little on the journey to Kamloops where ill be meeting Cole then headed up to Prince George.

Meeting up with Cole, we headed for lunch with his twin sister who by the way is beautiful at an all you can eat Mongolian Grill where you fill up bowls of meat, noodles, veg and sauce where they stirfry it all on a giant hot plate. It’s a great idea and so simple, the only problem I had was the fact they overcooked the beef, but that didn’t stop me going back for seconds asking the beef to be rare and partial frozen.

The 7 hour trip up to PG was good considering I slept for a good portion of the journey and when we arrived we met up with Chris, Alex and 2 other guys where we shared the hotel room costing $12 each… what I paid in India for almost a week.

We had a few drinks and talked about our winters.

At one point alex and I headed to the liquor store for more beer when we were approached by some natives offering us some beer, they asked what type of cigarette I was smoking and I told them it was a bidi that I brought back from India, the woman must have been confused, drunk or just plain dumb as she told me that I cant use the word Indian in this country as the Indian people here like to be referred to as ‘Natives’. I said I bought them from India and did not say Indian but she got all riled up telling me not to use that word, it was annoying and we lost our patience and left. Later when in the hotel this woman shows up again asking us if she could use our phone and if we wanted her company… if you know what I mean, we just shut the door in her horrible looking face…

This is Prince George!


I woke early today to catch a ride with Nai to the skytrain where I headed using public transport to the furthest I could get to outside the city, at this time the weather was good and within 30 minutes I had a ride with an Indian guy who took me further out of town.

He even offerd me some money for a greyhound bus to Kelowna but I thankfully refused.

Where he dropped me off wasn’t the busiest of entries on Hwy 1, I stood in the rain for 2 hours with nothing but a dick who stopped until I lifted my bags and drove off. I HATE it when people do that.

Anyways, cold and frozen to the bone I gave up on the hitchhiking and walked to a local bus stand asking directions on the way and was given a cup of coffee from a lady who could obviously see I was freezing. I got on a bus to the center of Abbotsford where I waited for the greyhound for 3 hours to get to Kelowna that set me back $60. That type of money could literally get you all around India.

I wondered around town for a while using the free internet at a café to contact a few people and tried sorting out my phone but Canada being the worst place in the world to own a phone and that part of the department was closed for the day I was unable to fix the problem.

I passed out on the bus for a good few hours and woke at a service stop. I met a guy there who accidently missed his bus to Kelowna and had to hitchhike to Kelowna, as a gift I gave him my Kelowna sign I made in Vancouver to aid him on his trip there.

I arrived in K-town where I called Deb to come meet me, we went to go grab a beer where we chatted for a good while and caught up. I then called Christina and went to her place which used to be closer to the Greyhound station. She had moved into a lush place “up on the hill” where she was sharing with 4 other girls… I was only spending the night but when (not if) I come back to Kelowna Christina said I was more than welcome to stay with her. I stayed up quite late telling the girls stories of my adventures they all being enthralled and interested… a few beers for all of us would have helped this situation. ;)

But as everyone had to work in the morning we all set off to bed.


Jeremy took me to the airport at 7 giving me 3 hours before my flight.

When I entered the security gate the officials telling people not to take liquid and other dangerous goods told me if I had any type of marijuana type substance to hand it over to them for them to take home.I joked with them for a little while and it was extra funny because they were Indian and said I look like Andrew Simons, exactly what Indians kept on telling me back in India.

Walking around I met an Norwegian girl (Fiona) who was flying home after some time in SE asia and Australia and I chatted to her before she boarded her plane also giving her some chocolate as a gift…. I don’t know what I was expecting giving her this, but if anything it was a nice gesture.

By the time I boarded my flight I was nackard, I was much in need of sleep, instead I watched the new transformers film that was terrible, took a sleeping pill, ate lunch and crashed out a good 5 hours, thankfully I had the entire 3 seats in the middle row to myself so I could lay down for the duration of the flight.

I woke to be given a fajita and some drinks, I even managed to get 3 more fajitas and a bunch of aeroplane food because I told one of the stewardesses I was hitch hiking to Kelowna and also because they were just going to throw it away.

When I walked up to customs the official the woman was very blunt and direct, asking how long id be staying in Canada, who I would be staying with, how much money I had and so on and so forth. It was quite a scary moment because I had to lie about the fact I was working because apparently my visa doesn’t authorize me for reentry. Later as they singled me out from the crowds leaving the airport (probably from my dreads) I met an Australian girl who also had the same visa and told me the “NOT AUTHORISED FOR RE-ENTRY” on my visa does not apply. So basically I did not need to lie at customs. Meh.

Whilst waiting in the very slowly moving crew for 3 hours I had to rip my bag apart explaining in detail everything in my possession, soldering iron, chef knife, sleeping pills receipts and so forth… it was a long process and perhaps not far from being finger fucked by border security.

Anyways, I finally made it out getting on the new sky train to the center of the city and made my way to the Samesun Hostel I have stayed at on plenty of occasions, I didn’t need to stay there but needed to use to internet to contact Naomi using skype because my phone for some reason doesn’t work.

I hung around the hostel until Naiomi came to pick me up where I bumped into Stu and Adam who lived with Diane last season in Big White. Crazy!

I spent the evening with Naomi, Eric and some of his family at Erics place eating some sushi and for some reason which I apologised for later kept on talking to them really slowly as if they couldn’t understand me, like in Asia (Eric and his family is Vietnamese) but of course their English is perfect.

By 9pm I was nackard so Nai and I headed back to hers and I passed out on the couch.