After a couple of weeks in Duncan to get our batteries fully charged again, it was time for a change. We had a great time in Duncan, healthy food, good weather mostly, some football, fun and less fun jobs, lots of progress, personal time, so we are ready to get going. We applied to workaway at a rafting resort on the Nahatlatch river, and got a reply quite soon that they would be needing help very quickly.
So we had our last meal with Riitta and the British workawayers, packed our bags and set out at 7 am the next morning to hitchhike some 300 kms, with a ferry trip in between. We could have taken a bus, but that would have made everything way to complicated. We had also applied for some ridesharing, but none of it worked out. We got picked up by two different drivers on our way to Nanaimo, the ferry stop. That was quite smooth and we got dropped right at the ferry in a large and comfy pick-up truck. We did arrive 5 minutes late to catch the ferry so had to wait 2 hours for the next one. Once on the ferry we started hunting for people who could take us towards hope, but nobody either went that way or had some space in their car. So we got a desperate and stranded in the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal. Luckily google helped us out and suggested to get by public transport all the way to the other side of Vancouver and try to catch a ride there. On our last bus towards our hitch stop, a friendly man told us we could take another bus that would bring us 60 kms closer to our destination, and where we might have more success getting a ride. So we did that and arrived in Chilliwack. Half an hour later, a friendly lady took us on and brought us to Hope. By then is was 5 pm. Luckily she felt like going for a ride and brought us another 70 kms further to Boston Bar, where we would be picked up to get to the rafting resort. We arrived there by 7 pm, just in time for dinner. Success!! We were very happy we made it .
The rafting resort is located in a lovely forest setting right beside the Nahatlatch river. They offer glamping, hot pools, full pension, so it’s quite nice. Edda was appointed to work in the kitchen, and Christophe got to do housekeeping. There is always something to be done, you were sort of busy the whole time.
Edda started making great desserts that people absolutely loved, and we gradually, we both got more responsibility. We also got to go on rafting trips on the level 3-4 river, which Edda thought were very cold and freezing and not super pleasant, but Christophe had a really good time, although he fell of the boat a couple off time, which Edda thought was really funny.
At first we were thinking to stay 2 weeks at the resort and then start planning to get back to Vancouver to pick up our Australian friends, but as we got more responsibility and we felt good, we stayed 3 weeks at the resort. We did our daily duties, and Christophe helped out on the 2 Stein trips (level 5 river) which required additional rafting training on the Nahatlatch. The guests also had to do this training on day 1 and on day 2, there was a full day trip to the Stein river, including carrying in the rafts over a small walking track for 4 kms to the launching spot. We roll the 80 kg raft on to a pole, and then carry it with 2 people, one up front and one in the back. It’s pretty hard, changing shoulders often and changing people often as well. Some guides manage to go all the way, but others have to switch quite often. Christophe was pretty happy with his performance . Once you get the rafts to the launching spot, you still need to pump them up, and off you go. The first time Christophe had to walk back with the poles, but the second time, Christophe could raft down the river, which was very cool. It was in the safety both with experienced rating guides, and it was pretty high leve, but good fun. We had to portage (carry the boat across) 1 rapid, because we didn’t know if we could do it and looking back, we should have taken our chances. But the Stein is definitely a rewarding trip!
The weeks at the resort slowly went past and the group of volunteers was really good, and went well together. It was hard work sometimes, and a lot of work also, but it was fun to be in a close community and getting to know these people. On the day we had to leave, we went with the parents of one staff member to Vancouver, spent the night there and then got a vehicle to pick up our Australian friends and go car hunting. The first car was the good one. A 2003 Dodge Durango with a quite noisy V8 engine. It needed a bit of work, but our Aussie friend could easily manage that. We stayed 2 night around Vancouver, and then went back to the resort to work on the car. Our friends went for a rafting trip as well, and after two night there, we went for the Canadian road trip adventure! More about that in the next post.