Day 14: Kelowna, The Questionning

2008-07-22

09h00 Prince George (BC)
16h30 Kelowna (BC)
700 km

Late start because I don’t anticipate a very long day’s drive and I realise that fatigue because of long travel days quietly accumulates … I still have a month to go so I have to stay in shape, especially since my girlfriend is coming soon!

The road is relatively boring. It’s surprising to note the similarities with parts of the local landscape and the landscape of Quebec, at least in this part of British Columbia, except of course, the quality of the tarmac! The day begins on a cool note (10 celsius), but after a few hours, a surprising phenomenon occurs.

Near Clinton (BC), I’m enter the Okanagan Valley and the temperature gets from 15 to 35 degrees in 10 minutes! It goes from a forest-green mountain scenery to desert grass and dead trees. I stop near highway 97C to call my girlfriend. People really look at me with 4 layers of clothes and especially my electric heated vest!

Highway 97C is a small road with many curves, superb! Winding passes, mountains, rivers.  I’m having a blast! I go thru Merritt (BC). The far west!

Finally, late in the afternoon, I manage to get to Kelowna.

The city …

Traffic, the intense heat and a rubbish scenery tarnish my arrival. I think it was difficult for me to arrive in a big city after being accustomed to open spaces for a few weeks. Too quick of a transition.

The hotels are prohibitively expensive. I go to a campsite suggested by the Tourist Office … Bad, crowded, never in my life!!! I go around town and I finally resigned myself to go to the Travelodge for $ 150. Ouch.

The evening was a bit difficult and is probably the lowest moment of the trip. I seriously considered returning to Montreal. Nadine and I talked for a while and I tell her my state of mind. Not much she can do. In fact, I think the shock of returning to civilisation with all it’s downsides was difficult to absorb and I realize the heat is also very difficult to bear on a motorcycle. No air conditioning of course! I already miss my  beautiful fresh mornings in northern Canada! I decided to make pasta with my stove in the park across from my hotel which is also on Lake Okanagan, not forgetting to bring a good bottle of local wine, and I began a deep reflection.

I then take a firm decision to stay but to return to the mountains, to Whistler maybe. I need to go back to nature and find accommodations at reasonable prices (long live camping!). This moment was very beneficial in many ways. It was totally unacceptable for me to return to Montreal immediately. I had come so far and I would have missed so many beautiful things. And I’m sure I would have regretted it, having prepared this trip for months.

I also made peace with the monetary aspect of the trip.

Obviously, I was well above my initial budget, but I made a firm decision to stop watching my money while remaining reasonable. I’ll take car of this once back at home.

Almost forgot, 21:00: the rain of course, and yes, in Kelowna, where there had been no rain for weeks!

2008-08-11 Kelowna 062008-07-22-Kelowna-15

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