Go Camping at an AMAZING location!

Okay, if you haven’t been camping this summer – or at all for that matter – you NEED to go. Why? Two words: Garibaldi Lake. You may be thinking “Well, I don’t have car, it would be impossible to get there.” WRONG. Come on, where is your sense of adventure? What the heck are you doing in Canada if you’re not willing to go an extra mile, lose yourself in the wilderness and take a few risks? You’re here to have the time of your life so with a little effort, you may just have the experience of a lifetime like we did this past weekend, at Garibaldi Lake.

Our adventure went a little like this…

After work on Thursday, we made our way over to the local grocery store to get some food for our trip. Want a quick and easy lunch? Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. So easy, and so good. We were staying for two nights, which was three lunches, two breakfasts and two dinners. In total, our grocery bill was around $75.00 CAN. That’s $35.00 each for 3 days worth of food! We ate some pretty great food but be forewarned, cans of soup are very heavy…enough said.

Thursday night was spent packing our backpacks for the adventure to the campground. Believe it or not, camping doesn’t have to be expensive. Mette and I had no camping gear before this weekend. We borrowed two sleeping bags from a coworker (and bear spray) and bought a tent from Army and Navy for only $30.00 CAN. Because campfires are banned in many provincial parks, we had to plan accordingly. We were able to buy a package of small cubes that when lit, would provide flame for 15 minutes. These could be used to cook food and were very inexpensive. These would prove to be very handy in the wilderness. A few other things we bought were flashlights (from the dollar store – worked great)  a tarp (if it rained), a fishing rod (optional – $30.00 Army and Navy as well) and some cards. For the ENTIRE weekend, we only packed ONE pan. That’s right. When you carry everything on your back, you need to pack light. If you’re going to camp, also bring only one set of cutlery per person and one plate, you don’t need anymore than that.

As for clothes, we each brought very little. Again, when you carry everything on your back, think light. Bring a couple pairs of pants, a couple shirts and sweater and that’s it. You won’t need more than that. Some other things to bring are a first aid kit, toilet paper and garbage bags. After we were done packing for the night it was time to get some shut-eye before we embarked on an awesome adventure!

It was early Friday morning when my alarm clock went off and the sunlight was streaming through my bedroom window. I was still a bit tired from last night’s packing but knew the day ahead would be so much fun. Rolling out of bed, we both put on the most outdoorsy camping outfit we had – a plaid shirt. I also added a bandana for an added outdoorsy effect. The shirts were bought at value village – we wanted to look and play the part so we had fun rummaging through second-hand clothes. 🙂 Try it yourself!

At 7 a.m. we were on the bus downtown, and at 7:15 a.m., on the skytrain to catch the Greyhound. I told you you didn’t need a car to go camping! We bought round trip greyhound tickets for $35.00 CAN that would take us close to the Garibaldi Provinicial Park Parking lot. Some of you may be living in a home stay. You can always ask if they would be willing to drive you to your camping destination as well. Or, if there are enough of you wanting to go, you could rent a car for the weekend! We however chose greyhound.  At 7:50 a.m. we were boarding the bus, grinning from ear to ear.

Note: If traveling to Garbialdi Provincial park, the bus stops in Pinecrest, about 4 kilometres from the park. But, we politely asked the bus driver to drop us off at the entrance, which he did, and you can do the same. Most of the time they are very nice and happy to help out. As we got off the bus, we were ready to begin our adventure!

The Garibaldi parking lot was 2.5 kilometres from the highway. Once we arrived there, we were ready to begin the REAL hike – a 9 km journey to our campsite. Before we left, we registered ourselves in, and camping for the entire weekend was only $20.o0 CAN. Pretty cheap when you think of the costs of a renting hotel room or an apartment.

As we began the trek up the mountain, the scenery was breathtaking. Green trees, natural waterfalls and terrain stretched as far as our eyes could see.

Of course, with 50 lb bags on our backs, we worked up a sweat. The natural waterfalls kept us hydrated though.. Once we reached the top, after a 4 1/2 hour hike, the views were spectacular. After seeing these pictures you can imagine how fantastic our weekend was!

This picture was taken after we crossed a river and hiked up a few rocks. The trail was so beautiful! Mette can be seen in this picture! What a trooper! While on the way up, hikers were both ascending and descending, but each one that passed gave us a chipper “Hello!”. Of course they were in a good mood, it’s impossible not to be with such a great environment around you. We met hikers and campers from all over the world at this campground. Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and of course, Canadians!

View from the bridge. Spectacular isn’t it? On the right, a glacier can be seen that has been frozen for over 10,000 years! While we were camping we saw a deer, birds, a lot of fish (trout are spawning right now), and even some insects like black and yellow millipedes!

There is no other place I wanted to be at the moment this picture was taken. I felt relaxed, humble, and lucky to be standing in front of this magnificent view. I forgot all about the city, cars, traffic, work, home – everything, when I was away at Garibaldi Lake. Camping is an amazing way to strengthen relationships and create memories that last a lifetime. It is also a good time to take a few moments for self reflection. I learned a lot about myself this weekend – my capabilities, my goals and aspirations.  I am so glad that myself and the “insane dane” took the time to plan for a trip like this, as it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! Thanks Mette for making this trip possible, I couldn’t have done it without you! And also, thanks to the INTERNeX Staff for lending us some gear, and for giving us a day off!

If you have a real sense of adventure, and want to hop up and go, a camping trip is the perfect thing for you. If you’re not in Canada, but are eager to travel and experience new things, why not do it through one of INTERNeX’s many programs? Work in the city, on a resort in rockies, or, complete an internship in your field of study. INTERNeX even has volunteer opportunities! Then, while you’re here, plan your camping trip ;). For more information on INTERNeX programs, visit our website!

INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

Summer Time is the Best Time!

I just absolutely love summertime. Fresh, cool air breezes through the city and brings with it the aroma of sizzling meat on the barbecue. In Vancouver, the groups of people clustered on Robson Street signal the latest in-store sales and product promotions. In Toronto, the  GO trains become packed with Blue Jays fans waiting to see Ricky Romero wind up on the pitcher’s mound. Ahhh, summer.

This past Saturday was a great summer day for myself and some friends. If you live in Vancouver and were anywhere near Gastown this past weekend, you know that the Vancouver International Jazz Festival was on. As we strolled down Water Street, the atmosphere surrounding us was uplifting. Magicians and jugglers lined the streets, welcoming any and all spectators. Nearby pubs were packed with jazz fans yearning for a pint. Lemonade stands and corn on the cob stations offered food to satisfy anyone’s taste buds and two different stages hosted the smooth, rhythmic beats of Jazz.

Looking around, I couldn’t help but really feel a part of something that day. People lucky enough to live in Gastown hung out their windows, watching the live performances from the comfort of their own home. The crowds watching the shows were both young and old, tourists and Vancouverites alike – all coming to enjoy the same genre of music. It was a great day!

If you didn’t get the chance to go out this past weekend – shame on you…buuuutt don’t worry. The Jazz festival will continue until July 4, 2010.  For more information on show times and locations, visit the website.

Lynn Valley

A bunch of us went to Lynn Canyon Park this weekend. For those of you that have never heart of Lynn Canyon Park, it is located in North Vancouver and it is know for its suspension bridge, leisurely hike or refreshing swim in one of the many popular swimming holes. The entree to the park, bridge and walks is free!

The suspension bridge is very narrow, but it offers a spectacular view of the river below.  Most of the hikes follow the river and takes you to some amazing waterfalls. You don’t have to be very fit to be able to do a hike in Lynn Canyon Park, most walks are well maintained and easy to walk on.

We had very nice weather making the day even better. Even though you are allowed swim in the water and the water looks like it is inviting you to come in, I would not recommend it just yet. I put my hands in the water and it was freezing! Hopefully the water will heat up so that we can go swimming in it in the summer.

We did almost all the hikes that are there and I really recommend doing as least some of the walks to everyone. There are so many trees and plants in the area that you get the feeling you are walking in a forest!

So if you are looking for something to do and love to be outdoors, go check out Lynn Valley!

– Manouk

Grouse Mountain Hike! Part 1

All I can say is – WOW! Saturday was an amazing day! The weather was gorgeous and made it the perfect day for hiking. Five of us met up to enjoy the day and get some exercise! I’m glad we could hike it together, because I must say that having each other there for moral support was needed.

You know, when I thought about hiking Grouse Mountain, I expected it  to be a couple hours of fun and some good exercise. When we arrived at the bottom, and I looked up to see the clouds covering the top of the mountain – I knew then that it wasn’t going to be all that easy.

It was a grueling 1 hour and 40 minute walk to the top. There were markers along the trail saying “You have now reached the 1/4 mark.” When I saw that sign I wanted to cry! I was a lot more out of shape than I thought, and with Radek calling me “Grandma”, you can only imagine how unamused I was. However, those comments made me push myself hard and keep going to reach the top. I was so exhausted already but knew that the view would make it worthwhile. And did it ever.

All of Vancouver – and further – could be seen from the peak. Below, the Lionsgate bridge sparkled as the sun reflected off of hundreds of vehicle tops. Hiking Grouse is a truly amazing experience and I encourage you to hike it! I won’t say too much more so Manouk can write some of her experiences and what activities there were at the top of the mountain.

Get out there to Grouse mountain and hike the Grind! You’ll love it!

– Laura

Grouse Grind Hike with INTERNeX!

With all of the rain we’ve been getting in Vancouver, I’ve been itching to get outside and enjoy the weather. If you’re in Vancouver, you know what I mean. Anyone is welcome to join Manouk and I tomorrow morning as we head to Grouse Mountain to hike their Grouse Grind trail. We will meet inside the Waterfront Station at 10 a.m. and take the sea bus to North Vancouver. From there we will hop on a bus that will take us straight to our destination.

What you will need:

  • Good hiking shoes / running shoes
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Bottle of Water
  • Packed lunch (optional)
  • Money ($10.00 Skyride down the mountain and bus fare OR 2 Zone bus pass)
  • Camera

The Skyride is optional, as you can hike back down the mountain. We can decide this once we get to the top, however the Skyride is a one-mile journey like no other.

High above towering Douglas firs, breathtaking views of the city of Vancouver, sparkling Pacific Ocean, Gulf Islands, and snowy peaks unfold as you journey up the mountainside. North America’s largest aerial tramway is your gateway to the majestic nature of the Peak of Vancouver, and an experience in itself.

Once we get to the top, there are many activities to do if we want to stay and have a few more hours of fun. They have :

You don’t have to bring a packed lunch, but it might be fun to have a little picnic at the top, it’s supposed to be beautiful out tomorrow. There is a few restaurants at the mountain and a Starbucks I believe if you want to buy food instead.

This will be a  fun adventure guys, hope to see you tomorrow at 10 a.m. outside the Waterfront Station!

Can’t make this activity? Join us for pub night at Metropole, June 23!

Cheers and have a great weekend

Laura

Bike Ride Through Stanley Park

Have you been out to Stanley Park yet? If not, or if you want to get to know other INTERNeX candidates join us for a bike ride through Stanley Park on Sunday July 4.

For those of you who don’t know, Stanley Park is Vancouver’s biggest park, located on the edge of Downtown Vancouver. Every year Stanley Park attracts an estimated of eight million visitors every year, who come to check out the beauty Stanley Park has to offer.

Stanley Park offers something to do for everybody. You can take a walk, have a picnic; there is even an outdoor swimming pool! A fun, relaxing way to see Stanley Park is by a horse-drawn tour. The tour takes an hour and takes you all around Stanley Park. But what better way is there to see Stanley Park than on a bike. As you can see on the map, there a lot of bike paths that takes you through the entire park.

If you don’t have bike, you can still join us. We will meet up in front of the Bayshore Bike Rentals, located on 745 Denman Street in Downtown Vancouver at 1 pm. There everyone who doesn’t have a bike can rent one. You can rent a bike for only $6.00 per hour or $16.80 for 4 hours. As it is mandatory to wear a helmet while cycling in Vancouver, the rental price includes a complementary helmet.

Another fun way to explore Stanley Park is on roller blades! For only $5.00 per hour or $14.50 per 4 hours you can see Stanley Park on wheels!

After making sure that everybody has a bike or roller blades we will make our way to Stanley Park. Before we enter Stanley Park we will ride on the Seawall of Vancouver. The Seawall is a 22 km (13.7 miles) path that starts at the Convention Centre on Burrard Inlet (Coal Harbour), then goes around Stanley Park and False Creek, past Granville Island and ends at Kitsilano Beach Park. We will follow the Seawall part that goes around Stanley Park.

To be sure that there are enough bikes or roller blades for everybody, we encurage you to let us know if you want to join us for the bike ride. You can let us know by sending an email to pr@internexcanada.com or by calling us at 604 662 8149. This way we can reserve your bike or blades in advance!

As the weather in Vancouver can change at a moment notice, be sure to check out our blog frequently. Should the weather be really bad, we will post a notice on the blog saying if we are cancelling or not. You can also call us on Friday at the office (604 662 8149)  to check if the bike ride is still on!

I hope to see you on the 4th July for a beautiful ride trough Stanley Park!

– Manouk

Adventures on Vancouver Island

This past weekend I met up with my friend Teresa for a visit.  She’s been in the area for about a week on vacation, visiting her family in Comox – a nice little town on Vancouver Island. I got up early Saturday morning to catch the 8:30 a.m. ferry, and was super excited to see a friend from home!

When I arrived, Teresa was waiting with her cousin Claire, who is also visiting but lives in Ireland. We said our hello’s and from there we began our day! First, we drove about 40 minutes and stopped at a nice park. Everything was so fresh and so green! There were tall trees everywhere and the sun was shining. What a beautiful day! As we walked along the paths, we came to the largest tree in the park – a giant Douglas-fir. It is over 800 years old, 76 metres tall and nine metres around. It was over 300 years old when Christopher Columbus came to North America in 1492. The Douglas-fir is one of Canada’s oldest living tree species and can live to be over 1,000 years old! Here is a picture of me with the tree, so you can see for yourself how large it is!

We continued out walk through the park, seeing hollow trees, large roots and insects along the way. It was a nice walk. Once we decided to leave, we hopped in the car and were off to the next destination! We made a pit stop at a nice area by the beach, to take a few pictures. The mountains were tall and the water was clear, it was a truly beautiful sight! In the distance, railroad tracks could be seen in the mountains.

After walking around and taking many pictures, Teresa, Claire and I had worked up our appetites! We decided to head to the local shopping mall to get something to eat, and of course, shop. Within a few hours, our bellies were full and we each had a few shopping bags… so we headed to Comox where Teresa’s family lives. Later that evening, we walked to a nice restaurant where we enjoyed a nice dessert with a glass of wine. From our table, the harbour and mountains could be seen – it was the perfect end to the night!

Have you been to the Island yet? There is so much to do there, including surfing in Tofino, visiting one of their many parks, and even kayaking. The island itself is is 460 kilometres (290 miles) in length and 80 kilometres (50 miles) in width at its widest point. It is the largest island on the western side of North America at 32,134 km squared and the world’s 43rd largest island, Canada’s 11th largest island and Canada’s second most populous island.  Major cities on Vancouver Island include Victoria, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Parksville, Courtenay and Campbell Rivier.

I hope you get to visit the Island this summer!

– Laura