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During my travels, my compensation for free accommodation for one night, was for me to write a daily travel diary. Of how I got to my next location, the people who would host me, the food I was offered and everything else. Below you find the archives of the highly extensive reports. Know that English is not my native language and most reports were written at high speed around midnight. Enjoy.

Friday, 28 February 2003
Saanich, Vancouver Island, Canada (day 2)

Yesterday was a busy day with a long distance to travel. And yesterday’s report was also written in quite a rush (a few days later of course), which might explain the fact that the coming days are hectic, relaxing and delightful at the same time.
In the morning Tamra and Darren McQuitty let me sleep in ‘til 10 in the morning and however their life had already started earlier this morning, I had not heard anything! Probably I needed the rest.

As you can see on the website of the Cedars Spring B&B in Whistler (with new photos), I barely slept at that lodge…

Some backstage info from Joern:
"As much fun as we may think it is, I don't envy Ramon...there is a lot of work involved in keeping his project moving. Not only does he come out and hang out with the families/friends and do all the activities, but then he has to write about it. He writes in English and Dutch, edits photos and puts it all together on a daily basis. I would finish setting up for breakfast at 2:00am and he would still be on his computer, emailing, doing interviews and working on the web site. "
I was invited to stay a few days with the McQuitty’s in Saanich, so I really enjoy making the best of it. We could go along pretty well and almost any conversation with them had a good laugh. They have great humour, that’s the secret too!

I was going to go along with Darren to work, at Reliable Controls, which is in Victoria, and on the map actually just a few blocks south.

Do you know that Vancouver Island is about twice the size of the Netherlands? However the island has a population of over 700,000 people, which seems nothing to the almost 17 million people in my country.

You sure shouldn’t expect an island to be empty and half-discovered. There are some pretty big cities on this island! Nevertheless Vancouver Island spans all terrains from sandy beaches to rugged coastlines, marshy lowlands to rolling farmland, and lush, old-growth rainforests to some snow-capped mountains too! And on a clear night you can see the skiing slopes of the three mountains north of Vancouver too.

At the offices of Reliable Controls Darren showed me around, giving explanation and paraded how several products were realised on the work floor; from idea tot production and on to packing it all up in the box. Darren is the man who sells the products to companies in Canada and overseas.

And of course he made me meet a lot of colleagues of him who already knew about me (Darren told them about my visit) and they were all very startled about my lifestyle.

As Darren had to finish some last orders on this half-Friday work day, I had time to connect my laptop to their high-speed network and get online for the necessary stuff I had to do (writing, mapping, writing, planning, making phone calls and writing). I guess everybody at this office was following my progress on this website, waiting for the latest reports and photographs.

And I got a lot of work done and I sat there until 5 o’clock in the afternoon (writing an average report takes me two hours, so guess what: I actually ‘work’ at least 16 hours per week too…). And at 5 the lights went off and everybody whished each other a good weekend and took off.

Darren and I got home and after a drink at home and saying Hi to Tamra, who works as a managment accountant for the British Columbia government.

“We do cook once in a while, but we prefer to eat out more,” Darren said when dinner was discussed. “Or we order a delivery,” added Tamra. “Tonight we’ll go out for dinner.”

We drove to a pub downtown Victoria called the Four Mile Pub. This pub located in a historical building and the building has been used for several different purposes over the century. It dates back from 1857 and has been a train station, a small school run by nuns, a brothel and nowadays it is a big pub. So many things have happened there.

We had a table on the outside heated terrace and I had brandied Cajun pasta for dinner and enjoyed the company of two friends of Darren and Tamra who had joined us tonight: Tracie and Dave. Tracie actually works at this pub as a waitress and she found it pretty strange to be eating there now as she had a day off.

We had great conversations about my adventures, about their jobs, their life, about Americans (seems to be a hot topic on the forum too!) and about that high-tech treasure hunting of them, geocaching of course. We had lots of fun!

The story also goes around that the Four Mile Pub is a haunted house. The spirits of two people who probably died here in the past seem to wander around and surprise the working staff at the pub and occasionally the guests. On the second floor of the pub is a maze of narrow hallways and small rooms.

As something extraordinary attracts my interests I asked Tracie if she could give me a tour through the house, I loved to see a ghost! So we got up there and walked around through the different rooms, now in use as staff offices, but I did not see any ghosts. But what the heck happened with Tracie's hair when we were in one certain room??!

A few hours before midnight we got back at the house again and a few other friends joined this house party for a while. One of them, Drew, even played some tunes on his guitar (however he was too hypersensitive to have me record that with my camera). A few beers with that and good conversations gave the right atmosphere for a relaxing night.

Good night Saanich!
Hey, it's March tomorrow!