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July 2016: Bye Bye Canada, I’ll Miss You…

July 2016: Bye bye Canada, I’ll miss you…

July is done, Canada is done. I’ve been on the road for 4 months now and this is the first country I’m not getting back to.That’s weird.. Canada is a great country especially the bits up north, empty, great landscapes and heaps of wildlife. If you like nature you should really visit Yukon and Alaska.

In July I crossed from Alaska back into Canada, accidentally ended up driving way north to the 24 hour days on the Dempster highway and finally zigzagged down through the mountains to meet up with friends in Vancouver

The Good

  • The van is keeping up really well. There are some minor issues but I’ve been driving mountains (15% slopes) and dirt roads with much less effort than expected.
  • Meeting loads and loads of friends in and around Vancouver for beer, food, hikes and lazy afternoons.

The Bad

  • Travel season has started: campsites are sometimes full and the queue for getting a kayak in Vancouver was 4 hours
  • There was a 5 day boring stretch between the end of the Cassiar-Stewart Highway and driving into the mountains north of Vancouver. Obviously the road can’t always be pretty and if this is one of the main bad things of the month, it was a really good month.

The Unforgettable

  • My van completely covered in mud after driving the Dempster Highway
  • 24 hour sunshine in Inuvik
  • The view over the ginourmous Salmon Glacier
  • Swimming in a very icy Joffre lake at the end of the hike

The Stats

  • No days: 31 (121 total)
  • No. km: 7378 (21354 total)
  • Countries: Canada, USA
  • States/Provinces: Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Washington
  • No. Border crossings: 8 (6 in one day)
  • No. of places stayed at: 22 (19 campsites, 3 at friends)
  • Hikes: 8 (53km, 3000m height difference)
  • Books: 1
  • Movies: 1
  • New Beers: 16 (total during this trip now more than 100)
  • Photos: 978
  • Weather:
    • Days: warmest 32C, coldest 12C, average 21C
    • Nights: warmest 18C, coldest 6C, average 12C

This month had some extremes: I drove 1500 km in four days on the Dempster highway and spend more than a week in Vancouver barely driving at all. Almost all hikes were concentrated in a few days around Whistler. The weather clearly is getting better with much higher temperatures.

Daily costs for July

I had lowered the budget for campsites, but because I spend 9 nights staying at friends I spend much less than expected. Visiting friends meant I went to restaurants more often, but my friends also invited me for dinner quite a few times, so that leveled out perfectly.

  • Campsites: 14 Euro per night (plan was 23)
  • Food: 12 Euro per day (plan was 12)
  • Fun: 5 Euro per day (plan was 6)
  • Total: 31 Euro per day (plan was 41)

Overal driving (4 months):

I keep driving more than planned and the the diesel all the way up north and in British Columbia are more expensive than the rest of Canada. Overall I’m now some 10% over budget for fuel.

  • Distance: 21354 (plan was 18875)
  • Fuel costs: 69 cents/l (plan was 68 cents/l)
  • Efficiency: 11.1 km/l (plan was 10.5 km/l)

Other costs:

No special expenses this month. The van has been behaving more or less stable. However, there are still some issues I want to get fixed but I’m waiting to get to the cheap US to get those fixed. So next month probably will have some entries here.

Overall I’m leaving Canada as espected (end of July) and my savings on camping and food cancel out with the extra costs for the car repairs. So I’m good to continue.

Big thanks for the following people for hosting me, showing me around their towns and meeting up for drinks:
Maarten, Matt, Nataly, Mike, Shirley, Sue and Utsab and all the others.

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