Change of Plans

My travel plans seem to be changing by the day and believe it or not, I’m okay with that.

I follow the blogs of several long-term and round-the-world travellers and most say that keeping an open mind and the ability to roll with the punches are crucial to having fun / staying sane on the road.

While visiting Victoria last week I abandoned my plan to take the Seattle Clipper (ferry) from Victoria to Seattle and then drive from Seattle to San Francisco in a rental car. The new plan has me staying another night in Nanaimo, five nights in Vancouver, and Amtrak’s Coast Starlight to San Francisco starting next Sunday.

A serious shortage of hostel beds up and down the coast is the sole reason for the switch-a-roo. I can’t find a bed in Seattle, let alone the small towns that I was likely to be passing through on a leisurely five day drive from Seattle to San Francisco. August is peak backpacking season in this part of the world and with another 58,000 people currently making their way to Burning Man, hostel space is very tight.

On Monday I booked a 16 hour day trip from Nanaimo to Tofino and Ucluelet but the tour company (a big one) called Tuesday afternoon to say that I was the only person booked on the tour, and with just 12 hours until departure they were exercising their right to cancel the tour.

“Don’t take it personally. We’re having trouble filling these $150 day tours,” said the agent. “Backpackers generally hitchhike and surfer dudes pile 6 deep into a rented van. You could always try to hook up with someone from your hostel,” she advised.

I’m saving those experiences for later. Burning Man will come soon enough.

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