After 4 days in Whistler (a day longer than we’d planned) I’m sad to say we had to leave it behind us, but we’ve got places to go, things to do and new friends to meet, so we jump in the Escape and embark on a 7 hour trip to Salmon Arm to meet with a guy I met thru facebook – Matt Vatkin.
I’m a little hazy on how we even started talking but I’m fairly certain is was thru some now-defunct game (Zombiewars…?) but it was evident that we had a very similar sense of humour and soon we were bantering backwards and forwards on each others’ facebook walls.
Once the holiday to Canada was growing inevitably closer, Matt and I were soon arranging to meet up and see how we’d bridge the Canadian-UK divide. As Jo and I neared Salmon Arm we were soon exchanging phonecalls with Matt and trying to find our way thru Salmon Arm itself.
Salmon Arm is on the shores of the Shuswap Lake,where the Salmon River empties into the Salmon Arm reach of the Lake – hence the name. It ‘s a tourist town in the summer and has a population of just over 16,000.
There’s also a shit load of churches. We passed a sign on our way in listing around 20 of the buildings in Salmon Arm!
After winding our way thru the unfamiliar roads we eventually arrive at Jess Ladners‘ house – Matt’s partner-in-crime. She’s very welcoming and soon we are sat with the pair of them around a fire that seems to always burn in Jess’ garden. It’s made of concrete blocks and makes me wish I had one!
Jess and Matt are very much like most Canadians we’ve met: friendly, polite, nothing’s too much hassle for them to help you (although I’m sure the beer helped!). Matt’s very charasmatic and has a view on everything, making him easy to talk to and get along with.
We meet Matt’s friend Matt Parnell who immediately reminds me of Simon Cope back home (a fellow taxi driver who lives upstairs and who I have known for over 20 years). He’s laid back, friendly and so easy going it’s a simple task to get on with him.
Soon we’re shooting the shit about anything and everything, the conversation often ending up about Earl – Matt’s pet hound that is currently trying to hump the life out of the two other dogs running around. We also talk about sweets/candy and how Matt says UK candy is better. He also tells me that there are Twinkies somewhere nearby!
Beers are drunk, but our road trip has left us exhausted so we head back for the Travel Lodge we’re booked into, possibly also the biggest place we’ve stayed in so far, and very comfortable.