In the wilderness lies the preservation of the world.
Henry David Thoreau

The last day

Thekla After a restful night in the youth hostel, I get up and throw myself into the action. The breakfast crew is already making the best pancakes in the world. Everyone is happy about the variety of fresh food, especially the milk, and the day that will follow. It is our last full day in Canada, and the civilization has taken us all in again. After stowing the tents that were drying in the hot sun on the lawn of the hostel, we go with Charlotte into the city and this time again we have some difficulty getting the exact change together for the bus fare. When we arrive at the bicycle rental station, we put on helmets and start on a two-hour tour around Stanley Park, much loved by tourists and locals alike. It is a small Canadian ancient forest, but it is impressive. Kathi says: Like a real ancient forest, but cleaner. Just before we end our tour, Johannes has a flat tire so he and Charlotte go to have it repaired at the next shop. The rest of the group rides to the rental station and we give the bikes back. After a short break when everyone gets their lunch, we continue on to Granville Island, a shopping area that is well-known for its native art. We have 45 minutes. While the others go into the supermarket to get something to eat for this evening, I go with Lina and Ronny into a few art galleries and smaller shops to look for things I can bring my loved ones back home. We also complete a few other errands during this time. Lina and I hold a poll about healing plants, in order to get more information for our project. Then the three of us go to 4th Avenue, while the others go to Gastown, and look for a shop that I had found earlier. Unfortunately this search ends shortly thereafter, as we realize that all shops close at 6pm We miss the train, but get the next one to get to our meeting point, which is in the middle of downtown. I find this part of the city especially nice, because it is closed to cars, and musicians and artists are gathered here too. One can sit on a bench and listen to the music. At the end of our tour, a few of us go back to Gastown to get some more souvenirs. Back in the youth hostel, I am pretty tired, but I pick myself up for the evening picnic. It’s an eclectic mix of food – everyone brought something to the party. But there is more than enough of one thing: BREAD! We eat heartily, especially the honey smoked salmon that Hannes bought. Very yummy! Finally we count down to midnight – it is the start of Jette’s 19th year of life. A few exhausted people (including me) go to bed shortly thereafter, but the very hardy ones stay up til late in the night. Tomorrow we go home.
Translated: Pilar Wolfsteller
Photos: (C) Wilderness International

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