Driving 525km along Cariboo Highway
We checked out from Holiday Inn Suites around 8:00AM because the hotel does not serve breakfast. On wednesdays, ( 4th July) there is a Farmers Market in Kamloops town centre. We went there hoping we could find some food for our breakfast. We bought some organic pies and took them to the closest coffee house on the road. Canadians probably are the friendliest people on the planet. They greet you with a happy smile and talk to you in a very friendly manner. It is very easy to have a conversation with any stranger you meet on the road. Mala makes sure to advertise the fact that we are from Australia and we are on our way to Alaska. That makes people curious and they want to know more details about our trip. One lady said her sister lives in New Zealand. She is going there in September to vist them. We bought some fresh cherries and strawberry from the Farmers market.
On our way, we stopped again at a fruit shop. We bought some manderins and apricots. The lady who was selling them said the manderins are from Peru. We again stopped at the 100 mile House ( a small town ). On this road, the places are named ( to show distances) with names like 6 mile park, 30 mile lake, 70 mile house, 150 mile house etc. I have to check and find out how they came up with these names and the startnig point from where they measure these distances. Somewhere close to 100 mile House, we stopped at a shop where they sell Beef Jerky. I had a chat with the shop owner. I asked him about his business. He said the business is not good, not many tourists are stopping there. The economy in the Southern part of Canada is booming, but not many tourists are coming this way. Even the few people who come there, are not spending money and buying things.
We had our first mishap today. The highway is paved, but there was a section which is having lot of lose gravel or tiny stones. One vehicle that dashed through at high speed in the opposite direction sent these stones flying and one of the stones hit our windscreen. We slowed down and found a tiny crack on the widnscreen. Luckily we took full Insurance for the rented car. We were not sure whether this crack can spread with time. We drove upto Quesnel and stopped near a shop that is selling windscreens and glass. Mala talked to the owner who is a lady. Her husband is the mechanic who is doing all the jobs. She said this is a very common occurance on this highway. It happens soon after the winter. The roads get damaged due to snow and they need contant repairs. She got her husband to seal the crack. It took only 10 minutes. First she said the repair would cost $15, but after she talked to Mala and found we are from Australia, she did not want to take any money. They had their two children playing with bicycles. Mala found a cadbury chocolate in one of the bags and gave it to them.
We reached Prince George around 3:30PM and checked into Travelodge. Our next entry will have more details about Prince George.
EDIT: Mala insisted that I add to the blog when we bought beef jerky along our long drive. Shortly after buying the apricots as mentioned above, we had stopped at a little tiny shop where you could buy cherries, beef jerky, wooden products and other random packaged foods. All in a tiny garage, i had a conversation with the elderly man who ran the shop. He had talked about how business was declining and how the economy has impacted his sales. Sadly, the tourism industry in this area was low - and as a consequence he was unable to make a decent living. We bought a package of garlic beef jerky with a fair amount of meet in it for $12.95. Malisha ended up eating most of it - she most fond of this jerky.