Today was a free day with Gill & Stewart and a list of things I’d left to the last minute to get, including fuel for my stove which you obviously wouldn’t want to fly with!
I rebuilt my bike over a coffee…
…and we set out for the stores. After great success with buying things on my list, immensely generously donated to the trip by my kind hosts, only the meths (or ‘denatured alcohol’ as it’s called here) remained. We went for a sumptuous dim sum brunch at a regular haunt of my hosts called Kirin, ate ourselves to a standstill and then headed shopping for this one last thing. Could we find it? No. Store after store, large or small, gave us apologies, blank looks, helpful suggestions, empty shelves, but none gave us meths. We even tried this strangest fishing and outdoor store you could ever imagine, but they said they had none in stock. (Photo credits today to Mr Stewart Buchanan)
“We can’t stop here! Meths!”
Finally a very helpful English lady told us that the area supplier had folded or stopped selling it, but that everyone used Marine Alcohol now instead. This led us to a fine old Marine Supplies store in fine old Steveston, where they got me sorted out. Thanks, and sorry, for all the time and driving Stewart & Gill!!
Talking about my trip in another store, the owner looked surprised when Gill mentioned SOS Children’s Villages. “But they’re just a few doors down here!” she told us. I admit I thought to myself “That’s got to be wrong”, but trotted off to have a look.
Who would have thought it? Just about the most out of the way place we’d been all of the long day, and we stumbled on possibly the only SOS thrift shop in BC. And it was shut.
Tomorrow – to Vancouver Island early in the morning…..