It has arrived! After 10 days, the day has come were we are free from the primal diet shackles. With no dietary constraints the first stop had to be anywhere that served Nutella Pancakes. After a long search on the internet and wondering aimlessly around Vancouver asking anyone we could see it became apparent that you can’t get Nutella Pancakes in Vancouver! One lady recommended Cafe Crepe jus down the road, it wasn’t pancakes but they had Nutella, half way there. Disappointment followed, there really wasn’t enough Nutella, should we have just gone and purchased a jar from a shop, and got plain pancakes from anywhere? Yes! lesson learned.
The main activity for today was hiring bikes and cycling the 17km Seawall that is essentially an uninterrupted bike path stretching the entire coastline of Vancouver. The Seawall started as a stone wall that was constructed around the perimeter of Stanley Park, a large park at the North of Vancouver, to prevent the erosion of the park’s shoreline. It has become one of the most-used features of the park by both locals and tourists. You can certainly tell the locals from the tourists. The locals storm around constantly ringing their bell shouting “on your left” or “on your right”, they must get very annoyed. I remember working in London and having to push my way through herds of tourists trying to take photos!
The bike rental shop was right at one end of the Seawall and they told us that it was compulsory to wear a helmet. This upset high maintenance, image conscious Hayley, but she smiled took them helmet and then instantly removed it when we were round the corner. It was not until we got back we realised it was actually local law and you can be fined $30 for not wearing one!
We could see why the Seawall is the most recommended attraction in the city. leaving the hustle and bustle of the city behind you, winding your way down a beautiful coastal path with distant views on the mountains and town across the water, amazing. Its so amazing that its easy to forget that you are cycling around a park and not through it. Realising this we deviated off the path for a short while into the park and sat at a lake whilst we quenched our thirst! The park itself is great, surprisingly it’s bigger than Central Park in New York and was voted better recently!
Leaving Stanley Park behind us we started to hit the beaches that are dotted around the island. One in particular was interesting, passers by had created stone towers all the way along. Wanting to leave our mark on Vancouver we parked up the bikes and set out to build our own, the resulting masterpiece is below:
The beaches had nothing on California but its just another tick box for Vancouver, jobs, shops, parks, sun, snow and skiing! Everything you could ever need. We was starting to see why it’s always voted the bet place to live in the world. One interesting spot was an art piece of giant characters made from sheet metal, I managed to put Hayley on top of one of these for today’s blog image. She came down moaning she’d burnt her leg though, we didn’t realise how hot they’d be!
We had probably covered 15km by now and our stomachs were stating to let us know that they were ready for the next carb infused meal. We both decided on ribs, but like the pancakes these where proving impossible to find! We kept cycling and cycling and ended up finding ourselves back on Granville Island! Enough was enough so we locked up our bikes and set off walking the island hunting down ribs! We got lucky, a restaurant chain called The Keg Steakhouse came to the rescue. The meal was delicious, especially the chips and garlic bread we’ve been depriving ourselves of for 10 days!
So does the Primal Diet make a difference? In a word yes! We both felt really tired, lazy and bloated after the meal, something that was a distant memory. I think being on the primal diet has really oped our eyes to how we eat and how eating grain and sugar really effects our body, mood and energy levels. I think from now on we will probably eat more primal foods when possible and have treats in moderation rather than half a cake, and half a tub of ice-cream for desert!
It was time to get the bike back and we realised we only had 30 minuted to get all the way across town. The most direct route back was taking the Granville Bridge that we took yesterday. If you find yourself on Granville island we would recommend you taking the walk over the bridge, it offers great views of the city. With the time ticking down we decided to ride on the road, weaving in and out of cars. Suddenly all the cars disappeared and we really got up some speed. We then realised we was on a tram only system. We definitely made a few highway code violations and more than one person shouted at us but we got back just in time, covered in sweat!
After a long sit down we decided we needed a diet coke and McFlurry (argh, we’re locked back in the carb cycle!), had we not learned anything? This really was the nail in the coffin for me though, I didn’t really enjoy it and felt really horrible after. Deciding we needed to burn some calories we set off walking the 3 main streets in Vancouver. Robson, Denman and Davie before we tackled the gauntlet of crazy people trying to get back to our hotel!