Janos Peterdi Photographer

Seattle, Banff National Park, Canada

We boarded a plane in Seoul, flew over the Pacific, and landed in Seattle after a short 16-hour trip. The trip was relatively smooth, we could not get enough food, because at one of the airports it was not possible to pay by card and the other one had no restaurant at all. In addition the Chinese had forgotten to mention that there would be an extra transfer, which meant getting off the plane and then back again, of course, before having to go through the full baggage check, border control procedure. Well thanks, at least the movies were good on the airplane.

Alex, who helped us to buy a car in Seattle, was waiting for us at the airport. Well, he didn’t do this for free, but he does his job fairly. We stayed for a couple of days at his house, he feeded us with delicious, real American food and helped prepare the car for the trip. We got a seat to make it easier to sell later, made a simple but very massive bed of wood, changed the oil and packed everithing together.

Our car is a 2002 3.3-liter V6 petrol Dodge Caravan, with 120,000 miles and an automatic transmission. Actually the most common family car in America, with all its amenities. Of course, for us, the main thing is that we can sleep, cook, store our stuff, and travel long distances with it. It does not consume compared to the cars in the US, eating at around 9 liters at our usual average speed of 80 km / h, and the cost of parts for it is also cheap, since it is a very common car, you can find at least five of it at any junkyards.

In Seattle, we also visited Alex and Kyle, who were aou first couchsurfing guests 3 years ago back in Budapest. We had a fantastic evening, again, real American food and beer, and they took us to a gaming pub where we tried out a lot of games! It’s amazing that from the 1960s to the present, you can find the best pinball machines and you can even play with them, thy are not dusting in a museum.

Our first trip led to British Columbia, Canada. This detour was a very spontaneous idea, as I only thought about what it would be like to come to Canada because a friend of mine, Aron, he mentioned that he would be envious of us if we went there. Sorry, Aron!

However, we drove thousands of kilometers in amazing landscapes. Canada has a large unspoiled wilderness, and the road that leads through it is also beautiful. No need to be surprised to occasionally be told you cannot call for 150km on the phone, as you have no signal strength, and you have to refuel your car, because you can’t expect a gas station on this stretch … When I checked something on the car, a citizen stopped by his huge pickup and asked if he could help because he had a satellite phone. Such are the Canadians …

No complaints about the Americans anyway, they are very nice and here it is really easy to camp wild, even easier than in Scandinavia. Everyone is pulling with their gigantic 7.5 liter pickup truck a gigantic camper van. There is a great culture of traveling here, of course, most people pay for a place in the RV park. We prefer nature, we feel the best in the wild, it’s free and beautiful!

Unfortunately, sleeping in the national parks is forbidden, so we always go out in the evening and back in the morning. Dayly tickets in Canada are expensive, so we spent only two days, two very busy days, in Banff National Park. We woke up at dawn on the last day and traveled for an hour and a half to see Moraine Lake at sunrise, but we were still late because by the time we arrived, the parking lot was full and no one was allowed. In exchange, we looked at Louise Lake and hiked a good one, and tried again in the afternoon. Returning from the short hike, I found out that we had a flat tire, I replaced quick, but unfortunetely we have to buy a new one.

As it was slowly mid-autumn and we were planning to see a lot of sights to the south anyway, we headed back to the US. We crossed the border in two minutes and are already hunting for used tires in Montana! Of course we are on our way, first stop: White Fish and Glacier National Park in northern Montana!

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