Update – 15 February 2017

At the time of our last update on 12 December we were in Okanagan, British Columbia, CANADA.

Now we are in Sorrento, British Columbia, Canada.

Through late November and early December 2016 we made it through sun, storm, snow and ice and drove across the Rocky Mountains in the USA.

We completed our Penticton house sit in British Columbia with our small truck parked outside a very big house through December and January. Then we moved on to Sorrento for more house sitting, snowshoeing and spent a lot of time reading and planning and searching for more house sits further south.

We have started to publish some videos that will show the varying scenery we have encountered and some amusing incidents along the way. Click on our Videos page in the menu to look at them on our Youtube channel. We hope to find time to organise more of these soon.

What is happening with the weather? We Brits love talking about weather!
Over Christmas and New Year it was a little cold at -15 degrees C. If the temperature hovers around -3 degrees C, we now think it is warm! Although the days started chilly when we were first in Sorrento and there was some mist over the lake, it became quite mild compared to what we have been used to. More recently though, we have had 2 degrees C on a good day, -19 when we camped at Sicamous, and -3 as I type. On one occasion overnight 6 inches of snow settled outside. Unfortunately the pool is outdoors and frozen so we haven’t been swimming! We have had some lovely sun too.

Are we within our budget? Are we beaten or penniless?
Yes! And No. We have finally batted away the entire backlog of our overspend – which is quite some feat! A combination of free accommodation, hard work and general penny pinching has banished it from sight. So we are not beaten! We have had hardly any money to enjoy ourselves with but we have indulged in a bottle of wine a week and chosen one we will enjoy rather than the cheapest on the shelf. We have splashed out on the occasional muffin, biscuit or coffee and even had a cafe lunch out again this month. We splashed out on galettes at Cafe Tasse, in Salmon Arm, near Sorrento and were most impressed with those [see main picture].

What do we really think of it so far?
Some things got significantly easier recently. Simple, basic things like places to stay, electric, heat, water and food have been much, much easier. We have not been travelling and then finding camp sites shut or horrid. Cooking got easier once we stopped fighting freezing winter and condensation in the truck. This has been especially so once we could spread out in the Sorrento house sit kitchen and use a bit of space in the house freezer. It helps that we have stopped having to keep packing everything away every 5 minutes either to keep things away from animals or to stow them for more travel.

Having said that, down to -5 degrees, the truck copes well and is really comfortable. Below this it is still warm for us to sit inside, sleep inside and cook a meal. Unfortunately we can’t open the windows and doors when it is -15 to let out the steam from cooking/washing up, as we would in warmer times. Some of the pipes and the water pump [that pumps the water to the tap] freeze up despite being inside the front body. These items are in lockers that are simply too cold at such low temperatures.

Sarah has been very pleased with having a dishwasher that isn’t called “Sarah” especially with Jon’s recent poor excuse of cutting his finger. We now even have UK TV on demand for a month and we have enjoyed watching a bit of it for a change. We have done our laundry in the comfort of our Canadian house sits so we haven’t had to wait around [or pay for it] at laundrettes.

We leave Sorrento tomorrow and intend to briefly visit a few more Canada parks [Banff, Waterton Lakes] and will then cross back into the USA near Waterton Lakes and visit Glacier Park USA. From there we are still debating whether to go across and visit Vancouver Island or to just go south via the Oregon coast and into California. Much depends on whether we pick up another house sit and how the timing of that affects us. We can’t stay too much longer in North America without house sits around March-May to help us to save on accommodation costs. We simply won’t be able to afford to go as far as Central/South America if we do.

We have really enjoyed the space and comfort that peoples’ houses have given us recently but we are looking forward to being back in the truck and finding new things to see again. It is nice to have a balance of both worlds!

Update Monday 20th February: We now have a 10 day house sit booked for the Portland area in March and we are arranging another for San Francisco in May. Our plans are unfolding…………


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