So after missing flights & not giving a shit about seeing sights well it was time to leave Europe as it wasn't doing anything for me anymore. So headed home at the end of July just in time to enjoy Shambhala Music Festival like been doing for a few years! Hell I usually volunteer for 5 days at the festival to get in free while still enjoying all the fun and partying! But this year Valdis, my Latvian buddy, who’s in Canada on a year work visa, wanted to come to the festival too! But to volunteer well would have to go on Wed and Valdis had to work Thur. So shit being the nice guy that I am well I bowed in and bought a ticket cus hell it was one of the things he wanted to do while here in Canada! Also he had no way to get to the festival cus it’s held at a ranch in the mountains about 9 hrs east of Vancouver!
So we drove all night Thur to get there at 8 am on Fri morning. But by then all the good camp sites were taken so had to camp in the overflow camp ground. But no problem as we brought our bikes so it’d be easier getting from the campsite (or as everyone calls it the base) to the 6 stages and places to eat! Also didn’t mind cus we were camping next to some cool guys and chicks from Vancouver Island and Australia. So this made for a cool party campsite. But the atmosphere and vibes everywhere is so awesome at the festival there in the mountains that everyone is chilled and cool!
Guess the best way to describe Shambhala is it’s like a throw back to the old Hippie festivals!!! It’s not that everyone gets stoned but everyone is so chilled even if they aren’t getting stoned or drinking!!! Man this is the reason I like going to the festival cus everyone is so cool and friendly! I’ve never seen anyone argue or pissed off about anything in the years I’ve been there!
Took my truck (tho dislike driving & vehicles but got the truck given to me. But don’t usually drive the truck as only put insurance on it for the days I really need it !) and were going to sleep in tents. But I got lazy so just slept in the back among all the junk. Since was too lazy to take out all the junk well there was only room for 1 of us. So Valdis slept in a tent but the dude didn’t put the fly on correctly so when it rained one night it started to leak. So then he ended up sleeping in the front seat! Cus there was no way he was going to sleep next to me in the back as friendship only goes so far!!
Hell all the dude did was sleep as every so often we’d be at a stage and he’d say I’m going back to base and get or do something or other! He’d say I’ll be back so will meet u back here in a hr. But not having a clock or phone well I’d forget the time. Then later I’d go back to camp and find him asleep in the truck! One time I left my money in the truck so couldn’t buy any food or water. So he said he’d go and get it but the dude didn’t come back for 2 or 3 hrs & by this time I was starving and getting thirsty. So went back to the base and found the idiot fast asleep in the truck! Don’t know why we ate at the base cus all we brought was some bread and buns at a gas station! While Valdis brought beer and some rum! But shit all I brought was beer and weed cus the other dope we could get at the festival! Hell people always come by the base selling any junk u wanted! But Valdis being from Europe didn’t do much of anything. So shit being the helpful Canadian well helped him lose his Shambhala virginity! But hell I kind of thought he must be kind of hen pecked cause he kept saying don’t tell Eva (his Latvian gf who is a real sweet chick). I figure shit if u go with a chick (or a chick with some guy) well u shouldn’t have to hide anything from them. Cus fuck man if they can’t take u for who or what u are then the hell with them, so next!!! Guess I can say that now cus don’t have a gf or maybe it’s cus of that thought that I don’t ha ha. But heck life is too short not to be yourself. Cus my other motto is “I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I’m not!”. Anyway I usually get wasted all the time I’m there as it seemed everyone is on one thing or another even if that is the only time they do it all year!
It was kind of refreshing to hang out at the festival with someone from Europe cus they aren't used to this type of music festival. He kept saying look at all the hippies! He’d see chicks walking around topless (which one never gets tired of seeing) and guys bottomless (but usually just ignore them & they’ll finally put their pants back on)!
The stages have music playing all night so we’d finally get back to the base around 5 or 6 and crash till noon or later. Then we’d get up and head to the beach (actually the river/stream running thru the festival area) to cool off in the hot sun! My favorite stage is the Living Room cus it’s right next to the beach so u can lay in the water or in the shade! It’s also cool at night to lay by the beach to listen & dance to the music! Also liked to go to the other stages set in the forest like the Fractal Forest Stage! A group I met traveling in Nicaguara in 2009 played at the Rock Pit stage! It was so cool to see them again!
It was kind of cool to hang with Valdis, an European, to get their view on the festival! Cus he said he’s been to a lot of Festivals in Latvia and Europe. But I guess most people at those festivals he’s been at are big drinkers so the festivals basically turn into big Drunks. So the atmosphere isn’t the same as at Shambhala or other North American festivals. He told me at the festivals he’s been to there is shoving and maybe fighting as the testosterone level goes up on booze over dope I guess! Hell if anyone every flipped out at a festival in North America well they’d be so embarrassed by everyone around for being an asshole! The only ones that rank even close to that are the chicks who think they’re hot dancers & want to get to the front of a stage to be noticed. So they may push and bump into people to get though the crowd while holding hands so as to not lose their friends. But shit this is no biggie & no one says anything but it is a nuisance!
But yeah we both had a great time hanging out, listening to the awesome music, getting wasted and riding our bikes thru the crowds of people! Shit there were a couple of times I could hardly ride my bike and kept falling off! But Valdis who is from Europe is more used to riding a bike thru crowds I guess! Shit I’d leave my bike at the base when I’d go to the stages at night cus shit I knew was going to get so wasted that I couldn’t find my way to the bike, forget the bike or get lost going thru the crowds to the base!
It seemed odd that after going to Shambhala with Valdis well we didn’t seem to hang out too often for the rest of the summer! Cus most of the time Valdis and his gf Eva went Geocaching (http://www.geocaching.com/) and I’m not as big into it as them! I gave them Old Betsy (my 22 year old car) when I left to go on my 6 month road trip! Cus I figured that I’m not going to be around and Old Betsy still ran good tho she needed a bit of work! So I told them to look after her and before they leave Canada to give her to another loving owner so they can use her!!! It was sort of paying it forward or giving her forward to another person needing a car! So they used Old Betsy to go out of town to do geo caching while I couldn’t be bothered.
I have to say August is an awesome time here in Vancouver to hang out, attend festivals and head to the beach. So guess what I did but spent time at the beaches ie Wreck and 3rd Beach plus attended a couple of other festivals.
Also hosted a number of Couch Surfers from different countries but probably most from Europe. Guess I spent most of my time hanging out more with CS’ers than local Vancouver people. Hell could relate more to their views on life, travels as they were more open minded with less hang ups about hanging out with strangers! So found myself not associating with people I used to call friends as I never even bothered contacting most of my so called friends that I knew before! Cus a lot of people in Vancouver well I consider Wimpy Latte Slurping Snobs so can’t be bothered with them!
Hell being a Stoner well I usually end up hanging out with people who are 420 friendly. So when I found out Eva’s Latvian friend had started and liked to smoke weed well guess we ended up hanging out a few times too. But basically really liked hanging out with her friend
My favorite beach in Vancouver is Wreck Beach (http://www.wreckbeach.org/) cus I like the cool carnival atmosphere of the place & not necessarily the nudist feature. But have to say since it’s a nude beach well the people hanging out there are usually more open minded and chilled than most beaches. It’s oblviously not a family beach so a person can get beer, weed or any other thing there which is cool! So yeah usually go down there a few times during the summer! Well one day I went to Wreck Beach & was also invited to a bbq on the other side of the city in the evening. So I put my bike in the back of the truck as have to park a couple Km’s from the beach so then I’d ride my bike to the beach! But fuck when I got back to get my truck shit it had been towed away. So hell had to pay an Idiot Tax to get my truck out of the tow yard. Then to add insult to injury shit had to ride my bike 15 km to the tow yard to pay the $110 Idiot Tax. So of course ended up late for my Barbie but still got to eat! So after that incident well didn’t really drive my truck for the rest of the summer. Anyways it’s cheaper to ride my bike especially since I bought a new bike with more gears to go up and down hills!
Then in late Aug Valdis, my Latvian buddy, wanted to go to the Burning Man festival (http://www.burningman.com/) But I couldn’t afford to go cus just got back from a 6 month trip West Africa, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Western Europe! So I was like Bummed Out cus wanted to go but it’s a bit expensive as would have to drive to Nevada. Then part of Burning Man is they camp in the desert so would have to be organized to take all my water and food in for 7 days! Well since I’m not a very organized person so getting my shit together was hard to do. Anyway I’m going next year for sure but a thought started in my mind of maybe taking a Road Trip across Canada for the adventure and experience of doing it!
But in the mean time went to another music festival ‘Live at Squamish’ on Labor Day weekend! But what happened caused it to be a tad bit costly cus ended up paying another Idiot Tax as bought a bus tkt but didn’t end up using it! Cus found someone selling a 2 day festival pass for the price of a 1 day pass! But since I didn’t have a way to get there as it’s 1 hr away from Vancouver so had to find a ride! Well found someone heading up on both days but was too late to get a ride Sat. So didn’t get to use my Sat festival tkt and didn’t use my Sun bus tkt cus got a ride to the festival on Sun with Tiffany and her roommate who met thru Couch Surfing. So being CS’ers well they were nice sweet ppl that weren’t flakely but gave me a ride and hung out with them too! It was a great festival with a lot of local groups which I thought played some awesome music!!
So as soon as Labor Day was over I started getting a bit antsy and thought OK before I start working again well I’ll do a road trip across Canada!