Vancouver, British Columbia
Girmantas | Travel | March 30, 2010
I’m not sure what brits found here that would be common to Columbia, but instead of “Andes’ snow” Vancouver greeted us with Lithuanian rain. For us, Lithuanians, rain is not the worst thing. “Lietuva” means a rainy place in Lithuanian (lietus – rain). Still, after four months of Mexican sun we found it exotic! As if it would be not enough Mother Nature added some strong frontal wind, hail, some lightning and only 45 degrees farenheit.
Our trip from La Ventana started at noon. We simply put our stuff (that currently fits to two bags and two backpacks) to Tacho taxi and took of to Cabo San Lucas. The ride didn’t take too long, we had only one short stop in Los Barilles. In the airport we have been checked by the customs/security. No offense, but it was kinda interesting that manual labour here is still cheaper than x-ray machine. We had nothing to hide, so got through with no problems.
Traveling “light” (without our equipment) affected our minds. We were ready that everything is going to be easy. But, starting from the beginning of March or February all EU travelers must register in some e-system by the request of USA government. Of course it was the first time we heard about that. It was kinda shocking surprise when airline workers claimed that we don’t have “esta”. Que es “esta”? European blood started to curdle in our veins. In any EU airport it would be your own problem to get an ESTA before you come to check in. A Mexican guy with the wide smile made everything a bit easier. He just opened the office door, we climbed over the scale and went into a small room full of computers. Process was totally painless, not even scary. On the contrary helpful Mexican even learned how to count from one to ten in Lithuanian! After another few moments we were registered on-line and had our right to check in for the flight. So if you are EU citizen and you plan your trip to/through US – make sure to get your ESTA here.
With the connection in Phoenix, we had to go through US customs as well as border control. Discovery of the trip was that it is not very smart to answer “I have no idea” if you are asked where exactly are you gonna stay. Border control officer was stoked! She took her time to check our tickets and interrogate us about our plans, friends and so on. We learned from our mistake but still looked suspicious to the Canadian officer in Vancouver. He was also interested to know more about our friends (doesn’t he has any of his own?), our travel plans (come on! get a life!) and the thickness of our wallets (err?). I’d say they both were just jealous!
OK, first day in Vancouver was pretty long and full of impressions! But we’ll get back to that tomorrow, hope to get some pictures too… Good night!