Had an early start to catch the Greyhound bus to Whistler. As hoped, I was first on the bus and got the front seat. I will be travelling on Highway 99 a few times in the coming weeks but on this trip I wanted to see where I was going, and see the stunning views from the Sea to Sky highway.
The Sea to Sky highway was newly built for the Games as the original road from Vancouver to Whistler was narrow and curvy. The new highway is still curvy but it now has two lanes in both directions in some places. But it is ironic that the wide highway built for the Games is now being narrowed to control traffic.
The sun never appeared today but the views of the Howe Sound and the mountains were still stunning. The white clouds were floating about, below the mountain tops and hovering above the water. If I had been in a car rather than the bus I would have been stopping frequently to take photos and just look. I had to make do with taking photos through the bus window. [photo]
I arrived in Whistler to be collected by my host, Rob, and taken to his home. He and his wife, Barbara, live in Creekside, which is right where the skiing action is. I was keen to get my accreditation and uniform collection completed so Rob drove me to the Accreditation Centre down in Whistler Village.
The Accreditation Centre is housed in a bubble structure at the Whistler Racquet Club. As I had turned up without an appointment I was unsure about if would be possible or how long it would take me to get sorted out. I shouldn’t had stressed about it because the entire procedure was smooth and quick and I was walking out the bubble with my accreditation and uniform in less than an hour. All the volunteers, in their Olympic blue uniforms, were very friendly, helpful and smiling.
The only teeny weenie hiccup in the process was the lady at the proofing stage, where I had to provide my passport, could not find me in the system and asked me if I went by another name. It then dawned on her that she had spelt my surname incorrectly…nothing new there then!!
After this I had my photo taken,”look at the camera and don’t smile or show your teeth”! I was quickly moved to the accreditation point where I was handed my newly laminated dog-tag. This is a valuable and important commodity, not only is it needed for access to the Athletes Village but it also gives volunteers free travel on all the public transit, which is really helpful.
At this point I had a really pleasant surprise and met a well-kent face. Also, going through the process was Shawnee Scatliff, who I know from my involvement with Commonwealth Games Canada. I have known Shawnee since the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. She was also in Melbourne in 2006 and I met her again at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune, India. It was nice to she her again and proves how small our world is.
Once I was handed my bag of goodies I went for a walk around Whistler Village. It was about 2:30 and it didn’t feel very busy but by the time it was beginning to get dark there were more people around. I am told rush-hour in Whistler is when everyone is coming off the slopes. I went into the supermarket and it was odd to see people walking about in full skiing gear, including still having their goggles on!