This one is going to be short, because my stay was really short. From Wednesday to a Monday. The shortest gig yet. I found someone on HelpX, they called me back to say their place was full but gave me the # to Al, who owns the Prancing Horse B&B in Malahat, BC. Turned out Al & Co are on HelpX too, so the whole deal was pretty serendipitous. Also, maybe you think the Prancing Horse is kind of a lame name, like I did at first, but apparently it’s a Ferrari reference, which re-cements it’s kewl factor, no?
This is place is right out of movie. Or even a dream. Or MAYBE a movie within a dream?!?! That seems more ethereal. It sits on top of a mountain, due south the Pacific Ocean dips between two more mountains/huge hills/whatever into a river form below with the white-tipped Cascades Mt chain keeping guard over it all way in the distance. Even though it doesn’t seem like good business practice to me, the HelpXer are allowed to stay in the suites when the room is available, as opposed to the room above the barn. I got to stay in Suite One only on my first and DANG I didn’t get any pictures of the one. Someday, when my peak salary hits, we can then multiply that number by ten, and then maybe, maybe, I could afford to stay in this room. Classy joint.
Also w/me HelpXing was a really cool Aussie duo, Kym and Luke. Because the joint got pretty busy, we all relocated to the room above the barn and got pretty close working together all week. And these guys had really good work ethic. We all know us Americans can be a little on the lazy side so I had to be in top form. It was mostly Luke and I working together fixing up the HelpX room in the barn throughout the week, as Kym helped out cleaning rooms in the B&B. Way to break down those gender stereotypes Prancing Horse.
Luke and I worked pretty hard all week. We used long iron pikes to break up stone to widen a mouth of the newly-installed septic tank outside the barn. I felt like Paul Newman from Cool Hand Luke. We also completely flipped the HelpX room above the barn, painting every painstaking inch and getting all the mechanics working around the room. We joked for days we wished we had gotten some before-and-after pics of our work. This room was a God-forsaken shed when we showed up, now it’s a hillbilly-approved God-forsaken room. Any lady would be lucky:)
Al is one of those country dudes who has (or had) some serious money at some point and his life and loves to collect [junk], and you can see a great view of that into what we put in the room. He had well over 100 beer light advertisements that went up in bars back yonder and we preceded to cover the walls in them. Just…fantastic. Al also owns a classy amarillo (spanish anyone?) Ferrari sleeping in one of the garages. I like to see he’s committed to the name of his B&B.
Even though we got worked pretty hard at this gig, the food was great, we ate together for lunch and dinner, which was a first among my travels and everyone there had a “pretty bitchin’ sense of humor”, as they say.
They brewed their own Prancing Horse Pilsner (which was branded to match the company but wasn’t ever given to customers, which I found confusing) that were passed out with dinner. We would all talk about the problems in our home countries and laugh about the different ways we said and experienced the same words. The Aussies share all kinds of slang with New Zealanders (Kiwis) and Canadians, all because of the British. You can see it in the currency, the flags and (kind of, but not really) the governing bodies of these countries/continents/MASSIVE land masses. Australia is bigger, but go look at Canada on a map. It’s much bigger than you think it is.
We had one afternoon off (which I kind of had to fight for) to go out and have some fun. The Aussies had been there for almost three weeks so had seen this and that, but I wanted to get to a bit of the area. It was nothing super special -a little time on the ocean coast then a walk around the lake next to the B&B on the way home- but the three of us had a solid time. They’re really good people, the Aussies, w/o a doubt some of my favorite to have met on this trip. We laughed and teased and conspired like old friends. Hopefully I will run into them in the future sometime. I know Luke wants to travel more so perhaps I will proposition him for a planned trip abroad in the future…? All I really know right now is I want to travel more and not settle down. The in-betweens are flexible. Make some money??? Flexible.
And just while I’m thinking of it, 91.3 FM The Zone is a fantastic radio station broadcasted out of Victoria, BC. I heard exclusively songs I didn’t know but loved all the time. Check it out if you’re looking for new jams. No doubt they stream online.
Lastly, the farm structure underneath the hillbilly room we stayed in was pretty sweet. There were three sassy horses, two good-natured pigs and an almost-comatose cow w/her calf. That last pair was cute in a weird way I’m a little bit embarrassed to admit.
That’s it Malahat, BC! I head back into the city of Victoria to stay w/Adria and Josh Blades, who are friends of the Hunter Homestead that I met on a choice beach trip.
More to come!