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Dave's Canadian Whale

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So the more observant of you may have noticed that the times on my posts have been rather odd....


My wife and I moved to canada about 3 months ago, and we currently live in Banff, Alberta. Banff is small town about 1.5hrs from Calgary, right in the middle of the rocky mountains.


Banff is very close to 3 main ski fields (about 30mins drive to 2 of them, and 15min to the other one).


Here is a couple of photos of banff, and also a few of me being a cool snowboarder.







We both work here, I work in a money exchange type place in town, and my wife actually works at Sunshine ski village as a cook in one of the restaurants. If we arent at work we are at the ski field. its starting to warm up a bit, but the hill is full of snow still and the ski season doesnt officially finish until may 18 or so.


After we got jobs and a place to live, we decided we wanted to buy ourselves a vehicle.


So after looking around for a while and doing a bit of research i bit the bullet on probably the most ridiculous car i have owned to date.


I present to you "the whale":




What you are looking at here is a 2000 model Ford Windstar LX model, features include,


-7 seats, with the front 4 being "captain chairs" with double arm rests.

-v6 front wheel drive, 3.4L i think.

-all season tyres (half way between snow and normal tyres)


-column shift automatic

-cruise control

-working AC

-tape deck


Purchase price of $1850 CAD


I wanted to get something japanese, but the the place is overrun with American "mini vans" so they are really cheap. lots of foreigners buy them and use them for 6 months and pass them on, so there are always plenty for sale.


We have had it for 2 weeks and driven it a few hundred kms. Yesterday we had 6 people piled in with 4 snowboards and 2 sets of skis. it drives pretty well i think, i mean its a land barge thats for sure, but on the highway it cruises very nicely. Haven't really driven it far enough to get a good indication of fuel economy, but seems to be reasonably normal. (maybe 11L/100 at a guess).


So some fun facts about the vehicle system in canada.


-Vechicle registration is $82/year regardless of type of car (no insurance included)

-No road worthy required to register a car or transfer (unless the car used to be in another province)

-Insurance started out at around $1000 for the year for me, but i managed to get 12years worth of "no at fault claim" certificates from my australian companies, which brought it down to around $420 for the year for 3rd party fire and theft.


So there are a couple of minor issues with the car, the worse being that the indicator that tells you what gear you are in has decided to stop indicating, so you gotta count the clicks when you change the gears. and being i have probably driven automatic twice in my life, i still have to count out aloud!


Anyway, ill try get some better photos. Its just a minivan, but thought you might like to see it anyway!

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I have seen one old corolla I think. But that was in vancouver. Seems anyone into old cars keeps them hidden away in the winter to stop them rusting. So I might see somr cool cars come out of the woodwork when it starts to heat up. I saw one or two old bmws but to be honest ive hardly seen any older cars at all.

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Pretty much the only place in Canada where the Canadian accents out number the Aussie ones.

I'm not much for scenery, normally but Lake Louise blew me away.

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That is the ugliest vehicle I have ever seen and I love it. It's like an obese Pt Cruiser. How's the wrong side of the road going?


Edit: does the roof rake back or is it the photo angle?

Edited by B.L.Z.BUB

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Lake louise is quite a nice place thats for sure. We went there a few months ago when the lake was frozen over, and they actually had an ice sculpting competition going, apparently the lake much nicer in the summer. looking forward to checking it out when its all melted. He we are standing pretty close to the middle of the lake.




Driving on the wrong side of the road is certainly an experience. I am fine when i am following other cars, but as soon as I'm on my own i still have to consciously drive on the right hand side. the other day there was some roadworks and i had to drive onto the left side for a few hundred meters, and when the road works finished i forgot to swap back over to the right hand side! luckily was a road in the middle of know where with no cars...


They also don't have round abouts. What they have instead is 4 way stop signs, so its an intersection of 2 roads and everyone has stop signs. The rule is, first to get to the stop sign has right of way. So you can imagine how confusing that gets.


Oh and you can turn right on red lights, which i think causes more issues than it solves. Apparently its how alot of accidents happen. you do have to stop at the red light like a stop sign.


Unsure on cash for clunkers, possibly. How about this cool thing with what appears to be a locking centre diff.




Here are a couple of photos of the interior of the whale. chairs are so comfy, though the drivers one is starting to callapse a bit i think. roof racks are flat as far as i know, i think the phone camera has distorted the image a bit.




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