Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cars and final preparations:

When we first got married, Mrs Skoot had a Datsun 411 purchased new in 1967 . It took us everywhere, even north to Prince George and back and forth to the West coast to Kitimat and Terrace, BC . At that time she worked for the Attorney General's department based in Prince George. It ran so well that I ended up purchasing a new 1970 Datsun 510 which had a grill, sort of like this . . .


At that time I had a job where I had to visit customers in their homes and the company did not want me to have a sporty car so I had to trade in my '67 Mustang Convertible for this 4 door econobox . There was a show & shine hosted by the local 510 club so I had to go . I was hoping to see another car similar to the one we sold many years ago. This is the same colour as the one we had but ours was a 4 door sedan


When we were young one of the things you could do for entertainment was to just keep driving everywhere and that we did. We even drove our Datsun 510 to California for a vacation. We knew nothing about air-conditioning back in 1970 and when we reached Redding, CA it was 117F on the thermometer. We eventually reached Berkeley where we stayed with my Sister-in-law and drove into San Francisco every day to sightsee and walk about. So every day we rode back and forth on the Bay Bridge with the rush hour, up and down the steep hills of SF and drove many times down Lombard Street and all the time feathering the clutch and shifting gears.

We had great memories of that vehicle and thus it was nostalgic to talk to these current owners about their cars . We had a friend who had a Datson 1600 Fairlady sports car


The one on the left is a Datsun 2000. The 1600 is the one on the right . I have always admired these cars but there are few around now. I think rust has taken its toll and I would imagine that parts are a concern.


Things seem to be winding down for the season. I found out that it was the last weekend of the in Richmond, so we had to go. Heavy rain was forecast so we went early. I was looking for a backpack for my big adventure. We are leaving in 4 days and the one I had did not have enough padding for protecting my new Acer netbook. When we arrived we heard the sound of drums


So far so good but soon it started to sprinkle (ie = spitting rain) .


Customers started to huddle under the canopies and many vendors started to put plastic over their merchandise. I have found in previous years that the last weekend of the "market" is the best time to find deals as they would prefer to "cash out" rather than store their stuff until next season, which would be next May. There were discounts to be had; 3 T-shirts for $10. , or my new backpack for $18. (instead of $50.)

Soon it started to rain much harder so we decided to call it a night and head for home



In less than 4 days we are leaving for Vacation and Jack "r" let the cat out of the bag on a recent comment. I was trying to keep you all in suspense. I have never before been "off the continent" , that is if you don't count Vancouver Island, or Hawai'i which technically is separated from the land mass of North America by water.

I also have a dislike for anything to do with needles, but I had to have a couple of shots for Hepatitis A&B. I hear there are sanitary issues with where we are going so it is better to be safe than sorry, and I suppose a needle now will spare much agony later if things don't go well. My arm is still hurting from the first shot and I get the second shot on Friday. A further booster shot will be administered in 6 months which will be effective for up to 20 years.

We were also recommended to take an oral vaccine Dukoral for intestinal problems and Cholera


This package must be kept refrigerated and it is activated by mixing the two parts in 150 ml of liquid and taken immediately. The second dose is taken one week later


The powder in the pouch is mixed in the 150 ml of water. The small vial has to be violently shaken, then added to the liquid and then you drink as soon as possible. This gives you 6 months of prevention. I have a sensitive stomach so purchasing this is a no brainer. You need a prescription from your Doctor and the pharmacy will ask you to hand over $75.


Sanitary conditions should not be taken for granted even in 5 star hotels and our Doctor told us to stay away from street vendors, or any beverages with ice or shaved ice. She (Doctor) also said to stay away from salads or anything that has been washed in their water and consider drinking canned pop instead of bottled water. It would appear that we are not going to be making healthy choices during the next couple of weeks.

Electricity is also a concern as in North America we have 110v 60 cycle power. There we will have to deal with 240v 50 cycle current. I checked all of my chargers and luckily they are worldwide voltage and will autodetect for the correct voltage. We merely require adapters and NOT converting transformers


In an effort to keep things simple I am not bringing my Camcorder, nor my electric shaver or sonicare toothbrush. I purchased battery powered models for this trip. I will use the video mode of my Lumix ZS3 or T2i as a compromise to travel as light as possible but I could not deal with my photos without a netbook to transfer files from my SD cards to portable Hard Drive. I am also bringing my portable DVD writer to backup to DVD. I am only bringing two lenses for my Canon T2i along with a small 270ex flash which also works with my Canon G10. I am also bringing my small Manfrotto tripod which will fit inside my backpack.

During my recent trip to Bend, OR I learned a few things about travelling light. I know I am going to run out of clean clothes but I am prepared to throw stuff away and purchase new, if necessary. In an effort to appear Canadian we are going to wear Canadian Flag pins, I also purchased some new T-shirts with Vancouver logos on them as well as my Haida T-shirt, which are only available on Haida Gwai'i.

(checking out my money belt)

We were told to purchase some local currency before we arrive as Credit Cards are only accepted in the larger stores. So the countdown has started and we are looking forward to cultural shock.

We do not speak the language, we do not know the value of money where we are going and probably would not be able to read the signs, unless they are in English. I do not know whether we will be able to access the Internet, but if I can you can be sure of a photo or two along the way.


In a few days we should be standing on the Great Wall of China . . . I'll be the one waving at you


  1. I hope you both have a wonderful trip. My youngest son went there while in high school but unfortunately, they didn't need more parent chaperones. (There were a lot of volunteers)

    I remember the Datsun 510 has almost cult car status in the late 70s due to all the performance aftermarket options and the decent stock rear suspension.

    I expect plenty of food pics...


  2. Oh!! Have Fun!! :)

    I'm not sure if you want to carry something more around, and bottled water might be easily obtainable. But a SteriPen might give you some comfort for drinking water and not pop all the time.

    And now that you are inoculated for twenty years, you can go a couple more times! :)

    My brother had a Datsun similar to those. Sorry, I can't remember the number. I just remember the ticking when the blinker was on.

    Again! Have a great time. -Lori

  3. I have been on edge lately trying to guess your destination. I am sure you will have a fantastic time and that all of the inoculations are just to be safe and probably just preventative in nature. Too bad you can't take the Wee and ride it up and down the great wall.
    I had a close friend that had a Datsun B210 for many years. It was a very dependable car which I rode in many times. My wife also had a '66 Mustang, also a great car.
    Take care and have lots of fun!

  4. Have a great trip, We will be breathlessly waiting for your photos and videos.

    When I look at the 510 I visulize it white, black chrome, tinted windows, maybe a 205/55 14 tire and a Monza exhaust, but I digress...

    Have a safe journey.


  5. Bob

    Have a great trip and don't worry about eating the "meat".


  6. Hi Uncle Bob,

    Hope you and Mrs.Bob have a great time in the orient!!

    I remember the Datsun car brand, very popular in the UK in the 70's...whatever happened to the company??



  7. Have a safe and enjoyable trip!

    On my very first visit to Vancouver in 1970, I was struck by how many Datsun 510s were running around. At the time, it was the best-selling car in British Columbia. Back then, there were still very different versions of U.S. cars sold in Canada; the one I liked best was the Dodge Dart with the Plymouth Valiant front sheet metal (I don't remember if it was sold as a Valiant or a Dart). Then there were the Mercury (Ford) and Fargo (Dodge) pickup trucks...

    Scootin' Old Skool

  8. 我希望您有了不起的时光在中國。 請拍許多照片,因此我們能看到什麼是像。

  9. Not eating food from street vendors means missing out on half the cultural experience of being away from home. The hotels will I am sure provide exquisite burgers and fries just like home!

  10. I echo the others in wishing you two a great trip to the Middle Kingdom....take lots of pics!


    Redleg's Rides

  11. Dear Sir:

    As a professional travel writer with lots of contacts in China, let me give you some advice.
    1) When showering, do not let the local water get into your mouth.
    2) Use bottled water or hot tea with which to brush your teeth.
    3) Under no circumstances accept a con by English-speaking young girls, who claim to be working for the tourist department, or on a project for a local college that requires them to try out their English. They will typically offer you a tour, or a restaurant recommendation, which will have a bad or expensive end.
    4) Do not purchase things like a "Ming" dynasty vase containing the near-petrified genitals of a palace eunich. If bogus, you paid for a hog penis. If authentic, you'll be in a Chinese jail for 200 years.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  12. RichardM:

    the Datsun 510 was very popular with the racers and slalomers. You could hop them up with little effort and parts were everywhere.

    I'll try for the food photos but I hear they hound you to pay them for photographs.


    Thanks for the link but we don't have any REI's up here in British Columbia, so now you tell me when it's too late to get one. I'll drop by our equivalent MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op: and see if they have one. Gasp, double Gasp, only $100. but better safe than sorry.

    Try to remember the name of that Datsun, perhaps B210 ?


    I can't believe how similar our tastes are. We both have a Canadian Subaru, and now we find a Mustang. My arm is still hurting from the 1st needle, and the 2nd needle hurts more but it is better than the alternative, I think

    Well, it is going to be a big adventure not speaking the language, nor wondering how the currency works.

    If you were having trouble guessing my current destination, then you can try to guess my next trip which already is in the planning stages


    I know you are a car guy but I need to be inconspicuous around the LEOs, and have a quiet muffler. I hope you are getting better.


    I have a very, very, very, sensitive stomach. It would take nothing to upset it. Actually, I would make a great King's taster for the onslaught of symptoms would occur within minutes. I actually try to eat healthier but on this trip I plan to be very careful and if it means eating deep fried or boiled or pop, then that is what it will be. I can go on the patented "Jack "r" " diet reduction system when I return.

  13. Uncle Davie:

    I am reading with interest your farmhouse project. Make sure you have a room for guests, indoor plumbing please. We didn't make it to Turkey but maybe we can get to Bulgaria. Get Linda to get Pinkie Back, I will need wheels.

    As Nikos pointed out, Datsun renamed their brand to Nissan


    Sorry I can't make it on your Saturday run south. I would have come except I am time constrained right now. I used to have a Plymouth Valiant purchased new in 1973. I drove this car across Canada by myself and stayed in Toronto for the summer. It had a 318 with torqueflight tranmission. They also sold Darts here with different front grills and also different tail lights


    the characters did not post correctly, I just got garbled control codes but I love you too

    Mr Conchscooter:

    I really want to taste the local street cuisine but sanitary conditions worry me and I plan to take the safe route. I will go wild when I reach KW. Have a safe ride to West Chester, PA. If I were available I would have been there as part of your welcoming committee riding a beautiful RED K75 in your honour


    Dom, thanks. Plan to shoot lots of RAW for big enlargments, if possible. I purchased a Canon T2i for this trip, 17-50 Tamron SP 2.8 and bringing also 55-250 is & 270ex as well as my G10 as backup, and ZS3 for 720HD video . Did you purchase your camera yet ?

    Jack "r":

    Why didn't you just come along as my advisor. Thanks for the info but I have seen some of this stuff before. You mainly have to stay away from the water, and anything washed with the water, and also bottled water if you are not sure it hadn't been refilled like they do in some other parts of the world, and only eat fruits where you peel the skin off yourself, and only drink from containers that you open yourself.

    Where have you been ? You are never home. Don't you have an answering maachine ? so Leslie's away and the mice will . . .

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