The Best Laid Plans is an extensive and entertaining account of a self-planned journey around Western Canada. The book begins with background on the planning stage of the holiday, and then follows the month-long journey around British Columbia and the Canadian Rockies. A journey that begins in Vancouver and Victoria and then follows a counter-clockwise route through the Kootenays, up the Canadian Rockies, across from Jasper to Prince Rupert by train, cruising the Inside Passage and then down the length and breadth of Vancouver Island.
The book provides plenty of useful tips for the prospective traveller, especially for those who enjoy self-planned holidays. Much of the travel was done by car, though planes, trains and ships also feature strongly.
Whilst the reader can obtain good travel advice the book contains far more than that. It is built around fascinating, close-up encounters with wildlife, interesting people, strange meals, amazing scenery, unexpected friendships, moments of deep travel despair and the joy of being in a foreign country abounding with generous people. Woven throughout the journey are interesting diversions and little known-facts.
Most of all, the book is an entertaining and humorous account of travelling in this fascinating corner of the earth. Those considering a trip to Western Canada will certainly get plenty out of the Best Laid Plans, but so will the armchair traveller, and anybody who can see the humour in the world around them.
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A ripping yarn about modern day travel in Canada
I recommend this as a wonderful read, it is witty and insightful, and manages to be entertaining as well. Do Australians make good travelers? Sadly, not always, but in this case we see a pair of Australians spreading their own brand of good cheer across Western Canada, as they absorb new culinary treats and count many varieties of critters native to Canada. Chris has a wonderful way with words, and I laughed a lot reading this book, whilst also learning a bit about how Canada functions. Is it a conventional travel guide? No, it is a journal firstly, but there is definitely lots to be had for prospective travelers, and also for readers who like to learn about other parts of the world. This is good fun, especially if, like me, you enjoy language and words. I have a disclaimer here, I know the author and consider him a good friend. So despite his many shortcomings as a human being, I still consider this book to be an excellent read, I even paid for a copy myself. I may buy copies for people as Christmas presents. Enjoy the read, I did. In the words of Chris Jones; Cheers Big Ears!
Best Laid Plans: Journeying around Western Canada
Right from the word go I found myself nodding in agreement i.e. “Travel is horrible” “So why do we keep on doing it”, which is probably why I (and no doubt many others) vicariously enjoy the travel tales of others.
Despite these opening words though, I found this travel tale not only highly entertaining, well written, VERY humorous and thoroughly engrossing but also one that has encouraged me to put Canada high on my travel ‘to do’ list.
From where I sit, it’s always interesting to see how others live, their interests, foibles, passions and so on, and how others interpret what they see, hear, taste and smell – this book has all of this and more in spades. If I have one complaint (and it’s a minor one) I would have loved to have seen some photos included …however, after saying that I guess the best thing to do would be to go to Canada and take my own photos.
Finally, I should also mention the books endnotes (Chapters 19 through 27), especially the Glossary of Endangered Words (these endangered words are peppered throughout the book and all readers should make an effort to use them whenever and wherever possible). There are many other gems including the Spotter’s Guide to Rednecks, and Country and Western Song Titles to Bring Tears to Your Eyes!
Let’s hope that Chris Jones continues to entertain us well into the future by publishing more travel tales (or anything for that matter).
I highly recommend this book to all.