West Kelowna nomads decide it’s safer to stay in Mexican wilderness than return to Canada | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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West Kelowna nomads decide it’s safer to stay in Mexican wilderness than return to Canada

West Kelowna nomads Braden Taylor and Lyndsay Fillier are staying in Mexico for as long as they can amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Lyndsay Fillier
March 29, 2020 - 3:00 PM

Out in the Mexican wilderness, Braden Taylor and Lyndsay Fillier say there’s less risk of being exposed to COVID-19.

The couple has been living in Mexico for the last fews weeks and with the number of COVID-19 cases reported in Canada and the U.S.A., they believe it’s safer to stay put for the time being.

READ MORE: Trudeau says air, train travel to be denied for anyone with COVID-19 symptoms

Normally, the nomads will spend a few months in the Mexico, living out of their van, before working in the summers at West Kelowna resorts.

However, with the recent pandemic, they’re hunkering down in the wilderness about 200 kilometres east of Mazatlan

“We drove our camper van down here, and a couple weeks ago we started hearing about the coronavirus stuff, and we never considered driving back to Canada, we just thought we could stay here,” Taylor said, adding they don’t have a house in Canada to live in and quarantine themselves.

The couple has been living out of their van for the last three years.


We've headed back into these mountains! After driving a couple hours west of Durango we turned left and into the thick pine forest of the Sierra Madre. The small dirt and stone track switch backed up the mountain in front of us. Not wanting to blindly drive ahead we began walking up the steep trail. After a few kilometers we found ourselves on top of the small mountain and in a little clearing. With only the dim sound of the highway in the distance and the odd bird call, silence envelopes us. Huge pines straight as arrows reach for the sun's strong rays, casting shadows on the forest floor and, blissfully, us. We have stocked up with a large amount of fresh produce, tortillas and meat that we will eat first and have supplemented that with dried beans, lentils, rice and canned goods. We completely filled our water tanks and purchased an additional garafon so we think we will be able to relax in the woods for quite some time now. Typically we move on from each campsite after a day or two so this stint in the woods with no plans of moving on anytime soon will be a nice change of pace. We plan to explore the forest and attend to some projects that have been on the back burner for a while. Gone are the singing roosters and barking dogs that are the common soundtrack to our Mexican nights. In their place the silence of the stars, moving across the universe for us to see, her and me.

A post shared by Braden & Lyndsay (@lifeat90kph) on

“If we did go back we’d either have to stay in the cold in our camper van or maybe go to one of our family member’s house,” he said.

They haven’t seen another person in the last week.

“We’re pretty isolated, we don’t feel there’s much of a threat from the virus,” Fillier said. “The U.S. is also having a difficult time containing the virus, so we almost feel safer where we are instead of exposing ourselves to crowds at the border or to larger numbers of populations.”

There are less COVID-19 cases in the country, and they can always apply to extend their travel visa, she said, as it expires in July.

As of March 28, Mexico has 848 cases, according to its Ministry of Health. Canada has 1,355 and the U.S. has more than 133,000, according to worldometers.

READ MORE: Gatherings restricted, schools closed: What's being done to fight COVID-19

Canadian citizens are also still allowed back through the borders, and friends of theirs haven’t had problems getting back to Canada, Taylor said.

Their plans may change depending on the global situation, but they’re staying away from people as much as they can.

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