A Travellerspoint blog

Jasper

Wilderness

rain 16 °C
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Today we left for Jasper on the way we visited Lake Louise and was challenged by Jeremy the driver to see who could get into the Penthouse suite of the Fairmont and take photos of the lake. Never one to shirk a challenge I got one of the girls from the bus to come with me to the front desk where I explained that we were thinking of having our honeymoon here and could we see the suite. After only a few minutes of waiting we were in the duel level suite taking pictures from the balcony :)

Next stop was Crows foot glacier and Bow lake which is fed by the glacier giving it a beautiful green colour, the views were amazing with the mountains reflecting in the lake. After here we visited Columbia Ice fields where you can trek up onto the glacier which is pretty cool.

This night we stayed at a wilderness hostel HI Athabasca Falls, we had a group meal of Fajitas and I was put in charge of supervising the making of the meal which was good as I didn't have to do much cooking and meant I got out washing up which is a bad job when there is no hot running water! The sleeping lodge was one big room with us all in it felt a bit like being on a scout camp or something. Sleeping was made easier by the several G&T's provided by Matt who would make an excellent barman. As it was raining there was no camp fire to be had which I was kind of pleased about as I didn't fancy mixing it with the Mosquito's!

Posted by ride165 16:44 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Banff

More Yokels

semi-overcast 20 °C
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Up early due to the heat so I grabbed some internet time and sank 2 cups of tea and 3 muffins. We left for Banff at 8:30am and stopped for another breakfast at 10:30am. On the way we stopped at a karting center but after taking one look at the Yokels running it and the state of the cars I decided against it and instead became official photographer. Lunch involved a stop at a very nice lake for swimming which had a pontoon in the middle had great fun pushing each other in and watching Andy do backflps off the side.

After lunch we hit the official point of the Rockies and Mountain time where we lost 1 hr. Another stop at a Lake called Emerald lake due to it's deep green colour more back flipping by Andy and some great photos taken.

In the evening we stopped at HI Banff checked out the bar after dinner where there was some drunken Karaoke going on.

Posted by ride165 16:42 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Shuswap Lake

Yokels!

semi-overcast 28 °C

So the next part of the moose tour saw us head off to the Rockies, our driver for this period was Jeremy who was sound. First stop was Shuswap Lake via Bridal Falls (so called because it's supposed to resemble a veil) and Lytton Canada's hotspot where it once reached 44.4 degrees also the spot where two rivers meet, one green and one brown the mix of colours looked cool. Also on the way to Shuswap was stopped for pie and ice cream and I can safely say it is the nicest pie I've ever tasted, rhubarb and apple was the flavour with a generous portion of soft vanilla ice cream mmmmmmm.

Once we arrived at Shuswap there was time for a swim before dinner the lake was a little colder than the previous lake we swam in but was still pleasant after a hot day on the bus. For dinner I had beef dip which is a beef sandwich with a dip that looks and tastes like Bovril! After dinner I played pool with Pete, Franco and Lisa and got coaching tips off a very drunk local who could not get his head around the English rules we were playing!

Posted by ride165 15:14 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Whistler

Awesome dude

sunny 28 °C
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Next stop on the moose tour is Whistler famous primarily for its alpine skiing and mountain biking at Whistler-Blackcomb. The weather was very very kind to us and gave us two perfect blue sky days for the trip.

On the way to Whistler we stopped at Shannon Falls the third highest waterfall in BC, where water falls from a height of 335 metres. It was very beautiful as are all the waterfalls I've seen so far and from what I've heard I'll be seeing quite a few more. We arrived in Whistler at about 2pm and the first job our lazy driver did was to sort herself out with a G&T before organising any of our activities. This meant that by the time we were sorted there wasn't enough time to get up the Mountain gondola to check out the views, instead we watched some of the downhill MTB guys do tricks at the bottom of the park. Later we all went out for a meal which had to be organised amongst ourselves since our lazy arsed driver was busy relaxing, her excuse was that she didn't know Whistler, and I know it like the back of my hand do I?!

The hostel we stayed in was pretty cool and we were informed it had recently received several visits from bears, they even had photos of a bear on the other side of the balcony!

The following day myself, Matt and Ian went Zip Lining at Cougar Mountain about 10 mins away from Whistler. This was so much fun, it involves being harnessed to a trolley which is placed on a point to point cable line, almost like an electricity pylon except much higher, you then zoom through the forest canopy at up to 100km/hr. See www.skylinewhistler.ca for info.

After Zip Lining we decided that despite the fact we were due to leave at 3pm we were going to go to the top of the mountain anyway, stuff the lazy driver, it was 1:30pm and the ride up takes 45mins. We were so pleased we did though as the views of Whistler mountain range was amazing.

Got back to the hostel by 3:30pm so not too late, not that I felt bad. On the way back to Vancouver we stopped at another waterfall called Brandywine falls which had a little trick up it's sleeve, if you stare at one point for about 30 seconds then look at the cliff face next to it there is a strange illusion in that it looks like the wall is moving! The rest of the drive home was as breathtaking as the drive there with Mountain vistas all that way.

You could easily spend a week or two at Whistler there is so much to do, it is definitely a place I will be going back to!

Posted by ride165 06:50 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Victoria

Where are the donkeys?

sunny 23 °C
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After leaving Tofino we headed to Victoria on the way stopping at Cathedral Grove which is the main feature of MacMillan Provincial Park and is the one of the most accessible stands of giant Douglas-fir trees on Vancouver Island. These trees are around 800 years old while walking through this virgin coast forest it gives you and idea how the west coast must have looked like before the arrival of European settlers.

We stopped for lunch at Port Alberni - The salmon capital of the world! This small town is situated at the head of Vancouver Island's longest inlet, 40 km from the open seas but due to it raining heavily we had lunch on the bus! The rest of the day consisted of a stop at an old town which previously depended upon work provided by the saw mill but when it closed rather than it becoming a ghost town they got government grants to have murals painted on buildings and walls. The final stop of the day before Victoria was a sleepy town called Coombs with ice cream parlors, antique stores and tattoo studios. Also home to a huge butterfly farm but the real attraction here was the store with goats grazing on the roof. I couldn't resist the lure of the homemade pies so I grabbed a slice of pecan pie with ice cream!

We hit Victoria at about 7pm and checked into our hostel which was previously a warehouse, this became apparent when we got into the dorm. It had really high ceilings and was just one massive room divided into cubicles of 8 beds. Once we'd ditched our stuff we all went out for Caribbean food, I had a Jamaican pattie and a goat curry which was delicious.

As we arrived at night we couldn't really see what Victoria is like but after only 20 mins of walking around today it is appears to be just like an English seaside town, the only thing missing is donkeys on the beach! You can go whale watching but I did this in Tadoussac so unless you like museums there isn't much to do which is why I'm updating my blog! Fortunately we leave in an hour, I'm off to get some lunch now. Bye

Posted by ride165 13:28 Archived in Canada Comments (1)

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