In Banff

It has been a busy week. We left the Okanagan and travelled via Golden to Jasper. We have now reached Banff. I plan to write a full blog when we are at a better location for wifi.

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There have been hot pools, wolves, bears and great scenery.

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Week 9 – the Okanagan take 2

Originally posted on 52 Weeks:

‘Remind yourself that it’s okay not to be perfect.’

[So, how this works is each week I will write to someone on my list, picked randomly and I will post it online on this blog – just in case the letter doesn’t reach it’s destination.  The letter includes a card with a random quote, which I hope you will enjoy (at the top of this blog page).]

This has been a great week in the Okanagan at my parents place.  It’s been great to to stay in one place for awhile and do a bunch of blogging, reading, and admin. type things.  I’ve done my first vblog (video blog) of my travels, you can read the July blog on the link.

The nip of Autumn is in the air, but we’ve managed to still get a few days of summer warm weather.  My brother arranged a boat trip on Okanagan…

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Lake Okanagan in Canada Week 3

Lake Okanagan in Canada Week 3

I thought it might be nice to describe our location at the moment. We are on the Westside of Lake Okanagan and around 45km to downtown Kelowna and the same to Vernon. The spot we are at has views of the lake to Vernon and parts of Kelowna can also be seen as well as Fintry Point. The road used to be the most dangerous in British Columbia but thanks to a few improvements it’s now the sixth most dangerous. Saying that in the week we have been here someone has driven off the road and a motorcyclist was knocked off their bike yesterday.

I love coming back to Debbie’s folks place and the friendly community surrounding them. We are only a few minutes walk down to the lake and a jetty where you can jump off and swim. We can also borrow kayaks and just go for a paddle. There also is plenty of wildlife with lots of red deer and the occasional bear. My favourite wildlife are the different types of hummingbird which are so memorising to watch.

The last week we have been doing a lot around the Okanagan. Went and did a walk at Bear Creek, tubing in Penticton, a boat cruise on Lake Okanagan and we visited Kelowna a few times including to see a free Elvis Impersonator show which was fun and outside. We also walked around Kelowna and today we are off to visit some wineries.

Tomorrow we embark on the road trip and our first stop in a few days will be Jasper.

Week 8 – The Okanagan

Originally posted on 52 Weeks:

‘Changes in our lives are like soft waves nudging the shoreline.  Accept each one as an opportunity to go with the flow and experience life from a new perspective.’

[So, how this works is each week I will write to someone on my list, picked randomly and I will post it online on this blog – just in case the letter doesn’t reach it’s destination.  The letter includes a card with a random quote, which I hope you will enjoy (at the top of this blog page).]

Week 2 in Canada means moving to one of the longer stops on our tour of North America – Killiney Beach, my parents cabin is located here and has 180 degree views of Okanagan Lake – a wine and fruit region and is about 5 hours from Vancouver.  It’s a semi-arid dessert region (yes, Canada does have desserts), so the days are…

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Two weeks in Canada

After my first post about my lost luggage (still lost) and our few days in Vancouver we are now near Kelowna getting ready for the long road trip through Canada and the USA.

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We spent another few days in Vancouver and went for a cycle ride around Stanley Park which takes an hour and you can hire bikes near the entrance. Afterwards we went to Granville Island where I sampled a few beers from the Granville Brewery which were not that stellar. We then visited the lovely Kari and Oren for a delicious dinner and catching up on stories of mine and Kari’s days at Holland House Youth Hostel see my past blog on the hostel.

After Vancouver we went to Cultus Lake for several days at a campground where there was lots of entertainment including a talent contest and Luau. We also went up Teapot hill and lazed around reading books and eating the occasional ice cream.

After Cultus Lake we took a road trip using Debbie’s folks car to drive first to Harrison Hot Springs where we enjoyed a soak in the hot pool and I searched and found Sasquatch.

From Harrison Hot Springs we drove down Highway 7 via Mission down to Vancouver and up to Squamish for the night which took a leisurely three and a half hours. We found a campground, set up the tent and had a lovely dinner at the Watershed Restaurant. From the restaurant beside the the river there is a wonderful view of the Granite cliff called the Chief. If you camp at the Wonderland campground be aware that the train goes by at 2 am and has the whistle on to warn people up to get off the tracks! Great campsite with good Wi-Fi, it cost us to camp $40. Dinner at the Watershed Restaurant was $50 and worth it for the views.

The next day we drove to Whistler after Debbie visited a mining museum while I waited. We only had a whistle-stop at Whistler and due to a mud slide had to detour to Merritt for the night at a cheap motel called All Seasons which was beside the main road and beside a lumber mill. Clean motel, comfy beds for $75. We used the motel as we arrived late and were both very tired after visiting three waterfalls between Squamish and Whistler.

We are now near Kelowna at my wife’s parents place on the Westside of Lake Okanagan with views down to Kelowna and Vernon. Lots to do before the big road trip and slowly getting ready for our upcoming adventure

The adventure begins in Steveston, Vancouver

The lead up to leaving

Prior to departure we spend a lovely few days in Pevensey Bay with the delightful raconteur Ken. We even managed to win a round at the local pub quiz in a four hundred year old pub called The Castle. Before leaving for Heathrow we also had a lovely farewell barbecue with friends.

Canada sans luggage

We arrived three days ago in Vancouver. It was a comfortable 9 hours and 25 minute flight from Heathrow on British Airways. The only glitch was that my luggage did not arrive with me and after three days is still missing in action. BA gave me a £35 pound credit card to cover initial costs and from the counter clerks body language I suspect I will never see my suitcase again. Happily our two other suitcases made it. Unhappily the one that was lost is mine with all my clothes, toiletries, shoes and other articles. We leave tomorrow for the interior of British Columbia so not holding out much hope of my luggage getting to me before then.

Steveston

The first two nights we stayed with the lovely John and Pam in their condo in Steveston. The town is only a 15 minute drive from the airport as well as a fishing town it also does whale watching. Steveston was once the biggest cannery town in the world exporting sockeye salmon. After a hearty breakfast in Steveston we decided to educate ourselves about the town’s history and visited the oldest cannery in the area, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery. It was an interesting museum and highly recommended. It cost $7.80 each and included an excellent half hour guided tour. The Chinese and Japanese were heavily involved in work at the cannery which was not particularly a fun place to work with 16 hour days gutting sockeye salmon and canning them. The museum has recreated a cannery line and takes you through how it worked. We also did an extended tour of the later processing of Pacific herring for agricultural and other products. Apparently, unlike the Atlantic herring the Pacific herring tastes awful so there was no market for buying them to eat.

Interestingly, we visited the town on the first day of the salmon season where fishermen were selling sockeye salmon for the grand sum of $20 each. A bargain judging by the number of people buying them. After wandering around the town we visited the Britannica Museum which consisted of the barracks where the Chinese and Japanese used to live. We were lucky enough to get another guided tour around the Chinese barracks and hear about how hard the conditions were and the reasons they came to Canada to work and send money home. The museum is free to visit.

We then went out for a lovely sushi dinner with John and Pam and afterwards played a game of cribbage at their place where they soundly defeated us.

Next stop

The next day we moved into central Vancouver staying with the lovely Elska and Patrick in their house near the Vancouver City Hall. They have a beautiful 1911 house. The day was a bit of a washout with rain so aside from venturing out to buy some toiletries the day was spent chatting and napping. Today we are heading off into town to Stanley Park and Granville Island.

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