The Rockies!!

The rockies!!!!

Right well there are several options on how you could go about this but all I’ll say is make sure you do.

Cat (the girl I went with) and I decided to rent a car. Not the cheapest option but certainly the easiest for getting around and it allows you the freedom to stop wherever you want, see the things the greyhound can’t take you to and avoid the god forsaken tourist busses that are the only other option for opening up the wonders of the Rockies.

Getting out of Vancouver, on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, was terrifying!! Truly terrifying. However, over a week on and I am in love….with hybrid cars and automatic gear systems. Mmmmmm

Back to what we’ve done and seen. On the first day we headed up through the Okanagan past Kelowna and the Okanagan lake to a H.I hostel on the edge of Shuswap  Lake. It’s amazing… an abandoned train transformed into a hostel complete with pancake breakfast and free use of a canoe to explore the nearby beavers. The views on the way were amazing and the hostel transformed us back into kids. Ooh btw, I recommend taking the west route along the Okanagan Lake, it’s windy but the views are amazing.

From there we headed took a day heading up to Banff. First we stopped in at one of the many wineries on the way. Free tastings, yum yum. Next we stopped in at the Dutch Dairy for one of their well recommended ice-creams, they are huge!!! In an attempt to feel less like a dairy cow and more like humans again we went for a walk along the Blue lake in Revelstoke with fantastic scenery.

After traveling through the beautiful national parks of Glacier and Yoho we hit the Banff national park – amazing mountains throughout AND … our second bear encounter. Cute but obviously powerful. The last hour of driving was painful though, over an hour on a hideously large highway considering the surroundings. There was one selling point tho – the animal walkways over the highway – grass covered bridge like structured for the bears, moose and many other amazing critters who call Banff home.

In Banff we hiked up Sulphur Mountain – about a 2 hour grind but the view was well worth the snowy stomp. 360 degrees of mountain wonderland. What’s more, you can sneak onto the gondola for an easy ride down : )

Our next stop was a hostel at Lake Louise which was honestly amazing – one of the best I’ve ever been to. On the way over there we saw a moose in a river – a definite yaye we’re in Canada moment. From that hostel we went to see Lake Louise (amazing and well worth a hike round), Moraine  Lake (even more stunning but not as famous, we saw two skiers coming down the face – amazing!), and Johnston Canyon (really pretty, esp if you’re into waterfalls).

From here we drove up to Jasper – 3 hours of breathtaking scenery. The icefields were really impressive and a brief encounter with a baby black bear made my day – so cute!! The town of Jasper itself is definitely what I would call sleepy but the drive up here definitely made it worth a stop.

From there we made our way home past Mt Robson and stayed a night in Valemount before one more stop in Shuswap and a long drive back to Vancouver…..

phew!!!! quite the week. One of the things that stands out most is that Canada has a tremendously diverse landscape. Well that and the fact that it’s stunning, completely stunning.

i miss the rockies already!!

however i do not miss our serious lack of car tunage. Definately bring CD’s or buy an i trip!

bye  ; )

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