As I write this blog the weather has taken a dramatic turn - having enjoyed temperatures of 27 degrees for most of the week, it has now dropped to 7 degrees and has been raining for two days. This is not dampening our spirits and we are still getting out and about but perhaps not scaling the heights we were a couple of days back. I think Stuart is secretly relieved as it means that he will probably get out of going up in the Gondola, in Banff at least!
We are slowly earning our 'traveller' stripes having now survived six nights staying in a hostel. There are many positives to this experience, not least that the money we have paid goes to local charitable causes and helps to fund the Community Resource Centre. The room is very big, clean and bright (especially at night!). The Staff are friendly and helpful and guests varied in all respects - age, nationality and levels of sanity. As I get older and less tolerant, I find my 'nutter' magnet is not as strong as it was and have managed to avoid the eccentric wanderer who has the biggest beard I have ever seen and the even older gentlemen who spends the entire time saying his prayers. Much to our surprise we are by no means the oldest guests here. There are very few young gap year travellers - a sad symptom of the rise in student fees next year I suspect.
Those of you who experienced our kitchen in Rose Cottage will know that I like a clean kitchen with everything in its place. The kitchen here is the polar opposite and it has taken all my restraint not to give it a good old clean and sort out. Stuart keeps telling me off for washing up the odd plate and cup that does not belong to us but I just can't help myself.
Oh what a wonderful thing to be…..
One of the walks we have yet to talk about is the beautiful Lake Louise which lived up to expectations. The walk to the highest viewing point (Big Beehive) is up there with one of the best we have done so far. Although not a long walk the gradient is pretty steep and we got as high as 2,270 meters and were rewarded with some spectacular views down to the lake but saw no buzzing bees! I enjoyed looking over the top, Stuart less so but he did make it which called for his little victory dance which has become a little ritual. We also noticed that in comparison to many of our fellow hikers we do like to 'yomp' up the hills and have perfected the art of friendly overtaking.
We continued our walk to the Plain of the Six Glaciers where we met a number of very friendly hikers along the way and stopped to have a couple of chats; we now have some useful suggestions for Vancouver Island. At the top of the six glaciers we discovered a quaint team room where the staff trek up to the cafe and stay for five days at a time. All major supplies are airlifted in at the beginning of the season with the rest carried up by the staff each week. Impressive…..and the tea plus the homemade rice crispy cake was all the more delicious after learning this.
That's just the way it is
A number of you have commented upon Stuart's sun hat. He also has an equally attractive benny hat for the colder climes (I will be posting a picture tomorrow). Since learning yesterday that a much needed hair cut will cost him 30 dollars (about £20 or, as Stuart puts it, £1 a hair) I suspect we will see more of the hat as his hair grows longer, gets curlier and whiter! I am a little concerned because he is also not happy about having to pay 8 dollars for shower gel……..
One of the things puzzling me is the lack of greeting cards in Canada. I continue to search high and low for a birth congratulations card and can find none, nor Birthday cards or thank-you cards. I would happily resort to making my own but cannot find stationery either? If any Canadians are reading this blog please enlighten me. Rest assured Helen and Andy I will continue my quest and you will get a card before Charlotte turns one I promise.
Suddenly I see…….
On the wildlife front today I saw another bear- this time a big grizzly running wildly and very fast into the woods as we were driving along the motorway. I was not quick enough to get a picture so I guess my career with channel 5 is likely to be short lived. He looked quite angry so I was glad to be in car going in the opposite direction this time.
Mr Lakin you would have been impressed by the adult bald eagle I have also seen today but again was not quite quick enough with the camera. I will try harder next time. Stuart tells me that the pushy grey birds we see in the mountains are Mountain Jays.
Off to enjoy my final night of quiet, calm and comfortable slumber in the hostel before we head out of Banff to Waterton tomorrow morning.
Night, night, sleepy tight and hope the bed bugs bite you and not me tonight. xx