So where did we get to then..... Sunday in Tofino found us heading out of Ucluelet on a whale watching boat. Through dead flat waters of the harbour past the sea lions getting fed from the fishing boats and out into the bay. Still pretty calm and warm enough for us to be on the outside deck of our slightly rusty and primitive boat!!
Headed out into the bay and still fairly calm. We sailed on a bit until we got the headsup from another boat that whales were around. Full steam ahead until someone saw a blow. And sure enough we saw loads of whales. Lots of blows, fins, tails and a couple of breaches -all v cool. We spent around an hour watching by which time the weather had deteriorated so skipper decided to head off via a rock so full of stellar sea lions it was untrue! We were in big waves by now which the sea lions were loving surfing on v entertaining!!
We then passed by a colony of Californian sea lions who were very vociferous and smelly!! Then back into the calm of the harbour- loads of wildlife in 3 hours -brilliant :-). .
A quiet day after this. Next day was a chill out day just a long walk on long beach which after Arun had fallen in a rock pool was quite pleasant the boys loving playing in and on the huge piles of driftwood.
Monday we spent preparing for the big reunion!! The Clark family and Martin and Clare came over for BBQ -soooo good to see them all. Kids really excited was lovely. Had a great night but was slightly jaded next day as we reluctantly left our cabin and headed east to Qualicum beach a small town 40mins north of nanaimo. Had another fantastically located motel around 2 metres from the water at high tide!!!
Had couple of nights here. Qualicum really sweet clean pretty town which is bit of retirement place apparently. Really really friendly we all liked it lots. Had walks on the beach with the entertainment of clams that as you walked near them shot into the sand squirting water 3 ft in the air as they did so!!! Very funny!! Great sunsets too - all in all a nice place to stay.
Thursday found us back on the ferry heading to horseshoe bay just north of Vancouver. Then onto highway 99 the sea-to-sky highway for an amazing drive up to Whistler. Made all the better for seeing 3 black bears on the way up!!
Whistler is beautiful with whistler mountain and blackcomb mountain as it's backdrop. The mountain is named after the whistling Marmots that populate it. They are odd sound like someone whistling for you!!
So had 6 days in whistler. Mainly taken up with organising things for the wedding. Had fantastic wedding day was a really happy day and apart from the weather everything was perfect. Beautiful setting at lost lake and great fun sabring champagne at the bearfoot bistro!!! A very unique experience for em and si and pretty awesome being surrounded by $4.5 million of wine!!! Really lovely day.
Managed to get out for walk the next day to Nairn falls very beautiful. Finished with beer in whistler village perfect!!!
Headed out of whistler the next day and headed north. Beautiful beautiful drive up to lillooet. Driving right up the mountains gorgeous! Huge peaks, thick forests and semi frozen lakes. Not quite so inspiring from lillooet to kamloops but easy driving. Very agricultural and plains. Stopover in kamloops then on to jasper. Again not too inspiring to begin with but then we turned a corner and got the most amazing view of Mt Robson the biggest peak in the Rockies and absolutely stunning. At over 3900m , he is known as the king of the Rockies. The rest of the drive was beautiful- snow covered mountains and perfect still lakes reflecting the peaks. Charlie told us that the mountains were sailing because the reflections were so perfect!!! Also saw another black bear!!
Jasper is pretty little town at the foot of the mountains in Alberta ( a new state at last!!). Have had great day today- fab walk along part of Maligne canyon a really deep narrow river canyon. Was very cool with frozen waterfalls and parts of the river still frozen. In winter you can actually hike the bottom of the canyon on the ice!! I then went for hours trail ride with Sam around lake Annette a beautiful turquoise blue lake crystal clear. Was lovely saw deer and elk up close but sadly, unlike the
Morning ride, did not see grizzly. Charlie also had little pony ride with his dad!! Arun not so keen!!
Finished the afternoon sat by the lake. Unbelievably peaceful boys playing by lake. Just can't believe we are sat in the Rockies with the picture perfect snowy-mountains, pine forest and blue lake. Too good to be true! Peace was shattered by Charlie falling in lake but hey can't have everything!!! Only 11 nights left - can't believe it - reality is calling :-( :-( .....