So this blog starts with the two and a half day train journey (that I was dreading). We boarded the train at ten pm. I was in economy and all you get was either two seats to yourself or the four seats. Obviously you'd want the four seats but most of them had reserved written on them. I took my two estates and was just looking forward to finally getting my head down. I fell asleep literally as soon as I closed my eyes. It was pretty comfortable, well not as uncomfortable as what I though it would be.
When I woke it was just starting to get light. Then one of the guys that boarded the train the same time as me sat on seats opposite. As soon as he sat down I could see he was smashed, red tint colour to his eyes, slurring his words and he was quite shaky. All I could think that it was nine am how can this guy be this drunk or was he hung over? As were chatting I asked how he slept and he said not much only like two hours and with that he pulled a huge bottle of vodka that was wrapped in some clothes, he had a massive swig and then a sip of orange juice. Everything clicked, he had been up all night just getting drunk. Whilst he was chatting to me the girl behind me joined in the conversation, which I was quite relieved about. I could hear her accent thought, she's from England. I asked where she was from and she said Preston. With that I asked where she was going and she said Jasper. I told her I was off up there too and which Hostel she was staying in? She said she was staying in the HI Hostel, this was the same one as me, which I couldn't believe. Anyway going back to Greg (the drunk guy) he started offering us drink. Now I've been known to drink in the morning but only at a festival or if I'm going on holiday at the airport, These two times are the only official times you can drink in the morning. We both turned down the drink and with that he constantly asked us if we wanted to go toward the back of the carriage because there was a spare four seats next to his four seats and that it was super comfy, I kept telling him that I was fine and I was comfy where I was. All three of us carried on chatting then another two guys that were in front of me started to join the conversation, Casper and another guy from Slovenia (which I can't remember his name). I was very much intrigued by Casper because we asked where he was going and he said that he had been planning this trip for ages and was meant to be done in the Spring but things had happened and he was doing it now. He was going on his own to live from the earth for a while, so this meant catching and killing his own food, washing in rivers and lakes, sleeping outside etc. All I could think was that this was defiantly the wrong time to start that sort of adventure, in Canada, but hey he was looking forward to it and had all different types of survival techniques one of them being that had picked up a dear antler and was going to carve it to use as a fishing hook or needles and some other useful tools that he would need. I found him fascinating! All of us pretty much stuck together for the journey. There wasn't much else that happened because well we were on a train there's not much you can get up to on a train apart from talking to people and getting to know their backgrounds. That day I still felt pretty tired so at about five pm I thought I'd have a nap. Well this nap turned in to a thirteen hour full on sleep, I woke up feeling super revitalised.
Everyone started to wake at about the same time we all said good morning but Greg had ignored myself and Laura (the girl from Preston) so with that I turned around and said good morning and asked how he was feeling, knowing full well he was super hung over because he looked terrible. He didn't say much because I can imagine he had feeling in his stomach of, I done something yesterday so myself and Laura took it upon ourselves to tell him everything he said etc. The day passed quite quickly and spending that much time on a train you get chatting to pretty much everyone on it. Again not much more to report on that day apart from we had a four hour stop over in Winnipeg. Whilst we was there I was desperately trying to get signal because I had told people there should be wifi on the train and I'd call them but there wasn't so I started worrying that they would be worrying. I finally found where to connect to the wifi and text everyone explaining the situation and that I would call them once I got to my Hostel. I went to sleep pretty early again that night but not as early as the night before. Half way through the night we stopped to pick up a few passengers one of them was on our carriage and she was smashed constantly laughing and talking really loudly. All I could think is what is it with me? Do I just attract the piss heads!? I had checked the time once she had been on the train for about ten to fifteen minutes, it was ten past one, what the hell shut up! She was sat behind Casper and reached through between the chairs and lifted his hat which was covering his eyes asking if he was sleeping, I could not believe this! I just started at her but she was so drunk she didn't notice. Casper then took her for a walk explaining that people where sleeping so she needed to be quiet (she had already been told this from the guard). They then sat backdown and she was still being loud so I pulled my top off my eyes looked straight at her and she just said oh sssshhh I'm in trouble, I thought yeah so just shut up! I then stayed looking at her whilst putting my ear phones in my ears, to try and block her out but didn't press play on my iPhone properly, grrrr. I was really starting to get annoyed. She finally settled down at god knows what time but then both our legs were hanging over the ends of our arm rests and she bloody kicked me with her clumpy shoes, I just shouted dude are your serious!? With that she started to struck my feet and repeatedly saying I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I just turned around and said its fine, gritting my teeth.
When we woke up all of us were discussing the antics from the night before. We then pulled into Edmonton, this is where some of the guys were getting off. Later that day most of us from the first few days went up to sit in the observation pod because we were beginning to come into Jasper and you could see the mountains, it was absolutely breathtaking. We stayed up there until we were fifteen minutes away from pulling into Jasper and we got some of the most amazing pictures.
We all got off because the train was staying for fourth five minutes. Now Laura and I knew that where we were staying was seven kilo meters from any shops, well anything so we needed to get food and alcohol before the shuttle picked us up. We decided to share a bottle of Bacardi and diet coke, this was going to be the easiest to transport. We asked what time the shuttle would be because we thought it ran between the hours of eight thirty am and six thirty pm, erm no it was at eight thirty am and the next was at six thirty pm. Ok so we only had a few hours to kill and being on a train for so long you know it's not that hard to do. It got to six thirty and no shuttle so we started to worry and called the Hostel they said no we hadn't missed it and it would be along soon and it was. We loaded out stuff got in and made our way up to the Hostel. When we got there there were quite a few rules one of them being no hard liquor, all I could think was that's all we had. When we went to our dorm (shared with another twenty eight girls, but it was not that many the Hostel wasn't fully booked) I asked Laura what we should do and she just said spike the bottle of diet coke, great thinking. I had a shower whilst Laura went to find two guys that had been in her Hostel in Montreal, Henning and Joe. I felt so much better after taking a shower we then started drinking. Both the guys seemed really nice and offered us both something to eat. We were chatting for a while and we decided we should all go hiking in the morning, seeing as it was at that time of year where nothing from the summer was open but yet nothing was open for Winter just yet. I got slightly drunk and took myself off to bed at about twelve am, the others stayed up till about two I think.
I woke up just before eight so just before the lights get turned on in the morning. Laura was awake as well and she said she was going for a shower but I waited for the lights so I could see what I was doing with my cloths etc. After showing we went for some breakfast and Henning woke up not long after and joined us, Joe was still in bed. Whilst Henning was getting ready he saw Joe and asked if he was still coming hiking and he said no because he had some bits to do. It ended up just being myself, Laura and Henning. We couldn't decide where we wanted to go but all the decent long hikes you needed a car to get to in the first place. One of the guys staying at the Hostel, Rob told us we could borrow his car and drive down to the five lakes hiking track so we did, I thought this so was nice of him. When we arrived I said to the guys now no standing on any frozen lakes! We started venturing off into the woods that was covered in snow. I gave them both some advise that my friend told me before I left, which was if you see a bear act big and make loads of noise. We were hiking for about fifteen to twenty minutes when we came across the first lake, it was beautiful I couldn't believe it. We were right on the edge of the lake and I couldn't help myself but to tap it with my foot, it was frozen solid right to the bottom. I stood at the edge testing the ice one foot at a time, all solid. Laura then said that would make an awesome picture, well with that comment I said chuck me something so I can check the ice as I go. They gave me a stick and I used to smack the ice as hard as I could to see if it was solid and it was. I didn't go far out by any stretch but far enough for a picture then near enough ran back to the edge. We were hiking for about three hours and got to a point where we could do a loop and go back to the car or we could go on a bit further, we decided to go on for another half an hour or so. As we were walking I noticed a massive paw print and we thought it was a bear, this was fresh as well. When I next checked the time it four pm so I asked what they guys what they wanted to do because it was going to start getting dark at half five and we didn't know how much longer it would take us to get back to the car and if it would be a good idea going further in, they agreed and we started to walk back. I was really starting the feel the cold at this point, well I am an animal of tropical climates as I kept telling everyone. The walk back didn't take nearly as long as what we thought and got back to the car at about half four. We decided we'd pop into Jasper so we could get some cider for that night and as we had the car seemed silly not to. When we got back we I showed the paw print to Rob he told me it wasn't a bear, obviously I was very disappointed by this. He told me that it could have been a wolf of a cougar, still exciting. After dinner I opened a cider and started to drink. The whole Hostel were going into town that night for wings night. This was just a night of getting drunk, karaoke and wings. I was going to to go but once we got back it took ages for me to warm up and I know myself I would not enjoy the night being freezing all night so myself and another girl, Roxy decided to stay back at the Hostel with one of staff called Eric. Roxy and I were sat whilst Eric was cleaning all the cupboards that contained all pots, pans and cooking utensils. I was the only one drinking. Roxy took herself off to bed because she had to get up early to leave. Eric and I were discussing the Hostel and that they didn't have many good evening events. Most other Hostels had some sort of an event every night of the week but this one only had wings and movie night. We were both chucking different ideas around one of them being that the way the common room was set up wasn't very social and kept people in their separate groups.
Eventually everyone came back from town most of them drunk, as I was by this point. We all stayed up for a while then one by one people started getting off to bed. I stayed up with a girl from Australia, Maddy and Joe. Joe was normally very quiet but I got to know him a bit and found out there was a girl back home (Germany) that wasn't his girlfriend but they were more than friends. He told me it was her birthday a couple of days ago and that he didn't send her anything. I told him if he wanted her to be his girlfriend I think he should send her something, like flowers. He said she didn't like flowers, she told me I replied with every girls likes flowers they just say they don't to look 'cool'. With that all three of us spent all night trying to find some flowers and the correct address for her because since he had been away she had a few different address' and he didn't know which one was best. He called his parents and messaged his friends, which was fine with the time difference etc. but no one answered or replied. I told him to put it on hold till tomorrow and we'd sort it then because I was staring to get tired, it was four am after all.
I didn't wake up till nine am and went into the common room pretty much empty. I had told Laura the night before that I wouldn't go hiking that day so they could get off early. I made some breakfast and just chilled. I then realised I needed to sort out what I was doing in Vancouver. Whilst I was booking my hostel Henning and Laura appeared. I said to them thought you were going to go hiking? They said they couldn't get up and Henning looked pretty much how I felt. We all just decided we'd chill that day and I carried on booking what I needed to book. I saw Joe and said we need to sort these flowers out but he told me he done it this morning because someone had got back to him about the address. Eric came in not long after asking me if I felt strong? I asked why? He told me that from our chat the night before he wanted to re-arrange the common room to make it more social and there would be a section that electronic devices would not be allowed. We all started changing it about and pretty much everyone liked it. Eric then stuck signs on the table saying 'this is an electronic free zone' we all thought it was a good idea to make people interact more with one another. Niko (the manager) came down and asked who needed to go into town. It was the six thirty shuttle and they would take people down if they needed to get anything from the shops. Myself and Henning needed to get a few bits. I was finished before Henning and got in the shuttle another, one of the guys from the Hostel was in there as well, Dave he got picked up from his day out. They were discussing the common room and Niko asked if I liked it? I said I did and that it would make people more social, he did not like it. Henning got back in the shuttle and we went back up. As soon as Niko got in the common room he took all the 'electronic free zone' posters off the tables. Eric had been making mould wine that evening for everyone and asked Laura and I to get people round the tables playing games or something. I suggested to play who/what am I (the game where you stick postits on your head and guess what the other person has written) pretty much everyone wanted to play, even Niko. The night actually turned into a really fun might. After that we played charades, obviously these stupid games were my idea. I got myself off to bed about half twelve that night knowing I had to check out and get the eight thirty shuttle to the station.
I got up at seven to make sure I could get showered etc and then when the lights went on at eight I would have enough time to get all my bits together. I was ready by twenty past eight and at twenty to still no one had come to get me for the shuttle. I asked Chris (the Hostel handyman) if it had gone or anything but because it was the girls first day on reception no one told her what to about the shuttle. With that Chris said don't worry I'll take you down. He ended taking me about half nine which was nice because this meant I wouldn't have to kill as much time because the train was leaving again two, well that's what I thought. Once we arrived I asked how much he wanted and he said nothing. When I got into the station the lady said the train was delayed until three pm I told her that wasn't a problem but was it ok to check my bag early? Normally it would cost six dollars to check in luggage early but because the train was late I didn't have to pay anything. Throughout that morning I saved nine dollars, winning! When the train arrived I boarded and had two seats to myself again and the next part of my journey began.