Day 33, Banff
Today was our free day in Banff so you might think we would be taking it easy, having a lie in etc? WRONG!! We were collected outside the hostel at 7:30am along with Phillip and the kids, Brit David, Izzy and Zoe and whisked back to British Columbia to the Kicking Horse River for a spot of White Water Rafting. The drive took a little over an hour and we soon arrived. I began to get butterflies in my stomach and wondered if I had been temporarily insane when I had agreed to do this, Izzy was the same. The eight of us stuck together and our plan worked, we were allocated a boat together, TEAM MOOSE! We listened to the safety talk that lasted about 25 minutes and was given by a very scary lady. She spent about three minutes talking about paddling and safety in the boat and spent the remainder of the time talking about what to do if ended up outside the boat. Nothing like a good safety talk to put you at ease.
We collected our wetsuits, life jackets, fleeces, boots and helmets and got changed. We all looked ridiculous but no change there. We had a couple of group photos and met our instructor Jamie, who told me I should sit on the back row so I could hear him (any excuse!) and off we went down to the river to find our raft. The water was lovely and calm and it was great to be out enjoying the scenery in a different way. all my anxieties floated away relatively quickly, especially when Jamie told us no one had fallen out of his raft so far this year.
It was just incredible! Dan sat at the front as one of our senior raftsmen, along with Phillip and the pair did really well, especially Phil who took the bulk of the waves. I got wiped out a couple of times by big waves, one of which I thought I had lost a contact lens as the water was that forceful, but thankfully not. It was such a fantastic couple of hours and there was a great team spirit and I was really glad we had chosen to do this with such a great bunch of people. It beat sitting in a crew of strangers.
Our time was up far too soon but we were allowed a dip in the river alongside the raft before we got out. The water was freezing, even for me! We got out, and got the boat out and caught a mini bus back to the starting point where a delicious lunch was waiting for us once we had got changed. We all had a buffalo burger which was really delicious as well as salad and were very happy campers when it was time to go back to Banff. On the way back Zoe ended up having to sit next to someone who promptly feel asleep .... on her shoulder! She was not impressed and the rest of our group thought it was very funny. She tried the shoulder shake but this seem to have the opposite effect! The sleepy lad just snuggled into her more!
Once we were back in Banff we met up with Chris who had spent the day chilling and we all walked into town to a real life laundromat to do our washing. We did a couple of chores and had a drink whilst we waited and then I left the group and headed back to the hostel as I had had too much excitement for one day.
In the evening ten of us went for a meal down the road at an average Italian and then a few of us had a cold beverage or two in the Irish Bar before turning in for the night with a heavy day of driving ahead of us tomorrow.