Sorry you've had to endure almost two weeks with no blog. Hopefully this will demonstrate why we haven't updated it in so long! I hope we remember everything.
Day 27, Sunday, saw the beginning of our tour of the Rockies with an operator called Moose Travel. We caught a taxi to our pick up point and boarded a 24 seater mini bus that would be our transportation for the next nine days. There was a small group of people already on board that had completed the Moose Trip to Vancouver Island. We were part of four newcomers and we hoped we would lose our "newbie" status quickly and fit in easily. We did.
We left Vancouver and headed for Whistler, home of the 2010 Winter Olympics, and the Olympic Village. We stopped along the way to admire the view of Van from the hills, except it was foggy so we couldn't see anything and it was a bit fruitless really! But we used the time to do some group introductions. On board was a wide variety of people; A Dutch father and his two teenage children, a Welshman, a Kiwi, three Aussies (one couple and a lone traveller) and various others. Most people were travelling across Canada and were over here for several weeks so there were a few green eyes when we introduced ourselves!
We carried on along the 1 highway and stopped at Shannon Falls, the third highest falls in British Colombia, very spectacular they were too. (you'll have to forgive me as most waterfalls and lakes start to merge together after you have seen the amount we have! By the end of the tour the group had the uanimous response "not another bloody waterfall?")
We continued on and stopped by a very pretty lake (nope, can't remember this one's name!) for lunch. We got a chance to talk to some of the group a bit more and we met the Aussies properly. Zoe was travelling alone from Perth, and Jo and Sarah were a couple from Adelaide. Everyone seemed very friendly and we looked forward to getting to know people along the way.
We got to Whistler mid afternoon and were given ninety minutes to have a wander around. We checked out the idiots particpating in downhill mountain biking and saw quite a few young lads with various body parts in plaster cast (note to self - AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!) We walked through the village and saw various plazas, including the Olympic plaza with giant sized Olympic rings. Like everywhere else on our trip so far this particular area was under construction so no pretty gardens or seating areas, just a lot of hoarding.
We were then taken to the brand new hostel within the Olympic village, which was a ten minute drive away. The hostel was fab and it was a very kind way of breaking us into dorm life gently. We were in a four bedded dorm with Jo and Sarah and it was nice to share with another couple. We had our own bathroom with shower as well.
Our first meal was cooked by Karen, the tour guide, who had slightly misjudged the food and left a few people rather hungry. The kitchen looked like somewhere Gordon Ramsay would feel at home in, it was huge with four hobs in the middle of the room and four floor to ceiling fridges.
After dinner we went back to Whistler for a couple of drinks with most of the group. We didn't stay out too long as it was very expensive and Lexy, our resident Welshman got a stern telling off from a bar maid who wasn't impressed with his 25 cents tip! Only the British eh?!
Day 28 was BC day so Whistler was very busy. We had a free day here so after a reasonable night (ie Dan slept well, I didn't - kept waking up to check Dan wasn't snoring and waking our roomies) we were dropped off in the village. We went and got breakfast and then spent a few hours on some amazing zip slides that put Go Ape to shame! The Canadians don't trust participants to attach themselves to the lines properly so each group had two instructors who would do this for you. There were five zips and a tree top walkway that allowed you to take some fantastic snaps of a beautiful river and waterfall. The longest line was well over 900 metres and took you directly over the river at quite a spectacular height - not advisable for vertigo sufferers! The last line was a bit shorter but you had the opportunity to ride backwards and upside down. It's quite something seeing the river above you with the wind in your hair. An amazing couple of hours! The Ziptrek area was higher up Whistler mountain so we were taken up there after our safety talk by mini bus and we got to see the Olympic Bobsled and Sliding Track which was quite cool. Naturally Dan took at least fifty photos!
When we returned back to the village we chilled for a bit, both rather exhausted from the adrenaline rush and had a cold beverage (any guesses what my husband had?) and watched the bikers finish the rather vertical hill.
In no time at all it was time to board the mini bus and return to Vancouver. We picked up a couple of people who jumped off the bus to spend more time in Whistler and they had signed up to do the Whistler Bungee Jump so we spent over an hour watching crazy people throw themselves 60 metres off a bridge into the Cheakamus Canyon. Surprisingly most people were very quiet until the bungee pulled them back into the air for the first time and they realised they were still alive, then we heard lots of whoops of joy etc. I informed the group if I was stupid enough to throw my self off a bridge I would have no control over what came out of my mouth and that I would be more than likely to invent new swear words!! There was one girl who wasn't part of our group who was absolutely petrified and almost had to be pushed. When she left the platform she didn't jump, she just stepped off and ended up falling down the bungee rope and busted her lip on the carabiner. Don't think she'll do that again! There was a lot of hanging around but it was fun to watch our tour guide Karen squeal when she jumped backwards and we all got to know each other a little more.
We stopped off at Brandywine Falls, which aquired it's name after an argument between rail workers over it's height. Bottles of brandy and wine were at stake hence the name! It was a pretty waterfall and we had fun taking some interesting photos! Check them out when Dan adds them.
When we eventually got back to Vancouver it was gone 9pm and we all had dinner in the hostel cafe, which was cheap and surprisingly large and yummy portions. We stayed at Jericho beach and Zoe had warned me it wasn't the best hostel. She wasn't joking. When we pulled up it looked a like an institution of some kind and the dorms were huge rooms with two bunk beds per bay. The whole place had a boarding school feel to it but with less personal space and privacy. There were no doors, only curtains so you literally had to get changed in the bathroom. We shared with Zoe and surprisingly the three of us slept very well, with no snoring!
More blog coming right up! Promise!