I had a great night sleep. In the morning Chris told me he had to turn the heating off as he was sweating! Oh, and I spent most of the night grinding my teeth! (I think one day I'm going to have warn my teeth away!). It was nice to have our own room. Today we had planned to head into the town centre and visit the information centre to see what we could do during our time in Banff.
In the discovery tour office we managed to get a lot booked which means we have a busy few days, we have even extended our stay while in Banff to fit it all in. The activities we have book are horse riding, which we are doing later today. Canoeing, a trip up sulpha mountain and a day trip to the Columbia Ice Fields!
Our horse riding was starting at one o'clock, so we had time to get some breakfast. Managed to find a nice restaurant that sold all day breakfast and it was so good. It was more like a full meal, but it would keep us going during the day. We still had a bit of time so we decided to head down the trail to Bow River Falls, it was about a 25 minute walk. It was a really scenic walk. The running water and mountains one side, and the evergreen woods the other. You could see that the river has started to freeze around the edges.
It was then time to head to the hotel where our horse trek would start from. It wasn't to far from the falls. Just up the hill.
Chris isn't a great fan of horses, and I decided that I would be the horse whisperer and rub some of the horses faces, however the first one I went to touch had he's eyes shut, and I made him jump! Which made me jump back! Ha ha.
We were taken into the paddock area and all allocated a horse, of course mine was the biggest and was called Pete. I'm sure the guide said he was called something else but he had Pete on his saddle. Chris's one was called strawberry, it was a boy horse with a very camp name! The only reason he was called this is because his hair colour was sort of strawberry blonde. The group was quite small, only 4 people and our guide. The other couple were from china I think, but didn't really talk to them.
As we set off, the other couple were asked to go ahead, and me and Chris were at the back. She only gave us a couple of rules, follow close (tail to nose) don't let to of the rains. She explained to everyone we will need to kick the horse on to follow, so we didn't have massive gaps in the group. Easy (At least you would think!). My horse was really good and behaved, did have a slight stomach issue and continued to fart in Chris & Strawberries face! Maybe I was kicking to hard as well, because he had a few number twos on the way around - I might have been squeezing it out of him!). Chris's horse was also very good followed right behind my horse. What ever mine did his did and followed very close the entire trip.
However we did have a Chinese girl on a horse in front of mine. I remember the horse's name Brew because the guide kept shouting to her "kick brew on" I could see she was tapping the horse. Brew knew he had a soft touch in his bank and played up even more. She was always leaving massive gaps in the group meaning we were always having to catch up. I didn't mind so much as my horse trotted to catch up and strawberry would follow.
Brew kept going for food, which meant this girl dropped the rains, then he would walk thought the tree's meaning the girl would be fighting with the low branches! Funny as anything to watch from behind. But annoying she was slowing the group down. In the end our guide tied up brews head not allowing him to cause any more mischief.
The tour went up and down mountains, through rivers, it was great. Managed to get some great views of the surrounding area. The hour went really quickly, and we were back at the paddock. Jump off our horses, and walked back to the centre. I enjoyed it a lot, and looking forward to spending some time on a Texan ranch.
Once downtown we got back on the free bus to the Gondola's it was a sky rail kind of ride that would take us to the top of Sulpha mountain. Chris has already concord his fear of horses today. Now to push another fear - Heights! We boarded our gondola and Chris seemed pretty calm, as we got higher you could see he was a little nervous. The views were stunning. It took a few minutes to get to the top where we can get off and take a walk around the top of the mountain. There was a wooden walk way that took you to the summit. It was time to get some good photos - there were great views of the mountains, and I thought it would be a good idea to sit on the railings. Chris was ready with the camera as I jumped and sat on the side. You should have heard the people around me... Everyone was looking at me like I as crazy, Chris took the picture before he was sick, and then I jumped down. I didn't know what all the fuss was about. Everyone was saying now crazy I was sitting on the railings. (OK - there was about a 2,500 ft drop the other side of where I had been sitting. A few strangers even commented saying that I made them feel sick when I got up there... I think some people need to 'Man up'. I promised Chris I would do it again. Ha ha.
The walk to the summit was nice with 360 degrees views of Banff and the surround mountains. It wasn't cold as the sun was out, and we had perfect blue skies. At one point I had noticed I had lost my camera... However remembering I head a thud we both walked back a bit to retrace our steps. I finally found it on the ground. Some how I had managed to drop me kick it off the platform. I climbed over the railings (No 2,500 foot drop!) and get my camera back. It was still working! Luckily it hadn't landed in snow. Once at the summit we took a few photos before heading back down the same way.
Chris was a lot more relaxed on the way down, and once we arrived on low ground we had a Starbucks in the highest store in Canada! I hate coffee, but hot milk with their pumpkin spice syrup. Amazing and I have 3 months of drinking this! Yum!).
It wasn't long before we were back at the hostel, in only tee-shirts we went and sat outside in the evening sun. We weren't sat in it long but my face started to feel hot, and think I might have got a little burnt! Once the sun had disappeared behind the mountain range we went and sat inside in the massive open lounge area. It was nice to chill out and relax before going for dinner. We had already seen a place that sold bison burgers!
We got ready and headed to the bus stop, but we had a wait of 20 minutes - perfect time for Kokanee!! We boarded he bus, and the bus driver said our free passes had expired, we were sure they hadn't but the driver just let us on anyway- I did ask would we have trouble coming back? He didn't really answer. One in Banff centre we had our dinner. Honestly it wasn't great. The bison was nice enough but it was on the cold side and my side of fries with chilli and cheese was a bit gross. I think it was cheese curds. Over all we both thought it was a bit rubbish. The beer was good though. We had Alexander Keith's lager, it was actually his birthday today so the bar was selling cheaper pints! We had a bit of a wait for the bus. Now it was freezing, we just kept walking around the block until it was time to get on the bus. It was the same driver, and he just let us on. We decided to check with reception as we were sure the tickets were still valid.
Back at the hostel we headed back to the room, we were still on our own. No other roomies had moved in. Another night with just us in a dorm. It wasn't long before I was fast asleep, it must be the fresh mountain air!