We head to Metarie hot springs first thing, wondering how natural they actually are as we've often found hot springs that are not. On route we meet a family of Bears with two little Cubs by the roadside, everyone is stopping for pics - we got some and a video - the Bears were very obliging!
The source of the springs is actually from the mountain and shockingly it's like 55 degrees when it reaches the base, it has to be cooled down by at least 10 degrees before it's filled in the outdoor pools at the springs.
The pools are set in the mountains with amazing views of the snow-capped peaks - it's a steal at $6 each and we love it. You have two hot pools one around 35 degrees, one at 40 degrees and then two freezing cold pools one is pure baltic!! The idea is you jump from cold to hot and Matt's immediately nervous of Jacq partaking - she's not the quietest and is likely to release a few expletives on the way - he's right - thankfully Canadians have a good sense of humour.
It's a great spot - and a bargain at the price, be sure to check it out!!
So afterwards we opt to check out Meligne Canyon - our skin's feeling great and we're all fresh so well up for a dander ... So, we think!
We walk the basic perimeter of the canyon, it's pretty spectacular with gushing streams flowing down this tight three-tiered canyon of huge rock edifices created over years of erosion and heavy flowing waters. We opt to take the short walk - Jacq is lazy (it's 6k) as we dander along getting awesome pics of the falls we come across some sad memorial benches. Athabasca Falls has one casualty a year, none survive, typically young hikers get overly adventurous with cameras and walk past the railings to snap up close shots of the water - what's most shocking is how unnecessary that is! The viewing decks are literally next to the falls it's so sad they feel the need to venture so close and one plaque really resonates with us both dedicated to a 21-year-old lad "the decision he made that day will affect the lives of family and friends forever" as we read it two idiots are walking on slippery rocks towards the top of the falls. Jacq can't watch and all is well although the risks they take are ludicrous. These rocks are a navy-blue colour and we're wearing the best gripped North Face hiking shoes but we still keep slipping by the trail, one false move they'll do more than slip.
Afterwards we head back into Jasper, we need some supplies so stock up again and on route we spot more Bears, Deer, Elk and Chipmunks - as we drive near Jasper town a load of mountain Goats are waiting by the road. Hi lads!
We drive south of Jasper and stop at a new campsite called Whistlers - it's about $27 a night and really well laid out - it's massive but you don't feel overcrowded. We meet our neighbours from Canada with Irish Ancestry from Galway - they are Tim & Marie and we get on really well with them! Jacqs sat nattering and Matt chops wood for our next fire, they give us a sip of their posh vino at $300 a bottle - Matts a fan! After a while they offer us their details if we ever get to Edmonton to come and stay - people over here are so friendly like that!
So, Matt chills for the night and Jacqs little miss social and now hanging out with the neighbours behind us who introduce her to bailey shots.
Basically, you toast your marshmallows, careful not to do much to the bottom but keep twisting your roasting stick at the top to create like a round hole, this is the fun part - then you hold the marshmallow whilst someone pours Baileys inside and you have to quickly slam the whole thing into your mouth before the bottom breaks - it's delicious!!!! Jacq mastered the first but the next two went horribly wrong - but you don't care it's so tasty you think sod the mess - be sure to have a bowl of water on standby though ok!