Thursday, August 12, 2004

Hello from Canada - Part 2

Hey ya'll...arrived in Calgary only to get lost driving roundin our "RV" (it's huuuuge!) - the drive to the Rockies was incredible though - storm clouds over the mountains - wow. First night at Banff.

Next Lake Louise - stunning view with glacier in background - kayaked to other end of lake -faaaaaaaaaantastic.

Next day drive up "Icefield Parkway" rated one of THE best drives on the planet. Past Glaciers, 12,000 ft mountains, incredible lakes (stopped at Lake Peyto -as we walked up to the lake a rainbow appeared directly above the glowing, cyan coloured lake - one of those moments you never forget - rainbow lasted a few minutes and gone - magical).

Continued up Columbia Icefields - walk up Athabasca Glacier (not very far as people tend to fall into crevices - the warning signs told us that the last 3 rescue attempts were 'unsuccessful'...).

Onto Jasper - totally stunning location. Stayed at campsite in forest - red squirrels in spruce trees in campsite - bears spotted last week... watched the sunset over the mountains, BBQ, beer, and bed! Next - boat cruise on Lake Maligne (with world famous 'Spirit Island') and Medicine Lake - one thing we thought was 'you've seen one lake you've seen the all' but each one has a unique atmosphere, just amazing.

Drove down towards Lake Louise but too far and no space at campsites on the way so had to stop at the Columbia Icefields - the best view I've ever seen from a 'hotel (RV) window'. Bloody cold at 6,700 ft but looked directly out onto the Athabasca Glacier - watched the sun set so that one of the mountain peaks was just dipped in a deep orange glow and then darkness - and cold! Amazing experience. Totally silent night.

Back down the Icefield Parkway next morning - incredible view watching the sun rise across the mountains, casting whole valleys in shadow and then light gradually hitting snow-capped peaks. Best view of all on way back - Mistaya Lake - incredible reflections of forest, mountains and glaciers in lake. Unbelievable.

Back to Banff, up Sulphur Mountain in Gondola (Cable Car) to 7,000 ft and panoramic views. BBQ, beer, and bed! Drove back to Calgary yesterday morning, flight to Vancouver, drove to Seattle to stay at Stairs, where we are now. Absolute luxury - can send an email, get some washing done, etc - it's not nice having one's garments starting to ferment in one's rucksack...!

Got here last night - BBQ with Stair and friends up on apartment roof with incredible views of 'downtown' skyscrapers, Mount Rainer, and the golden glow of sunsetting over the Olympic Mountain Range and Pacific. Best holiday ever and still one week of Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver to go!

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