To the east-ish

So after getting back from Cuba I just couldn’t get enough of travelling. It happens. I decided to book a trip around western Canada. I have been hanging around the west coast, hugging the coast, way too long. So now I can finally say I made it (more) east. East is Alberta, which is really still west. The vastness of Canada keeps amazing me. Vancouver to Banff is about 900km, but you can drive for another 4000km and still be in Canada. I’ll save those for another day.

I had booked a trip on the Moose bus, since I don’t have a car of my own and I didn’t just want to drive past all the attractions on the Greyhound. Soon after we left Vancouver it started raining. It immediately changed my mood, but at least I was surrounded by great people. Our guide got to drive 8 girls to Kelowna. We stopped at the gorgeous Bridle Veil falls, but unfortunately the rain added some extra water. The walk wasn’t long though and the waterfall was worth it. Back at the bus we did some introductions and soon after that it felt like we really got started.

The day was mainly a driving day, but we had a surprising stop at the Othello tunnels, just east of the town Hope. It’s great to break up the journey with these fun stops. We stretched our legs as we walked through a series of tunnels and bridges along a wild river. The tunnels were created years ago when they built a railway through the Coquihalla Gorge. The tracks are gone, but the tunnels are no less impressive. It is also stunning to look out over the rushing water beneath the bridges.

When we were finally in Kelowna, where we stayed for our first night, the sun broke through the clouds. It got hot! The pretty main street of Kelowna was filled with people enjoying the sun. We had an appointment with the jetboat though, so we layered up. Music was blasting over the speakers as we were blasting over the waters of the Okanagan lake. After a shower of Okanagan lake water, a dinner was waiting for us at the hostel. We had a very relaxed night, sitting outside chatting until bedtime.

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The next day the weather had gone back to rain and clouds. Due to this it was too dangerous to go kayakking and we had to find some alternatives. First we stopped at the massive Revelstoke dam in the Columbia river. The dam generates power for the area and the small museum explained how the dam was built and what it does for the area. The most impressive thing though, was the view from the top level, with on one side the lake and on the other the dam and river.

 

A bit further up the road we braved the rain to go on a walk to the meeting of the waters. The path was still a bit snowy in places and if it wasn’t snow, then it was mud you were walking through. We were all wearing rain jackets, which caused a pretty hilarious sight. All dressed in black, hoods on, storming over the path. We passed the remnants of an old hotel before reaching the bridge at the point where two rivers meet. And  they were mighty, water thundering over the rocks.

Even though the road to Banff is long, it felt like a mini-adventure. The rain and clouds had followed us into Alberta, so we saw nothing of the impressive peaks of the Rockies. We had made it though. The real adventure could begin! Surely these clouds would break at some point. Yeah! I made it east! Or at least east of Whistler!

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