A Travellerspoint blog

Vancouver Island

Part 1 - Angus

sunny 12 °C

Ucluelet
Ucluelet was our first stop on Vancouver Island. The small town was on the other side of the island where the surf was up, a little bit like the other side of Fraser Island. The day we got there we realised that we had our own private hot tub on the balcony of our apartment. The next day we  decided to go to another small town called Tofino about half an hour away from where we were. At first, we mainly just wandered around the shops looking for souveniers and stuff like that. For lunch we had hot chippy bread rolls for lunch and then for dessert we had gourmet ice cream, raspberry cream and chocolate hazelnut to be precise. After that Dad and I took up the challenge of swimming without a wetsuit in the freezing cold water. The water was absolutely freezing cold. After I sprinted out and started running about like crazy, Giaan mustered up the courage to get in as well. After the swimming event we all decided to go home to the glorious hot tub. That night we had an early bed because we were planning to go on you guessed it, another walk -the Wild Pacific Trail. We woke up early and went straight to the beginning of the walk. It was quite a nice walk leading in and out between the coast and the ocean. It took us about 3 hours to do and it was a pretty decent walk. At the end of the walk we went back to a picnic spot in the walk to have lunch. Then we went to a National Park to go on three more walks. On the first two they were mainly rainforest walks and one led down to the beach. The first one really reminded me of Jurassic Park. The third one Mum and I did alone. It was a bit scary because it went through some dark rainforest and we had seen fresh bear poo at the start of the trail so we were expecting a bear to jump out at any moment. That night we had another fabulous spa in the hot tub. The next day we would be heading off to Parksville for another 3 nights. The next morning, after we had cleared the unit and packed the car, we found out that there were bears down in a place nearby. We decided to check it out. There we had our first real encounter with a bear but that's another story...

Posted by The Robbos 20:41 Archived in Canada Tagged island vancouver Comments (3)

Vancouver Island

Strand me on this island anytime!!

sunny 14 °C

Hi, everyone

Again I say WOW!! We've been on Vancouver isalnd for the past week and the weather has been pretty much perfect. While the Island has a reputation for being rather rainy, we have once again scored well with the weather gods. We arrived on last Sunday at Nanaimo. The weather was beautiful and the water a dancefloor as we ferried over. Stayed the night in a place called Port Alberni in the middle of the island. A nice spot but we awoke to rain the next morning. Drove through this to Ucluelet on the west coast of the island. A road that was just as winding as somne of our favourites in California. The rain was solid for the rest of the day but it didn't stop Lesley and the kids from going for a walk to the lighthouse down the way. The place we were staying is called Terrace Beach Resort and it was great! A nice cosy fireplace and, best of all, a private hot tub on our deck!! Aaaahhh...

The next day was a bit showery and we went up the road to Tofino - the surfing capital of Canada. To mark this, Robbo and the kids hopped into their togs and went for a refreshing swim at McKenzie Beach. It didn't matter to us that only 200m away, there were all manner of surfers in 6mm wetsuits (admittedly we only lasted 5 minutes in the surf, but we are from Queensland after all). Lesley has the photos to prove it, too! Obviously those of you know her know that she would have [i]loved[i] t o have been in the freezing cold with us but someone had to stay warm and dry to document the event.

Since then, the weather has been nothing short of sensational!!! Sunshine has been the order of the day and we've soaked up every oppportunity to see this fabulous place at its best. We popped into a salmon hatchery and shared a viewing platform with a Mama Bear and her cub, wandered through the huge trees at Cathedral Grove, walked along Quallicum Beach, played putt-putt in the cold at Parksville while gazing at the snow-capped mouintains on the mainland and played in Nanaimo. Now, we're in Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. The weather is great and the city looks tremendous. Everyone we've met has been so friendly and helpful and the scenerey has been so superb, we can see why people from all over the world flock here.

Will write more soon and will chuck some more photos up on the blog. Internet is a problem on our laptop at the moment so we might have to be a bit slow.

Take care and our warmest regards to all. Thanks very much for your comments as it's great to hear from home and from those we've met along the way.

Posted by The Robbos 20:14 Archived in Canada Tagged island vancouver Comments (2)

Hooray for Kamloops

from Giaan

sunny 15 °C

Kamloops, here we come…
Hi, it’s Giaan again. Thanks very much for commenting on the blog, everyone.

After a looooong drive from Jasper, we finally arrived at our friends’ house. Our friends’ names are Barb and Brian. They are veeerry nice people with a beautiful house on the river. On the 1st day, Brian, Mum and Angus went on a 2 hour hike while Barb and I made chocolate chip cookies. Yummo! Later, all of us except Brian and Angus went looking for my Halloween costume but were unsuccessful. The next day, we discovered COSCO – a wonderland of food sold in bulk only and everything but the kitchen sink (actually, I think they might have a sink in there somewhere). While we were 8n town, we finally did get our Halloween costumes. Angus is going as the killer from Scream and I decided to be a witch Hee Hee Hee!

Thursday was a beautiful day so Brian drove us all up to Isabel Lake. It was stunning. We’d brought a picnic and some hot dogs to cook over a fire. Yummmy! While Barb, Brian, Mum and Angus walked around the lake, Dad and I organised the fire. The picnic was delicious and eating in front of the lake topped it off for me.

On Saturday, we went horse riding with our friends from the cruise. Yee Haa, cowgirl!! I rode Dori, a look chestnut brown horse, while Angus rode Sonny, a chocolate brown horse. Isabelle rode Sparky, Anna rode Juny and Claire helped everyone by leading the horses when they got restless. I learned how to walk, trot and canter my horse. It was great fun. They have a beautiful spot up in the hills where they are building their house. It’s going to look wonderful when it’s finished.

Later in the afternoon, Barb and Brian had friends and family over for dinner. Angus and I looked after Kirsten (5) and Peter (2) for their parents. They were really sweet kids and behaved very well.

The next day we left and can’t wait until Halloween because we’ll back in Kamloops.
I’ll write next from Vancouver Island. Hope everyone is well.

Posted by The Robbos 10:01 Archived in Canada Tagged kamloops Comments (0)

Kamloops - The Angus Report

A Home Away From Home

sunny 15 °C

Kamloops
At Kamloops we stayed with our friends, Barb and Brian. This was really nice because we weren't all cooped up in a hotel for almost a week. For the first day Brian, Mum and I went on (you guessed it) another hike up around a lake. We were hiking up a really steep hill that was so steep that,when you were climbing,  you had to use your hands in front of you so you wouldn't fall over. There was this wooden post sitting in the lake that we all tried to hit with rocks. Mum completely owned - hitting the wooden post 3 times while I didn't even hit at all. When we got home I basically chilled. 

The next day we decided to go to Cosco , a massive store that sells everything from computers to fresh fruit and meat. There were all these tasting booths around the place to encourage you to buy things. Personally, I had no intention of buying anything, I just wanted to taste things. We decided to have lunch at Cosco. I got a hot dog and unlimited soft drink for only $1.50. After that we went looking for Halloween costumes. I ended up being the guy from the movie Scream if anyone has seen it. The guy has a white scary mask and a black cloak with a knife. I can't wait until Halloween which is in about 3 weeks. 

When we got back to Barb and Brian's house we decided to feed the squirrels. In their backyard they had two main squirrels. One from the North and one from the West. They are arch rivals and hate it when one of them goes into the other's territory. 

On Wednesday we drove out to a spectacular lake called Isabelle Lake. After a walk there we had a fire and cooked hot dogs on it. They were absolutely delicious. A man we met offered to take me out in his boat and show me the fish he had caught. In the end he offered to give me his Rainbow Trout which was also delicious. The next day Dad and Mum organised the rest of the trip and the flight home so it was pretty much just being lazy around the house that day for me. For dinner that night Mum and Dad's friend from 15 years ago came over for dinner. It was pretty good for Mum and Dad because they were still good friends and they hadn't seen each other for ages. It was fun meeting him for the first time and he said that when we come back to Kamloops he might take me skiing depending on how much snow there is. 

For our last full day at Kamloops until Halloween we decided to go see some friends that we had met on the cruise and go horse riding. It was my second time riding a horse so it was a little freaky when the horse suddenly took off and it took me a while to slow it down. We had lunch there and had a fire out in the backyard that failed pretty quickly. The place was pretty amazing because they had dogs, cats, kittens, horses, cattle and chickens - a lot of animals to look after. That night Barb and Brian had a bit of a family reunion so Giaan and I went and played with some other kids downstairs. 

When we go back we are going to go trick or treating and also watch an ice hockey match which will be great fun. 
A huge thanks to Barb and Brian for putting up with me, showing great hospitality and for simply being extremely nice people.

P.S ( To Barb and Brian) Could  you please not make any pineapple chicken for when we come back.

Posted by The Robbos 09:22 Archived in Canada Tagged kamloop Comments (1)

Giaan in the Rockies

semi-overcast 10 °C

After a night in Salmon Arm, we finally arrived in Banff, right in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. We stayed in a hostel that was very cramped but was still good as we only stayed in there to sleep. A small cabin had been offered but they were more expensive.The room in the hostel was fine though. Mum and Angus went hiking on most days, while Dad and I did our own thing because my ankle was very sore.
We went on the gondola up to Sulphur Mountain and the views were really spectacular (there’s a photo on the blog). We also went to the library and went shopping. At the shops, I bought a t-shirt with lots of animal prints, a cute little stuffed husky called Banffette and some fabulous ice cream from a shop called Cows. I ate a flavour called Gooey Mooey and it had toffee, chocolate chips and different types of fudge. It was ABSOLUTELY SCRUMPTIOUS !
I had a really great time in Banff and if I was coming back here again, I would definitely come to Banff again.

From Banff,we drove to the Columbia Icefields. This is a very scenic drive and some of the stops we made were: Peyto Lake, Bow Lake, Athabasca Falls, Sunwapta Falls and, of course, the Athabasca Glacier. Just near the glacier, I got to touch snow properly for the first time. It wasn’t cold outside (Dad was just wearing a t-shirt!) but there was snow everywhere. Dad was happy that there was none on the road but there was enough off the road for us to have a snowball fight (I flogged Angus) and make a snowman.

The bus that takes you on to the glacier is huge. There are 22 of them in the world and 21 of them work on the glacier. The other one is in Antarctica. On the glacier, the driver said we had to watch out because the ice was very slippery. The day before, 7 people had fallen over and 3 had to go to hospital. Angus and I built a snowman and I made snow angel.

We loved the B & B in Jasper. It was very homey. Unfortunately, it rained a lot but we still had lots of fun. I enjoyed the whitewater rafting but the water was so cold, I couldn’t feel my feet. The owner of the B & B was really nice and helped us a lot.

Off to Kamloops now. Write more soon.
Giaan

Posted by The Robbos 16:03 Archived in Canada Tagged the rockies Comments (3)

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