A Travellerspoint blog

Jasper

More adventures in the Rockies

semi-overcast 10 °C

Jasper
On the way to Jasper we stopped in at The Columbia Ice Fields. The Columbia Ice Field is a gigantic glacier completely made of ice. The company that we bought our tickets with brought a massive bus with tires that were as tall as my shoulders on to the glacier and let us off for about 20 minutes. We basically did whatever we wanted to do in a certain area. I built a snowman that was about up to my knees. It  was so small because the snow was almost completely turned into ice that way it was really  hard to pack together. 
On the way off the glacier the driver told us that the hill we drove up onto the glacier was apparently the steepest unpaved hill in North America (a 32 degree gradient).That was a great experience and it's hard to believe that the bus and the people can just walk and drive on a massive chunk of ice that's 300m thick!

 When we got to Jasper we just chilled until it was time for dinner. The next day we had a vague idea of going White Water Rafting but we weren't really sure. We were looking around the shops when we found out that at 2 o'clock it was the last raft down the river for the entire year. We decided to go at 2 but for then we decided to keep looking around the town. One of my favorite shops was a candy store that had every type of popcorn you can imagine and every type of fudge you can imagine. The bear paws were especially delicious. 

At 2 o'clock it was time for Whitewater Rafting. It was very uncomfortable getting into all the wet suits because my one was too big. It was a bit freaky at the start because you were actually sitting on the side of the rubber boat so you could easily fall off into the river if you didn't have your foot wedged under the seat. The river was not as rough as I thought it would be so about half way through the ride I really started to relax and enjoy it. At the end of the ride I jumped into the freezing cold glacier  water and lay in it for around a half a second. My toes and feet were stinging and took absolutely ages to warm up. 

The next day Mum and I went on yet another walk around  the massive Maligne canyon. The walk took us about 2 and a half hours. The canyon was really amazing and at one point it was  about 30 metres deep. The walk took us all the way down  in line with the river so there was no longer a canyon. After that we had planned to go up to Mt Edith Cavil,  a massive mountain that was one of the must-see things in Jasper. We went all the way to the top of the mountain only to find that the walk was too far so we had to drive  all the way back.  

After that we had a chat to our accommodation owner, Annaliese,and she was telling us that she has had lots of jobs that included training police dogs, an interior designer and singing on the stage for 7 years. We found out that she runs the entire accommodation by herself and takes care of 4 suites. 
The next day we had to go but before we left we decided we had to try the main bakery in town. It was absolutely delicious but I ate the sausage roll I got cold. After I had eaten it I realized there was a microwave right next to me. It was a pretty long drive to Kamloops so I just had a long time to write the blog.

 My next blog entry will be about Kamloops so keep and eye out for it in the next couple of days.
Hope everyone had a great holiday and I'd love to hear what you've been up to.
Angus

Posted by The Robbos 07:59 Archived in Canada Tagged the rockies Comments (3)

The Cruise continues...

The Giaan Experience

rain 8 °C

Hi, it's Giaan again. The 2nd day of the cruise was a full day at sea. Angus and Mum were very sick that day as the ship rocked for hours on end (Ugh!). Fortunately, Dad and I didn't feel too bad, although we were not 100%. At lunch, Mum filled her plate to the brim and...couldn't eat any of it. Finally, Mum and Angus felt better about 5:00. They had been in bed all day while Dad and I hung around the ship doing nothing special. We didn't do much because we kept checking up on the two sickies and struggling with keeping our own lunches down.
That evening, the seas got calmer and we could enjoy ourselves more (without the two sickies looking green).

On Day 3,we visited Ketchikan - our first stop in Alaska. Mum and I loved looking at all the jewellery stores. Ketchikan is only a tiny town but because the cruiseships carry almost 1 million visitors during the summer season, big jewellery stores were everywhere selling duty-free watches, bracelets, earrings, necklaces and rings. The weather was cloudy and a bit rainy. We were disappointed to not see any more shops but happy to get back on board out of the rain and back to the FOOD!!

On the subject of food, I should tell you what there was to eat:
For breakfast, there was an inside buffet which had everything - cereals, toast,fruit, hot food,pancakes,waffles,juice and milk. YUMMY!! Also, they had a smaller outside grill area where you could have the chef make your omelette in front of you with whatever ingredients you wanted.
You could get lunch and dinner at the buffet - anything you could imagine. Dinner could also be at 3 free restaurants - Aqua, Blue Lagoon and Versailes. If you wanted to pay extra money for meals,you had a choice of special restaurants - Sushi, Japanese teppanyaki (they cook this in front of you), French, Italian,Mexican, steakhouse and Chinese.

On day 3 and 4, we visited Juneau (capital city of Alaska) and Skagway. These places were a lot like Ketchikan - small, lots of the same stores and with rain,rain and more rain. Some of the stores gave us freebies to get us into them. I got some earrings, a charm bracelet, 2 northern light necklaces and matching earrings. At Juneau, we also found a shop that was selling stuff at 50% off. Because we were the last cruise ship of the season, these shops were trying to sell as much as they could before they closed for the Winter.

We saw the huge glacier. It was a beautiful blue and there were lots of blue icebergs in the water as we got closer to it.
Unfotrtunately, when we arrived in Prince Rupert, our first stop in Canada, it was raining. But this did not stop our adventure and we tok for a walk along the river in the rain. We met a nice couple from Arizona caled Marg and Roger who walked with us in the rain. Tired, cold, wet and with a sore foot, I was happy to get back to the boat.

One of the nice things when we'd go to bed was the animal our steward, Dino, would leave for us. He would make them out of a towel or two. He made a monkey, a dog, a mouse and a koala.

I liked the kids club on the boat and met some fun girls from Kamloops called Isabelle, aged 10, Anna, aged 6 and Claire, aged 8. I hope to catch up with them when we come to Kamloops.
When we arrived in Vancouver, I was disappointed to leave the ship because I'd had so much fun but I was also happy tobe on dry land again.
I'll write about the Rockies tomorrow. Hope everyone had a fantastic holiday.

Posted by The Robbos 12:42 Archived in USA Tagged the cruise Comments (2)

Banff- The Angus Report

First Stop In The Canadian Rockies

Banff 
Banff was our first stop in the Canadian Rockies and it was awesome. One the first day mum and I went on a 2 and a half hour hike up Mount sulphur. Dad and Giaan  caught the gondola up. We met them up at the top of the mountain where we had a hot chocolate. Up on top of the mountain there was a small walk up to an old weather station that was built 100 years ago. Dad and Giaan decided to stay because there was about 300 stairs. After that we all caught the gondola down which was pretty amazing because we saw everywhere we had walked and we got down 30 times quicker than we got up. 
The next day we decided to go to Canmore, a small town about half an hour away from Banff. There we went on yet another walk that was supposed to take about 2 hours but for us it took  4 hours. This was mainly thanks to mum because of the new camera she got which she almost uses 24/7. On the walk we saw unnaturally coloured lakes that were crystal clear and an amazing aqua blue. It started to rain on the way back so I had several slips and falls. Also on the way back we met a couple who told us about another 12 km walk up on a mountain that we shouldn't miss. 
Great, another walk. We spent another hour or so searching for an undercover picnic table out of the rain so we could have lunch. Instead we ended up with a giant rock that we had to make do with since it was the only thing we could find that was undercover. 
The next day  we decided to go to Lake Louise. This is a famous lake known around the world because of the crystal clear water that is being constantly added to by a glacier which is a massive chunk of ice. Before the trip I had always wanted to go canoeing on Lake Louise so that was the day that I finally did it. It was great fun and it was really an eye opener for me. It felt so weird seeing a canoe on Lake Louise in the travel brochures  and then me actually being on the lake canoeing. After that we all went to look at the massive hotel that sat on the edge of Lake Louise. 
In there,surprise surprise we met the people we met on The Alaskan cruise. It was my friend Mitchell and his family who had just come from Jasper which was our stop after Banff. That night we went into The Banff Hot Springs. This  is a massive  pool that is a out 39 degrees Celsius. Which is pretty hot. During the one and a half hours I was in there I had 6 cold showers at different times  and got back in again because it was so hot.  
The next day Mum and I went on the 12 km hike that the people had told us about and ,surprise again , they're there as well. We ended up doing the hike with them because we had been told that bears wandered the trails sometimes. That walk was pretty spectacular and I had my first snowball fight. The man who had come with us started it. After that I pounded him with snowballs  until we had to stop. When we got back from the walk we went  back and wandered around the shops looking at things for souvenirs; I ended up just getting  a red T- Shirt. After that we were going to go for an ice cream when bang! There they were again,Mitchell  and his family.  We chatted for a little while but then I had to run to the door and just get in because they were jut about to close.  We were the last customers in. The next day we had to say goodbye to Banff. It was a bit sad but we would always have memories of it. 
On the way to Jasper, our next stop we did some really exciting things, but that's another story...

Posted by The Robbos 08:46 Comments (0)

O Canada...

Back to the northern land...

semi-overcast 10 °C

The cruiseship landed and we grabbed our rental car in Vancouver. Within a couple of hours (after a few hiccups), we were off towards the Canadian Rockies. Spent the first night in Canada in a lovely little town called Salmon Arm on Shuswap Lake. The next morning, Angus and Lesley went on a short walk around the lake, we all went on a food shop (more expensive than USA) and then headed uphill! The mountains were beautiful, even in the rain that kept rearing its head.

Finally, we arived in beautiful Banff. The accommodation we had booked was unfortunately unavailable (through no fault of their own). So,there we were...after a 6 hour drive, at 9pm and no place to stay. Then, the young lady who was behind the desk (an Aussie from Sydney called Emma) rescued us by ringing the local hostel (another Aussie called Emma) down the road. Between the two Emmas,we were booked and happily bedded down in the Banff Alpine hostel within the hour. Thanks, girls!!

Banff the next morning was SENSATIONAL! The weather was beautiful. We walked a bit through Banff and then Angus and Lesley hiked up Sulphur Mountain - a 700m climb with lots of switchbacks. Giaan's ankle is still not good and Robbo's knees are dodgy so we took the gondola up. The views up top were unbelievable. A cold wind started up and clouds rolled in. The mountains almost have their own weather systems and while we were on top of the mountain,little flakes of snow began to fall. Angus and Giaan were very excited. Lesley and Angus then walked along a boardwalk to an old weather station on aneven higher peak. A great first day in Banff.
More on the Rockies, soon.
Thanks again to everyone for their comments. Love to hear from you

Posted by The Robbos 10:19 Archived in Canada Tagged rockies Comments (2)

Cruise time

Day 1

sunny 20 °C

Hi it's Giaan
I am haven't written on the blog for a while 'cause I've been sooooo busy.Our cruise ship was called the Norweigen Star. The ship had stars of all colours on the bottom half of the boat. On day one I was quite nervous because of all the security around us. We boarded the ship on saturday 17 September 12:00. When we were on the ship we had a three course lunch, yum! Our cabin was so cramped and small we could barley move about in it.Our cleaner made an animal out of towels every night.I will give examples in my other enteries. Bye everyone.

Posted by The Robbos 11:30 Archived in USA Comments (1)

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