Bluey McClelland

Bluey

Bluey McClelland

This is the story of Bluey and Anna's trip to South America in 2007.



North America » Canada » British Columbia July 24th 2009

Vancouver is a pleasant spot to spend the last two days of a North American holiday. However, one part of the downtown is quite confronting. As we drove into town along Hastings St, with our fuel gauge on empty, we saw many unfortunate people wandering along the footpaths, lying on the paths or queuing for soup kitchens. The Lonely Planet book devotes a half page to this area's plight and its collection of druggies, prostitutes and down and outs. It is in stark contrast to the rest of downtown Vancouver, and one wanders whether the local government has its priorities right when it is spending billions on the upcoming Winter Olympics. Anyway we enjoyed really good food and accommodation here (with some feelings of guilt and reflection) and our wander around the shorelines at Stanley Park ... read more

North America » Canada » British Columbia July 24th 2009

It is an enjoyable but reasonably long drive from Lake Louise to Vernon, taking about 5.5 hrs plus breaks. Passing through several national parks, including the Yoko and Glacier NPs, time passes very quickly. Golden was a pleasant spot for lunch, then late afternoon we sought out ice cream. Setting for a manufactured variety at a 7-eleven in Revelstoke, we were then dissappointed to pass by many ice cream shops in the following two hours drive to Vernon! Darren's colleague Max, and her parents Sonia and Al made us very welcome at their home in the Okanagan Valley, where the weather resembled a southern Australian summer more than anywhere else on the trip. The valley is semi-arid and relies on irrigation from the Fraser River (BC's largest) and its lakes. Next day we drove about 6 ... read more

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vernon July 21st 2009

It is an enjoyable but reasonably long drive from Lake Louise to Vernon, taking about 5.5 hrs plus breaks. Passing through several national parks, including the Yoko and Glacier NPs, time passes very quickly. Golden was a pleasant spot for lunch, then late afternoon we sought out ice cream. Setting for a manufactured variety at a 7-eleven in Revelstoke, we were then dissappointed to pass by many ice cream shops in the following two hours drive to Vernon! Darren's colleague Max, and her parents Sonia and Al made us very welcome at their home in the Okanagan Valley, where the weather resembled a southern Australian summer more than anywhere else on the trip. The valley is semi-arid and relies on irrigation from the Fraser River (BC's largest) and its lakes. Next day we drove about 6 ... read more

North America » Canada » Alberta » Banff National Park July 14th 2009

As we drove towards and into Banff township, the rain that followed us from Drumheller struggled to wane. We spent a short while in the town, glad that we chose to stay in Lake Louise instead as Banff is so busy and commercial. We didn't see the surroundings for clouds so did not know what else we may have been missing. Darren enjoyed a short walk around a fen before we headed to Lake Louise, where we found our comfortable accommodation in a super huge hotel (but not the very expensive one right by the lake.). Next morning the thick cloud burned off by 11am, so we had a fabulous drive up the Icefields Parkway to the Columbia Icefields, where Darren took a bus to the Athabasca Glacier while Anna checked out the shop and cafe. ... read more

North America » Canada » Alberta July 12th 2009

As we drove away from Calgary towards Drumheller, I told Anna to expect a sudden dramatic change from the miles of rolling prairies. She didn't believe me but there it was, Canada's own version of the Grand Canyon, the Badlands, with Drumheller inside its edge. Gary and Val took good care of us, treating us to Val's own pork ribs first evening, before we hit the fabulous Royal Tyrell Museum, dedicated to dinosaurs and the like, the next day. After lunch the heavens opened and there was a good inch or more of rain in a few short hours. We managed to get out early evening for a drive to the local hoodoos (rock formations) and visit to the Last Chance Saloon, in the ghost town of Wayne. Wayne was once a thriving coal mining town ... read more

North America » Canada » Alberta » Calgary July 12th 2009

Calgary does itself up for the stampede, with murals in many windows and the locals dressed in Wrangler shirts and jeans. First night we went to Caesar's Steakhouse to try out Albertan beef and a local creation, the 'Bloody Caesar', supposedly invented at the Westin Hotel in Calgary in 1969. Next day we wandered downtown to watch some festivities associated with the Stampede, including square dancing and an indian parade cum festival. Darren loved a few good hours at the wonderful Glenbow Museum, a highlight being the Vistas exhibition, featuring works by artists who were taken on the railway through the Rockies when it first opened. Anna checked out the shops. Late afternoon it was off to the Stampede Park. It was absolutely thronging, being a Saturday night, and often difficult to move. It's very similiar ... read more

North America » Canada » Alberta » Edmonton July 10th 2009

Edmonton is around the same size as Adelaide back in Australia. Except that its river has much more water than the Torrens! It also has what was the world's biggest shopping centre, the West Edmonton Mall. On what started out as a rainy day, we happily spent a day wondering around the mall, fulfilling one of Darrren's childhood dreams. Only problem is we didn't feel youthful enough to ride its rollercoasters, play mini golf, skate its rink etc. But we got to relive our time in LA 15 years ago, when we went to Tony Romas. We generally try to avoid the hundreds of chain restaurants here, but Tony had the best ribs we'd ever tasted and 15 years later he did not disappoint. Next morning we enjoyed a brief while at the Muttart Conservatory, four ... read more

North America » Canada » Alberta » Jasper National Park July 10th 2009

We were out of luck during our stay in Jasper, as there was either heavy cloud or rain for the most part of our time there. We had some good fortune on our full day when we hired a car though, as the morning remained relatively clear. We drove up the Maligne Valley to its canyon and lake, enjoying the spectacle of its river gushing though a very narrow gorge. Also spotted about four black bears along the way, along with about 10 -20 cars on each occasion, pulling over to look from a (usally) safe distance. Alas there were no caribou or other deer sightings, despite the ample signage. In the afternoon we drove to Mount Edith Cavell, where Darren managed a walk to photograph the spectacular Angel Glacier, perched high on Edith's belly. Unfortunately ... read more


The Skeena train, run by VIA rail, is a 20 hour journey with an overnight stop in Prince George. The trip was very scenic for the first four hours, then extremely pleasant but not so stunning for the remainder. Early in the trip the conductor told us we were very fortunate to get a vista of the Seven Sisters, a spectacular jagged mountain range. The train also runs along the Skeena River for the first four hours then the Fraser, BC's mightiest river, for most of day 2. We missed the view of Mt Robson, late on Day 2 due to cloud. Robson is the Canadian Rockies' highest peak. Our hosts Walt and Ruth at Bedford Place B&B at Prince George made us very welcome. Again, the wildlife was light on, with two or three bear ... read more


Travel guides tout Prince Rupert as Canada's gloomiest city and they weren't kidding. The sun failed to show all day, with a thick fog surrounding this town of around 15,000. No small wonder given it is so close to Alaska. We wandered around Cow Bay, a small historic shopping precinct near the wharves where we enjoyed our best coffee on the trip so far. Then Darren checked out the Museum of Northern British Columbia, that had another fine Indian display. Anna was over Museums at this point. There were also many totem poles throughout the town, which is only 105 years old. We figured that the weather here must affect locals' outlooks. The B & B host did not offer to pick us up from the ferry, which was five minutes' drive from his house, but ... read more




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