Jojo185

JojoandIan185

Jojo185

From Liverpool, UK. Trip of a lifetime to Canada starts on 6 May 2012



North America » Canada » Alberta » Banff May 23rd 2012

As it is our last full day in Banff we really should be making the most of it but we are in can't be arsed moods as we had crap sleep again. We head down to the Banff museum, it is not much bigger than the cabin we had at bear ranch! but it is very informative and they have a lot of stuffed birds and animals that have been there since it opened in 1903. I was quite shocked at the size of the cougar, glad we haven't met a real one on our travels. We drive down to Lake Minnewanka and then on to Johnson's Lake. We have been told the walk around this lake is lovely, not too long and no elevation. They lied about the last bit! It was a lovely walk ... read more
Big Horn Sheep
Jack Rabbit
I'll be back!

North America » Canada » Alberta » Banff May 23rd 2012

Awful sleep again. I took a sleeping tablet and wore ear plugs but could still hear the drone of the fridge in our room. In the middle of the night I pulled the fridge out of its cabinet but there was a mass of wires all tangled up behind so I had to leave it. When I woke Ian up this morning he asks me did I sleep well as I had kept him awake all night with my snoring???? After another buffet breakfast we head up to Sulphur Mountain. The gondola takes you so far then there is a wooden walkway should you choose to take it to the top. We were knackered when we got there but great views and a little family of chipmunks playing at the top. They run about so fast ... read more
Alvin chipmunk
$5000 Black bear
Asleep standing up!

North America » Canada » Alberta » Banff May 22nd 2012

Monday morningwe get up quite late so check out and go into the town to get something to eat. There are two bakeries owned by the same people - The Bear's Paw and The Other Paw. They sell many different coffees and bread; bagels; muffins; scones and cakes - all baked on the premises with the kitchen in full view of the customers. We buy two coffees, a bagel with cream cheese, an egg and ham barm and two raspberry and white chocolate scones and pay $15 or £10. That is the cheapest place we have eaten and definitely one of the best. We visit Patricia Lake and Pyramid Lake but again the lake I really wanted to see, Maligne Lake, is still frozen. We start the drive down to Banff which is the Icefield Parkway ... read more
Same Black bear
Male elk
Furry antlers


Sunday - drove the Icefields Parkway from Lake Louise to Jasper, said by many to be the most scenic drive in the world. Before we set off we go to the village bakery to buy lunch. We were told the story of a Grizzly bear who hung around the village and became completely humanised to the extent that one day she walked into the bakery and stood up on her hind legs as if to see what was on offer. Parks Canada decided that she was an accident waiting to happen so gave her to Calgary Zoo. Quite sad really that she is stuck in a zoo after years of being a wild bear. I overheard another story of a tourist smearing her son's hand in peanut butter and offering it to a bear. Apparently the ... read more
Grizzly bear
Trying to reach the lake
12 foot tree

North America » Canada » Alberta » Lake Louise May 19th 2012

OMG just had the biggest breakfast ever. It was an all you can eat buffet so I did just that! Don't think I will be eating again today. I did eat again! We had coffee and cake at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise but firstly we took the open chair to the top of the Lake Louise Summit. We got some great pics of the Rockies but we both felt a bit deflated. All the trails at the top were closed due to snow and where they had cleared the snow so you could get to the viewing platform the ground was all muddy. Think we were both missing Grizzly Bear Ranch which has been the highlight of the trip for both of us. Ian reckons we've been spoilt by the places we have been to ... read more
A frozen Lake Louise
Lake Louise melting
Fairmont Chateau eyesore

North America » Canada » Alberta » Lake Louise May 19th 2012

The bear ranch was absolutely fantastic and we saw lots of bears but not attacked by any. The closest we came walking was about 30 feet but closer in the car. The blog won't upload pics at the moment so I'm not going to tell you about the last 5 days as I'm sure I'll bore you all if you don't have pics to go with the stories. We left the bear ranch at 1130 this morning, it was sunny and mid twenties. Six hours later we are in Lake Louise where it is lightly snowing and a cold 5 degrees. The food at the bear ranch was fab, I now love asparagus. We have eaten fresh, healthy food (plus desserts) for the last 4/5 days then had McDonalds for lunch today and Ian is feeling ... read more

North America » Canada » British Columbia May 17th 2012

Thursday - we drove a long way along the Duncan Dam. Saw a herd of wild horses and found out later one of the foals was only a day old. We drove quite high up the mountain but then walked for half an hour to a further 1000 feet. I found that hard going and there was a bit of moaning. If that had been at home I would have just said i can't do it but the alternatives were ruin the day for everyone else or get left behind with no bear spray. We stopped for lunch at a point 8000 feet up the mountain, I got an extra cookie for making it up the mountain. The views were amazing, With binoculars we could look down and see black bears along the river. We saw ... read more
Kenny in our garden
Landslide blocking road
Kenny lying down to eat!

North America » Canada » British Columbia May 17th 2012

Wednesday - we go to a viewpoint on the Lardea river - biggest rainbow trout in world called Gerard RainbowTrout. They are huge, apparently up to 1.5 metres in length and up to 30lb in weight. It is illegal to fish on this part of the river as they are protected. We carry on to Trout Lake and go on motorised zodiacs. Julius takes me and Ian and asks are we up for some fun, he has us bouncing, hitting the swell and these aren't the big Zodiacs with benches what we went on for whale watching, these are little motorised dinghies that you actually sit on the inflated bit on the edge holding on to whatever you can find to hold on to. We land and light a campfire on a little pebble beach and ... read more
Cool Black bear
Chilling on the porch
Trout Lake


Monday - drove from Osoyoos to Meadow Creek through Grand Forks, Nelson and Kaslo along the Kooteny Lake. Arrive at Grizzly Bear Ranch early evening and meet Julius and Kristin and their two Alsatians, Kuro and Masha. Julius is a Brit but has a Hungarian dad and Kristin is Estonian. Julius was a war correspondent for the Telegraph and has worked in Iraq and Afghanistan. Last winter he was asked by the British government to work as a peace negotiator and spent months again in Afganistan whilst Kristin ran the ranch. He is definitely an adrenaline junkie! Settle into our cabin which is basic but got everything we need bar enough electricity for my hair dryer or straighteners. The ranch is completely off grid so electricity is from solar panels; gas is from cylinders and not ... read more
Me and Masha
Kootenay Lake
Kaslo

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Osoyoos May 14th 2012

So today we left Vancouver but after checking out at Times Square Suites we decided to squeeze in a trip to Capilano Suspension Bridge. People both in UK and here had warned us it is a tourist trap but we are tourists so we went. It was a bit of a corny theme park with the staff dressed up as in the olden days but we ignored all that and did the suspension bridge, the treetop bridges and the cliff walk. It was ok but not worththe $70 we paid but at least we can say we've crossed the Capilano Suspension Bridge. The journey from Vancouver to Osoyoos was a five hour drive but it wasn't too bad. Mixture of highway, forest and mountain driving - we kept expecting to see bears but didn't see one. ... read more




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