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Published: June 15th 2008
Bit behind schedule on writing - no facilities at hotels
8 June - Banff
We explored Banff today - walked along Bow river, to the First Nations Museum - very interesting including "Trading Post" (Gift shop). Bought food for picnic on the banks of the Bow river. Afternoon was a trip up Lake Minnewanka pronounced (Wonka) whyich took about 2 hours saw Bald Eagles nest and both parents. Back to hotel via Two Jack lake. Guides are really good. Good dinner of bison stake in local restaurant.
9 June - Banff
This was a free day and the weather was so good we decided to catch a bus up to the gondala on Sulphur mountain which was so poor on the 7th. Fantastic views all around with some fresh snowfall, in fact it snowed when we were up there and it looked just like one of those snow shakers with the figures inside. ope the pictures do it justice. We spent the rest othe day mooching the shops but with such nice weather it was better just walking the river.
10 June - Transfer to Lake Louise
We travelled in not great weather to Lake Louise. These transfers are spent going from one destination to another until its time to be dropped off at the hotel.
Today took us up the Johnston Pass and to its waterfall. Comfort break at Lake Louise village before going on to Lake Moraine for lunch (Steak!!) The weather cleared for our trip up through Kicking Horse Pass to the falls there. We travel along the Canadian Pacific Railway most of the way and stopped to see the 'Spiral Railwaty where they deal with the steep gradients in the Rockies. Travelling back to Lake Louise we saw three black bears on the railway line (they come down to eat the grain off the grain trains). The trains are the bears biggest threat.
Our first view of Lake Louise is via the front of the hotel, when you go round the back to the lake it takes your breath away. Fantastic.
11 June - Lake Louise
A free day and as we are a captive audience, we look to the hotel and its surrounds for things to do. We walked the length of the lake with the Victoria glacier at the far end - about three kilometres. we took afternoon tea in one of the big window seats and finished the day with a good staek dinner as we had an early start the following day
12 June - Transfer to Jasper Park Lodge
This was ou day for travelling the Icefield Parkway before ending uo in Jasper. Our first port of call was Lake Peyto, named after Wild Bill Peyto. The lake was the most magnificent turquoise colour as though somebody had painted the bottom of the lake. (I hope the pictures do it justice). We then travelled up the Icefields Parkway with glaciers on both sides of the mountains until we reached the Columbian Icefield. We transferred to shuttle buses to travel up the glacier to transfer to Ice Explorers. (Buses that travel on ice). Whilst it was an experience when we reached the glacier to disembark and walk on glacial ice 1000 feet deep it was sad to see the amount of damage that was being done to the area with the number of people that visit. After leaving the galcier we travelled to a lodge for a BBQ lunch (Steak). The place was called Sunwapta Falls. We finally arrived at Jasper Park Lodge late afternoon (it was raining). The hotel is a series of lodge cabins - bit like Butlins but a little more refined. Being a few hundred yards from the main building getting tio and from restaurants is a bit of a trudge.
13 June - Jasper
A disaster at breakfast with waiting times of up to 30-40 minutes. (I was not amused). Another full day on the coach starting with a boat trip on Lake Maligne to Spirit Island. Weather was pretty variable on the way and at one stage it started snowing again. Guides again were pretty informative. Weather improved on the return leg. From there we travelled to Maligne Falls and the onto Lakes Pyramid and Patricia. At Lake Patricia we saw an Elk with her new born calf. The Elks around the hotel are all calving at present so you have to be careful on the walking trails. We had a quick look at Jasper town on the way back to the hotel, very small pop. 4400. As we have a free day tomorrow we may walkin to have a look round.
I haven't been able to upload photos yet (hotels do not offer the facility). We transfer to Sun Peaks on 15th June the onto Vancouver so I should find a cafe to upload some photos.
Take care Alastair & Lin xx
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