Driving day

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August 12th 2016
Published: July 28th 2017
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Geo: 50.6761, -120.338

Today was mostly about getting us closer to Vancouver and therefore, our final night's camping was to be at Kamloops, a town around four hours from Vancouver. The day mostly consisted of us driving, although we did have a couple of stops. The scenery was as stunning as ever - we made a couple of photo stops at what has become generic roadside scenery - beautiful tall mountains and incredible lakes - and then we had three woodland walks - very different from the scenery we have been walking in up to now.

The first stop, The Rock Pile, was described by our guide as "hobbitty" and when we got in there, we could see what he meant. It was like a set for a miniature Lord of the Rings - all moss covered rocks and gnarled tree roots which had clambered over piles of stones and boulders in the shade of towering trees. Every now and then, there would be a break in the trees, and snow-capped mountains could be seen in the far distance. There were plenty of opportunities to scramble over rocks and the whole loop took less than 20 minutes to amble around.

Our second and third stops, Hemlock Grove and Giant Cedars respectively, were gorgeous groves of towering trees, much more impressive than the giant redwoods we saw in California. Canada is so different from the USA in that they don't feel that they need to shout about their incredible natural features. In the US, the redwoods was sold as an excursion, hugely hyped up and marketed. This tends to leave the visitor disappointed. However, here in Canada, these little forests, equally, if not more, worthy of a visit, were just on the side of the road with one or two cars in the car park and a couple of people ambling through. A few wooden signposts explained the flora and fauna of the area, but there were no huge declarations about it being the tallest, or the oldest or the best..... I guess in a country that is so incredible in terms of its scenery, everything can be underplayed and allowed to speak for itself. Canada's scenery IS all the marketing it needs.

We arrived at the campsite/trailer park - some complete with plant pots and satellite dishes - and pitched tents on SOFT GRASS! This was a huge deal and meant we would get a great night's sleep without banging our hipbones on the floor every time we rolled over! After sunbathing and chilling out, it was a pizza dinner and then a lovely sleep for our last night under canvas, for another year at least!


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