Our last day in Oliver and I slept in missing the 630am rise to let the dogs out...they soon let me know about it...Problem is that dawn is 4.30am and dark is 9.30am so most nights we are getting kip pretty late. We did the pack thing and said our goodbyes to the Kanes, the dogs, the cats and everything else on the property...the kids were pretty upset saying goodbye to their new friends saying in unison 'we're not going to see them EVER...'
One of life's little and unusual challenges has been where to dump the rubbish...as Canada has very good and stringent recycling and rubbish laws unlike Australia so without filling the home bin too much, we go dumpster spotting to share the load.....it took 30 minutes today to find an unlocked one.
Clean again we headed up the Okanagan Valley past Penticton and Kelowna - to stay at Okanagan Lake Resort for 2 days (in between next homex). The 'Vacation' movie reared again as the kids dropped their bags at the room door and raced thru to the balcony to check out the pool - very excited......however the view was NOT...pool had not been used all winter, was half full green sludge....yet we had been told the pool would be open for the weekend. Something a bit like Fawlty Towers then ensued as we were advised that the other pools would open - but we can't tell you when, at the restaurant dinner the dirty wine glass was put on the table and two seconds later removed. The white wine was served at a lovely 10 deg above room temperature and the sediment was swirling in the glass. The waiter was not aware of the soup of the day, then came back to say it was tomato ravioli. There were more dishes not available than there were available....we could go on. We should have paid attention to Tripadvisor.com!
(We should have known the $99/night rate with $40 toward the dinner bill was too good to be true). That aside the views over Lake Okanagan were great and partly made up for it.
One of the reasons for staying here was they ran horse trails out of the property so next day all four took part in some horse riding, even Kit who they ensured was safely looked after - it was his first time on a horse and Gracie had her first time riding alone. With the temp hitting 25 deg. we enjoyed a casual stroll along the hillside which made up for our previous day and well worth it. (The horse owner had said he had been there 23 years and the resort had gone into receivership many times).
We played golf on a surprisingly good par 3 course and despite the mammuts (mole like beavers - yes holes all around the greens ala Caddyshack) we had plenty of fun. We finished our experience saying farewell to the Valley with a nice wine Ted had given us.
The next day we headed further north, although our GPS Reggie was not himself today, suggesting a shortcut that had us driving on a back road past cows and fields instead of Hwy 97. It was looking good until when told to turn left onto the hwy we came to a roadblock.....seems the new highway, now 20 metres above the road did not have an on ramp. Our u-turn back and 10 kms retrack had us come through the town of Armstrong and as we pulled up to refuel and feed so too did the local bikie chapter which Kit thought was Awesome - he was in Harley Heaven! Time to move on.
Further along Hwy 97 we stopped by Mara Lake for a break, near the town of Sicamous - home of the houseboat - complete with waterslide. We joined Hwy 1 (main road from Vancouver to Banff) along with every other tourist it seemed and had fun overtaking the RV, towing the SUV with the ATV in the back. We pulled into a touristy waterfall place that charged $30 to see..... well a waterfall, but decided to push on, to find a little further up the road water coming down a hill...we stopped and walked into the bush 30 metres to find this amazing waterfall some 40m high right in front of us....pretty good. We stayed overnight in the very scenic town of Revelstoke. (Just have to wait for the photos - well worth it)
With interrupted sleep & a visit from a weirdo at our breakfast table, we left the hotel driving up the valley to the range, stopping at Rogers Pass Summit - where two tourist buses arrived at the same time, so didn't hang around long. Then it happened.....we saw one! As we were doing 80kmh we looked to our right and saw a big, black bear on a rail track having a feed (probably rail kill).....we slowed but couldn't stop...but at least we saw one in the wild....We stopped off at Golden (a drive thru town) for lunch at 'Grizzly Bear Cookhouse' to savour our recent vision, for a bit of a change from the road stop norm and have to say ..."Not Bad" then turned off tourist strip hwy 1 driving towards the Columbia Valley and Inveremere. A police car pulled us over to say we should only be doing 70kmh when there are flashing lights on the road....then advised us to be careful of the wildlife - we smiled and parted ways.
The Columbia Valley is sandwiched between the Purcell and Rocky Mtns - we noticed a change in scenery and we arrived in Invermere (popn 3500) for our next two week stay. Until then bye for now.
PS Our Laptop has gone belly up (They say Dells don't go much past 3 yrs)....fortunately we had our files backed up, but unfortunately no pics for this blog, but will update some more when we get a chance.
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