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July 6th 2017
Published: July 20th 2017
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Sunday 2 July - Squamish
Today we were headed to the Outdoor adventure capital of British Columbia, which is less than an hour away from Vancouver. It sounded exciting, but first we were going to enjoy a bit more of Vancouver by eating and dancing in Kitsilano. Mummy went to Dance Divine and danced so much that she injured her hip again. I played and slept under the dappled light of maple trees with daddy. We then went into a huge room where the walls were decorated with beautiful carpets and salt blocks. It was an Afghan restaurant called "East is East". Apparently it has the worlds best chai! Mummy liked it cause she asked for another one! All I can tell you is that it tastes wierd in mummy's milk. This is Romke and Minke's favourite restaurant so a perfect space for an early celebration of birthdays. Indeed, mummy's 40th birthday seemed to coming early since Minke was wrapping mummy in scarfs and silk tops. They make mummy look very pretty. I got to play with feathers and a net. Fascinating how they flowed in the wind. Apparently this is a dream (I don't know what this is) catcher for mummy and daddy's wedding. Uncle Romke buys pretty gifts. Also Aunty Minke sang to me about being a star. What great fun.

Minke and Dave had to start packing for a workshop, so mummy, daddy, Uncle Romke and I headed up the Sea to Sky highway to Squamish. There were lots of oohs and aahs in appreciation of the scenery, and I could look out the roof of the car at huge trees, looming mountains and white patches called "snow caps". When we arrived, I was flopped on a huge bed. I was in a giggly mood, so mummy and daddy played lots of "Just missed me" and "bubble my ears".

Next moment we were back in the car searching for Sushi. They were closing and wouldn't give us take out, so we joined all the "dirty, dusty climbers and campers" at the Mex99 restaurant. I managed to put a plate on the floor, and so completed another eventful day.

Monday 3 July
On Monday, mummy said we were meeting her friend, Joost and his family. His wife, Mariana, spoke a funny language to their son. She said she was from Mexico. I liked meeting Santi best. He is a bit bigger than me (8 months apparently) and he sat in a backpack which looked pretty cool. Mummy and daddy said I could sit in a backpack when we get to Switzerland!

Mummy was so excited in the morning - we ran across a busy highway, Highway 99 (to Area 44), and then we followed this forest trail to some rocky outcrops with a nice view. There were people hanging off ropes wearing funny hats. Mummy kept saying she wanted to come back with 'gear' and go 'climbing'. I'd like to come back. It is very pretty.

We said goodbye to Santi and his parents and went to the store to buy supplies for a picnic lunch. Mummy got distracted looking at clothes in an outdoor shop. Uncle Romke went back to the hotel to get his swimming shorts and we all drove to Brohm lake. But the car park was full so we kept driving to another lake. Lake Alice had no sun, but we found a spot on it to have a picnic by the water. I had capsicum and cucumber but what everyone else was eating looked much more interesting! There were so many people. I think it was a holiday for the thing Canada celebrated on Saturday.

After lunch, we walked the four lakes trail. It was very pretty and there were even some mountain bikes that passed us on the trail. Mummy was very excited to find a glacial river and she took off her shoes and put her feet in. But not for long because she said it turned her feet numb! Everyone else did the same. Daddy put some water on my head and it was very cold! I'm glad he didn't dip me in like when we were in the Caribbean! In the distance there are these big mountains which are white on top. Apparently something called 'snow'. I don't really understand what it is but it is very pretty!

At the end of our two hour hike Uncle Romke was in a big hurry. Mummy and daddy were laughing - Uncle Romke was hungry and didn't want to arrive at the sushi restaurant after it closed like the previous night! To Romke's horror ... it was closed! But luckily there was another.

Tuesday 4th July
Mummy and daddy must have found their mountain legs. After a little drive north of Squamish (outside of Pemberton) we arrived at a very dusty car park with lots of mosquitoes. It was a short walk to first lake and the opportunity to some lunch and slap mosquitos. It was very picturesque with a lake in front, lots of trees and a snow capped mountain directly in the background.

When it was time to get serious, daddy strapped me to his front in a way that I could stand and turn to see the scenery. Up and up and more up we went. The sun shone down but as we climbed it got colder and colder. We passed lots of people who looked on with a kind of wonderment. A noisey stream soon became a waterfall, and then I got hungry. I had been standing (of a sought) for nearly 2 hours. Whilst I was feeding, Uncle Romke caught up and passed us. I didn't realise how close we had been to the second lake. Maybe I could have delayed my feed, but my nappy was full and I had been getting cold. This lake had a setting like the first only nicer. At a sunny spot I saw my first chipmunk. Sooo cute and so quick. If only I could be that nimble and make that chip, chip sound.

Mummy and daddy thought that it was too busy and wanted to swim at the third of the Joffre lakes before the sun dropped, so they began the rock hopping section. Daddy was calm and comfortable so it didn't feel and different to me, but I did sit rather than stand. Ahh, what a sight! Awesome. I will let you see the pictures! Mummy braved the cold of a glacial run-off. She didn't last long. Daddy braved the cold for a manly duration.

It was so fun to be up so high in such a beautiful place. Maybe that is why mummy continued smiling from ear to ear. Big Uncle Romke joined for some photographs but thought it was far too cold for a swim. Like everyone else actually... maybe it is my mummy and daddy that are a bit different!!

On the descent I felt warm and cosy until we got back to the second lake and my parents again had a swim - they could swim together this time since Romke looked after me. I slept for the remainder of the descent, so I don't remember anything about that.

I awoke at a Thai restaurant on the outskirts of Pemberton called "Knok Barn". Mummy, daddy and uncle Romke were enjoying prawns, cashews and other stuff whilst the hostesses talked and played with me. It was nearly 11pm when we left. We still had an hour to travel home, and the hostesses where saying that our plans for tomorrow were ambitious. We were going to fit a 5 hour hike into 3 hrs!!

Wednesday 5th July
I had not yet finished sleeping when mummy and daddy started bustling around. They were planning on climbing / hiking "the chief" - a huge rock that we had seen when we arrived. "You can't visit Squamish without climbing it!". Romke disagreed. He returned to sleep whilst the rest of us headed for the base of the world's second biggest climbing slab. The hiking was more fun than previous days since roots and rocks provided stepping stones for a healthy upward march. The track markers suggested 2 1/2hr to the first peak and 5-6 hours for all 3 peaks. Our pace to the base of the first peak suggested that we would be home early, so instead we opted to ascend the second peak. The scramble became more vertical and daddy's smile more broad. Fresh pine scented air and some more technical terrain was making daddy very happy. Where the rock got a bit pinchy and up metal ladders he still managed to keep a hand on the back of my head to keep me comfy. We made a slight wrong turn that took us to a via ferrati but soon returned to the main track and to the top of the second peak. Breathtaking.

On top, we briefly met a lovely couple of locals who confirmed that the second peak was the best to hike, and steered us to a safe downward path. Down we plunged with some hesitation associated with odd weight placement in front of daddy. Mummy was loving her shoes. Down shared many of the joys experienced on the way up but I was getting tired and fell asleep. Nearly at the bottom, my sleep was disrupted by mummy and daddy talking to the couple that they had met earlier. James and Claire shared their stories about climbing, mountain biking and working in Squamish. They were lovely, and it would be lovely to meet them again.

We made it back to the hotel by the agreed time (11 am) and quickly packed in readiness for the drive back to Vancouver. Less than an hour later and we were sitting in Aunty Minke's apartment again. Mummy was worried we would miss our plane because daddy was spending too much time helping Romke with his computer. I could feel that the Canada journey was coming to an end. There was lots of hugging and kissing and a final visit to Akira Sushi.



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