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Published: October 25th 2011
Canadian adventure, September 2011
4th of September after a good party for my brother his B-day early in the morning at 6.00 Ricardo, Marcel and me where brought to Airport Dusseldorf in Germany for a direct flight to Vancouver BC. At the airport we walked trough security and our long haired friend had to go back trough security because he had some fluids in his hand luggage... We where early trough the checks and had a breakfast, during the breakfast Marcel had to make the “funny” comment: you will see that behind us is a whining kid….and in the plane there he was….a terrible kid right behind Marcel…damm. Well ok, I did what I can do best….fall asleep and sleep….after several wakeup brakes we landed in Vancouver.
By taxi we went to the Hotel close by Stanley park where we walked after placing our bags in the hotel. When returning we had a powernap and at 20.00 we walked down Vancouver for a drink and a bite (Pizza).
Day 2, 5th of September around 8.00 we woke up to get the car, what was a taxi trip back to the airport to get our Ford Escape. When back
we enjoyed our breakfast and walked around Stanley Park, we saw a family of sea otters, racoons and had a short trip in the old forest to a lagoon. When returning we bought food to prepare in the hotel room. And all fell asleep as real man do in front of the television.
Around 9.00 in the morning we had a nice breakfast and later we drove to the ferry from Horse shoebay to Naname, Vancouver Island. This was a nice trip and we saw Vancouver from the sea side. Driving our Ford Escape is a nice thing to do especially when we found out how the satellite radio worked. After arrival in Naname we drove 2 hours north towards Campbell River where we found a nice trailer to stay for two nights in the Eagle nest motel. A good lunch at the Subway and later we bought food and drinks at the supermarket to prepare our own dinner. In the evening we enjoyed our Trailer view over the water and saw Sea otters and seals. We enjoyed the company of several cold cougars and when the temperature dropped we watched some good movies in out fancy
After a delicious egg breakfast made by our cook Marcel with a sea view sitting in the sun, we drove to Elk Park for a hike. Elk Park is a nice walking park with a hydro plant and two water falls. We planned to walk over the hydro dam and back on the other side of the river. When at the dam it was under construction but together with the Safety man of the project we could cross the construction site. The route we planned to walk on the other side was hard to find and we walked some extra distance along the road. At the end we saw several large birds of prey, several vultures but also a bald eagle. Along the lower part of the river many salmon fisherman where hoping for their catch. Back at the parking lot we drove back and prepared meals for our self and after a shower and packing our bags we went to bed.
Day 5, 8th of September the day we go for our kayak trip.
8.00 we where fed, packed and ready to leave the eagles nest. Our main backpacks we left here and we
only took the stuff we need on the kayak trip with us. I was in doubt to take my new camera and lens with me, but I did .
Around 9.30 in front of the information centre we meet the rest of the group and our two guides. We drove in a van for two hours, had a short stop at a gas station and drove to Telegraph cove. Near to the water was the trailer with the kayaks and we where instructed how to pack your kayak and to make it comfortable for you. When everybody was ready we hit the water, Marcel and Ricardo where in a double Kayak and I was in one with another group member. After 30 minutes paddling we saw the first young bald eagle. Due to the fog the surrounding looked very mystic and like a different world. After about two hours paddling eastwards we arrived at the lunch location. Here the sunbeams drove trough the forest making a nice play between the fog, sunbeams and branches. The lunch prepared by the two chef cooks was hmmmm delicious, so good that my kayak was several inches deeper in the water than before…..We continued
paddling eastward towards camp, under way we saw 2 hump back whales on the other side at over 100m distance. At the end of the afternoon we arrived at the camp, this was already setup in the beginning of the season. Marcel, Ricardo and I where so much used to sleep together that we stayed in one tent again. When the guides prepared the dinner we made the camp fire and Marcel was appointed to be our fire master. Dennis went to talk to the fisherman and got a fresh salmon that he prepared and was our dessert for the evening. The golden rule was 10 minutes in the red hot wood for each 2,5 cm of fish (thickness). A couple of beers, fresh salmon, the sea with so now and then the breathing of whales and a warm campfire…..this is why I made this trip.
Day 6, nice in the morning waking up in the tent and going out to see the nice surrounding. This place is awesome!!! The breakfast was sausages and pancakes and after we put the kayaks back in the water for a nice day at the water. People preferred to change their kayak so
I had the opportunity to get one for myself. The mist hung over the water and made a nice display after a couple of minutes we saw a sea lion very close by and a couple minutes later a pod of harbour porpoises passed us. For a snack we paddled into a kelp bed so we did not drift away. During our snack we heard marine mammals breathing and out of the fog behind us a pod of killer whales came by at about 30 meters. This was amazing, the male had a dorsal fin of about 2 meters. In total the pod contained about 8 killer whales and the guide put the hydrophone in the water and we heard the Killer whales sing. The killer whales stayed close by and we saw them all around us and heard them …..this was so perfect…..the only thing between us and those beautiful but also large marine mammals was just a kayak. After they moved on towards the west we continued our trip to the east in the direction of the rubbing beaches. The mist disappeared and the sun became strong with a very clear view on the snow topped mountains in
the distant. We stopped at a beach close by the rubbing beaches and after our lunch we had a short hike to a waterfall. The forest we walked is very dense with mosses every where it reminds me of tropical humid forests. Back at the beach we had a short rest and paddled back. In the distant we saw a huge male orca passing a vessel, the huge dorsal fin trough the water ….woooooow while we all watched in the distance a small pod passed us at maybe 15 meters on the other side….I made a nice photo when one passed my kayak and just blows out. When they where gone we continued back to the base camp the weather changed and we got a firm wind from ahead. It was advised to stay close to the shore where less wind was. I liked to high waves and stayed more out, just before we where there two huge humpback whales passed by and when they where close prepared to dive so we saw their tails up in the air. Back at the base camp we decided to make a much better camp fire hehehe so we collected lots of wood,
the guides made a very good meal with dessert. Later we enjoyed the harmonica and blues from the New Orleans area…..perfect.
Day 7, our last morning at the base camp. Packing our stuff, packing the kayaks, cleaning the camp and of course breakfast. On our way back I stayed close to the coastal area and saw several large jelly fish, sea stars and bald eagles in the threes. In the distance we saw killer whales and humpbacks but nothing close by. Marcel and Ricardo heard something splashing in the water while we observed a bald eagle close by. It was a black bear who climbed out of the water. Back at Telegraph cove we unpacked the kayaks put on dry clothes and loaded the trailer and van. Later we had a final lunch and we saw an unknown whale species passing, with a small dorsal fin. After the bus trip back we said good byes to everybody and went back to the eagles nest for our last night at Campbell River. For our dinner we decided to go for a nice restaurant and ended up at KFC the worst food I ever had, on the way back…lets say 5
steps out of the door I was hungry again….luckily we had chips in our trailer.
We did not put our alarm because we have holiday as well, when I walked out side I saw to seals on a rock, the three of us walked along the shore to see them closer. After packing the bags and car we checked out and went for breakfast to a small local place, the breakfast was good and tasty. Around 14.10 we took the ferry back to Vancouver and drove to Lilloot, that was a very nice ride and we saw a deer crossing the road in the evening hours. Around 20.00 we arrived at Lillot and went to a motel, after a very good and hmmm so much meet meal at “De Griek” Marcel went in the bubble bath and we watched a movie/ book.
In the morning we woke up and drove to Jasper, this trip took us trough higher mountains and very nice scenery. In Jasper we had difficulties with arranging a Hotel, finally we accepted a too expensive hotel for two nights. Jasper is a very tourist orientated location so we decided to hang
out the tourist and eat Pizza and go for shopping.
We drove by the township road towards Lake Maligne, the road was nice and we saw several Elk deer. This is a deer species that does not have relatives in Europe. Two male species posed very well for the photos. At Lake Maligne we went for a short hike but except squirrels we only saw the very beautiful scenery with snow topped mountains and blue lakes. In the evening we went back to the Pizza place with very good service.
We drove via a side way of the 93 (Icefield pkwy) to the south and stopped to view the Alberta Glacier near Sunwapta Lake. After enjoying the nice surrounding we drove to the Saskatchewan River Crossing where we should stay for two nights. Here was a washing room and we washed our clothes, that had become very smelly….and enjoyed the greasier meal I ever had.
Day 12, 15th of September
The prices of food are here so high we did not want to eat here and drove eastward towards Nordegg for a breakfast. On the way we stopped at a huge waterfall and
climbed down a restricted road. We made some very nice photos and no tourist around. At Nordegg we had one of the breakfast you can really enjoy. Coffee where refill and Marcel and Ricardo had plenty. Ricardo took the pancakes and Marcel and me went for the local breakfast (including 3 eggs, 4 peaces of bread, 6 peaces of beacon and baked potatoes. On the way back we stopped at a power plant and did some off-road driving, if you have a 4x4 you need to use it. Close by the Crossing we did a short walk called the fire walk, a forest that is burned to keep different stages of forest alive so the biodiversity remains high. Marcel had some problems with walking and Ricardo and I went up a steep ridge, higher and steeper, and higher….damm that was high. The information signs explained allot about the fire and results of it. After the hike we drove back.
We drove from the Crossing via lake Louise to Banff. At lake Louise we had a nice walk around this very blue lake, but it was also very touristy. We drove a little further and stopped at another
lake and did some rock climbing. After we met a couple and together we had enough people to enter a high risk bear area. It was a nice hike and we saw many small rock mammals. In Banff we stayed in a nice hotel and there where many nice places to eat and drink
Shopping and walking around close by Banff because bad weather was predicted. In the evening we went to the Irish pub and tried several beers. Here it appeared that I was not so Alcohol resistant as the others. The band that played was very good and at the end we sat together with some beers.
Day 15, 18th of September
We planned a route to drive where other people had seen allot of wildlife. I did what I can do best with some alcohol in my body, I slept about ¾th of the whole trip. We drove along distance and saw only several mountain goats along the road. The last part was a gravel road with some nice bends and steep slopes. In the evening we went to a good steak house where we ate the day before too, it was so
good and the portions where our size hehehe
After breakfast we did some last tourism shopping and bought food for the way at the supermarket. We drove back North to Lake Louise and the west in the direction of Whistler. Under way we stopped for some sightseeing and walked trough a field to photograph a canyon, the vegetation had so much seeds that inside our shoes, our socks and all where fully loaded and this was not a pleasant feeling…. We stopped in Catch Creek in a nice motel with a large TV and across the street was a Chinese restaurant, Ricardo and I ordered a combination meal and Marcel went for Egg lots of Egg.
All three we where full of the Chinese meal the evening before, we headed on the route 4 direction of Whistler. We took a small road off the main road to see where we ended up, the road became smaller, steeper and nicer. After a long drive along this nice route the road was closed so we headed back, fast and funny heheh 4x4 are toys for boys … Marcel made a nice movie about this, well he
tried hehehe. Back on the main road we stopped to hike to two lakes, it was a short distance so we where not well prepared. We had no water and I walked on my sandals, the road became muddy and some parts rocky. We walked 3 km one way and when we reach the lake several birds approached us…when I was filming Marcel en Ricardo one bird tried to land on my hand and the camera….crazy bird. Walking back it became a little dark we continued driving to Whistler where we where around 7. we found a nice hotel in the city centre. In the info office we heard about a good Pizzeria the had half price deals..so that was dinner arranged.
Our breakfast we ate near a mountain bike track where crazy guys did their tricks, so we had breakfast and a show, what do you want more. In the afternoon rain was predicted but we planned to walk on the mountain and Ricardo wanted to stand in the snow. So we dressed up and took the elevator up, during the trip up we saw a big brown bear (we assume a grizzly) on the road
near a car. The cable track was nice and on the top we hiked the long route because we made quit a good progress. The last part became cold but we stood in the snow. On our way back wind and rain came in, back at the cable track it was closed and we where the last guys on the mountain. So together with the guys waiting there for us where brought by car down to the town. In the back of a 4x4 with foggy windows shaking around was a fun experience. After warming up by the shower we went for a warm meal.
Our last day driving back to Vancouver, we had the whole day so decided to take a gravel road that was on the map, but not in the navigation….the first part went all well…until well the road was not on the navigation, signs popped up that the road was dangerous due to fires and land slides. The road went from bad to worse and some parts where flushed away by the water. With close manoeuvres we tried to damage the car as little as possible. We did very well but we did
much longer over the trip as planned. The navigation went crazy and told us: Go immediately to the nearest unpaved road! A long drive, a dirty car and our last day we arrived in Vancouver and stayed close by the airport. After cleaning the car, a shower we went for a nice steak in a American looking dinner room. Back in the hotel we packed our bags so we only needed breakfast in the morning.
Our last day, 23rd of September 2011
Around 8.00 we left with our luggage the hotel to hand in the car and check in at the airport. There we had our breakfast (Ricardo and I went for a second subway sandwich….Marcel was not so hungry after the spareribs) Marcel bought some last souvenirs and we spend the last dollars we had. In the plane this time Marcel slept the whole way and Ricardo and I where in a good conversation with a blond Canadian in front of us who went to Germany for a family visit. Back in Dusseldorf it took some time to find the ride back but when we where in the van home came close very fast. So around 8.00 we
dropped of the first person and I could go to see two new Van Oord vessels, Ricardo could watch the motor racing and pick up his poes and Marcel went on family visist.
This was a nice trip with three very good friends and all went better than expected if you take in consideration that we woke up together, ate together, and slept together. It was a good experience and lets see where we go next year or sooner…..
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