A Travellerspoint blog

July 17-18

Vancouver Island to Vancouver, La, Sydney

semi-overcast 22 °C

Woke up to a wet and blowy day, not a good start for our last day. The weather improved a couple hours later so we set off on some walking in the Pacific Rim National Park on the Half Moon Bay, Willowbrae and the Nuu-chat- nulth trails. We walked amongst massive ancient cedars and then descended into the Bay on boardwalks, they are constructed all through the park to reduce the impact on vegetation and prevent soil erosion. Long beach and Florentine Bay with their temperate coastal rainforests were beautiful. Drove to the town of Tofino, a very popular place for tourists and big surfing area. Certainly feeling weary at end of the day, enjoyed our dinner at local restaurant and packed up as need to leave early in morning. Caught the 11am ferry from Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay, calm waters, sunny skies, a lovely trip. Then drive to the airport , GPS. took us right through the city but no worries, arrived plenty of time, even had a beer before we boarded. Said our goodbyes to Ruby, she was catching a bus to Whistler and we will see her in couple months for the wedding.

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Posted by Pearcey 15:41 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Vancouver island

Victoria, Butchart gardens, Ucluelet

semi-overcast 23 °C

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15-16 July
Dave and I drove out to see the Butchart Gardens, the sheer size and design of different garden themes was impressive. In particular, the sunken garden was formerly a quarry and over 100 years the trees and plants have grown into a truly inspiring space, I just wish I had the money, man power and water that was available to Mrs Butchart! We enjoyed walking around Victoria city in the afternoon and waterfront, an attractive city that has retained much of its British influence. The next day was driving to the Pacific Rim on Highway 4 through beautiful mountains and pass so many huge lakes, fishing is big around here. Arrived at Ucluelet, a small town that is surrounded by the ocean and national park, so pretty. A few hours spent walking through rainforests to a couple beaches encircled with tree logs. Dinner at the Eagles nest pub, eating fish of course, Salmon, Halibut and cod seem to be the main types around here.

Posted by Pearcey 22:29 Archived in Canada Comments (2)

Vancouver Island, Sunday 14 July

semi-overcast 22 °C

Still on Crowsnest Highway 3 from Osoyoos, heading to Vancouver Island. A smooth trip, ranging from farmland to steep mountainous country. As usual, Ruby slept the first couple hours, she finds our style of music and conversation quite “boring “. The weather wet until we reached Hope, decided to stop for a coffee break in this lovely town. From this point, onto highway 1 the traffic was congested in parts and slowed us down. The 2 pm ferry trip was booked out so we purchased tickets for the 3pm, which gave us time to get the picnic out. Another embarrassing situation for Ruby, eating on a table that felt like we were eating between 2 freeways; the loading dock was huge at Tsawwassen. There is even a shopping centre on the dock that people visit while waiting to park their vehicles. Once on the ferry, plenty of room, lounges, bistros to enjoy while passing many beautiful islands on the way, such as the islands Maine, Otter Bay, Moresby and lastly, Swartz Bay where our ferry boarded. Once off the ferry, it was a 30 minute drive to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. Settled into our accommodation, nice and close to downtown and the wharf where we had dinner of salmon chowder and chips, very tasty!
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Posted by Pearcey 23:55 Archived in Canada Comments (1)

13 July

driving back to Canada

semi-overcast 23 °C

A driving day. Left Hungry Horse on Highway 2 , very pretty, mountainous country then turned left into highway 93. Stopped for a cuppa at Kootenai Falls Park and a walk to see the waterfall. For a short period we travelled into the state of Idaho, undulating farmland and hay making all around as we drove to the Canadian border into British Columbia on Crows nest Highway 3. A way more relaxed experience compared to previous day64E0B8A6-EFF1-4F8A-BFFE-B5D0F754F155.jpeg090CAE5E-69B2-4453-B263-62CFE422D322.jpeg8027F9A4-B701-4689-8E31-345E349C2F5B.jpeg20C0F14B-10AE-45EC-B2CA-682CAEBA8F1A.jpeg8B3D6F0A-458E-4053-846E-E0B19DDF7C88.jpeg650A96DC-2DC9-4F53-B777-BFB3213AF036.jpeg8150B601-6FCF-4CA4-839C-28B5CD32FCFF.jpeg209383EB-0419-45CD-9228-DB851C64640D.jpeg1D1F26CB-78E2-4741-926F-8739478DF77D.jpeg, just one smiling female officer who asked a couple questions, stamped our passports and we were on our way. The border boundary was clearly slashed through the forests. Lunch at Dragonfly cafe in Salmo, very hip, even locally brewed Kombucha on tap. We were enjoying the drive and as the clock went back an hour once in Canada we decided to keep driving to Osoyoos. We never realised that Canada does have dry, desert country; such a contrast to the lush, coniferous landscape we have experienced the past 2 weeks. A huge lake is here that supports stone fruit orchards, blueberries and vineyards as well as tourists. Apparently summer is usually around high 30s but a lot cooler this summer.

Posted by Pearcey 23:36 Archived in Canada Comments (1)

Waterton to Glacier National Park

sunny 23 °C

We left Calgary late morning, first task was to find a tyre for the car. Dave hunted around and eventually found a place that had just one left of the brand we required. We were lucky. A scenic drive through foothills and saw many ranches until we arrived to The Waterton Park Front, this is where beautiful grasslands are preserved by ranchers and the forefront of the Rockie Mountains and Waterton Valley. They say this region is “where the mountains meet the prairie”. A chain of blue lakes could be seen as driving towards Waterton so we stopped by one for our picnic. The sight of Prince of Wales Hotel National Historic Site on a knoll above the lakes stands out as you drive into the village. We visited the hotel the next morning, it was all things Royal, very stately, they have afternoon tea provided each afternoon overlooking the magnificent Maskinonge Lake, we were too early for that unfortunately. Finished the evening with a cruise of Waterton Lake on a 92 year old boat called the international. What was so interesting about the trip besides viewing pristine waterway and spectacular landscape was the fact the lake covers 2 countries, a visible marker about half way down the lake is the boundary between Canada and the United States. By treaty, the boundary slash is maintained and cleared the entire length of the international border by both countries. Stayed the night in Pincher Creek.
An early start next morning so that we could again stop by Waterton Lakes National Park for a short stroll around the village and coffee at Pearls Cafe where Clara had lived above when working at the resort 8 years ago. We then made tracks on The Chief Mountain Highway to Glacier NP that shares a border with Waterton but is in USA, Montana. This meant going through Border Customs and past officers with attitude. Our beautiful fruit that we bought at Banff Farmers market was confiscated and we were required to present passports and ESTA validation. This was fine as we had ready to go but we had to pull over and go into their office, apparently our passports were not stamped when we arrived in LA so for $18 US we had that done. (Rip off!). They also asked lots of questions, like where are you staying tonight and provide an address, why are you here? What is your occupation? Etc Just a little overboard! So half hour wasted and we were able to drive into Glacier NP. This region is huge in size, it is a World Heritage Site and the World’s first International Peace Park and International Dark Sky Park, plus 35 named Glaciers; in other words, a very special place. Had a beautiful half day walk through Rising Sun area, viewing many waterfalls. Both parks were impacted by the 2017 bushfires, consequently, the wildflowers were out and regeneration is occurring. We drove on the “ Going-to-the-Sun Road, through Logan Pass, very winding and steep, along the massive Lake McDonald and stayed at a village named Hungry Horse. Sampled Huckleberry beer, locally brewed, , not to Dave’s liking but I enjoyed it.
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Posted by Pearcey 21:52 Archived in USA Comments (1)

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