Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 6 - Kelowna to the Rockies Banff

This morning I had my first experience with Pancakes with maple syrup at Dennys which was attached to our hotel.  I enjoyed it …  I think too much and it would be sickly sweet and drive me a bit nutty …  but overall good experience…  and everyone obviously loved the photo…  20 odd comments!!! Rose!!!!

Dennys pancakes 

Today I will warn you that this is where I started taking notes because frank was talking so much I couldn’t keep track of it all.  So it could get very detailed from here..  I really learnt the value of my travel book and later my bright pink travel book that I had purchased ages ago. 
Leaving Kelowna
We ventured out past the Okanagan lake which then flows into 3 lakes with our first stop was at Kamalakas lake…  which was pretty in the freezing cold and the colours that the clouds were giving the lake.  Overall the area is made up of 3 main lakes and one smaller Lake which was Mara lake which flows into Swan, little Brown lake and Kamalakas lake which is known as the lake of many colours.  This truly does have many colours especially around the edges.  We also saw Sicamous (pron: Sick a Moose) lake today which was really pretty.  I felt like I was giving myself whiplash that morning from the constant swinging head side to side to check out the scenery.
The lake of many colours

Kamlakas Lake

So pretty oh yeah and so cold 
Kamlakas Lake

The weather was not looking good with the cloud cover coming in thick and fast … by the time we got to the lunch stop it was just ugly.  We were heading into a area of the Okanagan that is primarily agriculture and logging so there was evidence of the industries was all along the way. 

We learnt along the way about the snowbirds which are the Australian Grey Nomads. With a lot the retirees once the cold hits they go.  So from November to March they go south for the winter so to speak because the Canadians can be in the states for 6 months straight. So the Okanagan valley has had a large amount of manufacturers of RV’s. They were everywhere and MASSIVE.   
Getting ready for Halloween at the swann lake fruit shop 

We started to follow the Columbus mountain range as we got closer to the Rockies and because we were still in a farming valley it was so quaint with the lush green valleys and the red barns everywhere, the old ranch home, stone bridges and log homes.  We found out that building with stone or brick to produce in Canada and because logging is the primary industry the majority of the homes are built with timber instead.

Yellow almost white peppers aka capsicum

We were heading to Banff which is 4500ft above sea level in the township so we were starting to feel the weather changes and the bad naughty rain filled clouds were following and fast! 
Pumpkins for Fall and Halloween

Our morning stop was at Swan Lake which was just a fruit stop with a working toilet and also some unique fruit and vegetables I hadn’t seen before.  Some of the English hadn’t seen them in the same colours…  We are the only ones that call capsicum by its true name … everywhere else calls it Peppers…  Green or Red or Yellow Peppers but today we discovered Purple and white..
Purple and White ones 

Also they don’t do red delicious apples but they do a variety similar which is really unique to the valley.  Also while we were there the girls and I had a chat about changing rooms and while we wanted the night off we were happy with our sharing digs so we had a chat with Frank and got a vague answer which annoyed me.  I don’t like that … and yes or no…  none of this …  it will be all sorted by time we get to Banff… I am sorry but that is not a answer … A no at this stage would have sufficed I would have much prefer that as I hate ambiguity in answers. 
finally colours i know 

As we progressed closer to the mountains the landscape started to really change.  The mountains started to grow and more rivers which were beautiful with glacier waterfalls falling down the shear rock faces.  The rivers had become to turn into lakes which were so dark but up close they were so clear and like mirrors on the surface. 
A red barn house..  they are everywhere 
The pretty lakes

We had a quick stop at the Last spike at Craigellachie which is where the last spike was driven into the Canadian Pacific railway. It was a cute little spot and still need to apologise to Carmel for losing her badge from there but still hoping that someone will go back for me J unless you want to ring Carmel it was run by the local historical society. We actually saw a train go and it was loud and blew its horn as it went through which is about the tradition of recognising the completion of the railway.

The river behind the old spike.. so peaceful and you could hear the river running 
Train going past very noisy 

We went through towns like Molacqua pron mole a lack qua which means mosquito..

Our lunch stop today was 3 valley gap can anyone say wow… cold but wow.  The sheer rock faces and the cloud hanging down over the rock faces and the 3 lakes that form the namesake of 3 valley gap.  The coldness combined with the quaintness of the hotel and restaurant complex complete with their own ghost town.  This is also where I remembered that I have a white balance option and changed it to overcast..  Finally the colours in the trees were coming out more real because they had been looking very washout until this…; see if you can spot the difference

Without the white balance adjusted 
with the white balance adjusted on the big Christmas tree!!!!  
The steam train
The 3 Valley Gap

Everyone sort of just wandered I just grabbed my lunch and put it in my pocket and wandered and explored and took lots of photos.  I loved the peacefulness of it even though it was right on the highway it was pretty.  While it was a bit touristy with the ghost town the huge rock faces that surrounded it. 

We continued on to the Rockies to revelstoke which was cute just no stop there.   Our next stop at a very chilly 2 degrees was Rogers Pass through kicking horse pass which was beautiful with the snow-capped peaks and we had officially crossed the border into Alberta.

  It was beautiful scenery and amazing snow capped peaks and you could really start to feel the difference in the altitudes but I have to admit the boredom was starting to sink in.  After being on the bus for 8 hours it was getting a bit tedious especially when we got delayed outside of golden for 30mins with traffic. 

Best Chocolate EVER!!!!!  Rogers Chocolate

The construction on the roads is everywhere as explained in the day 5 blog they only have a short amount of time to fix and repair roads as well as make the roads because of the snow so they try to work as fast as possible which means long hold ups. 

After our afternoon tea and toilet stop outside of Golden I went to take a photo…  and there was a message saying that there was a error – press the shutter button to release and it kept on making the most horrible noise. I was in a panic and tried everything…  changing the lens, removing the battery, no camera card and with a camera card.  I was about to cry but didn’t want to do it on the bus so I grabbed out my canon which just wasn’t fast enough to deal with the overcast and horrible weather and to deal with a fast moving bus.  But I did manage a couple but the beauty of the place just didn’t shine through. 

We finally made it into Banff around 5ish and it was freezing to say the least… it was wet and cold and my camera was broken so didn’t make for a very happy Eileen.

We saw some wildlife finally as we drove through town and I also managed to find a camera store so I knew where I was going as soon as were checked in.  We got checked in but it was sooo cold so I had to grab out my warm pink vest from my luggage and cursing myself for putting my scarf in the other luggage which I was just too stressed to ask Salena to grab off and also the room was too small for my extra bag. 

I explained the situation to Pete and we both headed off together downtown and I was not stopping for food or anything that night.  Went up to Banff photographic and the guy hadn’t seen that issue before.  So he jumped online and found that it was a general fault with the camera which meant that the drop yesterday didn’t affect it.  I was so panicked in thinking that I caused it.  I did question that one and he said no.  But it is a general fault with the d5000 which seems to happen within the first 6 months of its life.  So we tried to call the insurance company but had no luck but we think that was because international was blocked from their number.  So I went back out to the freezing cold and found a public phone and couldn’t get through.  That is when I finally cried…  I was so devastated.  I just wanted to stand there and cry but it was way too cold.  So I went to Starbucks and ran into Dean and Angela and I think from the look on my face they saw something was really wrong.  But they did suggest getting a phone card which might mean I can ring from the room.  But I headed to Starbucks first and brought a hot chocolate and sat down and tried to contact the insurance company via email then mum and dad.  Sent a text to my sister ….  Felt very alone that night … because I knew I couldn’t afford to replace it because Vancouver had cost me so much and with the 12% HST introduction my budget was shot.  I really hated Banff right then …
I went to find a phone card after that and then ran into Salena and she saw my face and was just amazing and offered me her camera and I said no initially because I was worried that I would hurt it or damage it and I would feel very responsible.  Got my phone card and got back to the hotel about 9ish so skipped dinner but felt sick to my stomach.  Mum and Dad rang and I explained the situation to them and they rang the insurance company for me.  I think me sobbing on the phone to them convinced them to help.  But the insurance company is only really used to dealing with claims after people get back and didn’t get that I was not going back to this location and didn’t have the ability to get it repaired.  I felt bad also because I didn’t want to keep Tania awake and it had been such a long day already because who knew that sitting on a bus for almost 9 hours would be so tiring.  So I went to bed and took me ages to go to sleep and hopefully have a better plan of attack for the next day.  

No comments:

Post a Comment