Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 11 - Sun Peaks to Whistler

Starting off with some fun this time...  because this is what this has been about Living, Laughing and Loving every moment and Taking photos :) 

Today is going to be another long day on the bus as we travel from Sun Peaks to Whistler which is just on 400kms away.  But all was good in the world again because I was sitting back up the back with Pete and Tania.  While they might not think so but it felt good to me J
Good Morning Blue Skies and Sunshine at Sun Peaks 
We awoke this morning to blue skies and sunshine… Direct sunshine – Not coming through Cloud cover…  I took a moment as we left to enjoy it.  But it was nice this morning to have brekkie at the hotel which was fairly reasonably priced and because we were leaving at 8am it gave us enough time without being over tired like we are with the 7.30am starts. 
Warm Sunshine - Sun Peaks Lodge
As we made our way off the mountain there was amazing cloud cover in the valleys which was amazing.  But I have to admit VERY hard to capture…  I got some of it but nothing really outstanding. It was actually kind of beautiful to watch.  
The foggy Morn
As we made our way down the mountain Frank was talking to us about the controversy over the introduction of the HST. Basically what has happened is that recently like us BC went through a tough election which was very close and one party got in on the promise of no introduction of the HST which was proposed by the federal government.  Then with a couple of months of them coming into power the HST was introduction. “Incentives” were given by the federal government in the way of just over a $1 billion to take on the HST and it is one of the 3 states that have it.  It now being looked at as unconstitutional because the people voted them into power based on the promise of it not being introduced so that was the big news item for the day.  You have to love politics – it is one the most selfish professions that people vote on because lets face it in reality it is about the politician and their agenda.  All I know it has cost more than I planned on and ruined the budget. Because of the little quirk with how the HST is applied that they are not allowed to show the HST along with their GST (yes they now have 2 GST’s) so it always costs you more than you think. 
Kamloops Lake with the fog cloud in the distance 
Our first stop was about a 1 hour later at Kamloops lake which was quite beautiful with the cloud hanging over the end of the lake of course with the blue sky it was nice.  Although I was fairly rugged up because it was quite chilly it was still a nice day.  
Hat Creek Ranch - Polaroid Action
It is funny because mum washed that jumper when I got back (which was the only one I took with me) and apparently it was in desperate need of a wash and repair. To my defence I have had that jumper since the 90’s when I worked at Witchery so of course it was going to need some repairs.  The beautiful earthy tones never go out of style J but it kept me warm so that was the important thing. So at Kamloops it would have been the dodgiest toilet yet and the old kangaroo move definitely comes into play. It is amazing what you can do in 10 mins… the photos, chat with Salena, toilet and back on the bus J
Hat Creek Ranch - Eye Candy Actions - Velveteen & Vintage
We made our way towards Hat Creek Ranch which was also past a couple of movie sets which for the life of me I can’t remember which ones sooo annoying.  I thought I wrote them down.  By the time we got outside of Kamloops we had grey overcast blah skies again.  So annoying…. 
Hat Creek Ranch
Hat creek ranch stop was at Cache Creek and it was a cute little stop with decent toilets which is always a good requisite for any good morning tea stop.  I wandered off and took photos although Pete did get me on the saddle out the front … THAT photo is not seeing the light of the day.  
Hat Creek Ranch - Eye Candy - Vintage
See below I have had some fun with some of the Photoshop actions and the photos that I have taken.  I think they have turned out pretty cool. 
Hat Creek Ranch - Eye Candy - Vintage with Destat at 40% 
We headed out towards Lillooet and the one thing we know about Lillooet is that it has an awesome German bakery and it is yum yum yum.  Also that is a predominately a first nation town because it was a large first nation area and the various settlements that we saw along the way. 
Hat Creek Ranch - Vintage 100%
The one thing I got from today is how the fighting began between the first nations and the settlers.  Because the first nations don’t believe in boundaries and buying up parcel of lands and this is because they believe that is a gift from god the land and the animals along with the food it provides.  So when the settlers moved in and starting to set up boundary lines they didn’t understand that they couldn’t cross or hunt across the boundary lines.  It seems so simple and it was a really sustainable way of living off the land and when the settlers moved in the balance was moved.
Hat Creek Ranch - Wheel Vintage 100%
We passed along past Marble canyon and Marble Lake which had the most amazing colours in the lake that we have seen so far. The aquamarine edge of the water was so beautiful and it looked like an amazing holiday spot with the water’s edge and the canyon reflecting into the water. 
Marble Lake
We also saw the Fraser River again which was overlooked by the coastal mountains – we were seeing some pretty amazing contrasts today which we hadn’t really seen since the first day on the bus. One minute we were next to beautiful lush rivers and the next minute we were going past arid hills and mountains where you can almost hear the prairie winds rushing by along with imagining the spinifex on the ground.  It was a pretty amazing landscape. 
Marble Canyon
We had a quick stop at a river with salmon hatchery it was pretty amazing how dry it was right on the river and with the Canadian National railway running beside it.  The blue tarps are the hatcheries which was pretty cool. 

We finally got to Lillooet and had lunch at the yum yum German bakery.  Definitely wasn’t the healthiest lunch I have had.  But I needed a toilet stop first at the servo and then had to queue even though I was one of the first off the bus with my tricky little move off the bus. 
I made a stop at the pharmacy/chemist/drugstore/variety store trying to find some contact lens solution before I forgot not to pick it up again and went in the search of an ATM. I have to say it wasn’t the nicest stops we have had in terms of location but the people were lovely.  A guy even let me ahead of him at the ATM because he realised I was on the tour bus.  Although I had plenty of time it was really nice of them. I love the Canadians – well the English speaking ones!!!! 
Lillooet - Just for you Pete
After we left Lillooet with the requisite fire hydrant shot which I had to take twice because I was giggling too much for the first one.  We were going through some pretty dry and arid conditions and then we hit this really rough road…  and I mean really rough…  it was some pretty amazing landscapes considering that we left Lillooet only 5 minutes earlier to dry conditions then all of sudden we were in lush greenery again and with snow-capped peaks. I have to admit there was no sleeping on this stretch of the road it was quite simply too rough, we were being thrown all over the place. 
The beautiful Random Stop of Duffy Lake
About 45 mins after we left Lillooet we hit Duffy Lake …. Little piece of paradise in the middle of nowhere and the most photographed bird in Canada I think.  Haha like Tracey said it was amazing that we were in such dry and nothing landscape and then we were in this beautiful lush valley with real sunlight.  It was truly amazing and the snow-capped peaks…  But I think it was like 5 degrees so I just stood there and lifted my head and enjoyed the sunshine… truly warming ones soul.  I loved it and didn’t want to leave. 
Duffy Lake
We continued to make our way through the valley towards whistler and along the bumpy road.  We made pretty good time and was in Whistler just before 4 for the sea planes and guided tour people.  Kind of glad to be there because we hadn’t really had a afternoon break as we kept going so was in desperate need for a toilet.  Whistler is probably the most commercialised of the ski towns but then again being only a few hours from Vancouver it is understandable.  It was really pretty with the greenery and the lakes with the ski runs overlooking it all.
Duffy Lake
We made it to the hotel which one of the largest we had stayed in out of the regional centres and the rooms were a good size and looked really comfy. I went for a wander in the town centre which was really quaint and pretty. I took a stack of photos of course.  
Whistler Village - Town Centre
I tried to get some new camera cards but they were expensive so I figured I would just wait for New York next week.  Yes I couldn’t believe it was only a week away.  I didn’t want to leave Canada so soon.  I was going to go up on the gondola but because I was trying to sort out insurance camera dramas I lost half hour and didn’t get out until 4.30pm so missed the last gondola at 5pm. It closed early unlike the rest of Canada which most things like that closed at 6pm which was disappointing. Apparently there were bears up there!!!!
Whistler - Ski Slopes
I was supposed to meet Pete in the lobby at 7 but didn’t make it back in time because I got lost in the town centre.  It is confusing the way it is set up.  But ran into the girls, so we decided to go to dinner together.  We dashed off and got changed and I foolishly decided to leave the big camera at the hotel silly me.  As we were walking thru the town centre we actually saw a really pretty RARE sunset…  dufus dufus I got a blurry one with the iphone. 
Whistler Sunset 
But the girls went to the brewpub where they had a memorial for the luge Olympian. Signs of the Olympics were everywhere with the rings still on display in the village.
The Olympic Rings
It was a nice dinner with the girls… lots of fun and girlie talk. We made our way to the hotel and Tracey and Tania when off to find food for tomorrow and Carolyn and I wandered back.  Carolyn was coming to the last week of a 4 month trip and she was reflecting on her journey and it was really great to hear that she has had an amazing time.  I can only hope that one day I get to do a journey like that.   While there were things that definitely can be improved on the tour it was still a great tour and this was her 3rd so she had a very good perspective on it.
Whistler - Brewpub - Autumn Colours
Tania went off and did her laundry with Frank … haha and I did some emailing and tried to sort out the repair company… it was frustrating to say the least.  I was definitely piggy in the middle between the insurance company and the repair and couldn’t ring any of them without it costing me a fortune because by the time we got in every day New York was closed and Brisbane wasn’t open.  So I printed off the form finally and hopefully be able to fax in the morning mind you I had to kick Robyn off the computer to be able to print it off. Took me a while to convince her I would be all of 2 minutes.  This is why I travelled with my laptop. 
Whistler - Town Centre
While I was filling in my form… Tania comes rushing up and goes we are going bear hunting and took off… I quickly got out my pjs and put on the warm clothes and found the guys wandering the streets with Salena, Robyn, Tracey, Marilyn and me looking for bears… Okay we were nuts…  but so much fun haha But as it turned out the ranger had scared them off so no bears for us.  Apparently it was wandering through the village which happens on a regular basis.  So disappointed…  
Whistler Parks - Almost got run over by a very cute boy with amazing Blue Eyes taking this photo
I think we finally got to bed about 11ish which was quite late for us considering that we had a very early start due to the ferry trip across to Victoria the following day.  While I would have loved more time in Whistler because we didn’t really get to experience it, it was scary to realise it was all going to be over in a couple of days because I have loved it so much and really enjoying getting to know everyone but off to the beautiful victoria by ferry tomorrow so here is hoping for a nice day … fingers and toes crossed.  

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