A Travellerspoint blog

Days in Kamloops

The First Few Days

overcast

We had to be out of the apartment by 1:15 so we spent the morning at Granville Island. We had mostly packed previous to when we set off for the water buggies. After a few hours of looking around and Lesley buying a hat she’d been eyeing off, we sat and watched the water and boats. Then, we walked home at about 12 o’clock, stopping for mum to take her last photos at a Vancouver beach for quite some time. Got home, completed packing our bags, the apartment owner came and called a taxi and we were off for the bus. The bus trip took 4 ½ hours from Vancouver to Kamloops, with a couple of stops (drop-offs, pick-ups) on the way. When we arrived, our good friends Barb and Brian picked us up before escorting us to their place, where we would stay for the next month or so. It was great to see our friends again and we look forward to staying with them.
The first day at Kamloops we basically didn’t do too much. Barb, Brian, Lesley and Giaan all caught up. Brian went to a class and Barb went to an exercise session in the morning and Giaan worked on some schoolwork (Oh, what fun!).

The next day, Barb had a meeting downtown, so Les and G went along for the ride in order to check out the shops. After about an hour and a half, we met up again for lunch. Giaan had a breakfast muffin with cream cheese, scrambled egg and tomato, Lesley had a quinoa salad with a ploughman’s lunch and Barb had a chilli and black bean soup. Barb and Brian’s friend who was also our family’s long-time friend came over for dinner. He was absolutely hilarious and we had many laughs together.

Today, we went for a walk in the lovely Riverside Park. Giaan walked with Barb up ahead, whilst Lesley walked behind with Brian, who taught her a lot about the surroundings. There were many cute dogs trawling around the place, tugging and trailing their owners behind them. Following that, we had a picnic lunch. Brian’s brother and his wife came over for tea and coffee in the afternoon.

Anyway, the next few days will be spent hanging with Barb, Brian and their friends and family. We head down to resort at Kelowna on the 26th so we’ll probably blog when we get back unless so have something special to say. So until ten we will sign off for a while and write again soon. xx

Posted by The Robbos 16:04 Archived in Canada Comments (1)

Grouse Mountain, Stanley Park and Last Full Day

2nd Day, 3rd Day and 4th Day

sunny 18 °C

====Grouse Mountain========
Today we headed off to Grouse Mountain. We had organised to meet up with Katannya, a lady who was the sister of the B&B owner, Linda. Katannya lived in Vancouver and had offered to show us around. We had a lovely day thanks to the weather being on its best behaviour, giving us excellent views of the city of Vancouver and beyond. A bus ride from Canada Place and a gondola up to the mountain and we were set.

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A lot of our time was spent watching 2 grizzly bears called Grinders and Coola. These two bears were orphaned early in life and now have their own enclosure set up as if it was their natural environment. They are well looked after and have become quite the tourist attraction, not minding the attention at all. In fact at times they looked like were very keen to put on a bit of a performance for the crowd, quite like our Hervey Bay humpback whales.

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We also watched a lumberjack performance which was a little lame except for the skills and a portion the jokes.
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After, we took the ski lift up to the peak of the mountain and sat there for a while admiring the astoundingly gorgeous views or the city of Vancouver. We missed the last free shuttle back to Canada Place, so we caught 2 public buses to the Lonsdale Quay and a sea bus to Canada Place, from where we walked for 10 minutes and Katannya drove us home.

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====Stanley Park========
Today we walked from our unit to the beach and then continued on all the way around Stanley Park. That walk wasn’t as beautiful as last time as the trees were mostly green and yellow instead of startling oranges and vibrant reds. However, the views were still gorgeous nonetheless.

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After making our way through the stunning landscape, we decided to continue on to Canada Place, of course though, not until we ate some popcorn to tide us over until dinner. Once we reached Canada Place, mum of course headed to the washroom before we purchased our Fly Over Canada tickets (more about that tomorrow).

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We then headed towards this pasta restaurant that smelled really decadent when we walked by on the first night, and was super cheap if you created your own pasta dish. However, we realised why it was so cheap. Bland. Tasteless. Like some of Giaan’s cooking. Then, a stroll up to the supermarket and then home and that was our night over. At least a 13km walk for one day was good enough for us.

====Bitsa Day========

Today was our last full day. On the agenda was going to Flying Over Canada, walking through Chinatown, meeting up with Katannya again for thrift shopping and lunch. Fly Over Canada was a stunning virtual flight simulator that took us soaring over famous Canadian sights. The organisation of that took about half an hour but the actual ‘ride’ was approximately 10 minutes long. But honestly, we could have watched that gorgeous scenery ALL DAY LONG.

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We walked through Gastown to reach Chinatown and went into a few touristy stores before heading to the crossroad where we met Katannya. Katannya took us to a thrift (op) shop before we headed for lunch. The restaurant that we ate at was called The Dime and EVERYTHING on the food menu was $4.95. After a shared lunch and an eggplant veggie burger for G,

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Katannya took us for a walk on Commercial Drive, which apparently is pretty famous.
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Katannya managed a quick drive to show us her apartment that had an amazing view of the sunset in the afternoon. We chatted for a while and met her roommate before she dropped us back at our own apartment.

-G and Les

Posted by The Robbos 19:12 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Leaving Victoria, Arriving in Vancouver!!

11 °C

It was a bit sad to leave our accommodation and Linda and Jeff, as they’d been so kind to us. We knew we would miss Victoria, and realised that sadly we probably knew it better than the actual city of Brisbane. Promising to leave a review on TripAdvisor, we hopped in Jeff’s car and he dropped us off at the place where our bus would leave. This bus would take us onto the ship to Vancouver and would then deliver us downtown in Vancouver.

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Jeff and Linda :)

Then, after the bus DROVE ONTO THE BOAT (deck 2), we went up to deck 5 and 6 and sat outside, enjoying the gorgeous scenery. Mum bought some clam chowder (put it in a take-away cardboard coffee cup so she could take it outside) and G salivated over the sushi she had grabbed. Then the ship’s journey was over and we had reached the mainland. Les and Giaan rushed down to deck 2 to get back on the bus and were some of the last people on there, regardless that we arrived 10 minutes before we were meant to. The trip from Victoria to Vancouver Downtown took about 4 hours in total.

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Boat Trail

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Our boat

After a short taxi ride to our accommodation, we met Brad, the landlord of the unit that we are renting for the next 5 nights. He was very welcoming and gave is a quick rundown of some things to do and places to eat while we were here. After he left we were both very happy to sit for an hour and put our feet up as it had been a very busy week.

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Where our apartment lives - The Horizon

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Rooftop pool

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View from two floors up. Where the pool resides.

No rest for the wicked, though, as we were only here for 5 days and there were lots of things we wanted to do. Just basically spent the afternoon checking out the layout of the land, a little bit of food shopping and watching the sunset down at the waterfront (Sunset Beach) which was very appropriately named. Perfect place to watch the sunset over the water and the sailing boats in the foreground.

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Feeling pretty tired at this stage we made toasted sandwiches for dinner, planned our next few days and went to watch the insides of our eyelids before heading out on our next day’s adventure.

Miss you all,
Lesley and Giaan

Posted by The Robbos 08:52 Archived in Canada Comments (1)

Suspension Bridge, Island and Walks

Our 1st full day in Vancouver

sunny 20 °C

First up this morning, we walked a few blocks where we hopped on a free shuttle bus that took up to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, one of Vancouver’s main tourist attraction. In addition to the suspension bridge we went on a couple of guided tours of the park plus a cliff walk, Nature's Edge walk and the treetops adventure. It was a great start to the week. On the cliff walk Lesley almost lost her sunglasses as they fell off the top of her head and went over the railing a little way down the cliff. Luckily, one of the guides (who was actually from NZ) was nearby and he jumped over the railing and retrieved them. Maybe the Kiwis aren’t so bad after all. We left on the free shuttle bus mid-afternoon which took us back into downtown Vancouver.

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This was all before we went walking down to the waterfront where we caught a tiny boat over to Granville Island. On the island are the well-known Granville Island Markets (original name right there!). Yes, more markets. But these are well worth going to (according to Lesley). These markets are indoor markets, many of the stalls being permanent and are open 7 days a week. A real tourist attraction! Many of the food stalls being there purely for our eyes to feast upon. It was extremely difficult to choose what to eat and buy. So much so, we think a return visit is a must, if time is generous.

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After going around the markets several of times (there was so much to see) we basically spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on the waterfront deck of Granville Island watching all the comings and goings of the water traffic while listening to locals playing music. It was then time to head back on the small boat as it was getting late. We really enjoyed sitting there surrounded by this gorgeous atmosphere which again compounded the idea of returning.

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Bought some lasagne (meat for Les, spinach and feta for G) at the markets so cooked up some vegies (Les) and salad (Giaan) to go with. Honestly the closest we’ve had to a home cooked dinner since we left. Very simple but hit the spot!

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Hope you like all the food talk,
G and Lesley

Posted by The Robbos 08:23 Archived in Canada Comments (1)

Kayaking, Hop-On Hop-Off and MORE MARKETS

Last full day in Victoria

sunny 18 °C

We wanted to make the most of our last day in Victoria as there was so many options left. First up was kayaking down the gorge. We could have gone on a taxi boat but thought kayaking would definitely be more enjoyable, and a new experience on the island. Terumi had told us that she loved kayaking and asked if she could come with us. She had also told us previously that she had passed a kayaking course we assumed that she would be quite good and could maybe show us a thing or two. Anyway turned out that Terumi could not remember anything about her course and was a bit of a disaster. Her paddling was very slow, she looked petrified most of the time and ended up crashing into the stone wall when she returned as she didn’t know how to stop. Hilarious in reality! Anyway, the kayak up the gorge was extremely relaxing and, in addition, it was good to see part of Victoria from a different point of view.

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After we got our land legs back, we toodaloo-ed Terumi and jumped on the hop-on hop-off bus that took us on a tour around Victoria. Some parts we had seen previously but this glorious double-decker bus also took us around to new places (or new for this trip at least). We stopped again Fisherman’s Wharf for lunch. Giaan had fish and chips again and Lesley sampled the 3 salmon chowder. Yummmmmmmmy!

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Hopping on the bus again we took a stop at Beacon’s Hill before going on to some night markets at Oak Bay. These particular markets only run 4 times a year. Excellent variety of stalls including craft, wine, and food. What was not to like?! Bought dinner and a few bits and pieces. Hopped on the last bus at 6:30 that dropped us in Cook Street Village. We had to RUN so we wouldn’t miss it! SUCH hard work. Walked the rest of the way home and arrived about 7:30. Another fairly long but enjoyable day.

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Couldn’t have asked for better weather here in Victoria. Will be sad to leave tomorrow and have really enjoyed staying at the Gaslight Inn and meeting Linda and Jeff. Terrific hosts and will always be welcome at our house if they ever make it over to Oz.

GG and Lessie

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Posted by The Robbos 22:50 Archived in Canada Comments (1)

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