Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Saturday, July 10th: Vancouver, Whistler

We took the 9am ferry from Sidney on Vancouver Island to Vancouver. I've never seen such a huge ferry....amazing how many vehicles it can fit! The journey took about 1hr, 40 mins. The views were quite nice on the deck and the breeze a welcome relief from the heat of the day. We decided to skip right past Vancouver city itself, to avoid the traffic etc. From our travels through the city, it looked quite scenic with a huge park running through it.

We headed towards Whistler and stopped in at a few campgrounds in the process to look for a place..they were all full! We ended up in a fairly unusual,primitive campground several miles off the beaten track around the Squamish area. It was interesting, to say the least. The campsites were all lined up along a
riverbank/beach, with a fairly high river gushing right by the camps. We were kinda running out of gas, so we were happy to make it to the site. After setting up camp, we went back into Squamish for gas and supplies. While in the beer store, we met a local brewer for Stanley park and he provided some recommendations for
Hells Gate beer and his own, Stanley park. Apparently Stanley Park is a sustainable brewery using a wind-powered turbine for some energy.

We went back to the campsite, and because it was so hot, we sat and had a nice evening of sipping beer in the shade, eating cheese and crackers and listening to some music. While there, we met a Canadian couple (after which Mike finally understood the difference between US and Canadian accents) and they
recommended we visit the Okanagan lakes area. We made our dinner and had a mini music session with guitar and harmonica

The next day, we packed up and hit the road early, bypassing some bicyclists from the Squamish triathlon along the way, and headed for Garibaldi Park for the Garibaldi lake trail. We hiked 14KMs (7kms vertical) return! The lake at the end of the trail was stunning! The lake's surrounds were half covered in snow..even in July! We ate lunch around the lake, and on the way back down, we stopped in at a scenic overlook which displayed the whole valley, stunning rock slides and snow peaks.

But it was July 11th, which meant the World Cup Final! We had already missed most of the 90 mins but it was headed to overtime and we were able to make it if we hurried! We drove to whistler village, listening to full time conclude and extra time on AM. Whistler was hot and overrun with tourists but we caught the final few minutes of overtime and the winning goal outside the Amsterdam pub. After the game, we found our way to the Dubh Linn Irish pub for some appetizers and a couple of beers just in time to stave off meltdown! After Whistler, we headed North to Pemberton, a small country town, and secured a lovely site in the provincial park there. We visited the local supermarket and to Mike's joy, discovered Irish-style bangers/sausages. We duly picked up some and other provisions for the night's meal and headed back to the camp. We cooked up a hearty banger-filled meal complete with some local white wine. Tomorrow we would head to the Okanagan lake district!