Canada ...'eh

Trip Start Jun 06, 2005
Trip End May 31, 2006

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Friday, July 15, 2005

Hi all, Vancouver was great. The first day we arrived it rained hard and the locals told us it had been like this for two weeks.

So we found a bar called Earls and had a few drinks. This place had only been open for 2 days and we got talking to a couple of the bar staff that told us what to do and where to go.

Much to our delight the next day was great, no rain just glorious sunshine, so we decided to do a hop-on hop-off bus tour of the city.

This is the view from the Hyatt hotel.

Our first stop was Vancouver Aquarium. This place was very good as aquariums go but the main attraction was the Beluga Whales. This is a picture from the underwater observation room.

There was lots to see, Shark feeding and Dolphins but we stumbled upon these little love birds, just floating around holding hands.

The aquarium is located in Stanley Park which is a 1000 acres of evergreen close to downtown Vancouver. The next stop on the bus tour was Prospect Point also in Stanley Park and close to Lions Gate Bridge.

The bridge was built by the Guinness family in 1937. In 1932, they purchased 4,000 acres of West Vancouver mountain side and the plan was develop the land and get people to move there. The suspension bridge was completed one year after the Golden Gate in SF and was designed by the same architect.

The following day and after another night at Earls we visited Granville Island Market. From there we took a ferry to Yaletown.

We had a short walk round and another beer and headed for Gastown, home of the world famous Steam Clock.

On the hour it plays the same chimes as Big Ben. And yes it is completely powered by steam.

Our last night there was again spent in Earls where by now we know everybody in there. If you find yourselves in Vancouver pop in to Earls and say hi to Laine, Penny and the gang.

We got up early next day and headed for the ferry to Vancouver Island. It took about 2 1/2 hours to get there and Chris felt a little sick, which was fun to see!!!!

We were staying at Goldstream Provincial Campsite, which turned out to be quite nice and only 20 minutes outside Victoria.

Victoria is a great little city which had a very English feel to it. Once again the first day rained but the second and third were fabulous.

So the second day we decided to go on a Whale Watching trip to find Orca's.
So we got suited up ready for a trip on a Zodiac boat.

We travelled on the water for about 1 1/2 hours and came across a large pod of Killer Whales.

This is the large male and the one below is a mother and its calf. Sorry about the pics but the shutter lag on the camera makes it nearly impossible to catch them.

We were out for a total of 4 hours and it was worth the money.

After whale watching we headed up to Buchard Gardens, the most amazing and well manicured gardens we have ever seen and as luck would have it they had a massive firework display that put July 4th to shame. There were times when a wall of sparks filled your entire view and we also had pink dancing elephants, you had to be there!!!!

We like Victoria so much we decided to stay an extra day and spent it exploring the city.
Next we had planned to visit Tofino on the west coast of the island but then we got a phone call......

Rob had arranged for us to visit a fishing lodge that he and Mary go to every year to fish for salmon. The lodge is on Berry Island, an island between Vancouver and Vancouver Island. So we had to head north to Telegraph Cove to meet the boat that would take us to the lodge. It was quite a drive so we broke it up with a night in Campbell River. The only road into Telegraph Cove is a logging road which takes you to the small marina.

Paul the owner (who's 81 and fit as a fiddle) collected us and ferried us to the lodge, and this place was amazing!

The plan was to spend two nights and fish twice a day. A guide takes two people out in a small boat and teaches you how to fish using a very light spinner tackle.

So that afternoon we set off and neither of us had done this before so we were quite nervous. After 15 mins of fishing Chris gets a bite and pulls in a 25lb Chinook Salmon.

Not bad for a first attempt. So we retired for the day quite happy.

Next day we started fishing about 8.30am and within 20 mins Kelly also pulled in a 25lb Chinook.

Then it went on and we ended up with a boat full, mostly Kelly's. We caught Chinooks, Koho's and Pink salmon.

This place was just beyond description, we saw so many Bald Eagles,Black Bears,more Killer Whales, Harbour Seals, Sea Otters and Humpback Whales.It was just unbelievable!!!!

At one point Kelly caught a Rock Cod, a smallish fish around 2 pound. The guide knocked it out and whistled for the eagles, he then threw it in the water and 4 eagles flew out squabbling in the air and finally one came down and took the fish about 3 metres from the boat
Again the camera let me down so the above pic is not mine but thought I would put it in anyway.

The area we fished was called BlackFish sound and is the highest concentration of Orca's than anywhere else in the world.

We had an amazing experience and didn't want to leave but we said goodbye to Paul and the Guides and headed back to Telegraph Cove.

Thanks Rob and Mary for such a fantastic surprise and thanks Paul for having us!!!

You may have noticed the lack of Jack pictures but he doesn't like like being on boats too much but here's his fact!!

Animals that lay eggs don't have belly buttons

Ok so now we are in Whistler (wicked place) and will be doing an All Terrain Vehicle tour up Whistler Mountain in around 1 hour so will update soon.
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