The Okanagan Valley

Trip Start Apr 06, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Gary and Mary's Place!

Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Thursday, April 15, 2010

15th April 2010

We were planning on the drive from Vancouver to the Okanagan Valley taking the best part of a day, so we left early (ish...again making the most of the second 'B') and headed out of the city over the Lionsgate Bridge which we'd cycled under yesterday. We stopped early on to have a look at Shannon Falls and in Brackendale, the town which hosts the annual eagle count, in the hope of seeing some, but no luck here today. We then started heading up in to the Coast Mountains, and drove through the village of Whistler which co-hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics with Vancouver. There was still a bit of snow around and the odd person skiing the slopes, and it looked like a really nice place for a future skiing holiday! Our drive continued via Permberton, Lillooet, Cache Creek and Kamloops, and on the way we encompassed loads of snow, waterfalls and lakes that were completely frozen, steep and winding mountain roads, and some of the most beautiful scenery we've ever seen. We arrived in Vernon just before 8pm and the day could not have ended more perfectly than arranging to meet Russ in a pub for wings night (a Canadian thing that basically involves ordering lots and lots of chicken wings!) and a couple of pints watching the Stanley Cup Ice Hockey play-offs! Russ also suggested that we could stay at his girlfriend's parents house for a couple of nights and had arranged for us to sleep in their campervan in the backyard! More beers on the way home...good times!

16th April 2010

After a really cosy and comfy night in the campervan, we woke up to amazing bright blue skies and sunshine. We were introduced to Gary, Russ' girlfriend's dad, a great guy with a passion for classic cars and who made us feel extremely welcome in his home. He and his wife Mary live in a lovely country house with a huge garden complete with horse stables. Feeling a bit worse for wear after all the beer, Russ indulged us in a good old bacon sarnie and we set off on our guided tour of the Okanagan, including Kalamalka Lake, Okanagan Lake and Swan Lake ...a truly beautiful part of Canada. Also on the agenda today was pimping the Windstar... two very enthusiastic boys, a stereo from a scrapyard, a couple of old speakers from Gary's garage and a couple of sheets of plywood later, and the Windstar in-car entertainment system was complete! Mary returned from work and made us feel equally as welcome and we chatted the night away in the garden over a BBQ and of course more beer and wine! Lou ended the night by agreeing to an early start and a long hike with Mary and Jen, their neighbour.

17th April 2010

Together with Mary, Jen, Mary's friend Donna, and the two dogs, Lou set off on a 15km hike in the valley. It was a lovely walk, up and down mountains and with great views of the area. Really nice to chat and put the world to rights for a couple of hours, and we finished up in a cafe having coffee and did that happen?! Meanwhile, Dan and Russ' intended round of golf somehow turned into a full english breakfast and further pimping of the did that happen?

When we all got back to Gary and Mary's, Theresa, Beth and Eve (Russ' gorgeous girlfriend and two children) were there to greet us having driven the 8 hour journey down from Prince George where they currently live. The gang was complete, and needless to say we had more beer and a BBQ, and then went to the pub for a few games of pool.

18th April 2010

Making the most of our surroundings, sunshine and good company, we all went on another morning hike up the mountainside. Beth and Eve had a great time collecting the worms for the garden after last night's rain, and the views from the top were well worth the effort. As if they hadn't spoilt us enough already, Russ and Theresa offered to cook us a farewell roast dinner, which was absolutely delicious, complete with a Dairy Queen icecream cake and plenty of wine. Much to Dan's delight, Gary took him for a spin in his 300bhp 1965 Acadian Beaumont, a mint condition classic canadian muscle car...what a treat! Another totally enjoyable evening with these lovely and very hospitable people, who we will surely miss when we set off tomorrow.
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Suzanna on

Lovely pics. I take it you didn't see the Ogopogo (the monster who lives in Okanagan Lake)?! S x

Jodi on

I know I'm starting late, but I'm following your blog! Happy travels!

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