The adventure is nearly over

Trip Start Sep 10, 2009
Trip End Oct 22, 2009

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Friday, October 9, 2009

We were late leaving Banff because the bus wouldn't start and it was freezing.  Fortunately, after half an hour of hanging around the small reception area of the hostel, they got tired of tripping over the baggage and opened the lounge for us to sit in until the bus started.  Four of my first traveling companions joined the bus after spending a few days in Banff, including Chris, the card trickster and the mad Norwegian.

Both 8 and 9 October were long driving days - the scenery was beautiful but we didn't stop at many interesting places along the way.  This was partly due to time but mostly because some of the normal stops have finished for the year. 

The most notable stop on the 8 October (and possibly the weirdest stop on this trip) was at a place called Dave's Goat Walk.   This place is more or less in the middle of nowhere but they have gone to a lot of trouble with gardens and decorating.  You put quarters (25 cents) in this vending machine which spits out a handful of corn.  Then you put the corn in a bucket attached to a line.  The goats on the overhead walk can see and hear you doing this and they know this is their queue.  They make the wheel move (some use their heads to move it around but I saw one clever fellow do it with his hoof) to bring the bucket up and then they eat the corn.

There's also a lot of goats in the pen at the bottom and you can go in and feed them or just pat them.  I know it sounds like an odd thing to do but its great stress relief and we all had a lot of fun with the goats.  They also have a very nice little gift shop with all sorts of odd things but I didn't buy anything because I needed more time to look around and decide.

We stopped at Kelowna overnight.  Kelowna is on Lake Okanagan which is huge and Nessie's cousin, the Ogo Pogo is supposed to live there.  There's apparently a $1million reward offered by an eccentric old lady for proof that Ogo Pogo exists.  Lots of movie stars have summer homes in Kelowna (lots of Hollywood movies are filmed in Vancouver).  However, most of the restaurants, bars and nightclubs are owned by the Hells Angels so, while its a pretty safe town, its a place where you want to keep your wits about you.  Our driver warned the kids that it was a bad idea to get drunk and pick fights with the locals.

Unfortunately, I didn't see much of Kelowna but I did have one of the best meals I've had on this trip, salmon cooked by one of the hostel staff.  The funny thing was that the cook was wearing an All Blacks shirt and I'm pretty sure he was a Kiwi.

On Friday 9 October I got on the Moose bus for the last time for the trip back to Vancouver.  I was reminded by a comment from one of you that I had no pictures of the Moose buses so, specially for Ruby, I've taken a picture.

The only really interesting stop of the day was the Othello tunnels which were built for the Canadian National railway but never used.  These tunnels must have been hell to dig out of the rock and our driver told us that lots of workers died building them.  The workers were mostly Chinese, generally unpaid, brought to Canada with promises of bright futures once the railway was built.  As far as I can work out, when the railway was finished the survivors were basically sent home to China with nothing.

Arrived back in Vancouver earlier than expected - skydiving was an option on this part of the trip so a couple of hours is allowed for that but on Friday there was too much wind so the two people who were interested couldn't do it.  I'm staying in Vancouver for a few days now before the polar bear trip.
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