Trip Start May 01, 2005
Trip End Jun 04, 2005

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Monday, May 9, 2005

On arriving at Chalet Luise we were greeted by Lisa, a lovely, friendly English lady, who took us to our upgraded room on the top level. We were pleased to be upgraded to this room which boasted a balcony facing the front of the building, a spa bath, walk in robe, pretty curtains and a large bed. We dropped our suitcases in the room and found our walking shoes to head to town to have a look around to get our bearings as we were here for three nights and didn't want to waste any time. We found a hamburger shop and bought ourselves something to eat returning to our digs. Lisa and Kathleen, her helper, were out on their bikes and they showed us a way we could take a short cut and walk into town so that we did not need to take the car everywhere. By this time we were tired and jumped into bed for an early night.

The next day, Tuesday 10th May, we woke up to good weather and made our way to the Swiss styled dining room to have our breakfast. We were greeted by Lisa who served us up a wonderful breakfast of fruit with maple syrup, yoghurt, apple strudel, croissants, cheese and tomato omelette as well as the customary toast, coffee or tea and fruit juices. After eating, we walked for half an hour into the town where we bought tickets for the Gondola up Whistler Mountain. We then boarded the small individual cabins of the gondola for a peaceful ride up onto the snow covered mountain. The temperature quickly dropped to 4 degrees but the sun was out and it appeared quite warm. On reaching the top terminal we wandered around and watched the skiiers and snow boarders doing their thing on the slopes around us. Photos were taken and we went out onto the snow which brought back memories of Switzerland. Snowballs of course had to be made and thrown at each other, also a reminder of days gone by when we were younger! The sun shining on the snow was so glaring that Mike, who normally never wears them, bought a pair of sunglasses so that he could walk around without being blinded. After a couple of hours and a vegetable and noodle soup for lunch, we caught the Gondola again to reach the half way station which was below the snowline. We intended to walk the rest of the way down to the village hoping to see some bears as we had heard that a mother and her two cubs had been spotted from the Gondola in that vicinity. The walk was pretty easy, being downhill, and we followed small tracks passing bicycle jumps and tracks that were popular for mountain downhill racing especially in summer when skiing would be off the exercise list.

On reaching the base station, a bit tired but mainly thirsty, we were approached by a young girl named Louisa who persuaded us that we could make $150 just by listening to a one and a half hour presentation at 2pm on timeshare apartments. We were a bit hesitant but after she told us that we would be transported there and given a drink we decided to give it a go. We listened to the salesman and eventually convinced him that we didn't want to invest in his timeshare apartments which were very nice and well presented but meant that we would sign up for $200 dollars a month for 10 years for a weeks holiday in any of their units worldwide! We left, with the salesman not very happy but with a drink and a voucher for $150 dollars in our hand, and made our way back to our B & B just down the road. Coffee and freshly baked biscuits were available when we arrived and after freshening up, we walked back to the village where we had planned to have dinner at the Wild Wood restaurant attached to the tennis club. We found that the restaurant had been booked out for a reception of some kind so we went on to plan B and found a Tandoori Restaurant that dished up a great curried prawn and lamb dish which we enjoyed with a bottle of Mateus Rose wine. After another busy day we walked back to Chalet Luise and fell asleep without too much trouble.

On Wednesday 11th May, we went down to breakfast and found we were no longer the only guests in the B&B. In the dining room was a French couple from Paris who had booked in sometime during the night. We had our normal eggs for breakfast and were treated to some beautiful blueberry pancakes. We spoke to Lisa who told us of a walk through the forest that would take us to Cheakamos Lake. First of all we would have to drive back towards Vancouver about 12 km and then turn down a dirt road for the last 7km. This wasn't a problem for us, although the agreement on renting the car stipulated that the car was not to be driven on dirt roads. I don't understand how they expect you to get around when there are plenty of gravel roads on which one has to travel. Anyway we went and took it easy once off the tar and found a car park close to the trail through the forest.  What a great walk! We ambled along the track, making plenty of noise as advised by the locals to ensure that any bears around would hear us coming and hopefully retreat further into the sticks, and eventually came to the lake stretched out before us with the mountains forming a backdrop as far as the eye could see. At the end of the trail there was a campsite complete with bear caches where the wise camper hoists his pack and food store on ropes and pulleys into the trees above so that any visiting bear can not reach them. After a rest and refreshments, we started on the way back meeting along the way and chatting to locals who were walking their dogs, despite the signs saying no dogs allowed, and other visitors from Australia and South Africa. Around lunch time we were back at Chalet Luise where we had a cup of coffee and freshly baked biscuits before walking  back into the village to spend the voucher we had received from the timeshare people a couple of days before. We found a sports shop where Mike bought a jacket and to complete the spend, Margaret bought a couple of tops for Lesley and Carissa back home. We wandered around the village a bit more buying various other little things that we needed including postcards and stamps and checking out the different buildings and building methods. Then it was back to the digs to write the cards and get ready to stroll back to the tennis club and the Wild Wood Restaurant that we had found booked out previously. At 7pm we sat down looking at the sunshine glistening on the snow capped mountains and ordered our meal, a surf and turf special. Mike had sirloin steak with prawns and Margaret had sirloin steak with crab meat, accompanied by mash potatoes and vegetables costing $18 each. For an additional $2 we also got a caesar salad and nice fresh warm rolls.  It was a delicious dinner in a nicely decorated room with large tree trunks holding up the roof. A fitting finish to our stay in Whistler as we would be leaving in the morning for our next stop...Salmon Arms.
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