Kamloops - a place with happy memories
Trip Start Apr 09, 2009
21Trip End Aug 30, 2009
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Kamloops is known as B.C.'s Friendliest City (according to its tourist info) and has over 85,000 residents including many smaller rural communities in the surrounding area. As Canada's Tournament Capital, the city draws thousands of spectators and sporting participants each year to enjoy the world class sports facilities. Golf, Fishing, Mountain biking etc etc.
Cousin Judy took me down the Nicola Valley the following day and am I being boring (??) again by saying just beautiful scenery. Different from NZ but just as stunning and this area is so open. Rolling green hills alongside the valley, a great many little and larger lakes
Imagine a magical place where the sun shines on most days of the year on grasslands, rolling hills, historic ranches and shimmering lakes. Such a place exists in the southern interior of BC, where the sun heaps over 2,000 hours of annual sunshine upon Merritt and the Nicola Valley. The name Nicola was given to the famous chieftain Hwistesmetxquen by the early fur traders
for the obvious reason that they couldn't pronounce his Native name. When they tried it phonetically, it sounded vaguely like Nicholas or Nicola, and their mispronunciation has remained. The range of wildlife and vegetation in the valley varies dramatically with terrain
and elevation, and the entire Nicola Valley is filled with amazing natural attractions.
The Nicola Valley is served by the Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) that travels from Hope
north to Kamloops via Merritt. Highway 5 follows the Coquihalla River to Merritt and is particularly scenic in the early fall, when rolling fields and forest foliage take on a golden glow. Moose, mule deer, bears, and grouse are the main wildlife species here, while small
numbers of elk and mountain goats find refuge in the south.Judy and I decided to stop for tea at the Quilchena Hotel which has just celebrated its 00th birthday
Quilchena Hotel is really fascinating, very elegant and almost old fashioned. Its quite remote and captures the ambience of southwestern British Columbia's cattle country. A stop at the old hotel provides visitors with a whiff of life as it once was in the Nicola Valley. It attracts a motley assortment, from moneyed urbanites to cattle barons according to its advertising blurb. We enjoyed our tea and Pavlova!!
On for a few more kilometres where there is lots to see. We returned the same way and it was nice to see everything from the other aspect.
Next morning Geoff dropped me at the Mall to do a little shopping, the first time I had experienced shopping since arriving in Canada which I enjoyed, couldn't buy much though I will be overweight! (My baggage not me!!)
That afternoon Cousin Sue's husband Randy drove Judy and I up to Sun Peak, which is a ski resort about 40 minutes away up in the mountains
- Centrally located in southern British Columbia, only a 45 minute drive from Kamloops.
interior resort by road from Vancouver, BC (4.25 hours) and Seattle, WA
(5.5 hours), thanks to the Coquihalla Highway, connecting Hope to
A pleasant break from travelling next day as I spent the morning with Katie and we went for a long walk along the Thompson River at Kamloops-gorgeous weather too. Chip their border collie enjoyed the walk as well. Lunchtime Katie dropped me with Cousin Sue, and after a relaxing lunch in the garden, we spent a lazy afternoon catching up on family news and I enjoyed a long swim in their pool
A last family dinner outside on the patio was a fitting ending to my stay in Kamloops, and before the sun disappeared completely Katie and I took Chip for a walk up into the hills, it was really interesting with a few scattered farms and smallholdings with superb houses, we watched the sun go down to end my visit to Kamloops.
Time to move on once again and this time to Calgary via a Greyhound bus ride through the Rockies. A nine hour but really superb trip through great mountain scenery....... more soon ..