British Columbia

Trip Start Aug 09, 2008
1
21
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Trip End Aug 2009


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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Monday, October 27, 2008

We arrived in Kelowna to sunshine and warm temperatures. It was a welcomed change from the Rockies. We stayed in town for one night and checked out the downtown core. The campsite that we stayed at was somewhat questionable - some interesting characters living in an old greyhound bus parked across from us, but it all worked out well.

The next day we started driving through the Okanagan Valley. Initially we were just planning to do one section but as we kept driving, we decided we might as well do the whole stretch from Kelowna to Osoyoos. We checked out some vineyards on the way, while at the same time trying to find a campsite. Both Rajiv and I were somewhat surprised to see the number of East Indian owned/operated vineyards.

We ended up staying in Osoyoos, in a resort that was owned and operated by the Osoyoos Native Indian band. Nk'Mip Cellars (Pronounced in-ka-meep) is North America's first Aboriginal owned and operated winery.....and it has some of the most spectacular views in the Okanagan. The campground, as usual filled with huge Rvīs, was very modern and equipped with a pool, sauna, and games room - all for $28.00 a night - a bargain.

We headed back to Kelowna the next day to have lunch with a fellow Westy owner, and after that decided to bike the Kettle Valley Railway trail. It was time to get the dusty bikes off the bike-rack and put them to use again.

The portion that we biked contained 18 trestles and 2 tunnels. Quite the engineering feat to design a railway system through canyons with trestles so high up that it takes your breath away. Biking this section was relatively easy and quite flat. Biking on the trestles, I (Bobbie) kept my gaze straight ahead and refused to look down.......itīs a long way down. There was a devastating fire in this area in 2003, and since then all the affected trestle bridges have been rebuilt on this popular trail.

After Kelowna we made our way to Merritt and stayed with Rajivīs aunt and cousin for a couple of days. The drive, while taking about one hour, was filled with ominous signs about being prepared to put chains on tires, especially for trucks. This drive contained the longest incline we have encountered on our trip across the country. It felt like a half-hour steady climb, with my foot to the floor, and the van not getting any faster than 70-80 kph. When we got to Merritt, my aunt said that the road often closes because of sudden snow storms at this time of year...another lucky break for us to make it through on dry roads. Our time in Merritt was a relaxing 2 days where we were completely spoiled and pampered.

After that we were off to Vancouver. Spent some time with my sister-in-law and her family. It was wonderful to see my little 2 year old niece - absolutely adorable. Spent a couple of days in Victoria with my friends, Pammi, Gurmal and the kids. We arrived in Vancouver during Diwali (the festival of lights) so we went to the Gurdwara (temple) in the evening and there were hundreds of diyas (little clay lamps fueled by oil and cotton used as a wick), tea lights and candles - very magical. In Victoria, we went to a Diwali dinner and dance, so pretty much did the full Diwali celebration this year! It was cultural overload for Rajiv.

My friend Pammi took us to Goldstream Provincial Park in Victoria, known for its salmon spawning stream. Here, salmon start appearing in mid October as they struggle to swim against the current to return to where they were hatched to spawn and then die. Seeing these creatures follow some unknown rhythm to produce new life at the expense of their own was quite amazing to see.

In Vancouver, we also caught up with my friend Freda and stayed a few days with her. We were treated to her warm hospitality and a well-stocked pantry full of food!

That is it for our sojourn across Canada.  Our next stop will be Japan. 
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Comments

c_arneja
c_arneja on

Nice Pics
The pics are very nice. hope to see more from you.
Take care

love
raju

c_arneja
c_arneja on

Congratulations
Dear Bhaiya and Bhabhi,

Congrats and best of luck for your journey.

I am happy for both of you, enjoying the one year holiday and exploring new places and having a great experience of your life.

All the best. Love you

Raju

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