Anyone in Canada go here!!!!

Trip Start Apr 11, 2005
1
19
54
Trip End ??? ??, 2006


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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Hi everyone,

We have been having an absolutely great time in Squilax for the last couple of days. we made the long drive from Vancouver which took most of the day with a few stops along the way to arrive at our destination for the night, a small outback hostel in Squilax.

Now this hostel is anything but normal to start with you sleep in a "Kaboos" (prob spelt wrong) which is a train cabin, we were surprised to say the least, pleasantly so. It was fantastic, you had your own lounge area, kitchen, beds, washroom and last but not least a raised driving seat. It was totally authentic apart from the bunk beds. God only knows how Blair (the lady who owned the place) got them down their, but she did.

we were only supposed to be staying in Squilax for the night as we wanted to push on to Banff and Jasper the next day but with the carriages being so much fun we stayed another day and I think everyone was glad they did.

The next day had a lot in store for us some things were quite way out there as you will see as you read on.

First up was the Pancake breakfast that Blair had prepared for us. using organic produce (everything was organic or recycled/composted) whole wheat pancakes with either bananas or apples & rhubarb were made. we had a couple each but were invited to eat as much as we could. The record stands at 13 by a passer by on the greyhound (quickly the story goes that this lad had been informed that 12 was the record by his bus driver so being a competitive sort he skipped dinner the night before in preparation to take the record in hand. He managed it by getting 13. It is unknown as to whether he kept them down as he jumped back on the bus and was of again. The thing is he was miss informed as the record was only around 8. Moral is never listen to bus drivers, but he has now in my opinion set a pretty hefty benchmark as I could only eat two and those who know me know I have a healthy appetite!

After breakfast we had booked ourselves in for an hr's Horse trail ride. Now Kt and her mum had never ridden before in their lives and they were cr@*p#ng themselves. It was quite funny seeing the colour drain from their faces but it was short lived as I got a feisty one called Jake who liked to canter at any opportunity he got. Getting Cherry onto the horse was funny and I only wished I had video d it. The lady who owned the ranch was certainly hands on getting Cherry up there. One hand on either cheek to be precise, with a quick push and she was up there. Both Kt's and Cherrys horses were quite docile and just plodded along so they enjoyed the ride. After half way through Jake and I had established who was boss, Jake knowing he was the boss but played along with letting me think I was. We saw some amasing views and it was nice to be able to take them in as sometimes when you walk you are watching the ground instead of the scenery. Unfortunately the hour passed way too quick and it was time to get ourselves and our two new friends back to the hostel (we had taken niki & now (Japanese) with us as they didn't have transport).

The afternoon had canoeing in store for us which was free with the hostel. Kt and I went upstream as advised (if too tired on way back you can just float back) but couldn't stay out too long as the canoe has a minor whole which seeped water. We did know this before going out and were prepared with a bailing bucket. we didn't spot the beavers that were in the area but saw plenty of fish and trees floating past!

Now the evening had plenty in store for us too. The night before i had gone all native and made fire and wanted the opportunity to do it again however we decided to cook on this one as well. We had a simple meal of baked potatoes and sausages (beer and crisps as well)I was shocked that kt had never cooked on an open fire before so had to teach her. Several hrs later the food was ready. the sausages had fallen in several times. I must intervene at this point to explain that the ash filled sausages were not my responsibility, another lad there had an idea of soaking a piece of wood and placing the sausages on them to cook, where I had mine on sticks hovering above the fire. So whilst his soaked piece of wood soon dried out, set alight, burnt, fell apart and deposited his sausages into the roaring fire mine were nicely toasting away at a safe unflamable distance.

Blair had a Native Sauna. Now this is a far cry from your log ones with nice benches and lighting etc. This was a clay hut half underground no taller than 4ft with a hole in the middle for placing heated rocks. the seating was the floor covered with Canadian pine leaves which had the local insect population living in it. Comfy is not a word you would choose to describe this place. In order to get the rocks heated for the sauna we had to extinguish my fire and build a new one in a special way. Huge circular logs were placed around the edge of the fire pit, the middle was then built in a normal fire manner and set alight. After the middle had burnt down and the outside had caught alit the rocks were placed on the hot burning embers. Sheets of bark were then placed on top as a roof to house the stone and heat them up from all angles (the roof being replaced every so often). This process took around 3hrs to do but the reward was well worth it. Once the rocks had enough heat in them they were transferred to the sauna (by pitch fork) we then de robed (to bathers) and all got in the sauna (it was now 11.30pm) the door (a few blankets) was closed and the experience began. We were lucky because an old tour guide was stopping that night so he took charge of the whole event (Blair was on her cycle as she pointed out to us, so could not go in. Bit too much info). fresh mint (on stem) was used to splash the rocks with water, James slowly built up the heat and the whole clay hut was infused with the smell of fresh mint and pine trees. It was an extreamly enjoyable event and a very sweaty one at that. The whole sauna lasted around 20mins until the rocks cooled down and it was certainly an experience I would do again. However it wasn't over yet. Those of you who sauna often know you have to close your pores but there were no cool showers to hand, so the only option is to use the natural surroundings, ie the river. The sensible option is to splash yourself down (as the girls did) but not us men we were hot and needed cooling down so it was of the docking platform and diving into the river. It isn't very wise to do this high in the mountains through the daytime in June let alone at midnight after a few beers! it was cold very cold and we soon got out but James then dived in again so not wanting to appear soft my German friend and I were off again too. This was now 4 days ago and I have started with a sniffle!

The next day we tore ourselves away and headed East. I could have stayed there for months as apparently some people do, the people that originally went for just one night.
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