Sep 04, 2008
Dec 03, 2008
28/9/08 - We awoke early, our tour bus arriving at between 08:00/30, we grabbed our gear and waited in the lobby. It turned up at bout 08:35 and we jumped on, meeting Michael, our tour guide, a great guy straight off! We also met the rest of the folk, Chris from Cardiff, and two women, a German and Irish and Greg from Sweden. We set off, our first stop the Moose office in New Westminster, where we handed over vouchers and received our Moose T-shirts. We then headed off, our first stop, Bridal Veil Falls, an impressive waterfall living up to its name, surrounded by a typical western temperate rain forest. After photos we sat down and introduced ourselves as did everyone, a chance to get to know each other! It was a nice personalized tour, to start with only 7 of us. The next stop was the small town of Hope on the Fraser River. Made famous because a lot of Rambo: First Blood was filmed here back in the 80's. We were all trying to remember the film and relate it to our surroundings, it was certainly familiar! The weather was stunning, hot actually. We got lunch and chilled by the river beneath the lush peaks, taking photos and generally relaxing, was lovely! We then took the Trans - Canada Highway to Kamloops, traveling through the Fraser Canyon, which displayed impressive geology and lush vegetation! As we got nearer to Kamloops the landscape changed from one of lush vegetation to quite an arid one, the vegetation becoming scarce, a general browny desert color to the landscape. Michael mentioned a beetle problem, in which thousands of trees are been damaged by beetles, making the timber worthless. 8 days in a row below freezing are required to halt the attack, this is simply not happening anymore, the temperatures are no longer as cold as they once were. There is also no way to combat the beetles! We stopped at a gas station, just next to some backwoods town, before pushing on to Kamloops. It was a very arid landscape here too, large rolling sandy hills on the horizon as we stopped at a liquor store for those who wanted it! I was going to get some strongbow, but didn't! Kell got wine. We approached Shuswap Lake, an area popular for summer recreation, especially houseboats! The vegetation became lush once again. We arrived at the small village of Scotch Creek, where our accommodation for the night was, a small inn and hostel owned by a real character from Dartmoor, Tom, great laugh! Bout $24 for the night, not bad at all. We were the only ones staying at the hostel, we were all in the same dorm, it was really cosy! Michael had told us that this was a good place to have a swim, so we headed straight for the beach, some of us borrowing some of Tom's collection of decrepit bikes! I walked, was only 10 minutes away! I wasted no time in jumping straight in, it was dam well freezing, but oh so refreshing, was awesome! The others all followed The first time I have been in a fresh water lake, as appose to swimming in the sea! Was a great experience although you couldn't stay in long. We dried off quick and headed back to the hostel for tea, was a lovely quite little place, the air so fresh. We all chipped in for tea, the 2 women made us a nice pasta meal and we all dined together in the small common room and kitchen all to ourselves! We played games all night and then I got my first photos transfered to my memory stick, before I hit the sack! The dorm was separate from the kitchen/commom room so you had to go outside undercover, but the smell was beautiful and the night so silent! The first day of the Hoodapus had been great!