Canada

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Canada pic
 
We visited Canada in August 2000 - the end of the Canadian summer. We flew into Vancouver and spent our first night there before moving out into the countryside, which was what we had really come to see.

It took us two day's driving to get to the rockies - with fantastic scenery the entire way there. We went via the northern route. This passed us by loads of spectacular waterfalls in particular. Our first sight of the rockies was Mt Robson - a 3km almost vertical rock face. Absolutely incredible. From there on it was pretty much superlatives all the way. Every spectacular mountain surrounded by forest and with a perfect lake at it's base. Up close there is lots of wildlife, we saw chipmunks, deer, elk, and mountain goats. And of course all that fantastic strata for Tara to look at (geology degree).

We spent four days in the rockies and visited all the national parks in the area. Some of the places were real tourist traps though - with an incredible number of people and hugely inflated prices. We found that the less touted tracks were the better ones to go on, with a much higher chance of seeing wildlife without all the crowds of people hording around. Lake Louise in particular was insane. There must have been about 100 people canoeing out on that one tiny lake.

We travelled back towards Vancouver via the lower route, near the American boarder. This area has a really hot climate, grows fantastic fruit, and has great lakes to go swimming in. Just watch out for the rattlesnakes!

We then caught a ferry over to Vancouver Island. Here we visited an unsuprisingly very wet rainforest, and the capital of British Columbia, Victoria. We spent one more night in Vancouver, and then we were off to Hawaii.

Hawaii was great to unwind in, as we'd been rushing around like mad things in Canada trying to do and see absolutely everything. In Hawaii we couldn't afford to do anything, so we had not choice but to relax. We did manage to go on a $1 bus ride around the whole island though, and visit the Bishop Museum. The museum was great, it had a very comprehensive collection of artifacts from all the islands of polynesia, micronesian, and melanesia (Pacific Ocean). It also had a planetarium, hula dancers, a rare sperm whale skeleton, and a visiting T-Rex skeleton.

Then it was back to New Zealand to start planning the next one!

Click here to see some of our photographs.