Hawaii stopover,swimming with green sea turtles (almost impossible not to), snorkelling Shark Bay. Yesterday amazing full day walk to Ka'au crater up a rain forest creek and several waterfalls to the peak with views of the crater and down to the beaches.
A few more Hawaii photos. Rhetorical Q. Why are the highways in Hawaii called interstates :). Observation for work collageues _ Hawaii is possibly home to more invasive species than anywhere else in the world but walking through strawberry guava is nicer than walking through Lantana :)
Beautiful day in Vancouver, visited Stanley Park for our first view of Canadian forest and met some of the wildlife, decided to skip the beach though, a bit different to our normal beach experience :). Public transport here is amazing! Off to Victoria tomorrow.
Ferry to Victoria on Vancouver Is.
Had great ferry ride to Vancouver Is. through the islands with views to snow capped Mt Baker (usually clouded but clear today). Weather is beautiful and arriving in Victoria so nice. Flowers everywhere and a huge vintage car rally on, so we walked around the harbour snapping pics of vintage cars and vintage buildings. Relaxed festival atmosphere. Bussing to the start of our 6 day walk tomorrow to start the following day.
Victoria is so pretty, flowers everywhere and a vintage car show (which happened to be on)matched perfectly with the stately old buildings.
Staying at a First Nations village in a pine forest near a lake after 5+ hour bus trip. Tomorrow we are transferred by boat to the start of the 5-6 day West Coast Trail. No cold beer or internet for the next 5 days :)
Five days walking the West Coast Trail. Described as the rugged hike of a lifetime, rated difficult and the permit covers evacuation costs. We had beautiful weather and didn't find it too hard but absolutely beautiful, varied and good fun. Many many ladders, suspension bridges and cable cars. Camped on the beach each night and saw no bears :). Did carry bear spray though.
Day at Port Renfrew, enjoying lunch at the pub (so good after 5 days of freeze dried food) and an exhilirating whale watching trip. Boat was a large Zodiac and there was an extreme coastal fog and big swells. We were 10 ks out to sea (ie next land Hawaii or Japan) and in a pea souper, zooming along up and down 3 m waves. Felt like being on an ancient whaling ship! Did see orcas and humpbacks despite the fog though. Amazing!
Back in pretty Victoria BC, relaxing and cleaning up after our walk. Jazz in th park over lunch.
Picked up a hire car and drove East admiring the mountain scenery. Found beautiful campsites along the way, usually with sites nestled in the mossy pine forest. Did a 20 kilometer walk that gained 750 m altitude in Manning Park that passed through wet Pine Forest and wildflower full Mountain Meadows
Visited the Okanagen valley, which is now a lush irrigated orchard and (very nice )wine area but is climaticly a desert by Canadian standards (light forest country by Qld standards:) ) Visit to the remnant patch of native vegetation and information center was interesting. Also visited Myra Canyon which is a Rail Trail on a defunct Railway track that hangs off the side of the canyon. Must have been a terrifying train trip at the time.
More mountains! The beautiful Selkirks/ Columbia range. Walked 11 ks and gained 1000 m to small (!) Peak with good glacier views. Also did a half day white water raft on the Kicking Horse River. Excellent Class 3-4 rapids. No photos but there is one of us on the facebook page of the Glacier Raft Company (post on 6 August). Best meal of the trip so far in the Golden Indian restaurant.
Drove through the Rockies to the plains of Alberta then south to Waterton national Park to approach the Rockies from the East. Overnight walk to a beautiful hanging lake and day walk to Bertha Peak (including our first off track walk).
Drove several hours East through the Alberta farmlands which look very similar to many Australian farmlands but so much water! Open canal irrigation everywhere and very high production of hay. Stayed at dinosaur park for 2 days in the Badlands. Donosaur fossils everywhere - fascinating area!
Reading a fascinating book called 'the Erratics' set partially in Okotocs so staying overnight in cute pub in the town. The Erratics are huge rocks left on the plains when the glciers retreated.
Staying in the very Scenic town of Canmore as we head back to the Rockies. Canmore has spent $400000 controlling feral rabbits rhat are the result of domestic rabbit release.
Drive through the Rockies on the very scenic icefields parkway and lovely campsite western part Jasper National Park. last scramble in the Rockies 1300 m ascent to Mount Cinquefoil a bit hairy as very loose rock and mountain sheep didn't seem to like sharing the mountain.
Short ranch stay in cute rustic cabin. Got very wet on our trail ride but nice to have contact with donestic animals rather than ones that will eat you!
Sighseeing day in Taipei including a visit to the museum that houses all the Chinese treasures that were relocated when the Communist party took over mainland China. Amazing jade, bronze etc dating back to 6000 BC.
Bussed an hour from Taipei and did lovely walk to a couple of waterfalls initially on stone path then small rough track. Fun walk.