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Days 15 & 16 - Rocky Mountaineer

Train Arriving

I've decided to include both the days on the Rocky Mountaineer on the same page of the diary. Mainly because they don't vary very much.

On both days, there was an early start. Day 1 saw the cases picked up from the rooms at 6:30 am, and the coach arrive to take us to the station at 7:30 am. This means that we were up around 2.5 hours before the train pulled into Banff station at 8:30. And it was raining. We have been exceedingly unlucky with the weather. As we have said before, everything looks better in the sun. And for most of the first day it drizzled to poured. And as we kept on being told, it was an unusual year and everything was late. In fact, this is the worse spring in 50 years. Unfortunately this does not make it any easier for us.

On Board

Ah well - we'll just have to make the most of the Gold Class breakfast, drinks and lunch. We have books to read, and other passengers to swop tales with. We've made friends with a couple from Derby (UK) and another couple from Auckland. One is a train anorak, and is having fun discussing toy trains and other such things with the guy in front. The food is well prepared, but not huge portions - which is just as well as we're not doing much.

Day 1 is a bit of a dead loss - low cloud means that most of the Rockies is obscured. And it drags. The train goes very slowly, but doesn't stop. Memories from Art include 'there are a lot of fir trees'. We arrive at Kamloops at about 7:30 pm, and then discovered we had a 30 minutes plus bus drive to our hotel.

We were taken to Southern Thompsons Inn & Ranch, which we'd passed about 45 minutes earlier. This is a lovely hotel - but is so far out of town you have no choice but to stay and eat there. The hotel is Kentucky Ranch style , with verandahs looking over the river. It would be great to sit on the balcony - if it wasn't raining…..

This was a trip for Anoraks, they spent hours on the observation deck in the cold and wet

Rocky Mountaineer, Day 2

Beaver?

The next morning we had a treat though - I saw a beaver swimming along. The picture isn't clear, and I had the mick taken out of my picture - but I don't care. It's definitely a beaver's head.

Because of the distance from the station we were picked up at 7:05; at that time of the morning every 5 minutes counts, so we were not at our best. But the rain had stopped. It wasn't exactly bright and sunny, but it made a difference to the views. The Frasier River is very high, due to the melting snow. This made for some spectacular rapids and fast-running rivers, especially around Hells Gate. But - dare we say this? It seems such a whinge - we were bored….. The train doesn't stop, and there is no-where to go. Time revolves around the next meal and the next drink. By the time we crawled (we could have walked faster) into Vancouver station at 7:30, we had had enough. This wasn't fun - it was an endurance test. I thought it was only us that felt like this - but at the end of the day our fellow passengers admitted the same too!

We crawled onto the bus, and were taken to the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel.

Art wasn't hungry, but I was - so I headed for the pizza place in the station. As per usual, there were a couple of beggars en route. I refuse to give money, but bought a couple of extra pizza slices, and handed them out on the way back. They were over the moon with them - which is a nice surprise, because in London they'd have been cursing you for not giving them money!

We were off to Victoria in the morning, with an 8:30 am start - a lie-in after the last 2 days!

Our enthusiasm for the Rockies was really on the wain by this point, mountains, lakes and fir trees, scenery overload, plus poor weather!! It should be noted that the Train Spotters were in heaven.

Hells Gate

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terris_travelogue/canada/p_rocky_mountaineer.txt · Last modified: 2011/06/01 07:53 by art
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