After we crossed the border into Canada, heavy packs on our backs and after getting asked a zillion questions by border control, we looked around for a place to dump our bags while we checked out the falls. Luckily for me, a nice guy let us store them in his shop 🙂 You might think we’re crazy for leaving our gear with a stranger, but at this point, we really couldn’t care less!
So we walk up and down the promenade to try to get a good photo or two, but we now think we have traveled too much and been spoiled for scenery because we weren’t too impressed!! Iguassu Falls in Argentina/Brazil and Vic Falls in Zambia/Zimbabwe are just… well… bigger! Though we still admired it’s beauty, we didn’t spend too much time there. So we headed for Toronto for the night.
Once in Toronto, on go the packs again and we walk… and walk… toward the hostel. But we don’t find the street! So we just stop at the first motel we see instead because by this point we are freezing, our packs (with the shopping goods) are weighing us down and the chick gave us a fair deal. Sorted. So we take a load off for just 20 minutes before I get an idea to see if there are any ice hockey games on that night. Hey presto, there was! I called and there were cheap seats left, so we walk the 30 minutes to get to the ground only to find they cheap seats had gone and all that was left were seats for CA$167 each. Not that good an idea we thought! So we go find dinner instead!
That night we take a walk downtown, check out a movie at the cinema and then complete the night with a bubble cup – awesome! For some reason, we can’t sleep that night, so we stayed up for all hours watching tv and surfing the web, but of course that means we sleep in until all hours as well. But glad we did, we needed a break after all the sight seeing we had done in the last few weeks. So we took it easy and only went out in the afternoon for a nice long wander around the city before coming back and packing our bags to fly to Calgary the next day.
We landed in Calgary and easily managed to fill in the 3 hours until the bus to Lake Louise left. Yay – we were on our way to see Sean and learn to snowboard! Whoo! The bus ride through Banff was stunning and we got to spent 30 minutes checking out the town before heading onto Lake Louise.
When we arrived it was snowing and starting to get dark. But it just looked beautiful! There is not much to the town (and you pay for that privilege, this place is so expensive when it comes to groceries!!!). We wandered through the ‘mall’ before calling it a night.
I have to note here that the hostel in Lake Lousie is nothing short of 5 star. Seriously. It has a groovy restaurant attached, a huge big self catering kitchen, a lovely relaxing upstairs area with a pool table, loads of comfy couches and books with a huge open fire place. Our room was for 6 people, but we had a double bed in a mezzanine area all to ourselves with huge cupboards and a shared bathroom area. And that’s not to mention the free wireless internet and the free bus that departed for the slopes just across the street. Sorted.
Next day we were up before sparrow fart and off to the slopes. We get organised and booked in for 2 days worth of lessons. So we started with the easy stuff before moving onto the magic carpet to try those babies out. Awesome!!! Although we were on our butts (and knees) a lot, it was a thrill and also a challenge which was great. It snowed for some of the day, but that would never stop us!
End of day one: Kim has a bruised butt and I have a bruised shin where a beginner skier crashed into me when I was taking off my board. Arnica for us!
Day two, back on the baby run for another day of lessons. Today we stepped up a level and had a guy who was a very good teacher and we got to the point where we were on the drag lift (only falling off a few times!) and making it most the way down without stacking it! It was a good feeling, though I was still a bit scared of the speed requirement for snowboarding!
Day three, we again jumped straight on the baby run to revisit our lessons and try to master the art of snowboarding. Today was Sean’s first day off so after a little while, Kim was convinced by Sean to try the more ‘manly’ runs and off he went. Me? I was sticking to the baby slope after our skiing ordeal in Italy. Besides, by this point, my legs were damn tired after 3 days of snowboarding (and no gym for the past 6 months at this point too!).
By the end of day three, Kim had successfully completed a green run down the south face called ‘Wiwaxy’. Awesome for him, but I was keen to master the baby slopes before proceeding.