We have finally arrived in Calgary, Alberta, and lost no time cycling the 94 miles up to Banff and the start of The Great Divide route. On the way from Iceland we had some wonderful views of Greenland.
We cycled into downtown Calgary to visit a fantastic shop called the Mountain Equipment Cooperative (MEC) where you can buy anything you ever dreamed of for any outdoor activity you could think of. Fully loaded with Bear Spray, Bear Bells and mossie head nets we set off for Cochrane where we were giving a fundraising talk to the Rotary Club of Cochrane. We had been invited by Rotarian Martin Parnell, who had stayed with us in the UK last year when he was running around the South West Coastal Footpath. Over the years Martin has raised nearly 1,000,000 Canadian Dollars for charity. We were delighted when their acting President presented us with a cheque for 3,000 Canadian Dollars for ShelterBox, the humanitarian charity we are fundraising for. Thank you for your generosity.
When we arrived at the magnificent Banff Springs Hotel, the official start of the Great Divide Cycle route I have to admit to some last minute nerves. It didn’t help that it started to get cold and wet.
Our first night out we wild camped beside this lake, in the next few photos. Not a bad view from the tent.
Finding a suitable tree to hang our food was not as easy as you might expect considering we were in a forest.
The terrain we were cycling over varied from loose rock, mud and gravel, with some very steep sections.