We have had to delay our cycling until my broken hand is mended and my balance is back to normal. Not being town people we have found staying Calgary and Fernie
quite a strain, just too many people, noise and cars. So we have rented ‘Fred the Wreck’
and set off north back up the Columbia Valley slowly so that we arrive back in Calgary in time to have my cast removed from my hand. The problem of being in a car is staying on tarmac roads, which, in August are full of massive camper vans like these, as are all the main camp sites which are also full and not appealing.
Luckily, due to my dizzy vision, I haven’t been able to read the small print of our rental agreement, and we have found some lovely empty campsites, (up some ever so slightly rocky roads!) that also happen to be near beautiful lakes.
We spent several days at Lazy Lake swimming inside clouds of bright blue damsel flies and dragon flies, while being watched by curious terapins with heads like thin periscopes and trying not to stand on the fish.
Although the car has allowed us to see more of British Columbia it is really not a good way to travel. On the bike it is the journey that is the experience as you are can hear, feel, smell and touch things you pass. The destination is just the place you happen to stop at the end of the day, not the reason for travelling. It is the opposite in a car. You notice the odd dramatic bit of scenario as you speed past and the destination is the big disappointment when you stop. So we decided to go a bit more off the main route. Having chatted to a couple of lovely ladies in a cafe in the tiny village of Spillimacheen we left the road and turned across the wetlands.
Where we saw several Ospreys sitting on their huge nests.
We then headed up for about 25kms into the hills with the road slowly deteriorating; now realise why everyone else around here has a four wheel drive. In this part of Canada the lakes are high up in the hills, where ever there is a small hollow in the hillside. Just when we thought we should be more sensible and turn round we found Lake Cleland.
Being an area of lots of lakes just above the wetlands a lots of mosquitos lived here too!
All the lakes in this area are quite shallow and relatively warm, and it was great for my sore muscles to be able to swim.
We had a major thunder and lightning storm over night which was a bit worrying when camping in a wood, but worse was the torrential rain as we had to try to drive out the next day. All was well and the next day, for an opposing view of tourism we headed for Lake Louise. It was alright in the rain.
It was only when it cleared up and everyone came out again that it became unbearable.
We are now back in Calgary waiting to see if they will take off my cast and say my broken thumb is mended tomorrow. In this unlikely event we will try to set off again on the bikes from Fernie, mainly on roads to start with. If not we will make further plans with the car, and hope all the fires in Montana have now been put out.