Tuesday 14 January 2014

Canada Part 5.....

Sorry to those who couldn't see anything I mistakenly published before I'd actually written anything!   Anyway here it is now. 

Day two of our Rocky Mountaineer trip dawned and the coaches were waiting to take us to the station.  However there were another eleven carriages to add to our train, which had arrived in Kamloops from Jasper, making it 26 carriages long.

Our stewards from the previous day were waiting to greet us as we boarded our carriage to take the same seats we had vacated the day before.    Before too long we were underway and breakfast was being served for those who had been on the second meal sitting in the restaurant the day before, whilst those of us on second sitting were served fresh juice, tea/coffee and Danish pastries to tide us over until it was our turn to have the full monty.

The train headed out past Kamloops Lake

 and followed the Thompson River on the next leg of our journey.

As the train came through a tunnel we were told the amusing story of the owner of the farm at the side of the railway tracks.   Apparently the sound of the train's whistle, as it emerged from the tunnel, was disturbing his sheep, so he used to come out and start firing his gun at the train.   As this was highly dangerous he was taken to court and told not to fire his gun at the train again and the train is not allowed to blow the whistle. He obeyed the court ruling but in protest he regularly appears naked apart from his boots to passing trains.   We didn't see him!

If we thought our train was long we were amazed to see the freight train on the opposite side of the river, just look at this video.

We saw some teepees.

We were coming up to The Cisco Bridges, a pair of railroad bridges where the Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway both follow the route of the Frazer River one on each side, and the routes exchange sides at this point. 

There was much excitement on the train as the drivers reported that something was about to happen that had never happened in the history of the Rocky Mountaineer and we should get our cameras ready. Another Rocky Mountaineer train was coming in the opposite direction to us and we were going to cross over at Cisco Crossing.    Luckily we managed to get a video of this momentous occasion, you will see us crossing on the top bridge as the other train crosses below.

Here's a shot of the other train on the other side of the river as we began the crossing,

 you can see the Gold Leaf carriages with the dome on top in the next photo,

 and here it is beneath us as we crossed over.

After all the excitement of 'the crossing' we settled back into our seats to watch for wildlife.   We saw lots of eagles and other birds but we all wanted to see another bear or some big horn sheep which were supposed to be prevalent in the area.   We had an agreement with our fellow passengers that whoever spotted wildlife would shout what it was and which side of the train it was on so we could all get a photo, suddenly I shouted "Chinook, on the left" which prompted cries of "where, where, what's a Chinook?"   LOL of course I was admonished when people realised I'd seen a Chinook helicopter, naughty of me I know but I just couldn't help it.

The next part of our journey took us over Hell's Gate an abrupt narrowing of the Fraser River where the towering rock walls of the Fraser River plunge toward each other forcing the waters through a passage only 35 metres (115 ft) wide.
 It is also the name of the rural locality at the same location.

 We shot some video of the raging waters going through Hell's Gate.

Oh I didn't mention the food did I? Just a little taster as I can't remember what we had and didn't take any other photos.It was just as scrumptious as Day 1.

The next shot is of Mount Baker (3,285m), a Glacial Volcano, which is actually across the border from Canada in the United States.   Mount Baker has the second-most thermally active crater in the Cascade Range after Mount Saint Helens, it is the youngest volcano in the Mount Baker volcanic field

Before we knew it we were on the outskirts of Vancouver.

We pulled into the station and our coaches were waiting to transfer us to the city and on to our hotel.

We went out to eat but weren't late in bed that night as we were shattered but spent some time looking at the photographs we had taken from the train on both days - lots, lots more than I've shared here.

We were looking forward to exploring Vancouver the following day, I hope you will join me for Canada Part 6 to share what we saw.

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Happy New Year...

May everything in the greeting above come to you in the coming year.

Most of all I wish you Happiness.