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Hiking & drinking

Banff, Canada

After my stunning journey down through the National Parks I arrived in Banff. Banff is larger than Jasper, as there are three Ski resorts very close by. The town only has a population of 8000, as it seems to serve the travellers & holiday makers that visit the area.

The hostel I was staying in was based on the North edge of the town, a 15min walk from downtown. The standard of the hostel was excellent - I even had a double bed! Yet again, the immediate area offered plenty of opportunities for some amazing piccies...

There were plenty of people at the hostel who were looking for work for the season, so I was in the minority as a traveller. I was also in the minority as an Englishman - as the place was overrun with Aussies & Kiwis! As I am sure you can all imagine, I held my own in the drinking stakes - I also won the lion's share of Pool & Darts (including my first ever 180...very proud of that!)

Throughout the week I went on various hiking routes in the immediate area, which offered up some stunning scenery & some opportunities for ice smashing with whatever materials nature had to offer! We even visited the Banff springs, which is basically an outdoor pool heated to about 40oC

Towards the end of the week eight of us took one of the guys' van back up North, into the park, to go to Lake Louise. Pictures say more than I ever could.

After a walk up the mountain next to the lake, & a tour of the 5 star Hotel located on its shore, we ventured further north to Lake Peyto. As we turned the corner to the viewing platforms, we all fell silent - every one of us breathless & spell bound by the view. Please feel free to let me know how jealous you all are ;-)

For scenery, the national parks in the Canadian Rockies cannot be rivaled. As mentioned in my previous entry, I cannot wait to visit the place in the summer - as the potential for Mountain Biking & Kayaking seems limitless. It was very tough to leave Banff, but Calgary & "Cool Runnings" aspirations are next on the agenda...

permalink written by  johnnoble on December 1, 2008 from Banff, Canada
from the travel blog: John's year off...
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