A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Mick G

Canadian Rockies Bimble

Introduction

Perhaps I should begin with an explanation. If you have never heard of the term, I should explain Bimbling

The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as A Leisurely Journey
The Collins English Dictionary as To wander aimlessly, adding it was used in the military for soldiers who were wasting time and wandering with no purpose

Hence to me, a Bimbler is One who wanders with no purpose

That will be us then!

On this occasion wandering the Canadian Rockies. The only plan, is not to have one, other than some lines on a map

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I hope you enjoy the bimble with us

Posted by Mick G 16:48 Archived in Canada Tagged landscapes lakes people preparation motorcycle tourist_sites Comments (0)

Canadian Rockies Bimble

Flight to Vancouver

Four hours in Heathrow, waiting for the flight to Vancouver. There are a lot of people, all passing through to somewhere else. Killing time is an art form, helped by duty free, WH Smiths, Harrodsburg Sunglasses boutique, Dixons travel, all eager to relieve you of whatever currency you happen to be carrying. People watching passes the time. Solowey hat man, Walkers crisps laptop girl, headphone man, sleepy guy. Tick tick, tock, only its digital and counts the time to the gate. On your marks, get set, go, rush to the back of the queue ready with your boarding pass and a nine and a half hour flight.

By the way, there is a school somewhere in the world that all immigration officers attend. The only lesson consists of the constant playing of comedy shows and electric shocks being applied to any student who as much as smiles.
Once graduated they are free to return to their country and take up their stony faced positions, warmly welcoming sleep deprived visitors to their country with a well practiced grimace and a grunt.

Hope the jet lag wears off quickly.

Posted by Mick G 17:27 Archived in Canada Tagged mountains planes motorcycle air_travel Comments (0)

Canadian Rockies Bimble - The road to Hope

or the Path to Despair

Bike collected and the first day on the road...to Hope.

For film buffs and Rambo fans (not necessarily the same thing) you will have seen Hope, but it may have been pretending to be somewhere else. The first Rambo was filmed in and around Hope as well as K2 and White Fang 2, and many others. Adverts for extras regularly appear in the local paper.

We are staying at Bear`s Heritage House B&B owned by Jo-Hanna and Ray. Who tell us they didn`t appear as extra`s in any of the movies. Their home is old, so old it was moved moved from the path of the railway when it came to town and rebuilt. Now it has been beautifully restored by them.
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We visit the old Othello railway tunnels, now abandoned but standing as a memorial to incredible engineering skills. Cut through the mountains to follow the Coquihalla Canyon ...the building and surveying presented what many thought to be insurmountable difficulties... until the engineer Andrew McCulloch decided to prove them wrong, so that trains could run through impossible terrain for 48 years and Sylvester Stallone could film his river crossing in First Blood there, and subsequently become a big movie star. Although I`m not sure he necessarily intended the latter.
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Unfortunately , the town has seen better days and sadly even though hundreds of Rambo fans, from all over the world, come to pay homage, Rambo himself declined an invitation to attend the towns 25th anniversary celebration of the films release, causing despair amongst the towns folk, who had been hoping to generate some much needed publicity and income.

Posted by Mick G 20:29 Archived in Canada Tagged landscapes mountains bridges people trains motorcycle tourist_sites educational Comments (0)

Canadian Rockies Bimble - The Okanagan Valley

The Canadian wine region and random conversations

"I moved here In 1996 from Grimsby". Then, as the rain started to fall again. " This is really unusual, it only rains here ten days a year". We had already experienced two of those days and the Okanagan Valleys nickname of the Sunshine Valley was starting to seem misleading, to say the least. As so often happens, travelling on a motorbike prompts conversations with strangers. We were in Vernon at the northern end of the valley , having spent the last two days travelling the length of it from Osoyoos. Graham fron Grimsby had originally come across to talk about motorbikes, but instead talked old Doncaster Rovers stars. He did give us some tips on places to see though.
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Earlier, we had stayed in Penticton with a lady of an indeterminate age, but probably in her seventies,from Saskatchewan. Although she had run a B&B for 15years in Okanagan Valley we could tell she wanted to be back home. " They don`t know how to plough snow here. I never had to clear snow from my drive until I came here. Two years ago we had lots of snow. The ploughs pushed it right on my drive so I had to dig the guests cars out". The conversation went on, describing how it should have been ploughed. Getting a word in, we asked if there was somewhere we should visit before we left. " I don`t know, the garbage goes out more than I do" was the reply.

The valley itself has wall to wall vineyards and a European feel. I haven`t tasted the wine yet, but there`s still time.
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Posted by Mick G 21:24 Archived in Canada Tagged landscapes mountains lakes beaches people motorcycle tourist_sites Comments (0)

Canadian Rockies Bimble - Highways and Ferries

Highways 3 and 6

If you are a motorcyclist, or even if you are not, but appreciate good empty roads, then I can't recommend these enough. I don't think I've ever ridden anywhere and seen less cars, houses, towns or better road surfaces.
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We started on Highway 3 heading east from Hope. Within a mile, we began to think we were the only people on the road. Nothing, in either direction. The satnav said, next turn 75 miles. What it actually meant was the only turn was in 75 miles. In between the only sign of life was Manning Park a camping ground. It began to dawn that BC compared with Britain, seems empty.
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Here are some facts to try and put things in perspective. British Columbia alone, is four time the size of Britain. However, it`s population density is around 4.7 people per square kilometre, compared with Britains 249. No wonder it seems empty, it is!
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Still on the 3, hugging the USA border, until we turned north at Osoyoos, there were very few people or vehicles to be seen. At Vernon we turned onto Highway 6 and returned to quiet empty roads, winding through the comparative wilderness until we came to the Needles to Fauquier Ferry. This crosses the Lower Arrow Lake,which feeds into the mighty Columbia River. Later we made the longest internal ferry crossing from Kootenay Bay to Balfour while doing the Kootenay Loop- which I know sounds like a Country and Western dance - but it`s actually one of the top three motorcycle routes in Canada. A fact, we found out completely by accident, after we`d done it. It just goes to show that following squiggles on maps, sometimes works.
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All the inland ferries in BC are free of charge to users, kindly paid for by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure. Good on them I say,it makes a Yorkshireman very happy to get something for free, especially when it`s ferry crossings with such stunning views as these.
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Posted by Mick G 10:22 Archived in Canada Tagged landscapes mountains lakes people boats motorcycle Comments (0)

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