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CANADA – Banff – Intrepid – 3rd September

Our journey from Jasper to Banff was pretty spectacular to say the least. We took the Icefields Parkway which has been voted time and time again by the National Geographic as one of the world’s best drives! Eric stopped a good few times along the route, our first stop being the Maligne Canyon, a unique river system which provided us with good light spectrums across the water. Moving on from there we continued along the Parkway and stopped for a few photos at Mushroom Peak and surrounding mountains swell as a pretty cool 2 van group shot!

Our next stop was the Athabasca Glacier where most of the group had been booked onto a glacier hike. We decided to save our pennies and took a walk to the base of the glacier noticing that most people were walking to a certain point so we walked up the glacier a good few hundred meters and took in the breathtaking views.

When we were back in the van we thought we’d made the right decision in not taking the tour as most people were annoyed with the tour guide as well as just wanting to get on the glacier and see it! When we left the area we spotted a few more bears and got a little aggrieved with stupid tourists getting out of their cars and getting as close as possible to them in order to get a snapshot. THIS IS NOT GOOD!!!

The journey overall was pretty long and we arrived in Banff just in time to grab some pizza from Ardvarks downtown before getting to the campsite to set up the tents. The evening ended in the Rose & Crown in Banff centre with beers, live music in the form of a hillbilly/folk and reggae act (we think they were called Drunk ‘n’ Dissorderly!). With a little influence from Shaggy we were all bopping on the dance floor, something much needed for us both!

On the 4th we had a day to ourselves, this started with a visit to the Visitor’s Information in town followed by a trip to another laundrette. We took it pretty easy and after some food, a walk around a very busy labour weekend fuelled town we went for a walk unto the Sally Borden Centre and had a refreshing swim. No tourists in sight (other than us) it was bliss! And they have some great photography exhibits there too. Helen ended the day with some yoga at the Rocky Mountain Yoga centre whilst the rest of the group shopped for more food.

The next morning we were up early ready for a drive over to Lake Louise via a coffee house in town. Along with Marian the 3 of us decided on a big hike for the day which accumulated in around 17km taking in tea houses, mountains, glaciers, woodland and meadows. This was a brilliant walk mixing in steep ascents with excellent views across the valley. Lake Louise is best viewed from above at one of the many vantage points, you’ll really see the true colour of the lake from above, most people tend to linger around the bottom and sit outside the not so French Chateaux. We really enjoyed the loop and got back to the van after a good 6 hours of hiking.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f/2.0, Leica 90mm f/2.8, Zeiss 18mm f/4 ZM processed in Lightroom 3)

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