The evil grin on our bus driver’s face as we pulled into the Go Kart track in the middle of nowhere warned most of the 20 odd backpackers away from getting behind the wheel of these lawnmower powered rocket ships.
Safety doesn’t seem to be a big concern in Canada, as you can see the helmets squeezed upon my head offered protection that can only be compared with that of an ice cream tub (and equal comfort). Instructions by the manager were that it was okay to attack other karts from the side but no hitting people in the tail… the grin from Tania our Bus driver widens.
While Tania’s tactics will never win a race they would be right at home on a demolition circuit. When ever she was passed she would pull over to the side of the track and wait for an appropriate time to jam her kart into the side of whoever rounded the corner first. I managed to escape most of these attempts with only a minor excursion off road (which is also fine according to the manager) until the last lap. When flagged to pull into the parking lot I panicked and hit the brakes leaving myself exposed to a T-Bone from our friendly tour guide, a nice sized bruise can be seen on my thigh where it hit the steering wheel.
The photo shows Dale (from Queensland), myself and then Tania. If you click to see the bigger photo you can see anger in her eyes!
Today we started our trip into the Rocky Mountains, with our first destination Shuswap Lake. Canada is a lot like Australia in the sense that one has to do a bit of driving to get anywhere, today we did 520 kilometres. Despite the length, there were plenty of stops and things to do along the way; the first was Bridal Veil Falls. To view the falls we had a short hike up into the lush forest and it really was beautiful. The falls themselves are 60 metres high and whilst I don’t see the resemblance to a bride’s veil it is not the only waterfall with this name. In fact ‘Bridal Veil Falls’ is a bit like the Aussie version of ‘Dead Man’s Creek’ – there is one in every town.
Next stop of the day was Hope – the location of filming for the first Rambo film and also home to the best chainsaw carvings in Canada. The streets are lined with tree trunks carved into various animals and scenes, my favourite the beavers and the Grizzly bear. For a tree trunk that has been hacked at by a chainsaw they are very intricate and detailed although I wouldn’t have one in my living room.
We stopped and had a short hike to Alexandra Bridge (named after Queen Victoria’s daughter) and then headed through the town of Lytton. Lytton, a very tiny town, is boasted as Canada’s hottest place. It was 37 degrees when we past through and the hottest temperature recorded there was 44 degrees. We didn’t mind the heat too much but one guy travelling with us from Switzerland was finding it a bit of a struggle. After leaving Lytton we stopped at a service station and Simon and I headed straight for the Slurpie machine. The Swiss traveller, do not know his name yet, was amazed at flavoured ice in a cup but after some encouragement he gave it a go. He was delighted with what is called
a Slushie here and I think they will become a regular.
After an afternoon of driving we arrived in Shuswap Lake in time for a swim, a shower and then a meal at the pub – the perfect end to a day of travelling. Our only complaint is the mozzies. Canada is experiencing one of their worst mozzie seasons in some time and whilst you might think that mozzies in Australia are bad they’ve got nothing on mozzies here. It’s 24hrs, none of this wait till dusk business and they are big. Luckily on advice from the Hummingbird we took some Aerogaurd and we were ok but some of our fellow travellers pulled up a bit worse for wear.