6th July. Calgary to Jasper
Today has been another really long day…
We were woken at 4:30am by a phone call from the uk – I’d not turned my phone on silent. Doh…
Todays plan was to get the bus back to the airport & pickup a hire car. Then drive, via a Walmart for food to Jasper. Simples.
We said goodbye to the hostel at about 9:30 after another hearty breakfast. We caught the 300 bus to the airport.
We’d picked the cheapest car we could with a company called VIP. What could go wrong…
…well nothing really. After some admin mixup VIP had booked us with Hertz for the same price. Hertz were nice and allowed us to take the car early so we were on the road by 11:30.
The roads out of Calgary Airport were busy but we managed find Walmart. I was looking forward to this because of the Facebbok group “People of Walnart”. If that’s to be believed the place will be filled with very “Special” people. Check it out. Just search FB for #peopleofwalmart you’ll love it.
The drive to Jasper was a long one – 440km and 4.5 hours according to Google.
After a couple of boring hours the scenery started to improve with big mountains on the horizon. When we got on the Icefields Parkway the scenery was just stunning.
Now the speed limits on this road are low and between 50 and 110kph at random sections of the road. The locals just ignored any limits which lead to some sketchy overtaking.
We came round one right corner to see a groupe of cars on the opposite carriage way all stopped in a group by a turning. I had my eyes on them looking for any stupid overtakes that would put us in danger.
What I didn’t see was they were looking a a bear on my side of the road by bushes on the hard shoulder. So we passed within 12″ of the bear at 50mph !
On passing the group of cars we could see they’d stopped to look at the bear. Given Paddingtons size I think our Hyundi would have come of worst.
We laughed at the thought of these people admiring this beautiful animal only to see us run it over !
As we drove on, I said to Sarah she should get her good camera ready. She laughed and said they’d be no chance of seeing another. Five minutes later we passed another smaller bear coming out of the tree line at the side of the road ! Again no photos ☹️
The hostel we’d booked is basic but in a beautiful location.
Mixed dormitories, no showers and compost toilets.
Tired, we cooked pasta & went to bed after chatting with some of the other guests and Scott the hostel warden.
Luckly we were only sharing with a nice Spanish cycle tourist.