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Showing posts from December, 2012

Up the creek with a paddle (part two)

On meeting the Edmonton team (where Paula’s family lives) the night before we depart, we have to redistribute our loads. A canoe is only allowed to carry 28kg weight during portage; combining all the luggage, we find out that’s not a lot if you include food and camping gear and we desperately re-pack and re-order our bags. The dinner that night is the largest I have seen in ages, everything we eat now does not have to be carried tomorrow. The Alessi coffee pot plus espresso beans (half a kilo) does not make the cut, due to weight restrictions. This is the time to really get alarmed....
Next morning, we drop off our canoes at the starting point, take in the instructions from the Park’s staff, weigh our loads (we pass) and are on our way. Oops, don’t forget the bear spray, Gavin says, every canoe has to have a canister of bear spray.....For the uninitiated, bear spry is basically tear-gas which you spray into a bear’s face, when it comes too close. Make sure you carry it all the times, w…

Up the creek with a paddle (part one)

 When Gavin, Christine’s brother, invited us almost two years ago to join him and their sister Paulaon the Bowron Lake Circuit for a 10 day canoeing adventure, we happily agreed to join without giving it too much thought; now, sitting outside the Bowron Lake Visitors Centre after an hour long presentation of what to expect the next week and a half , I am not so sure......

Stories of Brown Bears and Grizzlies on the loose, stranded canooers in freezing rapids (don’t lose your paddle!)and tipped boatsare plentiful during the introductory talk, maybe to scare us a little or to prevent ‘yahoo’ behaviour, but still.... If you are well prepared, nothing will happen, the kind Canadian Park Ranger tells us. Well prepared ? Dunno; let’s see.

At the time of the invitation, we were in the middle of our year in Tajikistan and battling outdated Russian business practices in a post-Soviet world(not to mention minus 30 Celsius temperatures and resident rats) so we confidently assumed that …