Why Leaving Whistler Sucks

The heading of this post is pretty depressive. But I am not going to sugar coat how I feel about leaving Whistler.

First of all, I think it is SO stupid how us Kiwis only get a one year visa, where as Australians get two years and can renew them, and even the Brits who only get one year can renew their visa as well! I have always been told that the New Zealand passport is one of the best passports to have visa wise, but I am not feeling it right now. One year doesn’t feel long enough to experience Canada! I would love to have the opportunity to work and live in another resort or city, but one year is only just long enough for Whistler alone.

Only a few more days of this being my view on my commute to work...

Only a few more days of this being my view on my commute to work…

Finding someone to fill my room when I am gone is also another massive pain in the backside. I thought it would be a lot easier than it is to find someone with all the new people coming to town for the winter- apparently not so much though. Also getting tired of people standing me up and messing me around when they are meant to come look at the place!

Then there is the HORRID chore of packing. Packing to go on vacation – I love it. Packing everything you have accumulated over the last year of your life into one suitcase and one backpack? I hate it. So much wardrobe culling! I never realized how much stuff I have actually purchased or have been given this past year.

At least I have my road trip next week to look forward to! As stressful as it is planning 7 or so people to co-ordinate themselves, at least it will be a fun time. As much as I hate the thought of leaving Canada, I am looking forward to being back with my friends, getting a place where I don’t have to share a room and being able to drive again. Then there is the long list of food I am dying to have back in my life – 1 year is too long without a good Steak and Cheese pie!

 

This view will be well missed...

This view will be well missed…

Hiking Joffre Lakes –

2nd Lake

Joffre Lakes was one of the hikes that had been on my bucket list for my Whistler Summer, however it meant I needed someone who had a car who was keen to do it also. In Whistler, if you are lucky to have friends with cars, you treat those friends like royalty (seriously, barely anyone has cars here). So when my flatmates who were leaving to go back home decided this will be their last hike I was so keen to jump on board!

I am not going to lie, the hike was HARD. For me at least. I thought I was reasonably fit after living in Whistler where it is such an active community, but my flatmates put me to shame with them bolting up the super steep trails. It’s an 11km round hike, and most of it is pretty steep. Having two glacier fed lakes at the end of the hike upwards are the perfect reward – although you may be hot and sweaty from the hike, the water is still FREEEEEEEZZZING. Actually.

I have never seen such turquoise green lakes – I felt like I was in some real life Garden of Eden. Even on a cloudy overcast day the sun still managed to make the lakes sparkle and make everything look so vivid.

You can camp at Joffre Lakes – up at the 3rd lake, there is a camping spot which is pretty popular. Although, there is probably no way on earth I could manage to carry camping gear up that mountain, I could barely carry myself!

This hike has made me even more excited to go on my road trip to the Rockies in two weeks! I know it is going to be just as beautiful, maybe even more so!

Some fast facts on hiking Joffre Lakes:

– The drive is about 1 hour north from Whistler, or 3.5 hours from Vancouver

– The hike, depending on how fast you go, is around 3-4 hours

–  The trail used to be really rough and hard to follow, however in 2013 they cleared a proper trail so it is a lot more accessible. Good walking shoes are still necessary though as it is still pretty rough in some areas.

– Do not be like me, and forget to bring your memory card for your camera. Thankfully I had my i-phone, although I wish I had taken some better photos on my camera! Be well prepared to want to perfectly capture the beauty of the lakes!

– No cell reception (at least you can send snapchats later!)

– Dog friendly!

 

 

Joffre Lakes 2nd Lake

Joffre Lakes

Waterfall on the way to the 3rd Lake

 

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Cute little bridge!

Squamish Valley Music Festival 2014

Never would I have ever thought that little old SQUAMISH would hold such a large music festival with an AMAZING line up. To put it into perspective, Squamish is a little town on the way from Vancouver to Whislter with a population of under 18,000. The only reason someone from Whistler would ever really go to Squamish is to do a Walmart stock up, or to do one of the adventure activities in the area.

When I had booked my trip to Canada, and then found out that while I was away Eminem was FINALLY for the first time coming to New Zealand. I was so guttered! So when I found out in the winter that he would be playing in Squamish at the festival I knew I had to go. On the day the tickets went on sale I was at work (naughty me) hitting refresh every few seconds so I was sure I got my hands on those tickets.

It wasn’t just Eminem I was excited to see though… I mean… Just look at this line up!

 

SVMF20140220

 

We were too cheap to pay for the festival camping, and I am so glad we didn’t! We found a nice wee spot next to the river about a 15 minute walk away from the festival grounds. If you camped at the festival campgrounds, it was about a 30 minute walk away and they had a shuttle running that had ridiculously long lines all the time.

There were a couple of clashes in the schedule which I was pretty upset about (why oh why did they put Foster the People and Bruno Mars on at the same time?) but I made it to pretty much everyone I wanted to see. I missed Chrvches though which I was a little guttered about but I am sure I will catch them one day!

One of the most amazing parts about the festival was the stunning scenery. It was a full moon that weekend and when the sun was setting, it lit up all the surrounding mountains beautifully. It felt like being in a dream, dancing away to live music on warm summer evenings.

Even though Eminem put on an awesome show (how could he not?!) I also LOVED The Arctic Monkeys. I never knew the lead singer was so beautiful to look at!

It has definitely made me desperate to buy more festival tickets, although that passion will have to go on hold for a while until I can afford to go overseas for another one! New Zealand has a couple a year, but none with line ups anywhere near as incredible! I need to find cheaper hobbies!

 

Squamish Fest

Squamish Fest

Squamish Fest

Squamish Fest

Squamish Fest

Squamish Fest

 

 

Summer Roadtrip! Sunshine Coast, BC

So my blog has been in desperate need of a little TLC lately! Although with only less than 6 weeks left in Canada, I have been cramming all my spare time trying to make the most of my last weeks.

Last weekend, I went on a mini road trip to Sunshine Coast- a 40 minute ferry ride from West Vancouver. We were meant to go camping for the weekend, but we stupidly didn’t realize it was BC Day on the Monday so all camp grounds were FULLY booked. Note to self- always research public holidays!

So with a 5:15am departure time, an amazing sunrise over the mountains, and a $40 penalty because we were late for the ferry (we can blame the mandatory Tim Horton’s coffee stop for that), we set sail from Horseshoe Bay to Langley, Sunshine Coast. The journey was so beautiful – so many islands, and a stunning clear day.

We drove straight to the top of Sunshine Coast to a town called Egmont and made our way back down the coast stopping in all secluded beach spots. Egmont itself is such a cute town- it felt like a vintage sailors village. Although parking in such a small village on a long weekend was a nightmare – so we pretty much drove around trying to get pictures out of the window. If I ever end up back there, I would definitely try to camp there!

We stopped a few times across the drive back down, however due to the time restraint we couldn’t make it to all the places we wanted to go. We did make it to Half Moon Bay, Sechelt and Gibsons and an other bunch of little bays which names I cannot remember though. I thought a lot of the bays reminded me of New Zealand (especially around the Golden Bay area) and my friend from the Central Coast in New South Wales, Australia also said it felt a lot like home to him as well. I was really excited when I saw a Fish and Chip shop in Gibsons (a little seaside town near the ferry terminal) however extremely disappointed when we went inside and they only really sold burgers and fries! No option for a scoop of chips and a piece of fish 😦 Instead we had lunch at a Grammas Marine Pub right on the waterfront. Ordered the Fish and Chips (of course) and it was amazing! Such a big serving as well – we split the one meal and were both stuffed!

So in true Emily form, we checked the time, realized we were running late for the ferry (again!) and ended up bolting back to the car and speeding back to the ferry terminal, so I didn’t get a chance to take any photos of the views from the restaurant. We got to the ferry right before the check in closed, and then it ended up being 30 minutes late! After sitting in the car in the direct sunlight for that long, I was more than happy to get back on the ferry and enjoy the fresh ocean air on the outside decks on the way back to the mainland.

As much as I wished I had spent longer there, I am SO happy we still made the most of our day and explored a little of the island! Money very well spent!

 

I wanted to take an artys roadtrip picture... Not going to lie though, this isn't even a map for Sunshine Coast!

I wanted to take an artsy road trip picture… Not going to lie though, this isn’t even a map for Sunshine Coast!

 

The sunrise on our way down the Sea to Sky Highway, between Whistler and Vancouver

The sunrise on our way down the Sea to Sky Highway, between Whistler and Vancouver

 

I want to say this is Half Moon Bay... but to bne honest I am not 100% sure anymore which one was which! Bad traveller, I know!

I want to say this is Half Moon Bay… but to be honest I am not 100% sure anymore which one was which! Bad traveler, I know!

 

Once again, I THINK this is Ruby Lake but not certain! Too many pretty bays!

Once again, I THINK this is Ruby Lake but not certain! Too many pretty bays!

 

The pier at Sechelt, one of the larger towns on Sunshine Coast

The pier at Sechelt, one of the larger towns on Sunshine Coast

 

The stunning ferry ride between Horseshoe Bay and Langley

The stunning ferry ride between Horseshoe Bay and Langley