Saturday, May 31, 2008
So today I caught the train up to Whistler. It's basically a whole town built around a ski field. I got up at 6:30am and my host family very kindly gave me a lift to the train station in order to catch the train up to Whistler mountain. The train journey took roughly three and half hours through beautiful mountains, lakes and waterfalls. There was an open carriage where you could get cold and take pictures without glass which was great. However I seemed to react badly to some pollen in the air and before long my eyes went very red and I looked slightly possessed. Took an anti-histamine later which sorted that out. I am not sure what the folk on the train made of me when my eyes were at their worst!
Once I got to the Whistler resort the hotel I am staying in let me check in early which was great! But I then found out that my all terrain vehicle tour had been cancelled due to lack of interest! Thankfully they let me re-book for the following morning so I can still go. So in the afternoon I took the gondola up mount Blackcomb (mount Whistler was closed due to building work installing a new gondola from Whistler to Blackcomb). It was brilliant to be able to wander around a bit of the mountain in the snow and take a few pictures. I was quite surprised to find that people could still use the slopes but as you can see from the picture there is still quite a lot of snow around!
On the gondola back down I was surprised to see what looked like a dog wandering around the lower (now melted) ski slope. To my excitement it turned out to be a bear! It was some distance away but already (on day two no less!) I have seen a wild black bear! It did result in a slightly bizarre language moment with the guy running the gondola. When I got backed down he asked how I'd gotten on and I replied very excitedly that I'd a had a great time and even seen a bear. He grinned at my widely and said that I probably shouldn't say that so loudly and then asked if he could have some. He thought I had said I'd had a beer. I should have just said "no, I meant a BEAR", or just nodded and moved on, but for some reason that I still quite don't understand I said "no, a bear", growled and acted as if I had claws. The guy said he understood what I meant and that there were a few of them around. He then shook me hand which either meant that he was trying to show that he didn't think I was too strange or that I can do a particularly good impression of a black bear. I'm not sure which.