Saturday, 5 June 2010

Hike 2

3rd June

MP3 track of the day - Wires - Athlete

Weather: rained in the morning but brightened up after 10:00am

Earlier within the week I signed up for a 'free hike' around Pyramid Lake (named because of the mountain, that looks like a pyramid, over-looks the lake). Actually it wasn't a free hike, but a free drop off which was fine by me as Pyramid lake was too far to walk to.

Before I left for the hike I met a Brit (Rosie) who was cycling from Yellowknife to the southern tip of Argentina ... wow! She had been telling me that she has had a lot of problems so far but she seems to be enjoying herself and I reckon she can do it. However her daily budget was a maximum of £9.00 ($13.50) per day; she has brought a tent with her, and a bike but I was still really surprised about her budget and I felt it was too short. I mean, she was staying at HI Jasper which was $22.00 a night as it was too cold to camp. Also it would be a shame for her if she wanted to do something (like the sky tram as her budget wouldn't stretch to that) that she couldn't afford ... I would have preferred to work within the UK longer so that I could push my budget higher ... however each to their own and full credit for cycling so far ... very impressed.

Within the 'people carrier' car was an Australian oldish couple, a Canadian girl, another girl, a Swiss guy and I. Earlier within the day the Swiss guy (Erik I think his name was) asked if he could hike with me as we shared the same interest for photography. The person driving the car was a woman, who was working for Hosteling International for a year, from Leeds. She is loving Canada and wishes she could move here (oh and did you know that if you work for Hosteling International you get your accommodation free at any HI hostel in the world ... pretty good).

We arrived at our destination and there was a slight awkwardness within the group; no one really wanted to lead and push themselves forward and we just kind of wandered down to the island on Pyramid Lake. For this hike I did have a plan; it was to go around Pyramid Lake, Patrica Lake, Riley Lake, Upper Mina Lake and Cabin Lake; if none of the others wanted to go that far then that was fine I would just go off on my own.

After a short while the group did split with the two girls heading towards Jasper, where as the Aussie couple, Erik and I went towards Patricia Lake. After Patricia Lake the Aussie couple headed off towards Jasper and so there was just Erik and I to see the rest. These lakes were just as beautiful as the others I had seen yesterday.

It was weird walking with someone; on the one hand it was nice to talk to Erik and to find out that he has trained as a chef and is travelling for a couple of months before heading back to Switzerland to do mandatory military service, within the Swiss army, (which I thought was a little ironic as haven't the Swiss remained neutral in both world wars? Do they need a army let along mandatory service) for 5 months. Apparently he will have to do 5 months service this year and then 3 weeks every year after until he is 30.

Going back to the weird feeling of walking with someone; I had only known Erik for less than a day, and yet, going on a hike with someone like this, seemed perfectly normal in the hosteling world. Back home, most people are fearful of 'strangers' ... what do they want? What are they after? They look a little weird, I'm not talking to them etc etc. However within this 'hosteling world' it's perfectly normal to hike with someone you had only just met, from another part of the world, with a totally different up bringing ... it's very refreshing and restores your faith in that not all humanity is out to kill you.

We finished seeing all the lakes around 3:30pm and decided to head back to Jasper to pick up food supplies and then the shuttle service.

Back within the hostel I talked to this annoying British woman from London. I'm not sure why I found her so annoying but there was something about her; it seemed that everything was a competition and that she was trying to 'do' everything you can do in Jasper, and around the area, within 2 days. She had just come back from the Icefield Parkway tour, that I was doing tomorrow, and she said it was brilliant and that she only had 30 minutes at Lake Louise which was enough (I'm sorry but it isn't). I have been in Jasper for four days and, even though I had covered a lot (most lakes to the north-east and north-west of Jasper, sky tram etc) there was no way that I had covered it all ... I'm not sure you can cover all of a national park (I know that my local national park, the Derbyshire Peak District, there is still loads for me to see).

After this I had tea and then I played cards with the Aussie couple I had stared the walk with; the bloke was trying to teach me a card game called 'Yuoko' but I didn't understand and so we played Rummy.

Tomorrow I'm leaving Jasper (sob) and going on a tour down the Icefields parkway.

Toodle Pip!

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