Lucy My favourite things in Canada are totem poles, s'mores, tepees, learning about the First Nation people and bears. The people in Canada like maple leaves, it is in the middle of the flag and you can make maple syrup. First you take the sap and then make the syrup from it. We had bannock and we also made some. You have to cook it on a fire wrapped on a stick. Then you can have anything you want on it, I had honey on mine. It was very yummy. Bears are dangerous. We saw the bears when we were in the truck, so we were safe. Brown bears are called grizzlies. We didn't get to see cougars because they are too sneaky.
Get the Maple Syrup we have had 6 great weeks in Canada. The best bits were seeing bears and wolves. We saw 7 bears. When we saw the wolf Mummy and Daddy thought it was a dog because it was black not grey. I knew it was a wolf though because it had yellow eyes. I checked in my world explorers book and told them but they were not completely sure until they asked the ranger, they should have believed me.
I also enjoyed meeting lots of nice people and seeing Rade at his grandma,s house. Lucy talks with everyone and we are playing well together but she stops me from going to sleep by kicking the bottom of my bed.
Our original plan for many years was to drive from the Europe east and it was only when the Arab Spring happened that we changed our minds and decided to circumnavigate the globe from the other direction. I'm so glad that we did! Starting our journey in a country where we understand the language, that is easy to to travel and yet still has enough natural sites to blow your socks off has been a real blessing.
My personal highlights of Canada have been the National and Provincial Parks. Those around the Great Lakes offered enough perfect vistas that matched how Canada looked in my mind after watching all those BBC nature programmes. However it was the Rockies that I really fell in love with. I've always loved mountains but the perfect turquoise lakes milky with glacial flour, surrounded by tall majestic firs on peaks towering over you with just a glimpse of a glacier on top was just awe inspiring . Jasper and Banff were as stunning as we had been told but another gem was Waterton Lake National Park, which adjoins Glacier National Park in the US. As the road was washed out we had to take a detour and approach the mountains from the gently undulating prairies, real cowboy country with ranches everywhere. We saw more bears in the valley we were camping in than we ever expected, seven in total. This was a park we hadn't even been planning on staying in, we were just looking for somewhere nice to stop in on the way to the US border.
Settling in to our new way of life has been at times very challenging. We all love travelling and wouldn't change what we are doing for the world and I wouldn't want to be doing it with anyone else....that said, it has been a period "adjustment". In our old life in Prague Steve worked away usually 5days a week and the girls were at school everyday. We all had our own lives, friends and activities. Now we are together 24 hours a day and have to work together as a team. It hasn't always been easy but we are getting used to it and the highlights far, far outweigh the daily niggles that come from living with 3 other headstrong people all with their own agendas. So for those of you who had bets on how long we would keep on going, you might as well give up your money as lost, no one wants to go home.
After nearly 6 weeks and 8,650kms we have left Canada and entered the US. Canada has been a fantastic start to the trip. It has been pretty easy as the country is well set up for camping and has great National Parks. We have done more driving than planned but then Canada is a huge country. The scenery has been varied and spectacular with my favourites been Cape Breton NP, Lake Superior and the Rockies. The scenery in the Rockies has been something special and Waterton NP was really special at the end. We saw a lot of bears their including me "bumping" into one on foot on the way to the toilet.
The roads have been great and my confidence driving the truck has increased significantly. Whilst things will get tougher further down the trail we are now well prepared and have everything working. We have slept in the truck every night since we left Halifax (37 consecutive nights ) and none of us feel any need or wish to check into a hotel. We are managing in the space and generally getting on well. The kids can still be difficult to get off to sleep but overall have been fantastic. When we are out and they say they want to go home they mean going back to the truck. And when I joke that we could go back to England or Prague they tell me not to be silly. I am really impressed at how easily they have taken to life on the road and it has been great to do things as a family such as hiking, canoeing and fishing. We have done more together in the last 6 weeks than in the last ? years.
I am starting to relax but am probably still a bit impatient. We have 4 distinct personalities on the trip which need to fit together and fit into the rhythm of traveling, so we have our moments, but we are really glad we are doing something we have planned for years. And if anyone is asking, no I am not missing work!