We were now into the final days of the trip, and our group was now getting on like people who had know each other for years. Songs were being blasted out on the bus speakers, we even had a bus rave one night and banter was now the universal language of the bus.
The next 2 nights would be spent in Banff, which meant that we had a whole day of ‘free time’ where we could go off and do whatever we wanted to. Some went shopping, some went horse riding, and me and a few other went canoeing and mountain biking. The canoeing went relatively well, however it was the biking which was the biggest, yet the best, fail ever. We were a group of clueless tourists, who had been given bikes and helmets to be unleashed on the world famous trials of Banff. If we could find them. We said no to a map and thought we would be able to find some routes in the 3 hours we had. We quickly realised that all the best routes were much higher up the mountains than we initially thought, and unless you wanted to spend an hour cycling up hill to get to them, they were not all accessible. Instead, we stayed around the base of the mountains and ended up cycling on horse trails, BMX parks and the rivers edge. Occasionally stopping when someone fell off due to being unable to control their speed on a mad 3 second descent down a hill, thank god we didn’t find the ‘proper’ routes. None the less, I don’t think a group of people have ever laughed as much during a 3 hour period in the history of mountain biking.
When the evening came the group was reunited and we jumped onto a bus for a trip to the Banff Upper Hot Springs for an evening in the outdoor spa. A welcome change of pace from the previous days activities.
The next day we passed through the town of Revelstoke, where our tour guide said the best coffee shop in all of Canada could be found. Dose Coffee. He was not wrong, this was certainly one of the best cups of coffee I had on the whole trip. What made this even more memorable was that the person serving me in the coffee shop recognised me, and it turns out he went to the same school as me back at home. What a small world it really is.
Now into the final day of the trip, it was time to set up a lunch camp for one last time, play some more frisbee and say our final farewells. When we got back to Vancouver the group quickly dispersed as people had flights to catch. Me and my brother had one extra night booked in Vancouver so we could have one last explore of the city before the flight home. If you ever have the chance to visit the rocky mountains, I couldn’t recommend it more. If you can, get a tour guide for the duration as you will be able to go off the beaten track and experience the less ‘touristy areas’ without having to wonder if you are lost.
Until next time.
“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them” – Mark Twain