With the red VW golf collected on Tuesday morning we hit the highway heading north (William on the Avis desk was absolutely gobsmacked that Craig had never had Salisbury steak) towards Tofino. Our only stop (apart from the road works) was at the Coombs Old Country Market for lunch where we had hoped to see the fabled goats on the roof! Sadly the goats were elsewhere today but we picked up some beautiful fresh fruit and vegetables to take to our Airbnb in Tofino along with some lunch.
As we entered our last morning in Jasper we decided to leave the Bear Paw alone for today and instead went for a diner breakfast at Smitty's as we had no plans to stop on the drive south. After a quick lap around the town to stretch our legs, we headed off. As Jasper and Alberta shrunk in the rear-view mirror we crossed the border into British Colombia (where the signs have no French at all!) and followed the twisting mountain trails down to Kamloops. A 5 hour journey was forecast by the Sat-Nav although, slow moving vehicles, a toilet stop and road works pushed the timer closer to 6 by the time we parked up at the Alpine Motel. If we are being honest, having visited on our honeymoon, neither of us thought we would ever be back in Kamloops however, it served a purpose as a half way stop and our dinner and drinks at On the Rocks absolutely hit the spot!
After a quick breakfast at the Whitebark Cafe (note to self Katy - you intend to recreate their breakfast cups when you are home, this will jog your memory when you are rereading this post) we landed in the supermarket in Banff to stock up on the essentials for our night ahead. Tonights accommodation had no running water, electricity, plumbing and was miles away from anything so preplanning was very important. We quickly grabbed some pasta & sauce, some muffins for breakfast the next day and of course, the very essential, marshmallows for the inevitable campfire.
Next stop was Emerald Lake, somewhere high on Craig's list of places he wanted to see, and despite the dull and rainy weather it was still as beautiful. It is a stunning emerald green colour and truly lives up to it's name. We hiked round the lake on sadly what was a truly appalling path however the views more than made up for it (rain spots in lake).
Following a long lie and a quick breakfast at our hotel we hopped back in the car, topped the tank up with more fuel and set off on our next leg of our journey. We didn't see much of Moncton but that had always been the plan as it used as somewhere to stop off between our tour of the Gaspé Peninsula and our tour of the Ceilidh & Cabot Trails.
This next part of our trip took us out of New Brunswick and into Nova Scotia and we could most definitely see the similarities between it and home, and not just because of some of the place names (and the reduction in French signs)!
It took us just over 4 hours to drive to Mabou with a quick stop off in New Glasgow at the lovely BaKED for some lunch. They used milk bottles as water jugs and jam jars as glasses so it was a very eco-friendly little spot, and the broccoli and potato soup was delicious! Although Craig did wonder that given the recent change of cannabis laws in Canada that potentially "BaKED" may have been a whole different type of cafe!