A great Rocky start!
14 May 2019
|What a terrific day I’ve had!!
Chaos reigned supreme this morning as 3 tour groups staying in our hotel, readied themselves to go on the Rocky Mountaineer. Our TD told us our bags didn’t need to be ready until we left the hotel at 7 (although the documentation said they needed to be ready for a 5.30 collection). Had my shower etc the previous night and bag was ready apart from toiletries and nightie.
We had just woken up and C was in the bathroom (this was 5.45) , when there was a tap on our door. I opened it a little and peaked out around the corner (in my nightie, hair akimbo and no glasses on) to find the 7 foot tall bolt cutter man, asking for my bag. It appears the TD had told us all the wrong thing. Bolt cutter man said he really needed them within 5 mins. Very good thing that we had been so organised the night before!
We soon recovered from this and were on the bus just after 7am - on our way to the Rocky Mountaineer!!
The light rain didn’t dampen our spirits at all as we were welcomed by a bank of RM greeters and ushered into the terminal. Before long we were farewelled by a bagpiper, toots of the train horn and cheers of, ‘All aboard’. C and I are in Gold Leaf and throughout the day have been treated like royalty - with unlimited drinks, snacks and a sumptuous breakfast and lunch.
Throughout the day, the rain stopped and the scenery changed dramatically. At first we were in a canyon, following the Fraser River. There were lots of trees and the river was very fast flowing. By the afternoon we were travelling alongside the Thompson River where there were far less trees and a more rugged outlook. It was still very attractive but in a different way to the start of the trip.
The rail tracks are owned by a number of private companies and are used by huge freight trains (hundreds of containers long) which have priority use of the lines. As a passenger train, the RM often has to give way by pulling over. We only had to do this twice during today’s journey so arrived at our overnight stop, Kamloops, at the relatively early time of 5.55 (at least earlier than the time we had expected to arrive).
Since then C and I have had a walk around the small town and down to the river where there were plenty of ducks and Canadian geese. Lots of people were doing the same as us, taking advantage of the still, mild evening.
Having eaten so much today, I am having a cup of soup as I finish this off - at 8.45.
Now to get my clothes ready for another wonderful day tomorrow.
I can only include a very small selection of the photos I took today but, believe me, there was some amazing scenery - even with the rain and low lying cloud in the morning.