And Rhonda was her name, oh! We know that because Max asked her when she was serving us for dinner last night. Rhonda is the lady who gave us hope. After we left the Rockies for the drive from Lillooet to Whistler, the mountains disappearing in our rear view mirror, we thought we had lost the chance to see a bear.
“Oh no” She said. “You have a very good chance to see one on the drive to Whistler. Just keep your eyes open all the time”
So we set off, with a spring in our tyres, eyes peeled and camera ready.
Drive from Lillooet to Whistler
We leave Lillooet, which will forever be known to us as the basin town. It seems to nestle in a perfect basin, surrounded with mountains. Although on this particular morning, we were also surrounded with cloud, on top of the mountains at least.
We continued our drive from Lillooet to Whistler and as we approach Mount Currie, the clouds are starting to break, with blue sky peeking through. Pockets of the fluffy stuff still remained, nestling into the mountainside.
Evidence we were approaching the home of the 2010 Winter Olympic? Max’s morning smoothy made a reappearance, via his tummy. Brought on by the twisty roads. Proof, if we needed it, that we were once again in the mountains.
Finally, our Drive from Lillooet to Whistler was over, and it wasn’t long before we found ourselves in the village of Whistler. And we carried on driving, following our sat nav to our hotel, in the back of beyond.
Fortunately there was a free bus that could take us to the main village. We later found out from Paul, a gentleman we got talking to on the shuttle back, that the bus is actually paid for by the residents / home owners of Whistler.
So thank you all, for allowing us to travel car free, while our hired car sits nice and warm in the Coast hotels parking garage…at a cost of $25 dollars a night.
On the bus down we got talking to a couple with a little boy. She was Canadian but he was from little old Isle of Man. We tell them of our trip, of the amazing sights in the Rockies, our never ending desire to spot the wildlife, with a bear being top of the list.
At last…a Bear!!!
“Three years I have been here” he grumbles “Never seen a bear”. The small talk continues until we reach our bus stop in the village.
“Quickly, quickly, there’s a bear!!” We heard our new Canadian/Isle of Man friends cry.
And sure enough, there it was. A beautiful black bear, nestled in the bushes of the roundabout, presumably on the hunt for berries or another suitable snack.
Of course us taking photos soon caught the attention of others and before long, there was a gaggle of people snapping away. The bear started to look a little anxious, so as soon as I had half a dozen semi decent photos I backed away.
Unfortunately the whooping, cheering, hollering crowd of Japanese did nothing for the bears mood, and before long he was making his way back to the forest and up the mountainside.
We wandered through the village. A picturesque environment, with shops and restaurants designed and built in keeping with the forest surroundings.
Walking through, we were casually looking around, when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, a dog snatches Max’s cuddly ‘oof ‘oof from his hands.
As Suzanne dragged Max to safety, I helped wrestle him back from the clutches of the evil doggy.
After some gentle tugging, ‘oof ‘oof was back in Max’s arms, no harm done. Except now Max has a nervousness around dogs that he never had, so something we need to overcome.
So, we had done it. We had seen a bear in the wild, within the first week of our holiday.
We still had a week to go, who knows what sights we will see between now and then!
Until I write again….Richard, Suzanne and Max
Distance covered today – 211km
Total driven so far – 1,531km