Jun 5, 2008

Day 6 - Jasper to Toronto (Part 1)

Because today was our last day in Jasper, we decided to wake up early and join a wildlife tour with Walks & Talks Jasper.

Paula, our guide, used to work for Parks Canada and gave us some interesting insights into wildlife in Jasper and Alberta.

This morning, we saw tons of Elk, absolutely tons. Unfortunately, we did not see other big animals that we wanted to see such as Bear, Mountain Goat, etc. It was likely due to the rain we had over night. We, however, were lucky to find a local eagle (I cannot remember the name) that was resting on top of a tree for a moment. We were also lucky to see a baby Elk that was born within the last five days. According to Paula, you know a baby Elk was just born because they have white spots only for five days. It was very interesting to hear a lot about the local habitats from knowledgeable Paula who was also very friendly. And let's not forget we got luck as rain stopped before we started out tour, and managed to see some new stuff.

Paula and I had some good conversation about career and life as we experienced something very similar. Paula certainly seems to have had a blessing in disguise, and I just hope that I will experience something similar in the near future.

Once we checked out of our hotel, we did a bit of souvenir shopping in town. Surprise, surprise, we bumped into the British couple we took a coach back from Lake Louise to Jasper together last night. They told us that they were doing a Maligne Lake tour, including the boat ride to the Spirit Island. As much as we were delighted for them, I was gutted that we missed it by a few days.

We found out soon that our train to Toronto was going to delay for 30mins. This is I guess part and parcel of train trip outside of Japan and Germany. It is unthinkable in these two countries that it is "normal" to have delays for railways. Anyway, our train in the end departed Jasper with over 30mins delay.

As soon as we left Jasper, we heard an announcement that there is bear sighting. The crew who made the announcement said that we could see a bear "on the right hand side". In reality, the bear was hanging around on the left hand side of the train, which meant that we missed it completely. We were not sure what's left hand side the chap referred to. Shortly after that, it is incredible that we saw five bears. Yes, FIVE. There was no announcement this time, and we were not very well prepared, so we could not take photos. But the five bears made up for the complete lack of supply during our morning tour!

We decided to have a little bite for lunch as we had a big late breakfast at the hotel. During dinner on board, we shared a table with an American guy Rob, who decided to spend extra a few hundred dollars to take a train from Edmonton (where we stopped in the evening) to Winnipeg for business while his colleagues took a flight. Fair play to him. Instead of just seeing the sky, he wanted to see "something", he says. He had a German background with quite an amount of time he spent in Eastern European countries, so we had some very interesting conversations.

Once we finished dinner with Rob, Teruko and I went back to our seat and had some very good conversations just between the two of us.

Two nights sleepover is on our way...

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