Gloria's Travel Blog

here's to a year of travelling…

Archive for July 2010

Whistler Zipline

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The first step is the hardest. Take a breath. Wait, take another deep breath. Then leap!!! I’m talking about the Zipline at Whistler. Ziplining allows you to fly over spectacular views while safely attached to a harness. It appeals to the masses. One of my sisters is a daredevil, the other is afraid of heights, and my dad well he’s a bit of both and not a young as he used to be. Myself, I’ve done the Ziptrek before over Robson square in Vancouver during the 2010 Olympics and yes I know this was much higher and longer, but for some reason this seemed less frightening. If you are scared, just remember the minimum age requirement is 6.

I went on Ziptrek’s Eagle tour today for a great adventure. It has 5 ziplines ranging between 400 to 2200 feet. Whistler has the longest zipline in North America. The 4th zipline is 2200 feet; the size of 2 Eiffel towers lengthwise! The speed goes up to 80km/hour and you can feel it. There are even 4 treetop suspension bridges with spectacular views. The Zipline definitely gives the thrill of flying while your heart is pounding with adrenaline. Not only is the tour thrilling it is also educational. Ziptrek teach you about sustainability for the environment at each platform. Whistler’s goal is to minimize the environmental impact by having complete sustainability by 2020. I hope it work out.

It’s a close 2 hours drive from Vancouver, to Whistler Village just by the Carleton lodge. The full tour takes about 3 hours for $120. A bit expensive but a worthwhile experience and one that will not be easily forgotten. The Zipline has dramatic landscapes that really encompass the beauty of British Columbia. Beautiful mountains, forests, bodies of water and wildlife. If you haven’t already come to visit Vancouver; there’s so much to see & do.

I’m so happy that I was able to have the time off today to spend time with my family and go on an adventure. It was thrilling to glide down 5 different zipline’s. My favorite was the last run where we were able to go upside down and free fall more. It felt good to not hold on to anything what an experience. If you have the opportunity to come to Whistler come do this Zipline, I highly recommend it.

Written by gloriastarr

July 29, 2010 at 5:10 pm

White Water Rafting

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Looking for some adventure thrills? White Water Rafting is a challenging recreational activity which has become popular around the mid-1970s. There are several places to go close by, and it’s a worth while experience. I went about a month ago but apparently couldn’t get enough, so I went back today with my family & friends to get a stronger adventure thrill with the canyon.

As I mentioned in my previous post I wanted to go on the canyon; but due to some miscommunication end up on the classic. Although the classic is a lot of fun, the canyon has class 3 to 4+ rapids which are for the more adventurous. The higher the class the stronger the rapids and the more maneuvering the needs to be done. It was well worth coming back to Chilliwack River Rafting to come do the canyon. This time for our mini excursion we did some cliff jumping. I liked rafting at the canyon more then the classic as it was more of a challenge, but I still think my favorite is White Water Kayaking.

Written by gloriastarr

July 27, 2010 at 10:03 am

Adventures of windsurfing

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Are there any new adventure sports out there? Sometimes I wonder if there are not any more options for new sports to try. I’ve gone surfing, wakeboarding, parasailing, white water rafting & kayaking, hiking, ziplining, snowboarding and cliff jumping. I’m always looking for some new sports to try, when I came across the groupon for windsurfing with windsure.

Windsurfing combines elements of sailing and surfboarding. I’ve tried surfing before and enjoyed it and I’ve been in a sailboat at least but definitely need to go again in the recent future. When my friend told me about a windsurfing deal for $15 I figured that was a great opportunity. The group classes normally $52 for 2 hour introductory lessons. The lesson brings you through dry land simulations, teaching theory and giving plenty of time for on the water training.

I was nervous as it was my first time and the class was initially canceled due to too much wind for beginners. But there’s really only a few things to know. Stand in the middle of the board, knees bent, to keep your balance and grab the rope to make a T position. After you are straight enough, take your front hand and place it at the back of the sail in a chicken arm and then bring it 80 degrees and drop the remaining hand. It’s good to glide across the wind such as at the 3 or 9 position of a clock facing the wind. To turn around, let go of the sail, hold on the rope to the T position, bring the sail around the back of the boat and pivot until you are 180 degrees. It’s that simple and then you’re windsurfing!

I expected to fall down a lot of not be able to pick up the sail and just get exhausted. Yet it was awesome, lots of fun with simple instructions. I highly recommend it. If you know of any other interesting sports to try, let me know.

Camping in the Coquihalla

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This past weekend I went camping at Coquihalla Campsite in Hope. It’s beside the Coquihalla river, and a short drive to Kawkawa lake. It’s a good site with full facilities including coin-operated showers. I especially liked how there are double sites and the 11am quiet hour is not enforced. It costs about $20 for 4 people and a car per night. So quite inexpensive.

We got to the campsite a bit late but security managed to let us in & direct us to a spot close to the river. There were friendly people who helped lend some lanterns and we easily got our tents up for the night. As a few friends wanted to go to sleep, I went off with another friend to join another campfire and roast marshmallows with them.

There were about 7 couples in their 40’s-50’s who had been friends from highschool for over 20 years. It was a lot of fun hanging out and hearing all their hilarious stories of when they were young. Especially interesting as they were all wasted. One of the men there was a really funny German guy with a heavy accent. We were chatting still and he accidently he fell on either the wood chips or a stone. He knocked himself out and was grabbing his eye. We quickly got a lantern and we saw lots of blood around his eye and a big goosebump on his head. I had to put my first aid training into use quickly and we got a cloth to wipe off the blood. He lost consciences for a while and I called 911. We opened the campsite gate, which was happily unlocked, and allowed the ambulance in. It was 5 am by now, and I was wide awake from the adrenalin.
Happily the next day he came back from the hospital with a sore neck, bruises under his eye and a gash on his nose. What a crazy day, I’m glad that he was ok.

The next day after I woke up we went to visit the Othello Tunnels. They are a series of 5 tunnels built between 1911 & 1916. It’s part of the Kettle Valley Railway with dark tunnels, and scenic points in between. It’s an easy hike/ walk and something great to do for free.

We later went to Kawkawa lake, and went for a swim. It was warm, but kind of gross as we could see the oil in the water from all the boats. We enjoyed a nice picnic on the beach, and then we went to Silver lake for another swim. Wow was it cold! I felt like I was swimming in the glaciers. I went in and felt my legs going numb, but it actually felt invigorating in the end. I’m glad I went in.

We enjoyed our camping time, and made some delicious food. Made some smores by the campfire, sang some songs, and enjoyed the nature. BC’s a very beautiful place to live. Lots of great places to go nearby, but very different from city life.

The last day we went to Cultus Lake. The water was warm, and there were many people up for the day. It’s fun to just relax for the day and enjoy your surroundings. It was a great camping weekend, with not much sleep, but lots of adventures. Something fun, cheap, and easy to do to get away for a little while.

Deer Lake Park

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    Deer Lake Park is a small park in the city of Burnaby. It has leisurely trails and scenic views.  I’ve enjoyed coming here ever since I was little.  There are many activities nearby such as boat rentals or the playground with swings. There are many Canada Geese that can be fed… at your own risk 🙂  There is the  Shadbolt Center for the  Arts which has definitely expanding throughout the years and has great facilities and  class options.  The Burnaby Heritage Village  is a recreation of life in the 1920s.  Then the Heart House Restaurant has fancy diners and often venues outside for events, usually weddings.

I enjoy coming here every now and again to relax and think. The scenery is gorgeous and it’s easy to take many beautiful photo shots.  I got ahold of a older Canon EOS and came to Deer Lake this past week to test it out.  Enjoy

Written by gloriastarr

July 16, 2010 at 5:15 am

Posted in Outdoors

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Outdoor events in the lower mainland

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There are many fun places to go in Vancouver to enjoy the outdoors. I figured I’d write about 2 things I love to do… White Water Rafting and Hiking.

If someone wants to go White Water Rafting there’s a great place in Chilliwack. I went there 2 weeks ago at the Chilliwack River River Rafting and had a blast. It’s less then $100 per person to go and about 8 people can fit in a raft. The ride is about 14kms and 5 hours long. A bunch of us got together and went up rafting for the Saturday and found so many people ready for some adventures as well. Definetely worth it, and not too dangerous. I went on the classic ride, but I’d recommend the canyon more for the more adventurous.
This is my second time going to to this location where 2 years ago I went White Water Kayaking which was even better if you ask me. It was such a thrill, paddling on your own with more chances to fall out and nore private group runs. Lots of fun! Definetely an inexpensive way to have some fun just outside of the Vancouver area.

rafting adventures

rafting classic

There are also many hikes in Vancouver. I went to Deep Cove for a relaxing hike over the Canada Day weekend. The famous Baden Powell train runs by the Burrard Inlet in Deep Cove. It’s a very scenic hike through the forest with many streams & a beautiful view of the Indian Arms from the bluffs. Very worthwile, and not too strenuous. It takes about 1-2 hours to take in the views and enjoy yourself. I like this much better then the Grouse Grind which is basically just stairs and not changing sceneries. A very good workout, but not so much taking it easy. Check it the Deep Cove hike if you haven’t already

Hiking trail

trees

aged tree

nature trail

Deep Cove viewpoint

me

Written by gloriastarr

July 12, 2010 at 10:01 pm

California

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This past May I went to California with my sister Kristina & friend Jessica.  It was pretty last-minute, but well planned out to go to LA &  San Diego after 10+ years!  It was so quick & easy, we woke up early and made it to LAX by 10am. Rented a car, and drove down to San Diego. Checked out a random Mexican restaurant we read about online and then stopped at the outlets. Wow there’s so much shopping there and so much Mexican influence.  We could even see the border crossing. 

San Diego was beautiful we saw La Jolla, a fabulous beach with tons of birds & sea lions. It was gorgeous, so much natural beauty. A really great place to relax & enjoy and take mini hikes. We found a bar and had this weird guy start making fun of random people.  He called this guy douche bag pants. haha we were laughing so hard, expecting this guy to be beat up, but it was all good.  I haven’t heard that word in forever.  We also went to a Cinco de Mayo party in the old town of San Diego. We walked around and enjoyed the festivities, had some great nachos, tortillas, tacos and horchatas.  What a great Cinco de Mayo celebration!

We left San Diego and hit up the beaches of Cali.  We first stopped by Venice Beach where we sun bathed and enjoyed people watching. It’s known for its rollerbladers and body builders. definitely a beach with character. Then we went to Santa Monica, enjoyed some shopping, saw excellent street dancers and went up the famous ferris wheel for a beautiful view! Just gorgeous.  After we headed to Malibu & had some Starbucks and tasty fajitas.  It was a beautiful drive, with such great weather.

The following day we went to Six Flags.  There were barely any line as it was the beginning of the season and a Monday. We managed to get front row for almost every ride.  The Goliath was likely my favorite, but Deja Vu & X2 were close seconds.  In the end we went on 21 rides, definitely my record. We even went on this water tube ride, little did I realize it got you soaked from head to toe. I got it the most, good thing it was such a hot day to partially dry me off.  This past trip to Six Flags was my best  amusement park experience so far~ the way they should be with tons of ride, lots of sun, and no lines 🙂

In LA we went to the touristy area and saw the hollywood walk of fame and took lots of star pictures. We drove Hollywood boulevard, Sunset boulevard, Bel-Air, Melrose, UCLA, and more. We took some shots near the hollywood sign and enjoyed the atmosphere. It is a more lively city then San Diego with my posh stores and restaurants.

The California trip was so much fun.  It brought back good memories, and many new memories spent with friends and family.  I need to start planning my next California vacation

Written by gloriastarr

July 4, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Posted in Travel

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