Having recently qualified as a Canadian Counsellor, I had earned my visit to the West Coast. My adventure began in Whistler–a ski resort just a two-hour drive from Vancouver. But not just skiing… have you heard of zip trekking? This involves gliding along a suspended steel cable, using a pulley and climbing harness, while suspended over a creek! The zip lines vary in height and length up to 1110 feet and you can reach speeds of up to 40mph. Totally exhilarating and great fun!

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Straight afterwards I was kitted out with a yellow coat, trousers and welly boots and was given instructions on how to drive an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) for a tour on Whistler Mountain. The ATV was great, and when we soon met three friendly bears, it was even more wonderful.

A short ferry ride away, Vancouver Island is renowned for its wildlife and outdoor activities. I discovered a family of bears scouring the rocky pools looking for a quick snack. I tried sea kayaking here, even though I had never done it before. At Victoria I went in search of Orca Whales and suddenly I was surrounded by over eighty! Gently blowing and diving into the deep water, oblivious to us and our clicking cameras.

Victoria’s sophistication was welcome after all that ‘outdoors’, and I would recommend afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel–very civilised! Another must is a visit to Butchart Gardens. You can easily while away a quiet afternoon, enjoying the stunning displays of colourful flower beds and plants in these world famous gardens.

My verdict on the West Coast? As in my title: A, A and A!

If you’d like to know more email me: charmaine@hallmarktravel.com 

Meet me in the Gallery!