Friday, May 28, 2010

Parksville, Vancouver Island - British Columbia

During the winter, adventurous locals and tourists alike flock to BC's hills and valleys for skiing, snowboarding, and dog sledding, During the summer, escape to the great outdoors for rock-climbing or white-water rafting.

Looking for family-friendly fun in British Columbia? Water activities abound, including whale watching, kayaking, fishing, and scuba diving. Or stick on dry land at one of BC's renowned golf courses.

Sheltered on the east coast of Vancouver Island, Parksville lays claim to long stretches of sandy, white beaches, hot summer days, and incredible scenery. Each August, the city is host the annual Parksville Beach Festival. The weeklong event caters to families, but will be enjoyed by all. The highlight of the festival is the sandcastle building competition, which features professional teams from around the world. The public is invited to watch the teams create their amazing sand structures and vote on their favorite. Build a castle of your own, have your face painted, or simply stroll down the beach collecting sand dollars.

Explore the beauty of Englishman River Falls Park, only 12 km (7.5 mi.) west of Parksville. The park was named after a First Nation's legend that told of natives discovering the remains of a white man beside the river over 100 years ago. Hike the scenic trails that wind through the park, up stairs and across bridges over rushing streams. Pack a picnic and settle beside the magnificent waterfalls for a relaxing afternoon before you trek out of the park again.

Parksville sits 147 km (92 mi.) north of Victoria on Highway 19. Commercial bus routes service the area, while commercial airlines fly into Nanaimo, 37 km (23 mi.) south of Parksville. BC Ferries depart from Tsawwassen and Horseshoe ferry terminals in Vancouver, and dock in Nanaimo Avg. July Temp: 23.5ºC (74ºF)

Hotels recommended by Frontier Canada: Tigh-na-mara Resort and the new Beach Club.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wine in British Columbia - a hidden and excellent secret

Did you know that BC produces some excellent and award winning wines? Burrowing owl is just one, but one of the best. Situated in the very pretty Okanagan Valley, Frontier Canada can incorporate it in a fly-drive holiday for you.

The Winery at Burrowing Owl Vineyards - Osoyoos Lake - British Columbia

Balance is a time-honored goal in the making of premium wines and working toward balance is a way of life at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery. Founder Jim Wyse is committed to balance, well beyond that of the fine, world-class wines being produced. A kind of Hippocratic oath ("to do no harm") underlies the creative viticultural and enological practices at Burrowing Owl.

The varied and deceptively fragile desert ecosystems within the adjoining vineyards continually challenge the environmentally sensitive team at Burrowing Owl. Alternative pest control systems are the standard. More than 100 bluebird boxes and two bat nurseries invite insect-eating guests to stay awhile and dine in the vineyards. Ground nests of meadowlarks are protected by barriers in springtime to prevent farm machinery and vineyard workers from inadvertently destroying them. Snakes are safely relocated. Bears and big horned sheep are discouraged from sharing the harvest but never harmed.

The winery and vineyard lie within one of Canada 's most unique ecosystems which includes the northernmost tip of the Sonora Desert. The location (on a southwest-tilting, sandy plateau) near the north end of Osoyoos Lake, is one of the most highly rated grape-growing locations in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys, and for that matter Canada.

On weekends at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm, a tour guide is available to personally lead you into our cellars and describe the inner workings of the winery. There is no cost and reservations are not needed.

Live the legend that is Great Slave Lake - Northwest Territories

Great Slave Lake stretches to the northern horizon like a vast inland sea. It’s one of the biggest, deepest freshwater lakes on the planet, and the second largest lake within Canada. Great Slave stretches 456 kilometres from east to west, and feeds the 1800 km long Mackenzie River, which flows north to the arctic coast. With typical northern understatement, we call Great Slave “the Big Lake”.

Hay River is the largest community, a town, shipping port and home of the Great Slave fishing fleet. Take a local boat tour, or seek out the headwaters of the Mackenzie River in a sea kayak. Go camping or fishing with our experienced outfitters. With a population of 3253, the North's largest shipping hub has accommodations, restaurants, a seaport atmosphere and Great Slave Lake. Visit Katl'odeeche Reserve, home to the Dene Cultural Institute and Hay River Mission National Historic Site. Sports events and fishing derbies are yearly highlights, and don't miss the fiddling and jigging contest at the Metis Friendship Centre. Hay River is accessible via Highway 2; regular air service is available to and from Yellowknife. Then, drive east to the wildlife-rich Slave River Delta and Fort Resolution, once a fur trading outpost. Explore the story of the wood bison at a local ranch, or tour the Delta with an aboriginal guide. At Lutsel’ ke, accessible by air (from Yellowknife), the fishing really heats up. Here in the East Arm of Great Slave Lake you’ll find world class lake trout fishing, and the site of a future National Park.

A quiet stronghold of Chipewyan and Métis culture, Fort Resolution was established in 1786 as a fur-trade centre on the Slave River Delta. today it's a base for sport fishing adventures and explorations of Great Slave Lake. Drive here via Highway 6, or fly from Yellowknife. Accommodations include B&Bs and wilderness cabins at Little Buffalo River.

Lutsel K'e ("Place of small fish"), a Chipewyan settlement, is the only community on Great Slave Lake's legendary East Arm. You can engage an outfitter for memorable large trout fishing on the Big Lake, or to take you on a boat tour. There's a summer fishing lodge, and Lutsel K'e receives regular air service from Yellowknife.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sunshine Coast

While staying at the beautiful Rockwater Resort,

Talaysay Tours - Kayaking and Cultural Adventures - Sunshine Coast - BC

In the spirit of caring and sharing, you are invited to visit the calm waters and majestic forests of the Sunshine Coast. Learn about the ecological practices of the shishalh (Sechelt) First Nations while viewing the many species of marine life. Experience first hand the history, legends and stories of the shishalh people.

Discover the beauty of the Sunshine Coast by seagoing canoe. Your local Shishalh guide will take you on an exciting canoe adventure filled with stories and legends about the Shishalh First Nation who have lived in this area for over centuries. Discover traditional camp and village sites and learn about our ancestors' way of life. On this experience you will make your own craft – a friendship bracelet – and learn its meaning and story. Along the route you will have many opportunities to enjoy the stunning scenery and to observe the bountiful wildlife and marine life in the area. This is a smooth water adventure for all ages and abilities. * Lilly Dip is an expression for a leisure paddle. With humour intended, a paddler who is called a Lilly Dipper, is perceived as a casual paddler.

Or, you may want to take a leisurely walk and listen to the legends and whispers of the forest. Or, for the more energetic, take our day hike through the primal forest and magnificent landscape of the Tetrahedron. Our hiking guides are first-aid certified and they're bursting with traditional knowledge and stories to share with you

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Nova Scotia

Just spent an awesome day on the Cabot Trail of Nova Scotia - what a day.
Have been checking out some hotels - Crown Jewell resort which is a ranch, Keltic Lodge in Ingonish with some of the best views I have seen from any hotel anywhere in Canada, an hour hiking with stunning views, a two hour whale watching experience - still a bit early in the season but still saw Minke and porpoises. Back to the Inverary Hotel in Baddeck in time to eat a lobster and swallow a couple of glasses of excellent Nova Scotia Chardonnay.

Back to real work soon - oh well :(

Monday, May 17, 2010

Nova Scotia

No pictures I am afraid - but I am working my way around Nova Scotia.
Just had two amazing days at Trout Point Lodge. What a vision those two men had when they create the lodge. In the middle of nowhere - just south of Kejimkujik and north of Yarmouth; it is a beautiful log built building on the shores of a river. The food is amazing, the rooms lovely and the fishing supberb. If you are not a fisherman - don't panic, there is still walking, canoeing and kayaking if you can pull your self away from the comfortable chairs in the great room or your bedroom. mORE SOON, but if you cannot wait, go to and put Trout Point Lodge into the search
Lap top running of battery - must rush