Archive for the Camping Category

Banff, Jasper etc.

Posted in Abandoned buildings, Alberta, Athabasca Glacier, Banff, Calgary, Camping, Canmore, Caving, Drumheller, Edmonton, Forest fires, Jasper, Lake Louise, Lloydminster, Pocahontas, Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Travel, Vacation, Vegreville with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2015 by Amanda

Last Saturday I picked up my sister from the Saskatoon airport and then we headed to Alberta. We stopped briefly in Drumheller and then spent a night in Calgary.

On Sunday we drove to Canmore (which I thought was a very nice town) and went caving. It was definitely different than other caves I’ve been in. Overall, I enjoyed the experience though I would have appreciated elbow pads in addition to knee pads and I truly thought I might never get out of the cave as it was very slippery and difficult to get out of. I left with quite a few bruises. I really liked the rappelling and it was nice to be in a cave that isn’t visited by that many people.

Entrance to the cave.

Entrance to the cave.

Later in the afternoon we headed to Banff. The campground was nice and quiet and had lots of elk. I especially enjoyed watching them lick water off of tents. We walked around the town and did a little bit of hiking.

Elk licking a tent.

Elk licking a tent.

We then headed to Lake Louise was completely insane. Parking was very frustrating. Eventually we ended up parking about a kilometre away in a parking lot for some trail. It would have been much quicker to do that in the first place. We took a trail to a lookout which was surprisingly quiet. I doubt more than one in a hundred people there took this trail but it had such an amazing view and the 1.8 kilometres walk which was pretty much all uphill was very much worth it and of course, the walk down took no time at all!

Lake  Louise from the viewpoint.

Lake Louise from the viewpoint.

We spent a night at a campground near the Athabasca Glacier. It only had pit toilets but I can’t really complain as it cost only $15.70. We got there around 3 o’clock and there were very few sites left so it was good that we didn’t arrive later. You can’t make reservations and it uses a self-registration system.

The next morning we took a tour and walked on the glacier for close to three hours. It was an interesting experience. It was astonishing to see how much of the glacier has melted since 1982 (there is a sign of where it was then). I think it would be interesting (and depressing) to visit in a decade or two to see how much change has occurred.

The Athabasca Glacier.

The Athabasca Glacier.

We stopped at a couple of waterfalls on the way to Jasper. I liked the town of Jasper better than Banff but was the campground was not good. There was so much traffic and noise there and we really didn’t sleep well; being sick of camping by then didn’t help either. We saw a bear but didn’t manage to get a picture of it. We did a bunch of hiking in the area.

Jasper

Jasper

On the way out of the park, we stopped briefly at an old mine called Pocahontas. It had some old ruins and informational signs. It was very interesting and we were the only ones there!

Sort of entering a building you aren't supposed to enter in Pocahontas.

Sort of entering a building you aren’t supposed to enter in Pocahontas.

We stopped for a night in Edmonton and then travelled back to North Battleford (with a stop in Vegreville as my sister needed a picture of the sign as she used to have a job where she had to send things to there all the time). On the drive, it became increasingly hazy. I eventually realized that it was smoke as it got stronger. The smoke seemed strongest around Lloydminster. It was still smoky when we reached here yesterday. I know that there are like a billion forest fires but was surprised that the smoke spread this far.

I showed my sister a bit of Saskatoon this afternoon and then dropped her off at the airport. I am a bit tired and not really looking forward to going back to work tomorrow.

Camping in Oman

Posted in Camping, Eid, Hiking, Jebel Shams, Nizwa, Oman, Sohar, Tanuf, Travel, Vacation, Weather with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2010 by Amanda

For my Eid break, I went camping in Oman. This was my first visit to Oman even though it is quite close. I, of course, only saw a relatively small part of the country but what I saw I really liked so I’m sure I’ll be back again. This post will be relatively brief as I’m really not feeling like writing a lot but I want to write something before I forget.

I found that Oman is in many respects very different from the UAE. There is so much more history in Oman; there are lots of ruins and old buildings. There are plenty of nice places there but they aren’t insanely extravagant as they sometimes are here. Oman has many mountains and consequently has a lot of great places to hike. This trip was with a hiking group I belong to so we did a fair amount of hiking. In the rural parts of Oman there are many, many more goats than people! Most of the people in the areas I visited (which included Jebel Shams, Tanuf, Nizwa, Fanja, and Sohar) are actually Omani which is quite the opposite of most parts of the UAE and the Omani people were incredibly friendly and helpful. Oman appears to have few tourists and most of the few tourists seem to come from Abu Dhabi.

Jebel Shams


Tanuf ruins


A small village


Fanja


A mosque in Sohar

Two of the three nights were definitely somewhat hotter than ideal for camping (which, naturally, is expected at this time of year) but the other night actually almost felt cold as we were at relatively high altitude near Jebel Shams.

Camping at Wadi Wurayah

Posted in Camping, Fujairah, Hiking, Khor Fakkan, Wadi Warayah with tags , , , , on May 29, 2010 by Amanda

I went camping this weekend at a place called Wadi Wurayah in Fujairah. I was enjoyable but the conditions weren’t exactly optimal for sleeping (sloping, uneven rocky ground and hot, humid weather). I’m glad that finally got to the UAE’s east coast. It also was exciting to finally hike in this country!

The climb down into the wadi was a bit scary as it was pretty steep and a lot of small rocks were falling down. The waterfall there would have looked so much better if people hadn’t put so much graffiti on it.

What I walked down!


Graffiti-covered waterfall

The bonus of not getting much sleep is that we were able to get going quite early in the morning and really explore the area. We hiked for a while into an area that is much less visited. So, there was less garbage and less graffiti though some was still present.

Near the end it was quite tricky to continue but I’m glad I perserved because our end destination was very nice!

Difficult part of the hike


Me at the final destination

We had lunch in Khor Fakkan which is part of the emirate of Sharjah but is surrounded by Fujairah. It was quite nice there.

Khor Fakkan

It seemed to take so much longer to get back to Abu Dhabi than it took to get there but I think that was just because I took very few breaks on the way back and I was pretty tired.

Camping in the desert

Posted in abu dhabi, Camels, Camping, Desert with tags , , , on February 20, 2010 by Amanda

Camels walking alongside the road

I went on a short camping trip in the desert this weekend. It wasn’t that far into the desert but it was still a worthwhile experience (and I got to see a bunch of camels walking along the road on the way there!)

Sunset


The campfire

Camping stuff here is so cheap (to the point that the prices in dirhams seem reasonable enough in dollars) though so things aren’t of the greatest quality. Plus you can pretty much camp wherever you feel like it which is certainly convenient.

If I go camping again, I think I’ll buy an air mattress. The sand under the tent actually felt harder than regular earth; I had been it expecting it to be much softer.