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The drive to Horseshoe bay for breakfast was starting to feel like a daily commute! This was the fourth time we’d stopped here during our ten day trip, but this time we were getting a diner breakfast. This was something I’d been craving since setting off from Heathrow, filter coffee brought to your table and topped up every time you mug was half full, and big thick pancakes smothered in butter and maple syrup and crispy bacon. Another big tick off the holiday wishlist!

We were on our way to Whistler for the day and once again Tony was our generous host / driver / tour guide. As well as our awesome breakfast we made three other stops on the way to Whistler. These included two waterfalls: Shannon Falls and Brandywine Falls (pictured on the right). These were truly epic waterfalls and well worth the stops and short walks.

Our other stop before Whistler was a place called Eagle Run. To say I was excited about this stop would be a great understatement. Eagle Run is a place on the Squamish river where Bald Eagles habitually gather in their hundreds to feast on the casualties from the salmon run. Well the salmon were there (Pink Salmon, if I’m not mistaken) but the eagles must have hit the snooze button or taken a wrong turn because there wasn’t one in sight! To say I wasn’t disappointed with our bald eagle blank would be quite an untruth but we pressed on hoping for better things in Whistler.

Our hopes were mistaken. On arriving at the Whistler resort we discovered that ALL lifts to the mountains had closed until November on the Sunday just gone. Still, there isn’t much a coffee and a cake can’t make better and fortunately the cafes and bars at least were open. Spirits lifted, we made the best of it.

Brandywine Falls, Canada

Whistler hosted many of the events in the last Winter Olympics (2010). We visited the Whistler Sliding Centre where the 2010 Winter Games bob sleigh, luge and skeleton events were hosted. It was the first time I had seen anything like it and although there was nothing happening at the time, I could well imagine the atmosphere and buzz (largely thanks to the film Cool Runnings) on a competition day. Chatting to one of the caretakers there, we were informed that children from as young as eight learn and practice on the track!

After the track we went to nearby Lost Lake where we did a shortish nature trail. I say shortish, it was made significantly longer by me photographing a different species of mushroom every ten, twenty metres (don’t worry I’ve left most of them out of these photos!). As well as loads of different fungi we also saw goosander and chipmunks! By the time we’d finished a loop of the lake all disappointments and frustrations were a distant memory!

It was a gorgeous drive back, simply stunning. We stopped off at Eagle Run not expecting anything but there’s always the “what if” that sits in the back of your mind, so we stopped off “just in case”. Well, we did see one bald eagle, perched on a branch, out in the distance and so another, albeit a reluctant, tick went on the Canada checklist.

At the end of our journey Tony drove us up Cypress Mountain. He’d promised us a mountain and he delivered a mountain, one with a great view over Vancouver, it was a great end to the day.

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