Baby Gorilla

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Can I take him home?

My favourite photo taken of the gorillas. A little toddler who was so entertaining, he rolled and wobbled around and then sat and ate some grass.

With a hat and some sunglasses I think I could have snuck him out.

Volcanoes National Park

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The biggest reason I wanted to go to East Africa, Gorillas. There are two choices to see Gorillas, Rwanda or Uganda. I chose Rwanda.

Heading out to Volcanoes National Park I was really excited, months of anticipation and soon I would be hiking to see the Gorillas. I was going to see them in person. When you get to the park you are briefed on how to act around the Gorillas, how close you can get and are then put into a group of eight to head out to see your chosen group.

You have input on the length of walk but not much on which group you will see. My group was for a medium length walk to go see the Ntambara group. Then you get assigned a porter to help you on the hike. The porter is well worth the ten American dollars. My porter pulled me up some steep, slippery inclines, helped me avoid the stinging nettles and also reminded me to look at the beautiful views. He also carried my backpack, he was awesome.

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The hike is part of the journey and take it all in, Volcanoes National Park is a stunningly beautiful place.

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Seeing the gorillas for the first time, I actually squealed. After hiking for just over an hour and a half there was a clearing and there they were. It is hard to believe how close you can get to them, you can hear them chewing the bamboo.

The guys who over saw the gorillas and kept us at a safe distance:

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My first view of the gorillas:

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Hansel and Gretel Candy Shop

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he last stop in Chemainus was the Hansel and Gretel Candy Shop which reminded me of the candy store in Banff, AB that we always stopped at when we did a trip to the mountains as a family in my younger years. Actually I still always stop at the candy store if I go to Banff.

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Hansel and Gretal has a huge selection of alls sorts of candy, whatever you’re looking for they probably have it.

The ones that made me laugh and I had to get some were the Bonbons!

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They come in an adorable little box and I’ve always believed I should be a lady of leisure, eating bonbons in bed. Now tomorrow morning I will be. They come in many flavours, I really liked the blue raspberry and the cherry. The toffee and chocolate were good as well, actually all the flavours were really good!

Also got some gum balls in wild cherry and root beer flavours. I love anything root beer and the gum balls were very fresh and soft. It’s always disappointing to get old gum balls that are hard and very hard on the teeth. These were not like that at all and the flavour lasted for quite awhile.

After the candy shop we got a screemer from the ice cream store out back, they layer slushy with soft ice-cream. Very tasty!

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Charming Chemainus

The next stop was Chemainus, a charming town know for it’s murals:

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It seems that every shop has a mural in Chemainus, including the Post Office:

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Then we stopped at the beach:

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Love this guy:

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It was a beautiful sunny day. Watching the families play and looking out at the bay it was a nice stop to sit and just soak up the sun. Also to have a lovely conversation with my friend who had moved to the area a few years before. It was a similar story to mine and he loved the change in lifestyle, the pace, the weather, the diversity of things to do in the area. He was a wonderful guide for the day, filling me in on things to do, some history and interesting tid bits about the area.

Thank you Rob!

It’s also a reminder that if you are going somewhere, to visit or to live and you know somebody there contact them! There was a time when I wouldn’t have felt that I knew Rob well enough to bother him but if travel has taught me anything it is if you know somebody reach out and say hello. Nine times out of ten they will be happy to see you and show you around, people are generally pretty awesome and if you don’t know them well it’s an opportunity to get to know them better!

Also in Chemainus there was a car show with some pretty awesome vintage cars:

 

 

 

 

 

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And Skulls! (I thought they were very cool…..)

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Next stop was The Old Town Bakery!

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The Old Town Bakery in Ladysmith, B.C. has so many good things that it was hard to decide what to get.

The cinnamon buns were a must, I chose a chocolate pecan one and a basic cinnamon with slivered almonds both exceeded my expectations and were so good!

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I also chose a strawberry tart that had my name all over it:

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I rounded out my order with peanut butter cookies, some buns and a mental image of the treats I was leaving behind. They have peanut butter cup cookies! A large peanut butter cookie with a whole Reese’s Peanut Buttercup in the centre, next time I’m definitely getting one!

My first visit to The Old Town Bakery will not be my last!

More From Jökulsárlón Boat

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More photo’s from the Jökulsárlón Boat cruise.

As we made our way back to the dock the sun was setting and it was so beautiful.

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Sea Lions! Or maybe just rocks…….

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While on the boat we were about to turn around and head back when Kat, my wonderful, wonderful roommate, said “Sea Lions!”

Nathan our guide said he didn’t think so but Kat was adamant. I must say that Kat has extraordinary sight and sees things others miss often. Which is awesome. I couldn’t see them but if you’ve travelled with me you know if you point something out to me it suddenly becomes invisible. What, where? I don’t see it?

Nathan got the boat captain to turn the boat to go see the sea lions. As we got closer we could see something. Was it? Could it be? It was possible we had seen one go under the bridge as we drove into the Jökulsárlón parking lot. How cool to see two chilling on an iceberg!

Then we realized, not sea lions. Rocks. Two big black rocks chilling on an iceberg.

For the rest of the tour I would often point at a big black rock and yell “Sea Lion!”

Kat would then hit me and tell me to shut up…. but giggle a little as well. It was funny and Nathan and the boat captain were wonderful for even trying to get us close to the sea lions.

Nathan Our Wonderful Host Jökulsárlón Boat

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On the boat we had Nathan as our guide. He spoke about the icebergs, whey they are blue. Something to do with the the way the light refracts through the ice.

Also how pure the ice is and how clear, he explained all this while hugging a huge block of ice. He was very passionate about the ice. He also explained the about the wildlife in the area, including sea lions!

Then he offered everybody a small chunk of pure ice. It was just like a chunk of ice but I couldn’t refuse from such a handsome enthusiastic guide.

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