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Whistler – At Last

September 21, 2011

With our new starter on the way to Lillooet we decided that we needed to get away for the weekend and Whistler seemed the ideal destination as it is only 150 km away. It was great having a hire car to give us some freedom. Driving a normal car feels like driving sports car after months of the beast !

The road to Whistler is a slow one with several high passes and lots of twists and turns. Even in a hire car it was a 2.5hr drive. We did stop off at Nairn falls on the way for a 3k hike to the falls.

On reaching Whistler we parked up – no free parking here – and went to the visitor centre to pick up some maps and get our bearings – but most importantly to find out where our hotel is.

I want to give a big thank you to my former Colleagues at Orion who gave me some vouchers when I left. Well we used these to pay for a nice hotel in Whistler for the weekend – and seeing it was my birthday it was a really nice treat.

We checked into the Aava hotel which is only a couple of minutes walk from the centre of whistler village. After three months in a camper checking into a nice hotel feels like such a luxury and we fight over who gets to sit in a hot bath first ! The hotel was reasonably priced but like everywhere in Whistler you had to pay another CAD20 a night for parking !

Part of the luxury is an HD TV and a channel which is showing games from the Rugby World Cup. We sit down and watch three straight games. The icing in the cake being watching Wales v Samoa live – coupled with a takeaway pizza although we also watched Ireland beat Australia which was great to see. We’d also managed to pick up some free Molson microbrew after stumbling on a giveaway in the middle of the village – not a sample either they gave us 8 cans between us.  So beer, rugby on a big flatscreen and pizza –a pretty perfect night on.

The next day we didn’t get up very early – revelling in a soft big bed. However when we did we headed out to take part in Whistlers summer sport of Downhill mountain bike – more of which later. It was nice to come back from biking and sit in the hot tub back at the hotel !

In the evening we decided to celebrate and go out for a really nice meal – it was my birthday after all. We had made a reservation at a restaurant in the village called Araxi. This was a real treat – we had the four course set menu with a lovely bottle of Argentinian Malbec.  This restaurant is easily up there with some of the nicest I’ve been to in London.

The next day we wanted to get up in the Alpine for some hiking. We got up relatively early and headed out and up the Whistler Village lift to the top of the Whistler Mountain. From there we went across the Peak2Peak lift – they get terribly excited about it but it was just another Gondola that happens to go between two mountains – not so different to others like the one that links Les Arcs and La Plagne.  Anyway we got to Blackcomb mountain where there was a 10k long hiking trail that was right up in the Alpine and very pretty.

After a couple of weeks waiting around with mechanical troubles it was really good to have two days in a row of exercise – although I paid for the mountain biking with really stiff legs.

We headed back to Lillooet after the hiking hopeful that our new starter motor would arrive the next day – and FIT.


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