Dragged ourselves out of bed at an ungodly hour yet again and made our way down to the hotel lobby.
Again, not well organised. People milling about everywhere. Loads of coaches. Finally managed to find the right coach and, after innumerable headcounts, the coach set off on the 10 minute journey to Vancouver Station.
Found our seats with no difficulty. Loads of legroom. Lovely day. Good start.
I should say that we have had breakfast at this point. Very good it was too. We were on the early shift down in the rather cosy dining room, which means the late shift tomorrow.
To start with, the scenery was OK without being arresting. However, that changed about three hours in.
Some amazing scenery. Pictures don’t do it justice. I took literally hundreds of them.
Lunch followed only about three hours after we finished a substantial breakfast. Again, it was remarkably good quality, bearing in mind the constraints that the chefs must work under. We are now both well and truly stuffed.
We then moved from the Fraser River to the Thompson River. If anything, this was even more spectacular.
I should stress that these pictures had to be taken hastily between gaps in the trees along the line. No time to compose anything fancy.
As we progressed, the terrain changed dramatically to semi-arid desert.
The last 25 miles were alongside Kamloops Lake.
We arrived at the town of Kamloops itself, which is our overnight stop. Kamloops stems from an indigenous word meaning “meeting of the waters”, and indeed this is where the North and South Thompson rivers flow together.
Kamloops is much bigger than I thought. Around 100,000 people and a major rail marshalling yard. I was expecting some remote outpost, I suppose.
Coaches were waiting to take us to our hotel – in our case, the Doubletree by Hilton. The journey took a good 15 minutes – the rail stop is some way out of town.
The very polished and professional staff on board the train had delivered to us our room keys for the hotel, so once we arrived there, all we had to do was to find the room, in which our luggage had already been deposited. Very efficient indeed.
As I write this, I’m experiencing “train legs”, a sensation not unlike the swaying of a ship in a gentle swell. No, nothing to do with the G&Ts served on the train… Our host, Jacques, warned us that this might happen. Very strange, as of course the train carriage moves, but it has been a pretty smooth ride so far.
The room in the Hilton is bog-standard, but perfectly adequate. However, it looks as though we have another early start tomorrow morning 🙁 in advance of our trip through the Rockies tomorrow before we arrive in Jasper at the end of the journey.
A great first day. Tomorrow promises to be even better. Hopefully you’ll join us to find out.