Sugar 'n' Spice – Weblog 2012

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As 2012 has drawn to its close I must apologise to those of you who have looked in vain for the meanderings of Sugar ‘n’ Spice.

After our return to England in 2011 we enjoyed playing ‘catch up’ with people & places, & were lucky that an Indian summer allowed us fine weather to enjoy our local favourite haunts.  The skipper was, on one occasion, heard to remark “we’ve been to lots of beautiful places, but this beats most of them”.  I think the sunshine had some bearing on his assessment, but we are very lucky with our local sailing area.

Then for 2012 itself Sugar ‘n’ Spice had a very relaxed year as we left her in her cosy marina berth while we took a plane (heresy?) to British Columbia on Canada’s west coast for most of May & June, hence no blog.

After 3 days in Vancouver we picked up a motorhome for the remaining 5 weeks of our visit. We then embarked on a large figure of 8 route, the most westerly point being the Pacific Rim Coast on Vancouver Island & the most easterly Banff, Jasper & the Rockies, almost 4000kms in total. The weather was wetter than I recalled from my visits 20yrs ago, but it did mean the waterfalls were magnificent & the rivers raged! We were lucky to see, & walk, the Icefield Parkway in brilliant conditions & to encounter Black bears on several occasions. They didn’t like being photographed so I seem to have a collection of ‘bear bums’ taken through the van window!

The campervan was a new experience for us, but with similar problems to the boat – some tanks required full & others empty, plus an extra ‘grey’ one! They also come with much more meaty engines than UK ones (essential for the hills!), but fuel is cheaper.

In all a very good way to see a vast land like BC which is well equipped with campsites in very beautiful & often remote locations.

Back home we tried to dodged the worst of the year’s summer weather with some local cruising (before & after Canada), became couch potatoes while we cheered on our Olympic athletes (weren’t they great), & managed some short trips in the better weather interludes to France, the Dutch Friesian Islands & the Medway.

Inspired by an epic trip into Desolation Sound while in Canada we have replaced the ‘sit-on top’ canoes we had in the Med with some better kayaks. We have had some lovely trips with them from the boat & on local rivers as it is a marvellous way to see wildlife & we’ve had some lovely kingfisher sightings.


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