Re-Discover Wonder Giveaway
Tours of Exploration is offering some very exciting travel prizes! Presenting our Re-discover Wonder Contest. After a taking a long break from travel, you must be in an adventure dream-state by now! Travel – no matter near or far – offers a sense of discovery both of yourself and of your external environment.
Tours of Exploration wants to send you on your next discovery in our beautiful home-base: the province of British Columbia. We would love to send you to Mount Robson and Valemount on the eastern border of the province, or Victoria and Port Renfrew in one of the westernmost points. Read on for a small taste of both destinations, then recieve more information on how to enter our contest to win an exclusive giveaway to either of these exciting locations! Contest entry can be found here.
Re-living the Berg Lake Trail in Mt Robson Provincial Park
The Berg Lake Trail was a hiking trail for the books. This was an adventure I will talk about for years to come. While the first 11km of the trail is an easy 350m total elevation gain – “flat” by most standards, a 30+ pound bag on your back completely changes the game. About 7km in, you will reach a brilliant vista – Kinney Lake. This is the first of many viewpoints – a mesmerizing glacial colour that can be described as a milky azure blue, thanks to the lightweight silt that is suspended in the glacier water. Making your way up the mountain, you pass through the Valley of a Thousand Falls. This valley is appropriately named with waterfalls and water trickles cascading down the mountain, apparent on every cliff-face and rock formation, glistening in the sunlight.
We finally reached the Emperor Falls campsite by dinnertime. I’ve never before camped in such a spectacular campsite. Our tent bordered Robson River – literally a foot away from the milky blue rapids, and opened up to the full peak of Mount Robson in all its glory.
At this point of the hike, we were just exhausted - but we still needed to see Emperor Falls! We ate dinner (my vegan Backpacker’s Pantry Pad Thai– yummm!) and went back down the trail – about another 1km, where the falls raged endlessly. And magnificent it was – a towering wall of water, unlike anything I have ever seen in such proximity. The water strikes a cliff just under halfway down, which causes a wide, misty waterfall formation with a lot of spray. Being in front of these Falls was the highlight of my whole hiking trip.
Life in Victoria
Ah, Victoria. How can I describe this wondrous island-city in a short blog post?
I’ll begin with the food. Victoria has the second highest number of restaurants per capita in North America. With a seriously diverse food scene, you can find incredible seafood, elite Italian cuisine, carbon-neutral burger joints, filling Spanish tapas, and really anything your heart desires. Just some of my favourites are Il Terazzo, Red Fish Blue Fish, Island Poke, Big Wheel Burger, Tacofino... but there are too many good options to list.
The activities. You will be endlessly entertained by whale and other wildlife watching opportunities, sea kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, perusing the island’s numerous gardens, hiking, and beach-grazing. With our wonderfully temperate climate, the outdoor activities are endless. Not an outdoors-y type? You will find an abundance of Indigenous culture, early-settler history, and even supernatural stories to keep yourself entertained at one of the many cultural centres, museum, and interpretation sites.
The neighbourhoods. Check out Fisherman’s Wharf for an adorable floating neighbourhood, built over the waves. Treat yourself to fish and chips, and catch river otters frolicking by the docks. Cook Street Village offers a covered tree canopy with an oceanfront walk, a bustling food scene, and more dogs than you can count. Our Chinatown is Canada’s oldest, featuring Fan Tan Alley (Canada’s most narrow alleyway that still fits trendy storefronts and restaurants), picturesque lanterns, and an intriguing history of Chinese-Canadian settlers.
The accommodation. Nowhere better to stay than the Parkside Hotel and Spa. Boasting an impressive fleet of well-equipped suites, you will feel at home with your separate bedroom, balcony, and kitchen or kitchenette. The hotel offers a pool, hot tub, and gym, complimentary bike rentals, electric scooter rentals, a private movie-theatre, and even rooftop marshmallow roasting. All alongside having one of the most impressive lobbies in the city. If you’re looking for a cost-efficient option just steps from downtown Victoria, this should be your go-to.