Osoyoos, Penticton and the Okanagan Valley

Got more time to write now. Day 2 and onward!

After my first night at Cathedral Provincial Park, I got up, realized I couldn’t be bothered to cook breakfast on my BBQ (which had to be packed away into the car every night, bears would just think it was Christmas otherwise), and promptly drove into the next town, Keremeos, where I stopped at a Fruit Stand by the side of the road to grab some snacks.

As I was driving, I noticed the landscape was really starting to change, as I had been warned, into a drier semi-desert. As I got to Osoyoos, it really was starting to look that way… except that there were vineyards everywhere!

I chilled out in Osoyoos for a bit then went wine tasting. Wish I could remember where I took this, but this was the view:

Vineyard country!

Looking north, towards Oliver

Carried on around quite a few vineyards that day, including (but not limited to as I can’t remember every last one off the top of my head 4 days later when I write this); Oliver Twist, Quinta Ferreria, Hester Creek, Rustico (where I ordered a whole case on behalf of me and a friend). My car ended up looking a bit lush:

That will be fun to drink!

Anyway, time was getting on so I decided I needed to look for a place to sleep that night. I spotted a road that looked like it might lead to a campsite, so i decided that was as good a reason as any to drive up it. Turns out it was just a logging road, with a loose gravel/dust surface.

But the view was good.

Might be the photo that sums up the whole trip

Eventually I backtracked, I resorted to a private campsite just outside Okanagan Falls.

Day 3 and I head for Penticton… I’ve been look forward to this since my friend told me about her trip a few weeks ago. To get there though, I decided to drive a back route to see what was out there, eventually ending up at White Lake, and I spotted something in the distance…

What are those in the distance? Look like satellite dishes.

Turns out I had stumbled across the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory. Decided to walk in, but there were rather off-putting signs around.


Essentially, 7 radio telescopes are in an exact East-West row. 3 of them are mounted on rails to allow them to be moved (the more distant ones in this photo). It allows for great radio imaging.

A quick wonder round later, I had not been bitten by a rattlesnake, so drove on Penticton. I was kind of lost for things to do if I’m honest, was a cloudy day, so after lunch and writing that first blog post, I headed for a drive up in the hills. One more wine stop later, I had a look at the front of the car and saw just how many bugs it was picking up!

How am I supposed to get all them off?

I didn’t take any photos of this next bit. I got it into my head that Apex Mountain had an RV Park or Campground, so I drove the 31km up there through nice windy roads (great drive). When I got there I was very much mistaken, and it was getting dark. So, instead of just turning back like I should have, I took off towards Nickel Plate Provincial Park. Pay attention to that page, I didn’t. Although camping is allowed, you need a 4×4 to get there, and that was certainly the case when I saw the access road. My AWD Impreza was not going to do it, I like the suspension (which is road going) more than I wanted a free camp site.

Defeated, I drove back to Penticton and another commercial campground.

Day 4 and I woke up with one thing on my mind, going for a float down the river. So after finding breakfast, I drove all over town finding a floaty:

How else was I going to get it in the car!?

Then I realized the bus service I was going to use could have rented them to me if I had read the sign. Ah well, I had it now, so off I went for a relaxing float. If any of you do this, I tell you the route is longer than it looks, I think it was about 45 minutes of floating. Well worth it if you’re in the area!

After that I headed north, stopped for a swim at Kickininee Provincial Park. Even broke out the snorkel and mask to see what was down there (kelp forest and quite a lot of small fish, possibly a kind of wrasse). Was great!

Great view of Okanagan Lake

Anyway, I then checked out Summerland for a little while, but decided to head into Kelowna. Where, after some deliberating, I decided to check in to the Samesun that night and meet some folks. Tuesday is a bit of quiet night though, so didn’t meet as many people as I thought. However, I got a 4 bed room to myself, so all good there!

And now, I’m off to explore Kelowna!

Hope, Cathedral Provincial Park

First 4 days are done and I thought I would take the time to write on this travelblog of mine that I now see I’ve been doing for almost 6 ½ years!

Seems I’m only going to have enough time to write day 1 before my parking runs out. Will do the other days later…

The car packed, I stopped to get some bear spray from MEC… might need that if I’m going to camp out in the wilderness. In the car, off on Highway 1. Clearing the city and Abbotsford, I decided to make the first stop in Hope.

Seems there was a Harley Davidson Festival on...

So after a quick lunch, I headed to get some petrol…. this should be no problem… I counted seven stations on the way in. Oh no no… every last one of them was full! I would either be waiting for 4 cars to fill (and everyone took their sweet time once they got to the pump). I eventually found a free one. Then I loaded up on BBQ grub for that evening’s camping.

I did get reminded that the Hope Slide, the largest landslide ever recorded in Canada, occurred near here… so I went to go see it.

This was huge! Look at Wikipedia!

Bit more driving later and I saw a sign for Cathedral Provincial Park. Literally just saw a sign and pulled off the road and headed there. That’s the extent of planning I’ve done.

On the way in... I think the road had turned to graded dirt at this point...

Camping on the first night in Lakeview Head Campground! I intend to eat like a king!!!

And I had ideas I wouldn't bother with the fly on my tent... decided against this eventually...

I had the whole campground to myself, although there was another van there… but I never once saw the occupants…

Great way to start off!

Ok, I’ll write the rest later, I think my parking is going to run out.

Wow this still take a long time to write…

Here was the route I did on day one:

BC Road Trip Time!

Changing jobs! That’s as good a reason as any to go on a trip!! I only had 2 weeks to plan… had a look at flights, right at the heart of the school holidays and decided they were a no go… besides, I’ve done one of the main diving destinations (Roatan last year) that a lot of the travelling sorts go to and my friend Gabby kept avoiding the question when I pressed her for where to go next 😛

Then I realized I haven’t seen much of the Interior of BC yet… and I bought an Impreza last year… ROAD TRIP!

2 weeks of virtually no planning later, I’m on the road!

Loading up the Road Warrior! Cooler, Propane Barby, Tent, Sleeping bags (two, depending on how hot it is)... I intend to live like a king!!!

It was kind of a bad time to have the Panasonic Lumix TS3 in for repair, worse still, my old Casio Exelim 1080 has seen much better days (lens doesnt focus well, can’t zoom anymore, doesnt always bring the lens back into the camera body when turning off, doesn’t always turn on for that matter). Looks like the Nexus One will be stepping up to being a full blown camera for a bit.

Good news is, I’m going White Water Rafting in Lytton on 27th, so my friend Hannah can bring my replacement camera when it’s delivered! Thanks Hannah!

Things I want to do include vineyards and lots of them, car camping (aka LUXURY CAMPING), generally touring round. As I say, there isn’t much of a plan going on here!

So, I’m off. I’m cheating and writing this post in Osoyoos, one day after I departed, I’ll write the story of the first few days soon! Now some Skype calls home!