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Canada - Moraine Lake - Day 8

Another day, another early start. We are starting to think we might need a holiday from this holiday!

Today we knew was going to be the longest driving day of the trip.

On top of that we wanted to visit the Lake Louise area but had been reading that over the past few weeks unless you arrived by 8am then the car parks were likely to full. This was a problem for us as we were 4 hours drive away.

Now that we understand the area and driving we think we would have been better to begin the trip from Edmonton the rather than Calgary. We could then have visited Lake Louise on the journey from Banff. Hindsight though is a great thing and was not going to help us today.

We had decided that we would probably prefer to visit Moraine Lake rather than Lake Louise as it was supposedly to be ‘bluer’ and prettier but would make a final decision when we got there.

As a long drive and one quick comfort stop (at the Icefields where I told Karen I could hear the wailing of a lady still stuck on the Glacier) and a Desert Island Disks podcast we arrived at Lake Louise village to traffic chaos. To our disappointment they were not allowing anyone to take the Moraine Lake turning as its car park some distance away was full.

We decided to try the actual Lake Louise car park and make it to the car park but was shepherded out without actually being allowed to stop. We were not happy.

However as we passed the Moraine Lake turning again we noticed it was now open, so took that road. 7 miles later we joined a queue in the car park. The cars in front of us all got into position waiting for people to leave. We had no choice but to pull pass them and made our way back to the exit. As we were doing so, one of the traffic stewards waved us into a spot (that wasn’t a real one). We were so grateful and told him so. I think Karen thought I was going to get out and hug him.

The drive and hassle was so worth it. I would put the sight of the Moraine Lake as one of the best natural wonders I have ever seen. The setting and colours were stunning. This is the Lake that Microsoft used as the backdrop for Windows 7.

We walked the Rockpile trail first to get the view of the Lake from above. We took loads of pictures from every angle. I scrambled over some rocks to take some from different positions. After this we took the lengthy Lakeside walk and managed to get to the very opposite end where the water tumbled into the Lake. It was a beautiful walk in the dappled sunshine through the forest edge.

After a quick stop at the cafe we tried again to get to Lake Louise but if anything it was more chaotic than before. We instead parked at the village and had a quick look round. Seeing pictures in the Information Centre of both Lakes we are so pleased we managed to get to Moraine Lake of the two as there really was no comparison between them.

Of course after such a high, there is always a low. Todays was the Hotel booked for tonight at a place called Golden. It was called Ponderosa Motel. Yes, I should have known from the name. When I booked it, the reviews were OK. Since then there have been a number of worrying negative ones. Lets just say we wouldn’t be reversing that trend. Fortunately the room was clean if not great. However as we would be checking out 14 hours after checking in, we decided to put up with it.

It did have a decent restaurant almost in its car park, which meant we could walk and I could have a couple of glasses of wine to make up for the Hotel.

Another thing that disturbed me as I laid in bed was the worrying number of people I had come across in my short time Golden who only had one arm. Now it could be just a coincidence or was it something more sinister? Are we about to become the latest victim of a cult or are we in a horror film? We will find out in the morning.......

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