Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bear with me...

... but I got to tell you this before I tell you anything else! I f*cking saw a wild Brown Bear with my own eyes, when I was all by myself in the bushes. I had went for a 12 km hike by myself along Spray River, and met nothing but two mountain bikers, birds and dragon flies so far. As I strolled up the path, I was enjoying the quietness of the forest and I might have been daydreaming at little bit when I suddenly saw the bushes move about 20 metres away. At first I only thought it was a dear or something, but then a very furry head with pointy ears poked out of the bushes. My body instantly froze and my heart started thumping hard, as I realised I was looking at a fully grown-up Brown Bear. It was scary, but at the same time extremely fascinating! I couldn't get myself to back away slowly as the tourist brochures tells you to do, but nor did I want to get more than a few metres closer to the big beast. It didn't seem like the bear noticed my presence at all. In the ten minutes I stood and stared at it, it only looked in my direction once and either didn't see me or didn't care. He or she was probably to busy eating berries of the bushes. After ten minutes, I lost sight of the animal as it walked in the other direction, away from me, which left me standing all my myself in a forest halfway across the world thinking: "WOW". I did pull out my camera, but to be honest, I did not have the nerves (or the stupidity, some might say) to concentrate on taking photos. So sadly the photo's are pretty poopy. All you can see is a bit of fur or a set of ears. The single moment where I saw the whole animal only lasted for a few seconds, and sudden movements (such as pulling out your camera) probably isn't advisable when you're standing face-to-face with a bear :) Secretly, this is a dream come true! It was the one thing I was hoping to see, though it's a relatively rare sight - and I did!!! An experience quite different from watching bears in Copenhagen Zoo, I tell ya! :O) The rest of the hike was just as nice and peaceful as the first part, before encountering the bear, had been. Check the gallery for photos of good scenery and cute little chipmunks.

Hopping off in Banff has turned out to be a really good idea. I really needed some time all by myself, and I daresay a quiet 12 km walk through the woods, just you and nature, is indeed a very good method of obtaining inner peace... Even though you might get your pulse multiplied by three at the sight of a Brown Bear :-D

Back in my dormitory room at Banff Y Mountain Lodge, the Dutch from my room told me a female backpacker had gotten killed by a Grizzly (an aggressive cousin of the Brown Bear) the previous day :-| I'm glad the bear I met was a bit more friendly...

After a good organic breakfast at the Wild Flour Cafe next morning, plus a photo session with some friendly locals, I took the Gondola to the top of ??? Mountain for some breathtaking views of Banff and the surrounding mountains. Banff really is a gorgeous place - the town (despite all the construction) is a really cosy place to be, much nicer than it's rival ski resort, Whistler. Definitely worth visiting when you're on your way Calgary.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home