A Day Of White Water Rafting!


Hi folks, how are you!?
I can’t believe that May has now almost passed and that we’re about to go into the second half of 2018 in just a few days. Time has flown by and it’s hard to grasp that we’ve been in Canada for 6 months already. Anyways – moving on!

This weekend we got to experience one of the most fun things so far on this trip; We went white water rafting on the Kicking Horse river and it was AMAZING!
As you might remember if you’ve read our blog, we recently did a Workaway just outside Golden with a family who were building an earthship. There we got to know Jair, the dad of the family who besides building on their future home also works as a river rafting guide. The season for river rafting has just started which meant there were some new rafting guides in training. Late Saturday night I got a call from Jair asking if we would be interested in going rafting the next day as they needed people to fill the boats for one of the new instructors and we would be able to get a full day of rafting for a fraction of the price – Hell yeah was our answer!
At 10am we showed up at the Glacier Raft Company just outside of Golden where we signed some waivers (Glacier Raft Company may or may not now own our souls – we didn’t really read the fine print), got fitted with wetsuits and got information of what the day would have in store. Approximately an hour later we got onto a bus who took us down to the Kicking Horse river and the start for our rafting experience. Once there, we were given a standard safety talk on what to do if you fell out of the boat and were then assigned our rafting guides for the day. We were also told that this was an ideal time of the year to go rafting as the river was very high from all the melted snow coming down from the mountains. Hell yeah!

Our guide’s name was Dave and he was new to the Glacier Rafting Company but had plenty of experience already as a rafting guide. We were also joined by another new rafting guide, Josh, tagging along in the boat for the day, as well as two English guys who also had been sent there by Jair. Once on the raft you’re not actually strapped into anything, but you sit on the edge of the boat and wedge your feet on the inside as to not fall out. There are also ropes to hold onto on both the outside and the inside of the raft, but other than that it’s left up to yourself to make sure you stay on.

The rafting day was divided in two halves with a lunch break in the middle. The first stretch of the river was fairly mellow and was spent focusing on learning the different commands we needed to know. White water rafting isn’t just floating along on the boat but you actually have to take action and participate in making sure the boat goes where you want it to go! Our little crew quickly nailed the different commands (“forward paddle, back paddle, hold on”) and I’d like to state that I think we were all naturals. Just my personal opinion.





It was a great way to start the day and get used to being on the river before we hit the bigger rapids in the afternoon. We also stopped by a waterfall along the river that we quickly hiked up to and got under! After an hour or so we stopped for lunch at a little picnic spot next to the river where staff had set up a big BBQ. I had a vegetarian burger and Matilda had grilled chicken and it was super tasty.
It soon got around to getting back onto the river and hit the real waves! We had it explained to us that rafting is usually graded on a scale between 1 and 5, where 1 is moving water and 5 is some real serious stuff that could also be very dangerous if done wrong. The first half of our day had been mostly class 2 with a few class 3’s, and for the afternoon we were about to enter a section of the river with mainly class 4 all the way. Bring it on!

And holy crap. It was so awesome. Matilda and I were both sitting on either side of the front of the boat, which meant we would automatically take the biggest hits of water once we hit the waves. Once we entered that part of the river it was hard to keep track of how long we actually spent there, as you were just focusing on one wave at a time. When you’re on the water as well, the waves look massive! Instead of trying to explain it to you take a look at the video and pictures below showing us getting completely drenched.





After a while we stopped at another small waterfall mainly to stretch our legs, before hitting the last section of the river. At the last stretch we all jumped out of the raft and just floated along beside it on the river which was also very awesome. I accidentally floated in front of the raft and it took me a while to get back to it, as the current was so strong.
A little bit after 3pm we had reached the end and hauled the rafts up onto the shore and all got back on the bus, hyped up after an incredible day on the water. The bus took us back to the base where beer was being passed around, to celebrate that everyone who went out that morning had made their way back. At least that was the excuse for the beer drinking and I’m just going to go with it.
So that was the story of both mine and Matilda’s first ever rafting experience! I can honestly say that it’s one of the funnest things I’ve ever done and I can’t wait for another opportunity to do it again. I’ve had it on my bucket list for quite some time so – tick! I would also like to add a MASSIVE thank you to Jair for setting us up and to the Glacier Raft Company for an incredible day on the river. If you are ever in the area and want this experience, they are an ideal company to go with and you won’t regret it.



Day Trip to Banff


Last week we decided to take a little day trip with our favourite German workawayers – Panini and Chippy (aka Annika and Lea). The plan was initially to go to Calgary so that I could pop into the Apple store and get my Macbook battery replaced. As it turns out, Apple doesn’t service this model anymore, so bye bye 3 hour drive to Apple and hello local computer techs who are happy to help!

Our new choice of destination was Banff as we’ve all wanted to go there since we arrived in Canada. The day started bright and early at 7:30 AM and we made a first stop at Lake Louise which is on the way. The lake is still frozen but it’s a beautiful place nonetheless.


We probably spent around an hour at the lake before continuing our journey. The first thing you see when you come off the exit to Banff is a massive sign and tourists taking pictures with it. Were we going to do things differently? Nope! Cue the tourist pics!


The Banff National Park is known for its amazing nature so we had already decided to dedicate the day to hiking. We chose a pretty easy hike that goes all the way up to the summit of Tunnel Mountain. It’s a relatively small mountain but with an amazing view! We did have a little trouble finding the start of the trail and ended up starting our hike a little higher up. I was absolutely fine with missing 500 metres of incline as I hadn’t been feeling well the day before. And it also meant we already had a pretty nice view from the get-go. The hike from start to finish takes a couple of hours and I’ll let the pictures do the talking!


While at the summit, we were greeted by this cute little chipmunk! It also earned Lea, who is a tiny person, the nickname ‘Chippy’.

Chippy with chipmunk


After our hike we checked out downtown Banff and we all agreed that it’s a strange place! While beautiful, Banff is very touristy, and Moa described it very well; “Banff is designed to be what tourists think Canada should look like”. Spot on! My impression of the city centre was that it felt like a Canada theme park. We looked through the local thrift store, and a few souvenir shops, before sitting down to eat some hard earned pizza. After dinner we made our way towards the Bow Falls trail. Trying to find our way there by car had us moving towards a location that on the map was called ‘Surprise Corner’. We though this must be something fantastic. Guess what? The surprise was that it’s just a corner! The road takes a turn! Whaaat! Anyways. We were now on the wrong side of the river so we ended up parking in a residential area and walked across a pedestrian bridge to the trail. It was a nice little walk to the falls and below them is a golf course where we met a herd of elk. Cue pics!


We spent over an hour down by the falls before finally heading back to the car. We got to drive back with the sun setting over the mountains in front of us which is always breathtaking. I highly recommend it! We didn’t arrive back in Golden until around 10:30 but it was a day well spent! I think we’re all looking to go back and see other parts of the Banff National Park as the lakes melt and nature really wakes up.

Until next time!


Workaway #3: Building An Earthship!


You may have noticed a lack of updates lately. This is because we’ve spent a significant amount of time off grid. For the past two weeks we were at our third Workaway experience where we helped a lovely family build an Earthship! This was also in Blaeberry – only a 12 minute drive from the buffalo ranch. What is an Earthship? Well, I could try to take you through it, but you’d probably be better off reading about it HERE!

This Workaway was different to our previous ones for a few different reasons:

  1. More work. Wintertime at our previous locations meant work was a little slow. Here, we worked 5 hours a day!
  2. Our hosts were a family. It was definitely a change of pace to stay with a family with kids.
  3. We were already well established in the area and therefore didn’t spend as much time “in the house” after work was done.

Our main task was to help build/insulate walls in the Earthship’s living area. We did this with cob which is a mixture of clay, water, sand and straw. It takes a day or so to really get the hang of working with cob, but once you do it’s like clockwork. We started out building walls. The ones facing the outside were decorated with bottles to allow more light in and for decoration:

Earthship bottle wall!
Moa built the lower half of this bottle wall and I the upper!


In our last few days, we began to cover the tyre walls. The Earthship’s outer walls are tyres packed with dirt which are then covered with different materials depending on their location. Inside they are covered with cob. This took a bit of finesse as they should be made as even as possible. After the cob, they will eventually be covered with some other materials before being completely finished.

Tyre wall in Earthship
The result of a day’s work covering tyres!


This type of work is very rewarding. It gets you focused and makes time pass really quickly. It gives you something to look at when the day is over and think “that’s what I made today”. And last but not least, it feels great to know that we’ve helped this wonderful family get one step closer to moving into their dream home.

Photo by Jair

The family we stayed with was Jair and Mel and their two kids, Nova and Asher. Jair’s dad Tom also lives on the property and helps out in the Earthship. Though we were out and about quite often we really enjoyed the times we got to sit down and have a meal with the whole family. There was a great atmosphere and every person we met there was genuine and kind.

The family home, up until the completion of the Earthship, is a yurt. A yurt is essentially a big round tent. The yurt is completely solar powered so while we could happily charge our phones, we had to refrain from charging larger devices such as laptops. The water comes from a nearby creek! The family had a great name for going on a water collection mission: AQUA FORCE! We got to go with Tom, Nova and Asher on an Aqua Force mission when the family had a big bonfire.


Left to right: Asher, me, Nova and Moa! Photographed by Tom.


Our last day was yesterday and the family sent us off on our way with a big waffle breakfast. It was absolutely delicious. With our tour having two dates confirmed in Golden, I’m sure we’ll see them again soon! And if not, we’ll want to come back to see how work on the Earthship progresses. We definitely recommend you guys to follow these guys on Facebook! Check out Simply Not Square HERE.

Sunset at “Inshallah”

A Rocky Mountain Tour!

Guys! Starting tomorrow, we are going on tour and visiting a few places in and around the Canadian Rockies. This has all been put together by the super talented Eric Larocque, a local musician that we met on our first jam night at the Wolf’s Den. We will be playing our own set as well as backing Eric up with some harmonies and it’s going to be amazing!

Look at this epic tour poster:


Interested in hearing about the tour dates? Look no further! Well, actually, you have to. Look below!

Thursday 10 May – The Whistle Stop, Jasper, AB

Friday 11 May – The Truffle Pigs, Field, BC

Friday 18 May – Rockwater Bar and Grill, Golden, BC

Saturday 19 May – The Station Pub, Invermere, BC

Friday 25 May – The Last Drop, Revelstoke, BC

Saturday 26 May – Whitetooth Brewing Company, Golden, BC


We’ve heard the drive to Jasper is one of the most beautiful in Canada so we are pretty damn excited. See you soon!

Moa goes skiing in Lake Louise!

Alright, first of all – you will have to excuse our lack of updates here and specifically MY lack of updates. We are currently living off-grid with no internet and have been doing so for the last few weeks, so charging computers and getting access to good wifi is not the easiest. I am also a forgetful and lazy person. Oh well. Moving on! 

It’s time to tell you all about my little ski adventure that I went on back in the middle of March – better late than never right!?

I’ve been skiing since I was 12 years old and I LOVE it. I’ve been lucky enough to have gone on several ski holidays with my family over the years, mainly to the Alps in Austria but also to places around Sweden and Norway. However, skiing is expensive – so when I moved my butt to London almost 6 years ago I couldn’t really afford to go anymore and my ski adventures temporarily stopped. Until now!

When I first set my mind on going to Canada, I just knew that I couldn’t go here without skiing. I’m pretty sure it would be a crime, since Canada is famous for having some of the best and most famous ski resorts in the entire world. The area we are living in is actually not far from the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, famous for its champagne power and especially off piste and backcountry skiing.

I considered going to Kicking Horse but when I saw a map of the resort and the mostly black and double black diamond trails, I kinda chickened out… what if I’d forgotten everything that is skiing!? I didn’t remember what level I was actually at and how different it would be to ski in North America instead of Europe. After some research and googling I instead decided that I was going to go to Lake Louise – A slightly kinder ski resort and with much more variety. Plus, this meant I could make a mini ski holiday out of it!

Since Matilda isn’t a skier or even remotely interested in winter sports, I booked myself a single bus ticket and a bed at a hostel in Lake Louise for 5 days for a mini ski vacation by my lonesome. I was pretty damn excited! I was leaving on a Monday and arriving back at the ranch on the Friday, which gave me 3 full days of skiing plus a half day on the Friday to check out the famous lake.

I set off around lunch time on Monday towards Golden to catch my afternoon Greyhound bus to Lake Louise. Since public transport is non-existent in these parts of Canada and I don’t have a car, my plan was to hitchhike into Golden (a 20 minute drive). This is fairly easy and a common thing to do here and after about 10 minutes wait a kind neighbour on her way to town stopped to give me a lift. I got to the Greyhound station, checked in my bag, grabbed a veggie burger from A&W and got on my buys.

The bus was delayed with an hour due to avalanche control on the highway (where the highway is closed so that controlled avalanches can be set off, also very common here in spring time) and I arrived in Lake Louise around 6pm. Lake Louise is a tiny village so I quickly found my hostel 5 minutes down the road. I was staying at HI Hostel, the only hostel there, and had booked a bed in a 4-person dorm. The hostel was quite big and VERY cosy, and was decorated in your average mountain lodge style with wooden panels,  big comfy sofas and trail maps on the walls. I had dinner at the hostel café with two guys who were in the area ice-climbing, who so kindly offered me a seat at their table when they heard I was alone. Much appreciated! To make sure I was going to be well-rested for my first day of skiing, I called it an early night and went to bed shortly after dinner. 

Day 2 – Ski day!
I woke up bright and early, had some breakfast in the hostel kitchen and then headed to a ski rental shop in the village center where I was meeting my Danish friend Marcus at 8am sharp. I had met Marcus a few weeks prior at the climbing gym in Golden and we quickly became friends. Marcus lived in Lake Louise and worked at a dogsledding company for the season, so when I told him I was going there to ski he decided to join me on the slopes for a day which was awesome. 

After renting our ski gear and picking up our lift passes we hopped on the free shuttle bus to the Lake Louise Ski Resort and headed up the gondola to the top of the mountain. It was time to ski – and what a perfect day for it. Lake Louise has three different areas to ski on; the Front Side, the Back Bowls and The Larch. All three are easily accessible from anywhere on the resort and it’s easy to go from one to another. For reference, below is the trail map of the area.

Map 1Map 2

We had been told that the Back Bowls had better skiing in the morning since the Front side usually was quite icy at this time of the day, so that’s where we headed. I quickly realised that I’d had no reason to be nervous about my ski abilities – as soon as I clipped my boots into my skis it was like I had never stopped! Down the slopes we went. We started off easy on a green trail but quickly moved on to blue trails after a few runs. In the afternoon we found our favorite run of the day (#133, Boomerang) which started at the summit of Mount Whitehorn and ended at the bottom of the resort. You could only get there by taking a very steep button lift all the way to the top – it’s the only lift I’ve ever seen graded with a Double Black Diamond! 

I’m going to let the pictures and video below speak for itself, but we had an incredible day skiing under blue skies and having lunch and beer in the sunshine in between our runs.  


We skied until the lifts closed at 4pm and then headed back to the village, where Marcus had someone picking him up to go back to where he was staying just outside Lake Louise. I went back to my hostel, had a shower, went for dinner with a few other hostel-stayers and basically passed out in bed at 10pm. 

Day 2 – Another ski day!
This day I was flying solo. I arrived at the ski resort just after 9am when the lifts opened and headed to the Back Bowl. Once again, the skies were bright blue and the conditions amazing. I decided to push my limits a bit this day and spent the first half of the day making my way down several of the Black Diamond runs. In the afternoon I joined a free guided ski tour around the area where a seasoned staff member shows you their favourite runs based on your skill level. 

Again, I will let pictures speak for themselves. What an incredible day I had!


The evening was mellow, I was too tired to really do anything else. The most eventful thing was probably that I finished reading my book, ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy. I picked out a new one from the “Leave one, take one” bookshelf in the lounge area and started reading ‘I Am Pilgrim’ by Terry Hayes – I’m still working on this by the way so no spoilers! 

Day 3 – Last Ski Day + Powder Day
I woke up at 7am to snow falling outside my window. It had been snowing all through the night which meant one thing – powder day! I got dressed, had breakfast and got on the first shuttle to the ski hill. With all the new powdery snow that had come in over night this brought on some exciting skiing for the day. At 10am I decided to join another free guided ski tour, as it was a lot of fun the day before. It didn’t disappoint and by the end of the almost 2 hours long tour I had met a lovely retired couple from California who asked if I wanted to ski with them the next few hours – I gladly accepted the offer. 

The snow kept falling all day and while the visibility wasn’t the greatest, the incredible skiing made up for it. My new Californian friends called it a day around 2.30pm but I decided to push through and ignore the throbbing in my legs and kept on skiing until they closed the lifts – it was my last day after all. At 3.59 (no kidding) I got on the last lift to the top of the mountain and made my run back down as long as possible.


I then headed back to the village and reluctantly returned my ski gear to the rental shop. Back at the hostel it was Bonfire Thursday so I spent the evening eating marshmallows around the fire and hanging out with some other hostel folks. I call that a perfect way to end a ski day!

Friday – A visit to Lake Louise (the actual lake)
I awarded myself with a well-deserved snooze and slept for a good 10 hours. After having breakfast, checking out of the hostel and placing my bag in storage for the day it was time for my last adventure for the trip – I was going to check out the actual Lake Louise! 

Lake Louise is probably one of Canada’s most famous lakes and if you hang out on Pinterest and Instagram, you’ve probably seen its crystal blue waters surrounded by mountains and the beautiful Chataeu on one end. In winter it’s completely frozen over which means you can walk across it to the other side.

From the village it’s probably about an hour’s walk up a winding mountain road to get to the lake. I started walking but my plan was to hitchhike as soon as a car came by, and sure enough I was picked up 5 minutes later by a nice English guy who worked up by the lake. 

And holy crap – It’s freaking beautiful. It takes you a while to just take in the greatness of it all. The lake is massive and the mountains surrounding it seems even larger in comparison. Right behind the lake there’s also the Victoria glacier which is an incredible thing to see. I started walking across the lake and once I got to the other side I got to see the most incredible ice falls. On one of the larger ones there were ice climbers making their way up, so I spent a good 20 minutes just watching them do their thing. And that’s the moment I added “ice climbing” to my bucketlist. 

Once again, I am going to let these pictures speak for themselves. Enjoy. 


I spent about 2.5 hours in total roaming around the lake. Around 1pm I had to get back to the village and managed to get a lift by a nice delivery guy who was just coming from the hotel. I still had a few hours left until my bus departed back to Golden, so I spent them walking around the tiny centre of Lake Louise and looked around in the various souvenir shops and just thinking about what an incredible week I had just had. 

So that’s how I ticked off “Skiing in Canada” from my bucket list! 

A Hike to Wapta Falls


I know what you’re thinking right now. ANOTHER blog post? You probably figured you’d have to wait at least a few weeks for the next one! Even though I did tell you there’d be one this week. I mean, sure, I did say it would be Moa posting… She still might. People have walked the moon!

I had a great little travel experience yesterday which I want to share with you. Moa may be off in Skaha but I might have exaggerated a little when I said I was left to my own devices. There ARE other people on the ranch. The other week, two German girls by the name of Annika and Lea arrived. As there is now a car on the property (OUR car! SMELLY but OURS!) we decided we should go on a little field trip (not to be confused with a Field trip). Our destination would be Wapta Falls in Yoho National Park. The snow has really been melting away here in Blaeberry so we figured it would be a nice little hike. Once you leave the highway there is a 2 km drive to the trail and then a 2.4 km hike to the falls.

We set off at around 12:30 once our chores were done at the ranch. The drive to the trailhead is not too long – only about 40 minutes. As we drove into the national park we were informed by signs that visitors now require a park pass which needs to be purchased on the park border. We completely missed the exit and had to find a place to turn around to go back and get a pass. Aren’t we the most upstanding citizens? Anyway, once we got back to the little hut were park passes are distributed, it turned out it was closed and no pass was required. A few minutes later we arrived at the road to Wapta Falls. Which was also closed. Yep, the dirt road going down to the trail was still covered in snow and our hike was now twice as long. Did we let that get us down? Not right away!


The walk to the trailhead was pretty boring so it was nice when we finally got there. The trail started going steadily upwards around halfway in. With fallen trees all over the place we had to practise some parkour to get by. (We were very graceful and I think Michael Scott would have been proud.) As the trail wasn’t really open for the season yet, I’m sure it’ll be cleaned up and made more accessible eventually.

We were very excited when we heard the roar of the falls which meant we were nearing the end of our 4.4 km hike (which I seriously believe was longer). The first stop is a viewing area high above the falls and the view is absolutely breathtaking. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a picture that fully conveys this. If you ever go there (or if you’ve already been), you’ll know what I mean! We stopped there to drink some water and enjoy the scenery before following the trail downwards.

It was kind of tricky this time of year as the trail is covered in snow, ice and mud. Snow was definitely the preferable foundation. I would say that probably 70% of the trail down was ice which meant that we spent a lot of time sliding, grabbing trees and trying to find alternative routes in the snow just next to the trail. Every now and then we’d get to some bare ground where non-slippery moss was available. I frickin’ loved that moss… Before you get all the way down beneath the falls, there is another viewing area. It looked like people had been taking shortcuts and made their way down via the very steep bank underneath it. We chose the slightly safer ice trail.


Getting down took a LOT of effort but we made it! And it was worth it. It was such a cool experience to stand in front of the falls and feel that gentle spray of water. We were also lucky enough to have sunshine most of the time which meant we even got to see a rainbow! A picture says more than a thousand words so let’s have some photos, shall we?


I don’t know how long we spent down there but as we started hiking back, my shoes were absolutely soaked! They’re not really hiking shoes… The hardest part was definitely the last 2 km back to the car as at that point we were all very hungry and extremely tired of walking on icy snow. But we made it back and pulled into Golden for an A&W meal just before 18:00.

I’d love to go back to Wapta Falls again when it’s warmer and dryer. Someone told me it’s even possible to go swimming underneath them, which would be amazing! So don’t be surprised if you get another blog post about this place before the year is over.

For now, here are some very happy hikers!


Lea (left) and Annika (right)

Blaeberry in Pictures


Okay guys, here’s the deal… Moa was supposed to post a little something about her ski trip to Lake Louise but then she bailed to go on a climbing trip for 6 days! How rude. So here I am, left to my own devices in a camper van on the ranch. The light in the tunnel is that we got a car yesterday (thanks to our friend Matt, who couldn’t wait to get rid of it). We’re now officially able to explore the area and visit town without having to bug people (Matt) for rides!

It was also my birthday yesterday and the others surprised me with breakfast in bed and a little song to start the day. Moa and I spent the rest of the day getting the car into a somewhat better shape and in the evening we had drinks and good food around a campfire. Not too shabby!

Posing with our WorkAway host Leo, the new stinky car, and Pippi the border collie.

Anyway, I figured I’d take this opportunity to share some of my favourite photos that I’ve taken around these parts. My love of photography is really coming back!

Let’s start with some buffalo:


And now, maybe some winter action…


Let’s move on to spring, shall we?


I really shouldn’t forget the very photogenic Pippi:


And I’m gonna round this off with another buffalo. This guy is called Jack and we kind of love him! He is the only one that will let you pet him for a little bit. Buffalo cuddles, anyone? (EDIT: The photo below was entered in National Geographic’s Travel Photographer of the Year contest. Click on the image to go over there and give it a like!)



Watch out for an update from Moa at some point next week!