Whistler like the locals

Even though Andy and I went to Whistler numerous times while we lived in Canada, going and staying with friends who were essentially ‘locals’ was bound to be a whole new experience. My Wellington friend and ex-colleague Lydia lives there with her boyfriend Dan, a mountain-biking fiend, making Whistler a natural choice for their OE – if only we’d overlapped while we lived there too! We drove up the Sea to Sky Highway (yay) to their house, which was situated out the back of Nesters Market. 

After a quick lunch, we drove north to a trailhead that was apparently going to lead us to a local lake, colloquially referred to as One Duck Lake. I say apparently because Lydia had been given the vaguest of vague instructions from a colleague, and upon arrival we quickly realised they weren’t going to be helpful at all. It took the use of Dan’s mountain-biking app and more than a few mis-steps, before we made it. We even stumbled across some Canadians who were very unwilling to share directions with us – highly contrary to almost every other Canadian I’ve met! The lake was tranquil and mostly deserted. Lydia had told one too many stories about the grizzly bears that were sighted in the area, so I wasn’t disappointed when a few others showed up. We spent a long time catching up with Lydia and Dan, both in and out of the water, before contentedly calling it a day and heading back to the car.

After a shower and quick refresh, we jumped back in the car and headed up to The Beer Farmers, a Pemberton brewery, for the evening. The brewery was epic! Situated on a lifestyle block, it was housed in a converted shed with an outlook of the mountains and live music. There was a food truck serving up smash burgers, with a line that was well worth the wait. It was particularly enjoyable sitting outside under the trees with our food and beer, and we only left after an eventual change in the wind meant that we could suddenly smell the rotting salmon from the nearby creek! 

The next morning Lyd and I were up bright and early to watch the Silver Ferns play (in the Netball World Cup) before we jumped on bikes and went for a cycle. As promised, Lydia and Dan took us right to the juvenile black bear that was often seen roaming the yards of houses down the street, and while I could have stayed there forever, we eventually left for the others to take us on an extended Whistler tour around the Valley Trail. We finished up at The Bunker cafe for lunch before Andy and I packed up and hit the road back to Vancouver. All in all, we got to do and see things we’ve never done in Whistler before and it was more than great to catch up with our friends!

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