I spent longer in Kelowna than anywhere else I've been so far. It's not the most exciting place, nor the most beautiful, but I really enjoyed my time here. As travel is getting expensive (greyhounds everywhere) I decided to stay somewhere for a couple of weeks to space it out a bit, and I'm so glad this happened with Kelowna.
Kelowna is on Lake Okanagan and so has a lot of beaches, the hostel being close to the shore I was able to wander along them without a trek to find them. It's much more of a summer city as a result...a lot of things were closed for the season and it was very quiet, both in town and the hostel. This is fine by me. A lot of people head up to the mountain, Big White, to work and ski and such.
I spent many happy hours watching the water and the mountains and the ducks and feeling chilled.
The hostel has become my favourite so far. I was picked up from the greyhound station, enough to start swaying in its favour already - getting to the hostel is the worst part by far. Upon arrival I was shown around and had been given a double bed...the joy in my heart. My goodness.
The wifi was strong, the plugs were close and convenient, and I ended up spending most of the two weeks essentially in a private room as it was so quiet.
Many of my days were spent enjoying films and tv with the few other people staying and working at the hostel, and it made me realise how much I missed sofas. I thought I did before, but it wasn't until I was curled up with tea that I truly appreciated how lovely it is.
This little madam cemented the hostel's position in my ranking. A CAT! In love.
There is one unusual activity I can fill you in on. I spent a night ice picking. This is my coat afterwards.
Ice picking is harvesting frozen grapes for ice wine, a sweet dessert wine. There are rules that have to be followed for it to be called ice wine...like how Melton Mowbrays have to be made there and you can't call it a Devonshire cream tea if you're not in Devon. The grapes are frozen, and have to be picked at at most -8 for it to be called Ice Wine...at least in British Columbia. The grapes are pressed while frozen, meaning most of the moisture is left behind as ice. The sugars and flavours are more concentrated...and it takes a whole lot more grapes to make a bottle, making it an expensive treat.
Along with a few others from my hostel we went off to a winery, wrapped up in many many layers, and picked grapes from midnight until about 5:30am. Both layers of gloves got wet quickly, and it soon became less interesting and exciting and more "why on earth am I here and not in bed?!" I didn't bring my camera, and I'm thankful for it. There was so much bending down and twisting and leaning, a bag would have made me very unhappy. The temperature was about -15 whilst we were picking...not that I necessarily noticed that so much. Most of me was fine, I was moving, just my fingers and toes got painfully cold after a couple of hours.
An amazing, unusual experience that I could not have at home. This was exactly what I hoped for in coming here. It might not have been non stop fun, but that's the nature of exciting things, right?
I'm now on my way to Vancouver, on another greyhound through some more snowy mountains. I will never get bored of these views.