Monday, August 7, 2006

The Dean on Nimpo

We just got back from a most fabulous weekend getaway to the West Chilcotin where we stayed at "The Dean on Nimpo" lodge on Nimpo Lake.

Quite a while ago -- in January I think -- I participated in a contest through the local Radio station (CKNW) which advertised the "Cariboo Chilcotin Coast" region of BC. The prize was 2 nights accommodation at The Dean on Nimpo lodge on Nimpo Lake including air fare from Vancouver to Anahim Lake with Pacific Coastal Airlines, a $50 food voucher and use of a motor boat.

In February I got a call from CKNW telling me that I had won that trip. Whoohoo! However, it took us quite a while to actually manage to fit it in. We left Friday morning in a Beechcraft 1900C from Vancouver's South Terminal to Bella Coola and, after a short fuel stop, on to Anahim Lake. There we were picked up by Donn Irwin for the trip out to the lodge on Nimpo Lake some 17 km east. Donn and Phyllis Irwin are the proprietors of The Dean on Nimpo and outstanding hosts! I think I was supposed to call with the time when we arrive, but I forgot. Things out here are a little more relaxed... so Phyllis just called the Anahim Airport to see if a Klaus is on the flight and so they know to come and pick us up.

Once we got settled into our super large and luxurious suite we went to the "Pilot's Bar and Grill" for a scrumptious lunch before heading out for a little walk in the woods. After that we were already getting tired and ready for some chillin' at the lake. A little reading and getting sun-burned is just what I needed. Before we knew it, it was dinner time and we spend a wonderful evening on the patio with great food and lots of drinks.

Next day we headed up the road to the bakery for some breakfast. It was supposed to be closed only on Sundays but for some reason it was closed on the Saturday as well, so we went into the local Cafe for breakfast. They fixed us up with some yummy bacon and eggs and loads of extra tasty coffee.

Time to explore Nimpo Lake some more. Donn fixed us up with a boat and motor and we headed out on the Lake. OH MY GOD! It could simply not have been nicer. Since we both don't fish, it was just about drifting on the water, watching the float-plane take off and land, and generally enjoy the fantastic weather!

After a few hours on the water we borrowed two mountain bikes and headed into the woods for a bit. That fun had to be cut seriously short as the mosquitoes were killing us! That was one thing there I could have done without: hungry mosquitoes! Even with insect repellent they came after you like it was nothing. It seemed they lick it off, spit it out, and then bite you twice as nasty!

Another great evening in their restaurant and two bottles of red wine and we were ready to call it a night. Unfortunately we had to leave already the next morning.

There were two other parties in the lodge: one family from Switzerland and a young couple. They decided to go on a flight-seeing tour in a DeHavilland Beaver float plane in the morning. So we go to see them take off while enjoying our morning coffee. Then Donn gave us a lift back to the Anahim Lake Airport.

Thanks Phyllis and Donn! We had a fantastic time. Way too short, but unforgettable. We are now planning to be back there in the winter. Ideally over New Years. Maye not this year, but who knows...

And of course photos of the trip can be found on Flickr

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