For the August long weekend, Emily, Rhea, Leanne, and I decided to get out of the city and spred some time in the Okanagan Valley. The Okanagan Valley is in BC’s Interior region which is known for its desert-like conditions. The heat makes it a great place to grow fruit, so the area is dotted with orchards and wineries.
Camping in the Okanagan is nearly impossible. The few campgrounds they have fill up really quickly. Luckily for us, Uncle Larry and Auntie Darlene let us camp in their backyard. It was really good seeing them and they were awesome hosts. Auntie Darlene made us amazing pizza for dinner on Sunday night – it was gluten-free, organic, yummy, deliciousness.
Most of Saturday was spent driving up to Okanagan Falls. We walked around a bit in the afternoon, walked to some wineries that were close, and had way too much ice cream at Tickleberry’s.
On Sunday, we rented bikes and biked the Kettle Valley Railway Trail from Penticton up to Naramata. It was a scenic route, although from Penticton it’s a constant uphill over gravel and sand trails that weren’t much fun to bike. We also didn’t see any of the cool tunnels or trestle bridges. I think next time, I’d want to start in Kelowna and bike one-way to Penticton. It’s all downhill and it goes over the Myra Canyon Trestles.
The best part of the bike ride was stopping at the wineries around Naramata. Our backpacks limited the number of bottle we could buy, but we could freely taste without having to worry about drinking and driving. All of the wineries we visited were good, but Elephant Island was my favourite – they have a nice tasting area and their fruit wines are really good. Lang Vineyards and Therapy were also fun to visit.
In Naramata, there was a fair going on, so we ate some food, participated in the water balloon toss, did some shopping, and went for a nice refreshing swim in the lake. Auntie Darlene was there selling her Wissy Wipes (which I highly recommend for camping) and UV Bracelets.
The bike ride back to Penticton was a lot nicer. It took a bit of effort getting up the hill from Naramata onto the Kettle Valley Trail, but after that it was all downhill. We stopped off in a little trail side cafe where we were serenaded by a German hiker. Then in Penticton we played a round of mini-golf before dinner.
On Monday, we stopped in Osoyoos on the way back, and tried to get a winery tour at Nk’Mip, but it was already booked solid. We continued on, bought some fruit in Keremeos, and toured the Othello Tunnels in Hope. It was a great weekend.