Saturday, April 13, 2013

British Columbia -The World's Best Kept Secret

Travelling abroad I become an unofficial ambassador for Travel British Columbia. People often ask were I am from, and most likely it's because they can't place my accent. I am fluent in accents, speaking in a unique blend of Dutch, Afrikaans and English. Then I tell them the secret - I live in Vancouver British Columbia, one of the most wonderful places on Earth. 

Here, when one speaks of Beavers and Otters, they are most likely referring to the floatplanes.The unspoiled ruggedness of the coastline with its soaring mountains, deep inlets, glaciers and remote lakes, is best seen from the air. The Strait of Georgia, which separates Vancouver Island from the mainland, is dotted with small sparsely inhabited islands. For many of these, the floatplane is the only mode of transportation.

In the early days along this coast, bush pilots with their Otters dominated exploration and transportation; very few roads existed, and airports were rare. The aircraft's pontoon made it possible to land at sea or on remote lakes, and this opened-up the vast and remote region. Most of the floatplanes around today were made by de Havelland Canada and the most commonly used are the Otter, the twin Otter and the Beaver.

Grant McConachie was a pioneer bush pilot and sold his Yukon Southern Transport to Canadian Pacific Airlines in 1941, and the newly created airline appointed him as their General Manager. The main access to Vancouver International Airport was named Grant McConachie Way in his honour.

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