Monday, September 24, 2007

Jasper - Hostelling International

I'm in Jasper, talking about Mexico. 

Scott's been managing the Jasper H.I. hostel with his "right hand man" Nadine for about 5 years. It's a bustling 84-bed converted ski lodge located south of town and on the way to the Jasper Tramway. It's been bustling since Michele and I lazily took a shuttle up the 5km steep slope to the hostel.

So bustling, in fact, that at about 9pm in the evening, one of the front desk staff slips a new-agey music CD into the lounge area sound system. Like magic, says Scott, the bustling visitors quieten down, begin yawning and stretching, and quietly head to their dorms in time for the 11pm "quiet time" curfew.

Scott tells me that he and Nadine will be leaving for Mexico in about four days, for a guilty-pleasure week at a family-run all-inclusive hotel, then two months of unhurried, backpacker-ish, travel.

I call up my website on his computer, and tell him about the surf camps at Todos Santos, the Mayan ruins in Belize, and the beach-side hostel on Isla Mujeres. He is psyched and I find myself in an odd place ~ surrounded by backpackers of all ages and nationalities here in arguably one of the most beautiful mountain towns in Canada; and reminiscing about Mayan civilizations in one of the most beautiful mountain towns in Central America.

I bid Scott good-night, and leave him to his maps and plans. Michelle and I start the bicycle portion of our trip down the Icefields Parkway next.