I dig the Hostelling International @ Kamloops. It's situated in an ex-courthouse, still furnished with all that should belong to a courthouse. You can study while sitting @ the judge's seat, or eat breakfast in the witness' box, or play yoyo in the jury's post, or whatever. Also, this might be the only HI (not even the Seattle one!) which has a bath tub.
We arrived at HI @ around 2 am and had a mini Amazing race adventure
1) Find the HI.
Where's that? Isn't that a courthouse? But the address is rite... Oh! It's the HI! Yay!!! Let's go to the entrance...
2) Try enter HI.
Damn! The door's locked! How? Oh, for late entrance, it's through another entrance? Great, let's go find it...
3)Find other door.
Is that a passage way under the main entrance? Oh, there's a box with a lock in the door! Quick! Unscramble it with the combination you have... Oh, there's a letter in it!
Welcome to HI! Blah blah blah.... Attached is a key to your room.
Your bed is on level 3, room B (3rd room on the left), bed 2.
Please approach to check in in the morning. =)
Lock the box with this combination : 2102
Go up to the main door, insert key (it works!), then figure way to bed.
Happening, I tell you.
Morning woke up late and took some cheesy pictures revolving around all the cool courthouse stuff.
Spent a deal of time looking for this famous Amsterdam's pancake restaurant, walking up and down Victoria Street a few times looking for it, only to find that it's closed down. How's that possible for a gourmet restaurant that's suggested by people? Even the clerk at HI suggested that...
Had instead an awesome breakfast @ 'Hello Toast' gourmet toast restaurant, and it's a 5/5 on my must-eat scale. Breakfast's really good, what with the bennies (egg Benedict with Hollandaise sauce) and sandwiches... Felt that much closer to heaven there and then. Guaranteed best buy. So there.
Bought a bus pass @ 3.75 each and checked in into this Grandview Motel (GVM) at the end of Columbia Street, and it's great I tell you.
The power of Lonely Planet (LP) cannot be more underestimated. GVM was slammed down by LP for uncourteous staff, and because of that, business dwindled (I guess from the 'crowd' I missed seeing there...), so they sorta became more courteous, and also drove prices down from 60+ (as stated in LP) to 45 before taxes (50 after tax). This is by aggaration, a similar price to HI, but comes with super comfy beds and attached bathrooms! With bathTubs and freebies to kop and TV to watch and everything nice and wholesome! This is a guaranteed best buy, from the Ramada Inn next door which sets us to $80 and Hospitality Inn to $50.
Took a bus traversing along the Thompson River and saw nice sceneries. Pity my puny A40 couldn't take nice photos from the bus. =(
Ended the night with dinner @ Rainbow Family Restaurant near GVM, and a night view from an excellent viewpoint (there's a Chapters Restaurant @ the viewpoint [it advertises itself based on the view it has], and I think it has the best view in kamloops city.)
digression:: The Chapters Restaurant is signaged as 'Voted as the best Restaurant'. What does that mean? How much can you trust the value of the restaurant from that? Say I cast one vote (from the entire nation) to vote for my kopitiam to be 'the best kopitiam in Singapore', am I eligible to say that my kopitiam is 'Voted as the best kopitiam in Singapore'? How legal is that? Any lawyers around, please comment on this... ::End of digression
The Rainbow restaurant was a nice restaurant. We had the MMMMMMonster Burger that was humongous and had 3 juicy huge humongous (did I say that again? cos it IS humongous) meat patties inside. The burger was big enough to make 2 person (1 big meat eater) suffer in its generosity.
Breakfast the next morning was at Rainbows also, and this time it was Bennies (I think I love Egg Benedict now, though I have no idea who Benedict is) and the two-of-everything meal (eggs/bacon/sausage/pancakes). It's a great family restaurant. 4 thumbs up for value. Like the bearded cook (maybe he's boss also) also. Friendly guy.
And so completes our journey to Lytton and Kamloops.
If you ask me, Kamloops is worth the trip, but there's no need to stop at Lytton for whatever reason, even if you were born in Lytton.