On our rest day we slept out and then went to a local potluck lunch at the Papal grounds. (The pope visited here in 1987). It was not very busy and we were invited to have lunch with the local Dehe people. After driving a bit around town along the Mackenzie river, we found a nice spot on the riverside to spend the next few hours. Several locals came by while walking their dog and stayed for a chat. One of them described his horrible time in the forced boarding schools he had to attend as part of the Canadian policy to assimilate the natives into the English speaking society.
The flight on Sunday was delayed till 14:00 hrs. We shared the small floatplane with a German couple who are doing a 6 months Canada trip followed by a 6 months USA trip. They have one of these large converted trucks. Rudy sat in the front of the plane and had an excellent view. The first 30 – 45 min was over the forested lowlands towards the mountains. In the landscape you could still see the seismic lines which were made in the sixties. For the rest it is forest with large open patches and lakes. We slowly climbed up to 5000 ft to fly over and into the mountain range, which make up the National Park. The park is one of the world’s first Unesco Natural heritage sites (est. 1976). It is well known for its 10 – 30 day canoe/rafting trips out to the Liard river. The slots are booked well in advance so no chance for us to join one, even if we wanted to. The beautiful flight in and out and the 2 landings, one at the 94 m high Virginia falls and the other at a set of cabins on the Little Doctor lake, were however impressive enough. The pictures will tell the story.