Trip Start Apr 15, 2008
60Trip End Apr 01, 2010
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Vancouver Island is a large island lying off the south west coast of Canada. It is one of several North American regions named after George Vancouver the British Royal Navy officer who explored the pacific coast of North America between 1791 and 1794. The island is 285 miles in length and 50 miles in width, at its widest point. It is the largest island on the western side of North America
This not the easiest island to get to. We took a 10 minute taxi ride, followed by a one and a half hour bus ride to the port of Tsawwassen. Only to find our 11am sailing had been cancelled due to engine problems. There was another at 12 noon so after putting the world to right with a local lady, we boarded the ferry for our 1 hour 40 minute crossing. As most of you know I'm not the best at sea, it's a bit of a standing joke but seriously I get sea sick on a pedalo! So I headed straight for the outside deck at the top
I had booked a hire car for us to pick up on the other side. We were not going back to Canada after our trip to the island so it was easy to arrange one for when we arrived. The international car hire companies were not available when I was searching so I selected a local company. I'd arranged for Terry the owner to meet us when we walked off the ferry. We arrived and waited in the mass of people disembarking, but no Terry. We gave it 15 minutes, by which time we were the only soles left on the pier. Just as we were about to find a phone this portly gentleman approaches us, it was Terry. We greet each other and he asks could we drive this jalopy back to the office for him, as he has another car to drive back. No problem, we follow him the 3 miles back to the office
We arrived at our cottage and were met by Keith the owner, who had originally emigrated here from Coventry and still had a strong British accent. He showed us around and pointed out all the usual operational items. The Cottage was set in the middle of the forest it really was idyllic. We had a full kitchen which was a real treat after months of not being able to cook our favourite foods
There are some great cool weather wineries in the south of the island. Keith advised us to try Cherry Point. We drove along the lanes and went in for a tasting. They produce some very good white wines. We weren't so keen on the red wines but for something different they have blackberry desert wine which we highly recommend. You couldn't drink too much of this, but it really was very tasty, similar to Sloe Gin. Not as good as Chris Davis's homemade Sloe Gin! Now that is very good, whoops I'll have now upset my sister who of course makes wonderful Sloe Gin too, make sure you have a batch for my return Trish!
The BC Capitol Victoria
Situated on the southeast corner of the island, this is a small but perfectly formed city. Victoria is the capital of British Columbia and its impressive Parliament Buildings dominated the inner harbour area in the centre of the city. With its Victorian buildings and hanging baskets lining the bulk of the streets it has a British feel to it
Due to its position on the leeward side of the island's mountains, Victoria has the mildest climate in the whole of Canada. This allows for some unusual plant life, they even have banana plants in some of the gardens. Across the bay the snow capped mountains loom on the horizon, rising majestically from the US, Olympic peninsular.