Trip Start Sep 23, 2009
Trip End Oct 09, 2009

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Monday, October 5, 2009

With reluctance we tore ourselves away from Tofino and the beautiful house with its forest and hot tub. We drove south, then east, back across the island.  The day was very different to our outward journey.  A burning sun created a world of intense blues and greens, and whites so bright that they hurt.  Not a breath of wind disturbed the surface of Sproat Lake, where we stopped to stretch our legs.  The mirror of the lake gave a study in symmetrical shades of blue.  We could see across to Mount Arrowsmith.  On a day like that, so bright and clear, with a high enough vantage point it felt like we could have seen forever.

We returned to Cathedral Grove, taking a different trail.  This led us through more verdant forest, past 800 year old cedars.  What astounding changes these timeless trees have seen, the tearing down of an old world, the construction of a new.  Neat bark paths weave past them now, accessible to buggies and wheelchairs.  Ropes and fences make people keep their distance, and everything is explained by helpful boards.  This accessibility will widen the audience this forest receives, and hopefully make more people value it.  But I preferred the other side, where the trails tended to vanish and the air of wilderness remained.

The end of the line was East Sooke.  In the middle of nowhere, it was the kind of spot that makes people ask, "Why are you going THERE?"  The answer?  Peace, wilderness and a beautiful place called Quail Peak.  Although I cannot really claim it to be a wilderness experience when we could watch the stunning sunsets over the Sooke basin from the tranquility of our own swimming pool or hot tub. We arrived not long before the sun set.  We watched with glasses of wine on the patio.  The colours in the sky lingered on, changing from oranges to purples with a fiery red finale.  Then the stars began to punctuate the navy blue sky.  This was a beautiful land. 

There were walks galore to be done, with beaches and forests to explore.  But Quail Peak invited relaxation, and goodbyes would soon have to be said.  We did venture to Point No Point, which was home to a wonderful restaurant.  We watched bald eagles soaring, and saw gulls try to mob them away.  Through the binoculars on the table, we could watch the ships on the Juan de Fuca straight, and see the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State.    And the next morning we lingered in our little spot in paradise, before the ferry to Vancouver called, along with the plane that would take me home.
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