24. Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Days 77-81
We left Seattle by ferry – the quickest way to reach Port Angeles – where we were going to stay overnight before taking another ferry to Vancouver Island. (for any fans of Greys Anatomy – the green ferry often featured  on the show!)

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As we drove up to the checkpoint to buy our ferry ticket the attendant became extremely excited when he saw the pillow on my lap….because it had a Snoopy Pillowcase. Turns out that he had exactly the same pillowcase when he was young. He told us how much he loved that pillowcase and what great memories he had of it.
So obviously I offered to sell it to him.
He suggested $20 – but in the end I just loved how excited he was about the pillowcase, it meant so much more to him than it did to me so gave it to him as a gift! He was absolutely delighted!

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(and after all, I still have my Magic Roundabout pillowcase – not parting with that one!)

So, this was The Beast’s first amphibious adventure!

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En route to Port Angeles we had time to pay a quick visit to Olympic National Park. We drove the Hurricane Ridge which was stunning. Glorious views from the top.

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As we were driving up (and up, and up) I realized what a superb bike ride down it would be. This time I did not have a puncture. This was it – my chance for a  stunning, no pedal, 10 mile all downhill ride. Except that once I broached the idea of ‘one of us’ riding down – Ed jumped on it and agreed. Yup, he wanted to do it too.
So we flipped a coin…..
Here are the photos of Ed enjoying his 10 mile downhill ride down Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park.

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The dining options in Port Angeles are somewhat limited  – we chose to avoid this Chinese restaurant…

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and instead found wonderful gastro pub.

We were up bright and early the next morning to board the ferry to Canada.

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We docked in Victoria and were welcomed to Canada. The boarder guard had just one question – seeing our Texas plates he wanted to know if we had any guns. We did not so he let us in!

It was a beautiful sunny day in Victoria. We checked into our hotel and then set out on foot to explore downtown. We could not help but notice a lovely restaurant terrace offering Happy Hour Oysters. 24 oysters and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc later we were very happy!

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The next day we hit The Galloping Goose which is a bike path that runs for 75 miles along the coast from Victoria. It was a fun ride – varied scenery and not too hilly. We did not do the 75 miles – more like 18.

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Turns out Victoria is good for Happy Hours – we found a rooftop bar with stunning views out to the sea. We were happy again.

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Whale watching was next in the agenda.
Wow – what a day.
We booked with a small company called BC Whale Watching which has a small fleet of made to order ridged inflatable boats. Our captain, Tom, was a marine biologist and was able to fill us in on everything we wanted to know about these incredible creatures…and he likes to drive FAST!!

We donned out survival suits….

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Within 30 minutes we’d found a Humpback. We watched him surface and disappear several times…

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DSC_0991then we headed off in search of Orcas. We speeded over the US boarder (no passports required) and found a very active pod. They were stunning – power and grace combined. We were incredibly lucky with the weather – beautiful sunshine and water like a millpond!

 

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After a morning out on the water we were ready for lunch – fish ‘n chips all round!

IMG_7400We loved Victoria. The people were friendly and helpful. So much so. that on our last night JJ was invited to help out in the Ramen Shack kitchen!

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What Ed says: We have been meaning to go to VI for a number of years. We have been skiing at nearby Whistler for at least 8 years but never really got round to it. This road trip provided the perfect opportunity. But first I had a 10 mile down hill cruise to complete…..oh yes she lost the toss! It was fabulous but Justine would have found it very cold…..if you are ever in the area don’t miss Hurricane Ridge we could have stayed longer.
So it was off to VI meaning another ferry ride for The Beast. Canadian customs are always friendly but Texas plates seems to immediately raise the gun issue!! I assured the gentlemen that all my guns were safely tucked up in Texas and he should not worry. Bear spay is cool and fine to bring over. What else can we say about Victoria…..great oysters and my other passion fast RIB’s….oh the Orcas are pretty cool too!

 

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0934.JPGTwin 350’s a tad bigger than I am planning on putting on my boat in Cape Town but Yamaha are the way to go! Thinking of settling on twin 200’s but have not really discussed this with the Boss yet!!

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Next Destination: Tofino, Vancouver Island

 

 

 

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