2019 July Journey – Vancouver Island section – Days 1 and 2

We left home on Tuesday July 9 and drove down to Abbotsford, near Vancouver, where we spent our first night.  This is a drive we have made many, many times and the road travels primarily through mountain forest.  We saw no critters, stopped for no geocaches and made no detours.  Hence we arrived at our hotel at 4:30 and were able to relax a bit before dinner.

Our itinerary for this road trip includes traveling to Vancouver Island where we will visit with some friends for a couple of days, spend some time geocaching and exploring in the Sooke area before taking another ferry over to Salt Spring Island to explore for two days.  We will then return to Vancouver Island via a different ferry route and head to Nanaimo for a family reunion.  After the reunion weekend will tour around nearer the northern part of the island; seeing some sights and geocaching along the way, before getting on the overnight ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert. We will spend a night in Rupert and take another ferry the next day to Haida Gwaii (formerly called the Queen Charlotte Islands).  We are spending four nights on Haida Gwaii before catching the ferry back to Prince Rupert and driving home.  We expect to get back about August second or third.  Lots of ferry rides on this journey.

This is not going to be as long of a trip as many others we have done, but we will be seeing some new territory, which is always fun and interesting.  I don’t think there will be a blog post every day, but you never know.  If I take enough photos of enough different things I will try post each day.  No promises though.  I hope you enjoy some of the beautiful sights of the British Columbia west coast through my camera lens.

We woke to overcast skies and rain, which continued most of the day. Every once in awhile it would clear off for an hour or so but then the clouds and rain returned.  We left our hotel in Abbotsford just after nine and arrived at the Tsawwassen ferry terminal just as the 10 am ferry was departing. We had a reservation for 11 am so were just directed to the appropriate waiting line.

The ferry takes an hour and a half to sail from Tsawwassen to Schwartz Bay on Vancouver Island.  We had calm water all the way.  It wasn’t a particularly bright crossing, but it wasn’t torrential wind and rain which we have had on past trips to the island.Pilings and walkways and ramps here, there and everywhere as we leave the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. There are a lot of ferries that come and go from here each day. Just two of about five ships at the Robert’s Bank coal port. One ferry going west meets one ferry going east. Photographing the passing scenery is a popular way to spend the time. There are many islands in the Strait of Juan de Fuca between Vancouver and Vancouver Island.  And people live on all of them.We  were  sitting  inside  in  one  of  the  lounges  and I looked  out  the  window  and  noticed a low  band  of  fog  creeping  across  the  water;  which,  of  course,  means  I have  to  get  up  and  go  out  on  the deck  to  photograph it.We docked at 12:35 and stopped for some lunch in Saanich before heading into Victoria.  John spotted the Mayfair Mall as we entered the city and pulled in to see if he could find a new pair of shoes as his were beginning to fall apart.  A successful hour of shopping followed and when we got back in the truck to continue on our way, the clouds lifted and we had sunshine when we arrived at our hotel. We were able to check in even though it was only a little after 3 pm.  We rested in our room until it was time to walk over to our friend Mary’s apartment.  She had made reservations for us to have dinner and when we arrived at the restaurant we realized it was located in the same old hotel that we had staying in on our honeymoon; many, many years ago.  This was the only hotel room we could find in the city and we were made to pay for two rooms because there was a connecting bathroom.  The plumbing pipes were outside the walls, the tub was a massive claw-foot thing, the door to our room didn’t lock and I had made John check under the bed for critters.  The bed, however was a feather tick that just folded around you when you lay down.  We had a marvelous sleep.  John, Mary and I had a good laugh at the memories and a good dinner in the restaurant before we walked back to Mary’s apartment and continued our visit a bit longer.  Now we are settled in our room for the night and looking forward to visiting with our friends Bill and Lynn tomorrow.  They live in California and are on a cruise to Alaska.  The ship is spending the afternoon and evening in Victoria so we came to see them.  It worked out well that relatives planned a family reunion to be held a week later.

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