Once recovered from our hike, we headed for Canada, where soon to be friends, Michael and Teck, opened their Vancouver home up to us for a few days. We explored the city and felt the first drizzle of rain for at least a month. (We’ve been really lucky weather-wise in the Pacific Northwest). We decided to head up North towards the mountains again, but on our way, were treated to some magnificent views of the famous B.C. coastline.
We realized we’d be leaving the Pacific for a very long time, and decided that the ferry ride over to Vancouver Island would be worth the extra cost if we could soak in a little more of the beautifully rugged mountainous seascape before heading inland for several months. So, we turned around and headed to the nearest ferry terminal for a ride across the Straight of Georgia. Since then we’ve been camping, hiking and kayaking (a real highlight!) around the island. We met travelers from all over the world on the island, wandered through rainforest, listened to live music, and ate “buck-a-shuck” oysters in Victoria.
One of the things that we were reminded of on the island, is that often the places most recommended are also the most touristy and expensive. Sometimes the most pleasurable experiences are happened upon randomly and cost nothing. Specifically, one of our most recent evenings we pulled into a cute little seaside village on the east side of the island, called Chemainus. It was “off the map,” so to speak. We found a small art-murmur type local event on the Main street and then wandered through the town past beautiful murals depicting its history and culture. We ambled slowly down towards the water, enjoying the warm evening air, and discovered a small park on the water with four or five folks playing accordion together. The sun was setting behind moored fishing and sail boats as the silhouettes of kayakers slid silently by. We sat on the grass and enjoyed the romantic scene before the mosquitoes drove us to a local teashop up the road. The walls were covered with different teas from all over the world, and the friendly owner made us feel welcome. In the next room, musicians jammed together on guitars, fiddles, percussion and base. As the evening waned, we headed back to the bus, bellies full of warm tea, to get some sleep. The sense of community in this small town was palpable and heart-warming. It's these types of places that are the best to discover and enjoy.
Next up, after taking the ferry back to Vancouver, we're excited to pick up Nellie at the airport in the morning and head to Whistler and the Canadian Rockies! woohoo!