Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | August 5, 2017

Back to BC: Entry #4

Today’s entry is going to cover both yesterday and today, since I didn’t think that discussing what was mainly a day of driving warranted a post of it’s own, plus I was ridiculously tired and basically crashed not long after having dinner last night.

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A boat moored off the coast, as seen from the ferry to Victoria

The day started in Vancouver, with Robyn and I once again taking advantage of the free breakfast at the hotel, before taking the short walk to the Enterprise close to the hotel to pick up the rental car. We got a nice, silver Kia Optima, which we loaded with our luggage and then took off toward the ferry. I brought my GPS but it seemed to be stuck in  Alberta mode. I’ll try it again later, but I might have to rely on my iPhone to get back to Vancouver.  I am quite pleased with how I managed to drive through Vancouver to get to the ferry station, then onto the ferry (we saw seals or sea lions sunning on the rocks!), then into Victoria for a quick lunch.

We went for Thai food at a place called Baan Thai, and it was phenomenal, and super reasonably priced. I highly, highly recommend. My meal, which included some soup, followed by ginger sauced veggies on jasmine rice with a spring roll and fancy tea called Seamist, cost about $15 including the tip, and there were leftovers (which were forgotten in the fridge this morning, oops!).  So good, and I definitely recommend if you are in Victoria.

After that, the day was mostly traffic getting to Nanaimo, with construction and heavy traffic slowing us down.  Our hotel for the night was the Howard Johnson, which is a perfectly serviceable hotel. Robyn had a quick swim in the pool, which was shaded enough and with a breeze that she got cold – quite the feat in 35C weather!  Robyn has a friend in Nanaimo, so she hung out with him for the evening while I went the nearby White Spot for dinner (I’d have ordered room service if that was an option) and had a chicken caesar salad with Sangria, followed by excellent chocolate cake that I was both too tired and full to finish.  After that I walked back to the room, put on my PJs, and crashed.

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This petroglyph is likely of a medicine man, the rest of his body invisible beneath the moss and leaves.

In the morning, Robyn and I went for breakfast in Nanaimo, at a place called Gabriel’s Café, which has excellent eggs benedict.  It is also near two used bookstores – imagine a town that can support two used bookstores right next to one another. Amazing! Then we went to Petroglyph Park and looked at the ancient art carved into the rocks – very cool!

After a brief stop at Tim Horton’s, we then hit the road to Englishman River Falls, where we did a lovely little hike to the top of the falls, then down to somewhere downstream.  Robyn and I had both put on swimsuits so we could swim in the falls, and though that wasn’t quite possible, we did swim in the water from them. It was cold. So cold. Like ice. I did take the plunge in, but not much for than that.  Despite the 30-something degree weather, the hike back up was not too hot (though sadly hazy from forest fire smoke).  In fact, the water was so icy, the skin had that tingling burn for a bit afterward!

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Englishman River Falls

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This is the face of cold.

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Goats On The Roof!

After the falls, the next stop was Coombs, where we went to the old country market to see if the goats of Goats on a Roof were on the roof – and they were!  We spent some time in the lovely market, picking up a few things for dinner, which we packed to Cathedral Grove, less than twenty minutes away by car.  The market is awesome and I love stopping there. Maybe I also picked up a few souvenir type things for friends and family.

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It’s a froggie!

We next hiked into the grove, which my cousin T had aptly described as being like an enchanted forest.  It was beautiful!  Also?  I got to see a snake (whose picture sadly turned out blurry) and a frog and so many trees, then have dinner by the lake. I had bought a loaf of garlic cheese bread, which we tore pieces off to spread with fig and walnut cream cheese. We also had sausage rolls and fresh blueberries.  It was so lovely.

We then met up with a friend of Robyn’s in Port Alberni, and he and his daughter may join us on tomorrow’s adventures. We stopped at the Dairy Queen – I have missed the DQ! I had a Salted Caramel Blondie blizzard. So good – and I couldn’t even finish!

After that, it was through the mountains and into Ucluelet, where we’ll spend the next couple of days at the Pacific Rim Guest Lodge. We’ve seen deer in the town and a bear just off the highway (“Close the window!” I panicked at Robyn as we passed it, as though it was somehow going to leap  into our speedy car). A lucky cancellation meant that we managed to get a room with two beds, so Robyn doesn’t have to crash on a rollaway bed or share with me. (Her plans didn’t solidify until after I’d already booked.) The room is awesome. Two high twin bed with a sleigh frame, two lazy boy chairs, and a deep, deep tub in the bathroom. It’s so lovely and spacious, and the bed is probably going to be deliciously comfortable. I’m definitely ready to try it out shortly, so I’ll sign off for now! Good night, readers!

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