Today we had to leave Salt Spring Island, as it was time to go to Victoria, on Vancouver Island (a very quick geography lesson was needed when we first got here: Vancouver is a city, on the mainland; Vancouver Island is an offshore island, a 1 1/2 hour ferry ride away, which is nothing to do with Vancouver. The city there is called Victoria).
Just to prove that we’re not really doing this by limo, here’s a picture of us by the ferry dock of Fulford on Salt Spring. And yes, that really is all of our luggage! The black bag behind us contains the carrying rucksack for Emily when we’re sightseeing, and her car seat.
Somebody who was staying at Lakeside Gardens gave us a lift down to the ferry terminal, about half an hour away, and from there it was a 2 1/2 hour ferry & bus trip to get to downtown Victoria. As we drove into town it seemed pretty grim – shopping malls & Wal Marts seemingly on every corner, but once we’d arrived in the centre of town we realised why it’s referred to as a small corner of England in Canada. There are English-style buildings all over the place – beamed buildings, grand colonial style hotels, and English pubs and fish and chip shops. (No, it didn’t make us homesick – can you imagine anything worse in 30-degree heat than the smell of fish and chips!)
Our hostel is an independent one, rather than a HI (like YHA) one. This means its a bit more anarchic, with a bar and music downstairs in the common room, rather than being like a cross between a monastery and a library. The walls look like Changing Rooms moved in – bright colours and all kinds of posters stuck all over them.
Emily was first to claim her locker – she likes to find new places to hide in every hostel we arrive at – mainly to cause us a few moments of panic and frustration.
We then went round the corner to “John’s Place”, which was a ‘diner’ – Wurlitzer jukebox, booths to sit in, bottomless coffee cups and HUGE portions! We all had a blow out lunch – we’ve realised that when we’ve been travelling, it’s good to have a treat afterwards to boost the energy levels back up again. Then it was time to relax about town, and to book a whale watching trip for tomorrow.