A Taster of Vancouver Island

A new friend of mine invited me to join her for a few days on Vancouver Island as she was house sitting there. Fabulous idea, even more so because M was away for work for a few weeks. Vancouver Island is really quite large, so there were no plans of exploring it from top to bottom as it simply wouldn’t have been possible.

When I first arrived in Vancouver, I had the impression that Vancouver Island was small – how wrong I was! It is approximately 460 km long – compare that to the South Island of New Zealand at around 840 km length, and you get the idea. If you take a look at the map below, you see that it involves a ferry trip (or a short flight) from the Vancouver area, and the southern-most part of the island dips below the US border. Victoria is the main city on the island and as I learned, is actually the capital of BC too. Tofino, on the west coast of the island, is one place you often hear of tourists heading to – it’s still on my list, and I know M has plans of hiking some mountains there come summer, which I may be persuaded to do.


Getting there involved taking the underground from downtown, a bus (jam packed with every person dragging luggage, shows how popular the place is) and then onto the ferry for 1.5 hours.

One of the ferries we passed on our way to the island.

One of the ferries we passed on our way to the island.

I had the best luck on the ferry – I took a walk around the boat and headed up on deck, to emerge just in time to see a pod of orcas off to the right. This was my first encounter with orcas (although we were quite a way away so no interaction per se), and I have to admit I was pretty thrilled. Although it isn’t rare to see orcas from the ferry, it’s also not an every day occurrence. I took a short video of the pod, but disappointingly I can’t add it here without purchasing some add on nonsense. So I’ve added a couple of rather unglamorous pictures, and if you would like to see the video, check my facebook page or send me a message via the comments below and I’ll try my best.

oracs 1 orcas 2

I was zoomed quite in to get these, and the ferry certainly didn’t veer off its course to give us a better look, but I was still impressed by the size of these animals. Jennie, I understand now just a little better how incredible/scary it must have been to have had orcas appear while you were diving!

So I arrived to the island, and we headed not too far to the house, to be met by a giant golden lab who always needed his feet cleaned and managed to pull me over when out walking, a friendly black cat, large empty outdoor spaces, almost no traffic, forest trails, and a cherry red fireplace that kept us company a few evenings. Alongside the wine, chocolate, chips, cooking and company!

Cherry red fireplace.

Cherry red fireplace.

And the views when out and about were not too bad either. Definitely keen for a return visit and further exploration of this beautiful place! Thanks P!



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