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.
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.
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!
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!