Wash / Van Trip [part 5]

On our last full day on Vancouver Island we began by going to Avatar Grove after breakfast. Before arriving at Avatar Grove, the road turned into mainly big gravel, with lots of potholes. At one point we almost turned around since it didn't seem we were headed the right direction. We eventually found it, which was quite worth it because we got to see Canada's Gnarliest Tree. 

We ate our packed lunch at Juan de Fuca Provincial Park. There were a bunch of Steller's jay birds hanging out by us. They were really excited when a couple got done eating so they could go scrounge for crumbs. I think they were waiting for us to leave as well. 

We walked the trail which took us to Botany Bay and Botanical Beach. We saw some tide pools and unfortunately a deceased octopus. 

After a few hours we took a break and headed to the Renfrew Pub for a beer. It was a little soon for supper, so we went and walked a shorter trail to the water for some more spectacular views. 

For supper it was back to Renfrew Pub. Before leaving we walked the docks a bit trying to get a closer view of an otter out in the water. 

On the way home we made a few stops to get a better view of the sunset. Even our little cabin welcomed us home with a beautiful view.

Wash / Van Trip [part 4]

On our first morning in Canada, we leisurely made breakfast and packed our lunch before heading out to explore. Upon leaving, we took a quick detour to the top of the hill that our cabin was located on to take in the view. Not too bad. 

Our first stop was at Sooke Potholes Provincial Park. We never quite knew if we were on the right trail. Some trails were super rocky, while others took us back to the road for a bit until we hit the trail again. In the end we finally found the potholes and made it just in time to watch a guy jump in as his friend watched. 

East Sooke Regional Park  was our next stop. This area is huge and we could have spent all day here if time allowed. It didn't, so we picked one trail to explore. We were kind of hoping to spot an otter or two, since they are known to be in this area, however, they must have been hiding from us this particular day.

After our hike, we headed to Victoria to visit Eric's cousin Nik. It had been roughly 25 years since they had last seen each other, so it was due time to get together again. 

Upon arriving, we were greeted by Herbie + Doogan, two playful labradoodles. I was mainly smitten by Herbie [probably because of his name]. The weather was beautiful, so we sat in the backyard catching up / getting to know each other. 

For supper, Nik's husband James made fresh pasta [which was fantastic!]. I watched as he made it look so simple.

I made myself useful by making sure all their pets were entertained. I specifically got along with Francois the cat. He enjoyed the attention / pets, while I got my cat-fix. 

I'm so glad we got to spend an evening among great company. We heard some great traveling stories, plus got some tips of places to check out before we left Vancouver Island.

Wash / Van Trip [part 3]

Day three was a busy travel day to Vancouver Island and it almost didn't happen.

The inner-island ferry we needed to take was cancelled last minute. There was a lot of back and fourth between two of the workers [both on completely different pages about what was going on] as well as us calling to make sure we wouldn't get charged the a fee for not showing up for our ferry to Vancouver Island. 

After a lot of confusion and ferry rides, we got on the ferry we originally were planned to be on to get to Canada. Long story short, there was A LOT of inconvenience for other ferry riders to accommodate about 15 people who were stuck due to the cancellation. 

We eventually arrived in Canada at our scheduled time and continued on the road to our Airbnb in Jordan River. On the way, we stopped at 17 Mile House Pub for lunch where we also got to see the last quarter of the Packer game. 

The roads to Jordan River were twisty and beautiful, however, it was nice to finally arrive at our destination and get settled in. 

Although our cabin was quite remote, we were right in between lots of beaches and trails. The first area we checked out was China Beach where Eric discovered a waterfall that was a bit off the beaten path. Next we went to Sandcut Beach. 

Before heading back to our cabin, we went to Sooke [the nearest town with a grocery store] to pick up dinner. As we left the grocery store the sun was starting to set. We found a beach near the road, parked and ran down the trail to get a few pictures of the end of our first day in Canada.