A favourite family saying is that ‘the best bit of a long walk is the hot cup of tea back home’. We’re enjoying a steamin’ cuppa now after trudging up a nearby hill to a view from Pickles Point. We can just see the US and the nearby smaller islands. Lovely way to start the week after a busy weekend.
For frequent weekends of our old life in the UK Mrs K and I would enjoy some aspect of gardening. In our own garden, you might find me digging or moving ‘stuff’, with Mrs K’s greater expertise being relied upon to layout, plant, and prune. Our garden is something we both miss. But boy did we find a place to make up for it.
Butchart Gardens is a top attraction on this part Vancouver Island’s peninsula. Many people take a round-day-trip from Vancouver itself. So we decided to go early morning to miss the ferry arrivals. I was gob-smacked by the intensity and beauty of this place. I don’t have the writing ability to convey how much we enjoyed it so I shared some pictures here.
This first week on the Island, to its benefit, hasn’t been too ‘touristy’, but we have taken the time to see some sights. For instance, Mrs K gave me a leave of absence to take in a small aviation museum near here, run entirely by volunteers. They rescue, rebuild, and display wonderful aircraft throughout Canada. One such WW2 bomber was split up and the parts used by a local farmer for various purposes (wing as a pig-sty roof for instance). It took 4 years to put together. I was lucky enough to arrive just before a tour-group, so I had the place to myself and met ‘Conny’ a guide and ex-medivac nurse working in the 1960’s. She regaled me with stories of daring-do and a more romantic age of flight. A wonderful hour and I shall return.
We also visited Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. Victoria architecture does abound here, not least in the legislative buildings and parkland. It’s surrounded by a very active waterway hosting crafts of all sizes and frequent landings by boat-planes. A perfect place for a wonder.
Victoria was also the centre-point for the Canada Day celebrations. Held on the 1st July each year this event was particularly special as it celebrated the 150 years of the confederation. The new confederation doesn’t have an entirely comfortable past with the first-nations, so the celebrations were nicely calibrated to pay due deference to those issues. The city was taken over by street a huge street party, sound-stages, and street-performers. After a substantial Canadian breakfast we walked for hours and got to see a local band, a first-nation blessing to the attendees, and a first-nation song&dance troupe before our energy sagged, and we went home The party went on long into the night for many, but we watched the more local fireworks from our balcony.
This week we hope to take a short trip round the coast to Sooke and Port Renfrew, venture out onto Elk Lake in a kayake, and maybe find a good Indian restaurant..