Day #35 - Victoria Victory Lap

Two sculptures on Wickaninnish
Transit days are unusual days in that you spend most of the day either in a car or a plane reflecting on where you've been and getting excited about where you're going. It always marks a notable point in your vacation and for us, today marked the beginning of the end of our time in Canada. 

We have thoroughly enjoyed our time in Canada and have fallen in love with its scenery, people and food! The wildlife is pretty cool too!

So we began our day having a lovely breakfast beside a real log fire at our wooden lodge hotel before hitting the road and driving the down Vancouver Island, back to Victoria where we were on Day #32.

The rustic and charming Middle Beach Lodge, our home for the past two nights. 

As we drove, we stopped off at a couple of beaches to admire the view and stretch our legs. The surfers were out in force and the waves did look inviting - if you're a fan of cold water! The beaches were also lined at the high tide mark with large logs and sections of tress which I guess are part of the sea defences since there are just sand dunes separating the roads and towns from the beaches. All the natural beauty spots we encountered were really well managed and had nice rest rooms, clear signage and good parking. While this makes for an easy experience, one does wonder if this means nature has been "packaged" for our enjoyment. How much are were changing the environment for our own pleasure. It's a fine line.

The drive down was much more pleasant than the drive up. You may recall from James' account of Day #33 that on our way up, we encountered rain, sleet and snow. This time, the road gave way to sunshine all the way (although there was a little snow on the verge at each of the mountain summits we crossed over. The views as always, were stunning.

When we arrived back into Victoria, we checked into our hotel (well technically a guest house) a different one from Monday's one. This time we were right next to the beach and had a stunning view from our window.

The guest house didn't have a reception; instead everything was done remotely with electronic locks and key codes. This caused us a bit of confusion on arrival since we hadn't actually read all the emails they had sent us that explained all of this! In the end we sorted it out and on entering we found ourselves in the most charming Victorian house with huge rooms and a grand staircase. Our room was perhaps the biggest one we've stayed in so far and the bed was very comfortable.

Sunset over Spiral Beach, just in front of our guesthouse. 
We walked into central Victoria for the evening and our route took us through a park where we saw our first racoons. I apologise for the photo because I believe I've caught one of the cute creatures doing its business! Well, I needed them to be very still since there was low light!

On our way into town we couldn't resist popping into Miniature World. James loves all things tiny and so he was in paradise admiring all these diaramamas painstaking constructed with such care and attention to detail. There were models depicting scenes from the Second World War, historic battles, storybook scenes and a series that showed the growth and development of this part of Canada. There was also the inevitable collection of doll's houses and the whole exhibition ended with a wonderful series of models telling the Legend of King Arthur. It was all rather wonderful and captivating.
After this, we wandered over to a gay bar that had caught our eye earlier in the week that wasn't open at the time. We spent an enjoyable evening at Friends of Dorothy which was as camp as you'd expect, with cocktails entitled "I'm Melting!" and "Lions and Tigers and Bears!". There was also a pumpkin carving competition, hosted by a Drag King dressed as Freddy Krueger going on, but being British and far too reserved for our own good, we just observed as participants hacked these giant vegetables into grotesque faces and made a reservation right mess. We looked on as we tucked into a beautiful selection of dishes from their menu - steak strips, cauliflower balls, and charcuterie.