Sunday, September 27, 2009

Marooned on an Island

Thursday, September 24, Gary and I headed to Horseshoe Bay (just north of Vancouver) to board the ferry for Vancouver Island. This was a new experience for all of us - especially Magic. Packing the bus onto the ferry was “nervous time”! But, also a lot of fun. Here is the story -

Magic snuggles up to the fuel truck and the asphalt truck

On the ferry cuddling with the fuel truck again

Waiting to dock

Free at last

On the other side, we headed to our new camp for the next three nights. The environment is just fine - BUT, it is one of those with NO internet and NO satellite. After having such great coverage for the last few days - this is major withdrawal! So - this posting will include a couple of days when we can find a connection. AND, we will have to spend a little time back in a bar to watch the FedEx Cup and maybe the ND game - as we can’t miss those!

Friday was spent in Victoria - a walk around the town, a great lunch down at the pier (where we found our golf on TV - that ball going to the hole is Tiger’s putt!) -

The view from the bar

What we were watching instead

Then out to Butchart Gardens for the afternoon. Jennie Butchart was perhaps the first ‘green lady’ way back in 1904 when she began to beautify a worked-out limestone quarry which had supplied her husband’s nearby Portland cement plant. The garden started as a hobby with the Sunken Garden (the quarry), but just kept expanding to the Japanese Garden followed by the Rose and the Italian Gardens. Today, during the summer months, concerts are held in the Gardens and fireworks explode over them. It was a wonderful, beautiful, relaxing afternoon wandering.

At the gardens

The sunken garden

Reflecting on the day

Lots of colors


Saturday morning was a slow one getting out of Magic - we had breakfast, got cleaned up, began a little of the packing up process (tomorrow is a travel day - back to the good ole USA) and wrote the previous portion of this posting. When we finally got going, we headed back into Victoria to visit the Craigdarroch Castle. This home is built on a hill overlooking the City of Victoria (Craigdarroch means “rocky, oak place” in Gaelic). It was built between 1887-1890 for Robert Dunsmuir, a Scottish immigrant who made his fortune after coming to Vancouver from Vancouver Island coal - but, he never lived in it as he died before it was completed. His wife, Joan, inherited his entire estate (valued at $15-$20 million in 1888) and moved into the house in 1890. She also ‘housed’ several of her grandchildren at fairly young ages who were orphaned!

Craigdarroch Castle

After our ‘house tour’ and lunch and an update on golf at our ‘bar at the pier’, we were off on a 3-hour whale watching tour (our tiny ship did not get tossed and we DID return!). What FUN we had!! Lots of whales - Orcas, Killers and Humpbacks!!

A family of Orca

Transient killer whale

Humpback whale making a splash

Sounding humpback

Bye bye (Did you know?? The markings on the tails are like fingerprints - and they have been tracking this calf for a couple of years!!)

What a way to end our stay on Vancouver Island! Tomorrow we are headed back to the USA via ferry (again!) and on to Oregon.

More later - Love to All - Elizabeth & Gary

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