It's time to say goodbye to Alberta and we packed up this morning and waved goodbye to the Martins. The longer I'm in this country, the more I realise how much I enjoy it. It's civilised, people are friendly and polite and drivers don't try to knock you down. Okay, so there is a risk you'll be mauled by a bear sometimes.
We decided to break up our drive into two days especially as we were going to detour to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake first. Both these lakes have a strange torquoise colour, a result of what is known as rock flour. Glaciers grind the rocks into a very fine dust that is then deposited in the lakes. The refraction of the light off the rock flour gives the lakes its beautiful colour. See, I was never any good at geography/geology before I came to Canada but I sure learnt a lot from all the info the Parks put up on their trails. And you remember the facts that you read because you see the stuff right in front of you, it's not just a dry textbook.
After about 4 hours on the road, we stopped for the night in Salmon Arm. As you may have guessed, there's a lot of salmon to be caught there! The next morning, we woke up bright and early and set out for White Rock. White Rock is a little seaside resort town on the US-Canada border. We arrived about 2pm and went for a wander along the main seaside drive, sharing an ice-cream cone on the way. It cost C$2.50 and had two ginormous scoops of ice-cream balanced on an equally ginormous cone. I love N. American portions when it comes to stuff like ice-creams!
White Rock was really postcard-pretty. If Patong Beach were run by Canadians, it'd probably look like the main drive in White Rock. We walked from one end of the promenade to the other on the beach and passed by lots of people just out enjoying the summer sun. At the end is a white rock. It's put there by the city council so that graduating high school seniors get to leave their mark there for a year. Then they re-spray the whole thing for the next year's students. While we were there, some kids were climbing the rock. One little boy shouted down, "Dad! There's a lot of dirty words up here! There's the... uh... S-H word and the, uh... F-U word!" All the adults close by just cracked up at that.
We spent the night with some friends who live just a street behind the main promenade. This was also the first time I'd eaten fresh cherries. Dear Hubby bought me a bagful and it only cost C$5! I think the bag must have contained 1lb of cherries. They were all gone by next morning, happily digesting in my tum. We left early to catch the 1030am ferry across to Vancouver Island. The trip is about an hour as we were going to get off at Victoria and spend the night there.
The ferry was large, comfy and served great meals in the cafeteria. We spent most of our trip out on the deck, enjoying the sun and the scenery. I could tell Dear Hubby was getting really excited because he so loves Vancouver Island, he always says it's like coming home. I didn't know I would share his sentiments by the time we had to leave for Asia again.
Victoria is the capital of British Columbia, a seaside town brimming with music, arts and lots of cool, good-looking Canucks. We spent the day walking about town. Dear Hubby pointed out an arbutus tree to me. It's very pretty but very strange... it has very little bark and its trunk is in shades of red!
We stopped by the harbour to watch a street performer doing her stripping and disappearing act and then wandered on to another street where we stopped again to appreciate a student band playing under the trees. Lovely, lovely place.
Dinner that night was at a seafood restaurant near the harbour. Our waiter was a good-looking, articulate Canadian lad in his mid 20's who was in his last year of his Maths course and was thinking of going on to do law. I don't know why exactly but all the wait staff we've seen in this trip were pretty good-looking! After dinner, about 9+pm, we took a walk around the harbour and Dear Hubby got this shot.
The next morning, we woke up early and had our breakfast in... Tim's! Yes! Bagels and coffee! I love their bagels, they were of the right size and they were generous with their cream cheese. After filling up, we set out on our drive to Tofino. Tofino is on the west coast of the island and faces the Pacific Ocean. It was absolutely freezing on the beach but I guess it's just me because there were people out there with their surfboards. God. They're crazy. Granted, they were in wetsuits but did they have any idea how cold it was??? We spent the night in Tofino in a cedar cabin (pic here) and bought a roast chicken and salad for our dinner. Oh... and earlier in the day, we stopped by Roy Henry Vickers art gallery and picked up an art piece for our new home in Jakarta. Vickers is a famous Canadian artist of mixed British-First Nations ancestry and Dear Hubby has been a long admirer. As we were leaving, I saw a piece that instantly reminded me of Little Monkey - this one! Dear Hubby came over, took a look at it, asked me if I liked it and when I nodded, he bought it for me. Awww... so sweet, thanks baby!
The next morning would be a drive to Comox Valley on the east side of the island. That would be the last leg of our holiday and our plan was to spend about 5 days there just lazing about and doing nothing.
It's been the awesome-est holiday we've ever had together.