Visit to Victoria, Saltspring Island, Pender and Gabriola Island. Lots of ferries!
|On our first ferry, to Victoria, we saw a sailboat that had floundered on a reef, being salvaged by a crane.||This group from Houston was going to bike around Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. They all had amazing little packable bikes, both tandems and triples.|
|The Beacon Hill Bed and Breakfast is where we stayed in Victoria. Friendly owner, lots of antiques.||The Empress Hotel, a landmark in towntown Victoria.||The inner harbor, looking over to the parliment.||The breakfast room at the bed and breakfast. This is how I imagine people lived in Victorian times, in houses packed with delicate knick-knacks.||The bed and breakfast was full of antiques. This chair would be a good one to reproduce in miniature.||Leaves of the Garry Oak tree, native to the area. The leaves seemed less chewed up by insects on the Gulf Islands.||Jumping rope with a strand of bull kelp.||There was supposed to be a geocache here. We had no luck in finding it, though.||Seals at the Oak Harbor marina. They were very interested when I pretended to have some fish in my hand for them.||A cloud that looks like it has a rainbow painted across it.||A sidewalk artist drawing his subject. They seemed pretty reasonable - $20 CDN for a decent looking portrait.||This portrait reminded me of my friend Victoria||What a waste of time and energy. This woman had just finished sorting out a bag of garbage at a craft festival, fishing out the plastic bottles from the rest of the trash. I imagine the bottles were probably worth about a tenth of a penny.||We walked around the harbor looking at some of the very impressive boats docked there.||This one had it's own helicopter.||More street life||This guy did an act that combined skateboarding, and balancing with juggling torches. Unfortunately the torches had gone out before he got a chance to juggle them.||An art deco era house.||Eric was very interested in the royal geneology charts at the museum||Found this worm-eaten log on a beach on the way to Port Renfrew.||...also this stone mosaic must have been made that same morning.||and this cute little lady too!||Root of a fallen tree.||Along the beach.||Back at the bed and breakfast - the gardener Bob had planted some very unique ferns there.||On Saltspring Island, looking into an old farmhouse at Ruckle Provincial Park.||Sheep gave us a wide berth on the trail around Ruckle Park.||On our way back to the car, we had a cookie from an unattended farm booth.||The next morning dawned bright and beautiful at the Beddis House bed and breakfast. A very nice place, and very well run. Also, right on the sea.||The shore right in front of the house.||These starfish are very common on the coast here.||We went back to Ruckle park to do a geocache there - the only one on the Gulf islands. We were the first to find it, too.||A petroglyph at Drummond beach park.||There's a studio tour on the island, where you can stop in at various artists at work. We stopped in at one woodworking studio. The most interesting thing there was a little building made of old bottles stuck together with cement.||He also grew and sold trees.||The view from the top of Mt. Maxwell.||At one of the studios in the main town of Ganges, they had taken old childrens jeans, stiffened them somehow, and made them into planters.||Our room at the bed and breakfast.||Looking out to the ocean from the lawn. Great location!||In the afternoon, home baked treats were served.||Down the road was an well maintained estate owned by an eccentric woman who was the heiress to a pharmaceutical fortune. Apparently Saltspring island (which is fairly isolated) wasn't isolated enough for her, so her main residence is at a very isolated island off the west coast of Vancouver island. When she visits this place, she sleeps in a tent.||She owned an orchard and wellhouse across the street from the bed and breakfast, and let the public accss it. This is me in the wellhouse.||A sign posted in Ganges.||An arts and crafts store in Ganges. There were lots of studios in town.||The Salt Spring Island Dollar. They have their own currency there. Apparently accepted in some stores.||This card is similar to the cards my friend Judy makes, but doesn't have the squares cut out of it.||Biking the northen part of Saltspring island. Honestly, it's not a great cycling area. Very hilly, and very little view from the roads.||Vesuvious bay.||Hippies in the park at Ganges.||This fruit was in the supermarket at Ganges. It was labelled a Dragonfruit. I've only seen it once before, at a market in Laos.||The harbor in Ganges.||For dinner we ate at the treehouse cafe. They had open mike night.||The woman in green sang just before we left. She looked as though she's had a hard life.||Sitting out on the chairs in the backyard, watching the boat traffic, was very relaxing.||The bed and breakfast was done up country style, with some antiques, thus the clawfoot tub. I can see why that went out of style - getting in and out is kind of uncomfortable.||Kayaking with Lauren and Coleen, who were also staying at the b & b.||Our guide Matt with a starfish, missing one leg.||Matt also found a sea star (?)for us. Very slimey.||Lauren and Coleen. It was their first time in a kayak, and they did great.||The mud flats that we launched had the most sand dollars that I've ever seen in my life.||On Pender Island.||The view from Oak Bluff on Pender Island. This was the nicest place on the island that we saw. Otherwise there weren't many parks or public areas at all.||The canal between north and south Pender.||Chemianus, town of many murals.||On our way to Nanaimo, we stopped at a bungy jumping place. We spent about 45 minutes watching one woman trying to get up the nerve to jump. She never did.||On Gabriola Island, millstones for crushing wood for paper had been made out of the local stone. We stopped at one of the sites where this was done. It's a strange looking place. Wonder what we would have guessed it was for, if we didn't know about the millstones.||The Malaspina galleries on Gabriola are sandstone rock formations, that look somewhat like waves in the rock.||People had carved their names in the sandstone. After it eroded, it looked as though their names had been carved in relief. I assume that carving the names had compressed the stone right underneath it, and caused it to better withstand erosion.||It's almost scary to stand underneath it - that's a lot of fragile looking rock above you.||This cannonball shaped rock protruding from the sandstone reminded us of the Moeraki Boulders in New Zealand.||More millstones, close to our bed and breakfast. These were the discarded ones.||The view from the backyard of our bed and breakfast.||We had a nice view from our room as well.||The next day we went back to Malaspina Galleries to take pictures in a different light.||Beaches on the north end of Gabriola Island.||Barnacles formed just along the edges of where the stones lifted out from the sand.||Eric looking for crabs at Drumberg beach.||There's a petroglyph site at Gabriola Island. There's supposed to be dozens, and we explored a bit, but never saw anything except what was on the beaten track. Guess we didn't look hard enough.||Some parasitic plants in the woods.||A huge raft of logs being barged off to Nanaimo.||The roads on Gabriola were nice and level, mostly. Like little green tunnels.|