29th of August
After our wonderful experience at the Joffre Lakes, we are motivated to brave the mediocre weather today. We hike along a river to Cheakamus Lake (3 km one way), discover we forgot our food and pretty much sprint back. It´s an easy, unproblematic hike, but you have to consider the 6.5 km on a dirt road to get to the parking lot. My highlight of the day and one of my highlights of the whole trip: “Stawamus Chief Trail” in Stawamus Chief Provincial Park near Squamish. A huge granite rock, very popular among climbers, with three peaks you can hike up to. All trails are demanding, not only because of the terrain, but because of the 600 metres you have to master. We choose the 2nd peak and aren´t let down. A sunkissed view of the ocean, the mountains and the city awaits us. As walking down the steep trail is equally tiring as walking up, we take about one hour up and one down. In the evening, we check out the Thai restaurant “Spice Root” and decide it´s a worthy ending to this day.
(View from the top of the rock)
30th of August
We´ve spent unforgetable days on the mainland, but now it´s time to say goodbye. The ferry we take to Nanaimo offers photo opportunities and time to relax. 1,5 hours later we´re on Vancouver Island. Let the island life begin! We stroll along the promenade and through the old quarter (which isn´t much) of Nanaimo, then head to our B&B in Ladysmith. But not before visiting our first Pacific beach! Ladysmith is actually a really pretty town, small, but charming. Dinner at the Mexican restaurant “Maya Norte” is good, but what stands out to me the most is the unique furniture. And the colourful pizza take-out next door. Walking through a park, I see an old couple sitting in their car, gleefully eating ice cream and just looking out at the ocean. How freakin´ romantic.
(Vancouver in the distance)
(Nanaimo from the ferry)
(Nanaimo´s old quarter)
(Ladysmith ocean view)
First big city in what seems like ages! Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia. Oh my god, what a kitschy place. Still, it´s great to be back in a lively city. We park behind the sea plane airport and make our way towards Fisherman´s Wharf. The old boats, the impressive buildings, the English flair, topped of with a cloudless blue sky…perfect. Strengthened by delicious fish and chips from “The Fish Store & More”, we cross Beacon Hill Park and sit down by the ocean. At some point it gets to cold to continue watching the kite surfers. So, we walk into the old town area and then through Chinatown. There´s something to see at every corner. A cute shop, musicians, food stalls… You could easily spend the whole day just wandering about.
Another wonderful day. Maybe that´s because we´re still thankful for each and ever second of sunshine. Who knows…
(Fish and chips with salmon and cod)
(Fisherman´s Wharf- restaurants and shops in colourful house boats. )
(Royal BC Museum)
(Kite surfers at the beach behind Beacon Hill Park)
(Chinatown- who would´ve guessed?)