The Plan (the whole Plan)
Day #17 : Sun 25 May : To Seattle (150 miles)
Once again, the plan is no help to anyone, as we continued to do the last part of it backwards. Victoria is on Vancouver Island, and so some sort of aquatic transport was called for. A quick study of ferry timetables showed that they took a three-hour lunch break, so if we wanted to get there at a sensible time, we needed to catch a 10:30 ferry. And our previous experience of Vancouver's traffic suggested that getting to the port might take some time. So, only just after dawn (well, not much after), four bleary-eyed Satwothers loaded our many belongings into Fred and set off. Of course, at that time, all sensible Vancouverites are sleeping off the excesses of the night before, the roads were deserted and we got to port with a good hour to spare. There's very little to do at the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal first thing in the morning, but we did it anyway. Then we bought some newspapers and sat in the sun to read them. Finally, all aboard the Queen of Oak Bay for the trip to Nanaimo.
Well, it's a pretty civilised way of doing things to let the boat take the strain for once. We had all the scenery, without having to peer at it through a car window. And while the wind threatened us to blow us off the side from time to time, it was a relaxed way of doing things.
We stopped for a picnic, only to find that in an unexpected fit of efficiency, we'd consolidated all the wine into single case in the back of the boot. Not to worry, though. David had a world class bodge to avoid us having to completely unpack.
And so down the road to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. We had missed out the administrative centre of all the previous states we had visited, and so Mark was in need of a fix of Government. So we were shown round the Parliament building by Nicole, a small guide with a large smile. She did a thoroughly efficient job, finishing her tour by telling us that we must return to the building after dark, when it's lit up. She told us, "You just gotta see it!"
Well, Nicole didn't lie. As we staggered back along the riverside after a pleasantly large meal, accompanied by large quantities of cask-conditioned beer, we caught sight of the building in all its illuminated glory. I'm afraid words (and photography) don't really do justice to it. Let's just say that Liberace would have rejected it as overdone, and it makes Walt Disney look like a social realist in a foul temper. As Nicole says, you really have to see it. But here's what the digicam made of it.
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