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Published: September 11th 2019
We woke to the sound of steady rain falling, thankfully it had stopped by the time we left for the ferry. It was only a short ride and we got there and on board with plenty of time to spare. The conditions were quite calm and the trip took just over two and a half hours arriving at 10:45am. We then had to collect our liggage and bikes and go through customs (as we were travelling from the US to Canada). At border security we went through as a group. The conversation went something like this . . . .
Border Security Officer (BSO): So are you going to leave anything in the country?
Mark: Hey Jeff, what about that present for Edna?
Jeff: Oh yeah, I have a present for someone
BSO: And so what is it?
Jeff: I don't know?
BSO: What do you mean you don't know?
Jeff: It's a gift from my mother-in-law to her sister?
BSO: So it could be hash? Are you a drug mule?
Tom, Mark, Graeme:
Mark: If you take him
out back for a strip search can we video it?
It was the first time I have ever seen a Border Security Officer with a sense of humor, it was priceless!
After we cleared customs we went for a coffee and decided we could spend 2 hours looking around Victoria before we would meet back at 2pm and head off for the Butchard gardens.
Victoria is a very English town, perhaps more English than England. It has done a great job though of presenting itself in a positive way and is very popular with tourists. I visited Fisherman's Wharf, Government House, Beacon Hill Park, China Town, Fan Tan Alley and Government St shops. The two hours flew by an we had really only scratched the surface of what was on offer to do and see. Ah well, another place to come back and do properly.
We had 2kms to ride to Butchard Gardens. It was an easy ride and we were there by 3:30pm. We decided to split up and give ourselves two hours to look around before meeting up again.
The amount I know about gardening/flowers/trees would fill the back of a postage stamp
so I wont try and explain all of the types of plants or arrangements that were present, but I will say that hat was presented was a chaotic tapestry of colour that fit together perfectly like a jigsaw puzzle to bring amazing floral vistas to life. They are the most incredible gardens I have ever seen. The gardens were started by Jennie Blutchard in 1904 as a way of beautifying the now mined out quarry that was part of her husband's limestone mine. What an incredible legacy she has left for future generations to enjoy.
We left Butchard Gardens for what effectively was our last "travelling kilometers" of out trip. A bit sad really but we have had an amazing time with every day having memorable highlights. We are staying in Sidney tonight and in the morning we will ride the 5kms to Swartz Bay to catch the 9am ferry back to Vancouver.
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