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September 12th 2014
Published: September 12th 2014
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This is our final evening in Victoria before we start travelling to California tomorrow. In the past two and a half weeks we have seen some wonderful coastline and become more familiar with Victoria, where we both feel very much at home! Lorna has worked hard, showing us many places of interest on the island and making us feel welcomed. Everyone we have met has been very hospitable, even strangers who greet you with a smile when out walking. We drove along the coast to Fort Rod Hill which was built to protect the island in the second world war but never actually saw any action. We also spent more time downtown in Victoria, exploring Chinatown and then moving on to fisherman's wharf where there are some beautiful, well maintained houseboats which have become really desirable residences. Last Thursday we took a trip 'up island' to visit Coombes where there are some very quirky shops and they even have goats on the roof of the food store! We found a very good Italian restaurant here which had a lovely terrace that could have been in Tuscany! We then moved on to Englishman River Falls, a provincial park which has a waterfall flowing into a deep gorge. The river was very low after a very hot summer but there was still sounded like a lot of water going over the edge. There were impressive Douglas firs along the trail but I think we have even bigger giant redwoods to look forward to.

Chris and I were allowed to drive in style to Butchart Gardens last week in Lorna's convertible Chrysler. The gardens are one of the island's major tourist attractions and there were some fantastic displays on show. It is very well manicured and we have never seen more densely planted borders - there must be an army of gardeners working to keep all the borders immaculate when the visitors have left! My favorite spot was the pond in the sunken garden closely followed by the Japanese garden.

On Tuesday Lorna and I went kayaking in Brentwood Bay in a two man boat, I wasn't brave enough to go on my own. Unfortunately, Chris was still suffering from a killer whale injury so he stayed on dry land and had a coffee at the Blue Bayou! Although I was a bit anxious about kayaking on the sea, I felt very safe with Lorna at the helm, even when we heard a banjo playing along Todd Inlet!

Last weekend we returned to the harbour to see the dinky little ferries do their version of the 'Red Arrows' on water to the Flight of the Bumblebee amongst other classics. We've also enjoyed a couple of meals with uncle Ken this week, including fish and chips at Naughty Nellie's and a pint of beer at the Penny Farthing. People who live in Victoria are more British than we are !

Next stop, Roseburg in Oregon.

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14th September 2014

Good morning:-)
Hello, love the latest entry from your blog, guess Laurna was impressed by you Kayaking skills Jack:-) it looks like you are having a wonderful time. Loving the blog and the photo's, hope you are enjoying the USA trip, hope to catch up on Skype soon! Saints 4 Newcastle 0 Whoop! Whoop! Take care lots of love G & H xx

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