Zip lining and pub dining in Victoria


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Published: July 18th 2015
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It's 9.31 on the 18th July. I haven't got round to writing a blog for a few days now as we've been moving on from Victoria and on to Seattle. We're settled in now here in Seattle however, so I will write about Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of our last week.
Monday was a fairly uneventful day, with Donna going back to work and Bob having to go in for a meeting. So in the morning I got up early-ish, wrote my last blog and had some breakfast, by which time everyone else was up. Bob came back at about 12 and was now actually on holiday. Around that time Rosie and I decided to head out to the plaza, grab some frozen yoghurt and throw some ball, while Kate sunbathed and Matt watched a film on his phone. It was a hot day, and we could only throw the ball around for maybe 30 minutes each way before we had to four somewhere that was out of the sun.
It was nice, nevertheless, to get out the house and do something active. It was probably gone 3 by the time we got back, and we spent most of the rest of the afternoon watching the golf or reading out in the sun.
As far as I can remember nothing else of note happened on Monday, except maybe me going to the park to train or going for a run, and us all having dinner and talking as usual out on the deck before hitting the hay by 11pm, or there abouts.
We were up at about 9 on Tuesday, and all got ready to go out at 11 to head to Sooke to go zip lining. We were all very excited as you might expect, and bundled into the car with plenty of time to get to the centre. We headed up the island highway, turning off to go round a huge lake - the zip lining centre being on the other side of it. However, several miles down this track we came up to a huge red barrier and a 'no trespassing sign' which wasn't mentioned on the google map directions. Donna called the centre and asked which was the quickest way to divert from where we were, only to be told that the only way would be to go around the other side of the lake, which meant going back most of the way we had come.
Timing was now very close but, after negotiating a pot-holed track at high speed, we made it in the nick of time. We arrived and met our instructors Susan and Trent, and the others in our group - a guy with his young son and daughter. We were harnessed up and headed up the hill to the practise line to go through the steps of clipping and zipping in the relative safety that being only 10 feet off of the ground offered.
Once we were all trained up we were then loaded into a huge truck with a roll cage over bus seats, called the Mog and headed up a steep, rocky trail to the first proper line. At one point the driver stalled going up a particularly steep climb, and kept rolling back on every try, getting closer and closer to the edge of the hill behind us. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief when, on the 5th try, we got moving in the right direction again.
Once we'd got to the top of the hill we came to the first line, 300ft long, aptly called Commitment, and lined up to go shooting into the forest and down to the next platform where Susan awaited us. This was probably the slowest line, but still reached quite a speed by the end. From here we came to another 7 lines, each longer or faster than the last - getting up to 1000ft long with a top speed of 60km/h. The instructors taught us different tricks to do while zipping, Matt and I's favourite being the reverse cannonball which was basically just a complete inversion, and ways of speeding up or slowing down. On the last zip there was a camera, and I was the only one that managed to be facing in the complete opposite direction for the photo.
We came off the course 2 hours later, pretty exhausted but having had so much fun while up there. Not only where there the lines, but the forest which we passed through was also pretty spectacular, a forest that was home to bears and cougars (none of which we saw) as well as eagles and deer (which we saw plenty of).
Next to the centre was a pub, the 17 mile inn, where we had lunch out on the patio and recovered. Unfortunately Matt and I had both forgotten our IDs, so had to settle with Coke while the rest had a well earned beer or cider. After eating, we made our way back to the car and headed home, getting back at about 5pm. That afternoon I think everyone fell asleep for at least an hour - I didn't get up until gone 7pm, when I went out and trained in the park as it got cooler. We didn't need much dinner that night after a late pub lunch, grabbing a sandwich or some toast before settling down to read before bed.
We got up Wednesday and went about our usual morning routine, eventually all getting ready by 12.30 when we were to meet Donna (who had worked the morning and was now off for the next few days) and here Mum for lunch in a pub across town. Donna's Mum, Margery, was a relation of Rosie's by some measure and had gone to England with Donna when Donna was only 20 to stay with Clive (Rosie's Dad) and his parents - Clive being only about 20 too.
We met in the pub and told Margery a little about our trip, and ordered some lunch (Matt and I not forgetting our ID this time). It was a lovely meal, and fascinating to talk to Margery about what she remembered from her trip. Once we had eaten and settled up we all said goodbye and how nice it was to meet up, after which Donna took her mum back to her flat.
The four of us and Bob headed back to the house, detouring on the way to see the richest part of the neighbourhood - some of the house being a ridiculous size - and through the university campus, before getting a few groceries. It wasn't late when we returned, maybe 3pm, so before long I decided to go for a walk since it was such a lovely day. I headed down through the trails and out onto the Ritchets Bog (where a cougar had been sited a week earlier), walked a loop around there and headed home. It's a great idea to have these trails through the city, meaning you can walk or run or cycle without coming into constant contact with traffic or having to walk through the uninspiring sprawl of suburbia.
When I returned Donna was back and it has been decided that we we were going to head out to the Monkey Puzzle pub for a few drinks that evening as Bob was going to a work function, and it was our penultimate night.
So we headed out to the pub, which had a good buzz for a Wednesday night, and ordered a round of drinks as well as two plates of wings (which were incredible - Rosie was in her element). We probably stayed for 3 or 4 hours, just chatting about our trip, our lives back home, plans for the future etc. and topped it off which a dessert each - some of which were mountainous.
We got home by 10 or 11, everyone heading to bed relatively soon after. From this point, of course, we only had one more full day in Victoria and in Canada before we turned south and headed into the U.S., and eventually home.



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