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August 9th 2006
Published: August 11th 2006
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Vancouver Island

Day 31.....

Well, we're back and its amazing how much can be crammed into a week, and how quickly it can fly by!

After eating a lunch of Bison (not a whole one!), Martin picked up our Buick Allure (aka 'hire car' to those of us who have no idea what one of those is!) and we drove up the east coast of Vancouver Island. Our route took us 300kms North of Victoria, to Strathcona Provincial Park. The sun followed us all the way and that night we stayed at a beautiful lakeside lodge.

The park itself is idyllic, peaceful & easily as photogenic as any we've already seen. We spent the next day walking alongside waterfalls, paddling in the lake and trekking through temperate rainforest. The rainforest was an amazing experience, even resembling scenes from Star Wars in places! We half expected an Ewok to jump out or a speeder bike to whizz past!

That night Angela was treated to a dinner of steak & lobster at Campbell River, before heading over to the West coast of the island in the morning. After the warmth of the East coast, the cool breeze of the Pacific Ocean-battered West coast meant layering was essential! But even when cold, the beaches have a harsh beauty & its no surprise that the area is apparently a 'storm watchers' dream. Although the annual rainfall of between 3 and 7 metres put us off an extended stay!

The next day, fuelled with a Fisherman's Breakfast (a huge fry-up), we took the opportunity to dress up like astronauts (really, see the photo!) and go on a whale watching tour on the Pacific Ocean. What a brilliant experience! If sitting at the front of a jetboat going at 70kph wasn't enough, the huge array of wildlife on show made it something really special. After 3 hours, we had seen a Californian Gray Whale, Harbour Seals, Sea Lions, Tufted Puffins and Bald Eagles.

Sadly, for those of you that require proof, you'll just have to take us at our word that this is all true. Mistakenly, Angela was left in charge of the camera & unfortunately suffered bouts of sea-sickness everytime the boat slowed for an interesting wildlife photo opportunity!

As our time in the wilderness was running out, it was once again time to hit the road & head back to Victoria, making only the briefest of stops for Angela to sample the local chocolate delicacy: a Nanaimo bar. A must for all you sweet-toothed travellers should you ever find yourself in this part of the world.

As the end came to our time on Vancouver Island, it was time to return the car, checkout of our hotel & head for Vancouver, once agian via BC Ferries. We even got lucky when the bus driver on the other side let us ride for half fare because we didn't have enough change! Certainly not something you'd get away with in London!

So now its onto Vancouver, our home for the next 5 days & our last stop in Western Canada. See you in the 'States....

Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15


11th August 2006

Ahoy there!
Hello you pair! Again, what amazing photos! Canada is now my top new place to go to, it looks incredible and I can't beleive how much wildlife you've seen, I bet whale watching was fantastic. I am most jealous! I am off to the big smoke tonight for a charity event that Joe and Becky's Dave are DJing at, so should be fun! Big hugs to you both and look forward to more brilliant pics! Abi xxx
11th August 2006

Love from M (cubed)
Hello! I just realised that Ivan is even managing to add messages and so I'd better get my act together! We can't wait to see you in a few weeks time! (another 10,000+ lakes to see here!) I'm loving your blog - I've been reading it to Max. We think we might be able to find you a moose among his collection of fluffy animals. Now, after all those gorgeous lakeside lodges, you must be longing for a nice, homely night in, with just a little bit of babysitting!!! (only joking!). See you in Minneapolis very soon!!!!!
13th August 2006

Hello peeps
Hello again ... I just felt the need to say that from the pics you ahve uploaded it all looks fantastic. For once I am looking forward to going through Anj's many rolls and rolls and rolls of rolls of photos (only joking hon!). Catch ya later travellers. Loz xxx
13th August 2006

You lucky people
Hiya. Enjoyed (as always) reading your latest blog with so many superb pictures. Hope that you enjoy the US of A as much as Canada which was obviously amazing. Cannot imagine how you are coping with all the luggage given that it was overweight when you started?! Did you manage a run in Stanley Park?? Anyway enjoy every minute, take care of each other and drive safely. Love to you both. PS Matthew arrives tomorrow so must get on with some tidying up.
18th August 2006

Hello guys!
Hello you two! I am back from my hols now and not a moment too soon! We had more rain in the 2 1/2 weeks than they've had all year in France so I'm back to cosy old home. Glad to hear you are still enjoying your travels. It's Andrew's birthday today and he opened his card from you and it made me miss you xxx Hope you are good and things are well. Keep the photos and the news coming. All is well here apart from the odd drizzle or two.... Write soon. Love you both xxxx

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