Wednesday, 21 September 2016

OUR PARADISE ISLE - VANCOUVER ISLAND

The saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" is so apt for Vancouver Island, one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. So I will not ramble on for too long and just let these pictures tell the story for me.

We sailed from Vancouver on BC Ferries, which was a really efficient service taking around 1.5 hours from the mainland and docking at Swartz Bay, an hour from our fabulous accommodation in Sooke.  



And the cottage we were staying in absolutely made the holiday for us. We were captivated as soon as we saw this view as we came down the drive.   The house exceeded our expectations and for those interested in seeing the inside here is a link    https://www.vrbo.com/482447

Lizzy also featured footage on her you tube channel which is linked here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo5c8aDwHgc


It was beautifully decorated with every amenity including a hot tub, but the views from any of the three patios, or from the fire pit on the beach, are what made it our little slice of paradise  We ate in most evenings, making use of the BBQ and sitting out watching the amazing wildlife including seals, eagles, otters and herons, right on our doorstep!




The views in the morning were breathtaking and on more than one morning I was up at first light to see the sun rise over the docks.  



Evenings were spent round the fire pit, tended by Harry, eating S'mores (fire-roasted marshmallows with a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two Graham crackers) which were a new experience for me.





Vancouver island is pretty large (290 miles long x 62 miles wide) so we only experienced the southern portion where we focussed on the local area around Sooke, including Victoria which was around 30 mins away.  We ventured as far as Port Renfrew in the North and across to Lake Cowichan in a loop back to Sooke on one of the days (4 hours driving).  Taking in the spectacular natural landscape of rainforest, lake, beach and mountain on our journey.  


Most days were spent hiking the trails - visiting Sooke Potholes Provincial Park, taking in part of the Juan de Fuca trail from China Beach to Mystic Beach and a long hike round East Sooke Park. Although there were signs in all these locations warning to watch out for bears and cougars we did not see any - part of me wanted to, but from a very long distance away!  







And one day was spent in Victoria, where I can give the only restaurant recommendation as we had lunch at a fabulous quaint eaterie called Fish Hook that was on Fort Street, ideal for a quick, delicious lunchtime meal.  I am sure there are loads of great restaurants but we took advantage of our accommodation and catered for ourselves most days.



Really this part of our holiday wasn't about visiting cities, it was all about experiencing the natural beauty of Vancouver Island.  We were unanimous in wanting to return and see more of the island and would love to experience it in its wintery gloriousness.



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