To Vancouver Island

Day 18
Tuesday August 2nd

Capilano Bridge

The lasagne had nearly all disappeared during the night.

Off to Victoria Island today but first we managed to squeeze a trip in to Capilano bridge. Catherine had got us free passes they'd collected over time. Living so close (200 yards) they get issued one a year for the inconvenience the extra traffic causes.

By the time we set off Catherine had left for some far flung land (Prince Rupert probably) and Areef was out running.

Near the entrance there was a small crafts area then it was over the bridge. Jude and the boys had gone on and I decided to change the video tape halfway across the bridge, walking back to a steadier area I must have knocked the mechanism as once oupen the tape compartment would not shut again. I sat down for 15 minutes trying to fix it before anybody came back to find me. I decided that it was not possible to do any more there so I put it back in its case with a large bulge where the compartment was still open. This was rather vulnerable but there was no other choice. As it turned out later the main power board had blown and it was beyond economical repair.

The bridge wobbles and waves quite dramatically and there were frequent warnings over the speakers not to run.

Once on the other side there was an informative area (which of course the others had already done) so I skipped that and we headed off into the trails beyond. Deciding not to wait for a tour guide we wandered around with Christopher getting bored stiff (and doesn't he make it clear) before catching up with a guide and tagging on to the back.

We completed the guided tour then headed for the tree top trail. This lead around a half a dozen trees at about 20 feet off the ground, to be honest the tree top trail in Verwood is more exciting.

We wandered around some further trails then headed back across the bridge to the gift shop and ice cream parlour. I bought an indian belt whilst Jude bought fudge.

Back home Areef had arrived so we finished our packing and said our goodbyes (for now) as we headed off to the car ferry.

Totem carver

Start of Tree Top Trail

Horseshoe terminal - Nanaimo Car Ferry

Today we discovered why all the cars had been parked on the dual carriageway the other day; they were queuing for the ferry. Today was the day after Canada Day ( a bank holiday) and this year everyone had taken an extra days holiday and decided to go back to the island on this afternoon.

With ferries running every 90 minutes we had to wait 3 hours before we could get on a boat. It was boiling hot but at least we could exit the port to the shops where we had a snack and an ice cream.

We discovered a play park with a large whale model in it so we all climbed on its back, only then did we discover that various buttons dotted around the outside sent streams of water onto the whale.

After the first boat came and went we popped back to the car briefly to move it down a hundred yards.

The second time back the port owners were obviously worried about the heat as they were giving out free bottles of water to prevent dehydration. At the car we decided to abandon it and sit in the shade of the overpass where another gentleman joined us. We chatted for a long time before the queue began to move almost three hours after we arrived.

The boat was very pleasant with plenty of space, we grabbed a set of chairs in the front inside lounge and settled down with coffee, books and / or gameboys. The trip across to Victoria Island passes around several smaller islands with mountain peaks visable in all directions. Beautiful scenery and an extremely calm ride.


Once off the ferry we headed south to Victoria a couple of hours drive away where we were to stay with the parents of a colleague of Jude's. On reaching the outskirts we phoned in and were talked through the centre to Andrew's house in a very well to do suberb.

Andrew is an accountant, back at work for the week whilst his wife and other daughter were up in their holiday home. Once again we had the downstairs to ourselves, this time with a table tennis table. Andrew made us a pizza whilst we collapsed.

Approaching Nanaimo



©2005 Rob Hayward