We pulled out of our driveway and left our home for the last time on April 30th, 2022. Boarding a ferry to the mainland and then onto another ferry to spend a few days on Vancouver Island.
Our first night on the island was spent at Cowichan River Provincial Park. The park was great with nice clean sites surrounded by lush trees. Everyone in the park seemed extra quiet too. The forest floor was coming alive with flowers and we were lucky to see the Pacific Trillium in bloom and some Stream Violets.
Cowichan river is within walking distance from the campground by means of some nice trails and the river was alive with birds playing above the water. There were lots of other trails to hike and you could see all the trees were waking up from their winter slumber.
The next day we headed south into Victoria's Chinatown which is the oldest in Canada, and one of the oldest in North America. We enjoyed the historical venues and stopped at Fan Tan Alley.
An alley that runs south from Fisgard Avenue to Pandora Avenue at the block between Government Street and Store Street. It is named after the Chinese gambling game Fan-Tan, the alley was originally a gambling district with restaurants, shops, and opium dens. Today it is a tourist destination with many small shops. It is the narrowest street in Canada. At its narrowest point it is only 0.9 metres (35 in) wide. It was designated as a heritage property by the local government in 2001.
After our driving that day and the walking around visiting the sights we were hungry. We carried on and thought we would stop at the next cafe or diner we saw. We wanted some homestyle food but all we saw was fast food places, one after another. We started to get grumpy and things were going downhill, we needed food......taking a wrong turn we found ourselves in a back alley and that is when we saw it....Mom's! We knew this
was the place and quickly found a parking spot and went in for some lunch. It was a lovely and simple place with great food, Mom's to the rescue. Funny how sometimes a wrong turn can become the right way.
We set out again full and happy, off to that night's camp. We were going to be staying at French Beach Provincial Park. The park is located along the Strait of Juan de Fuca and you could hear the big waves from the Pacific Ocean rolling in during the night. The park was clean and had a nice atmosphere. We stayed two nights and on the second day I got it in my head to go for a swim. The day was overcast, the water was super cold and the waves were not the most gentle, but I still thought it was a great day for a swim.....lol. I did make it in but didn't stay for long. I sure am looking forward to warmer swims in the summer.
I wasn't the only one who thought it was a good day for a swim.
The next day, Tuesday May 3rd, 2022, we packed up and headed to Greenlane Offroad which is located in Saanichton. We had a ladder waiting for us, well really for our 4Runner, so we could carry additional fuel and have a spot for our Trasharoo. Once we had it installed we headed back to Cowichan River Provincial Park for our last night on the Island. We stopped along the way through Cowichan and enjoyed some beautiful views and local roadside art.
We woke the next day and headed to the ferry to get back over to the mainland. Once docked we proceeded up Highway 99 to Squamish to see an old friend and truly begin our journey North.