I have finished a wonderful week with my great friend and fab host Marjory in Chemainus, Vancouver Island BC. The island which houses the capital of British Columbia (Victoria is situated there) is, contrary to what a lot of people think, is a big island – slightly larger than Ireland I’m assured – but with a population of about half a million. So loads of room for everyone.
A while back Chemainus decided to reinvent itself and one of the things they did was to create a town of murals – they are wonderful and it is a great way to spend an hour following the yellow footsteps through the older and new parts of town checking them out. See below for some samples.
Murals in Chemainus
The town itself is also cute and like many places in BC has its own marijuana shop on the High Street – all legal of course:). It is also home to a burgeoning wine industry in the Cowichan Valley.
The Cowichan valley and cannabis for sale in the corner shop
And not very far away in Cathedral Grove are some of the loveliest giant trees I’ve ever seen – some are 800 years old – and fairy-like glades created when the sun filters through the tree.
Trees in Cathedral Grove, Vancouver Island
I will be back for sure……
The tag line for British Columbia is “BBC” – standing for Beautiful British Columbia. For once this is not a superlative but a truism. I’d forgotten how gorgeous it is and having just spent three days in Tofino – the very west of Vancouver Island which itself is the west of Canada – well suffice to say the sunsets are always fab.
We stayed at Pacific Sands Lodge right on the beach where the temperate rainforest meets the ocean – reminds me a bit of the Margaret River area which may be why I like it so much. Here’s what I can see from my deck.
And here is the rainforest as well as the town of Coombs – and yes those are goats on the roof.
And of course we tasted a few excellent cocktails – as you do – including my favourite “the Caesar” (a Canadian Take on Bloody Mary but with Clamato juice) and a horseradish infused vodka. Yum
Having a great time staying at my friend Marjory’s beautiful house in Chemainus, BC. I was relaxed the moment I walked through the door.
And yes, we may have the Big Pineapple in Australia but Duncan, BC can certainly compete with its very own “Big Hockey Stick” don’t you think??
Marjory’s place and the big hockey stick
Great first couple of days visiting my dear friends Daphne and Mark and their cute Havanese dog Monte in Victoria.
Coming in to land I knew it was going to be a special visit – the view from the plane was perfect.
Coming in to land at Victoria , BC airport
Daphne and Mark have a boat called “Three’s Enough” (long story!) and they kindly took me out for a day and night (it has two bedrooms!) on it. Here is the boat and crew (excluded me as I’m not really crew material but I make a great passenger!) – including Monte of course.
Three’s Company plus Mark, Daphne and Monte
First stop Salt Spring Island where my vision was boggled at the Farmers’ Market by rainbow stalk kale, red and orange carrots and garlic-scapes (plus cute guy with amusing t shirt).
Salt Spring Island Farmers’ Market
And then to top it all we had a wonderful dinner at the Relaise and Chateau restaurant- Hastings House. Last time I visited was with Trudy and Alan back in the mid 90s. It is still as good as I remembered and idyllically situated on a hill by the waterfront.
The track to Hastings House, a sample dish and Daphne, Mark and I having a great time