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Road Tripping May 21, 2007

Posted by April Ayres-Griffiths in Uncategorized.
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Yesterday Melody and I went on a road trip up Vancouver Island with her brother and his dog. We were planning to go camping for the Victoria Day long weekend, however it turned out to be pretty wet. We headed up over the Malahat, through Duncan, Chemainus (home of some lovely murals), and finally to Cathedral Grove…

The Malahat

In an odd sense of symmetry when we stopped at the Malahat lookout to see the wonderful view, we were actually in the cloud and couldn’t see anything. This happened to us in Melbourne when we went to Arthur’s seat, except that time the reason was bushfire smoke and not fog.

Chemainus

This place was marvellous and for our friends in Melbourne, it reminded us a lot of Belgrave. The town has a quaint historic feel to it, and a lot of the buildings play host to wonderful murals.

There is an interesting story I remember Melody telling me about this town… Originally it was your typical coastal industrial town where people made their living fishing, mining and logging. Gradually over time the industries which supported the town began to die off. Rather than letting the town wither away and die, the townspeople decided to cover the walls of the towns buildings and shops with wonderful murals. These murals attracted tourists from all around and the town survived.

It has a touristy feel to the place, but the artwork is wonderful. I just read on-line that the town celebrates 25 years since the murals were painted this month.

Nanaimo

We stopped in Nanaimo after Chemainus as we were feeling a little parched and wanted to get some coffee. We spotted a Timmy’s (Tim Horton’s) and popped in for some take away coffee. Nanaimo is smaller than Victoria, but is still quite large. If I was pressed to make a size comparison with somewhere in Australia, I’d say it most resembles Bendigo.

Cathedral Grove

This place was wonderful and had the tallest trees I have ever seen in my entire life. It is filled with very old Douglas Fir trees that literallly reach for the heavens. Everything was covered in moss and it was very lush and green.

It was awe inspiring seeing this place. I love the lush greenery that one sees here in British Columbia, and seeing this wonderful forest made me feel calm and relaxed.

You can get a sense of scale from the base of the tree we are standing in front of. It is enormous!

Out of the Dog House

We planned to stop off in Duncan and go to the Dog House family restaurant on the way home and get some food there, which is apparently quite tasty, however the was a two hour wait for tables in there for anyone who didn’t have a reservation. Instead we ended up going to Romeos (a Canadian Pizza / Pasta and burger chain) and having dinner there. Melody had a plate of nachos and I had myself a burger. The burger had bacon an pineapple in it and reminded me a lot of an Australian burger. Hehe the burger also had mayo in it which I understand is a Canadian staple as far as burgers go. Still, it was very tasty.

Goldstream Park

On the way home, we went and stopped off at Goldstream Provincial park and took the path down to the base of Niagra falls. (Not the Niagra Falls… but another one… It was quite beautiful in its own right and reminded me of Mackenzie Falls in the Grampians national park.

All in all It was a wonderful day. We got to see a lot that this island has to offer. I’m going to miss it when the job in Vancouver starts. Still, there is plenty of British Columbia to explore on the mainland as well which I’m sure is positively wonderful.

I felt so incredibly lucky to be here with my wonderful wife and experience this. I slept peacefully last night, and we are a little tired today, but it was so wonderfully worth it. Tomorrow Melody is working, filling in for someone at her old computer shop. I’m going to miss her. Moments like the one I just wrote about make me realise how lucky I am to have her.

-April.

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