Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 12 - Whistler to Vancouver Island - Victoria

With a very chilly 0 degrees we were leaving our last ski mountain resort on the tour. Tania and I were in a good mood this morning with lots of teasing going on. Especially about breakfast, while I was drinking my meal replacement and her eating a “very yummy” yogurt she was telling me how good it was etc. All the while dealing with my bad hair day with pigtails!!!!  Why I am talking about this you may ask you will understand shortly.  
Tantalus Mountain Range 
I tried to get the front desk to fax my claim form but it wouldn’t go through so I was going to miss another business day in Brisbane.  We took off for the bus and found out that a “certain” someone went bear hunting this morning and got pictures!!!!  Why that certain someone didn’t send me a message to say hey going bear hunting meet me in the lobby.  I thought we were friends!!!!  Sob sob sob …  talk about not sharing the love.  So there were a few people showing off their mumma and cubs photos on the bus this morning. 
Tantalus Mountain Range
Frank also told us that Banff had 6 inches overnight so it was very cold across the mountains at the moment.  I was very rugged up with 3 layers plus carrying a layer but the best thing apart from the fogged up windows was the blue sky.  Beautiful clear blue sky!!!! 
Howe Sound
Frank was telling us on the way out of Whistler about the level of security that he had to go through when he was working at the Olympics earlier that year.  It sounded pretty intense but what an amazing experience to work at something like that. We made a quick 10min photo stop at the Tantalus Range which is part of the Glacier Coastal Mountain ranges.  It was really pretty with lots of blue sky and snow-capped mountains. It was part of a first nation’s area so lots of history behind it and how they protect the environment.  Although I did get a photo of Pete with his new mate it I think they were showing off their bear shots … giggle!!!! I did however; notice that Tania was not looking well she was sitting on the ground looking very seedy.  I asked if she was ok and she said she needed to throw up but was going to try hold off until the boat.
Tantalus Mountain Range
Well that thought didn't last long with just before the next photo stop she had to rush to the toilet.  When we got there I had to go get some stuff to clean up the toilet for Tania.  This of course alerted Salena and Frank to the issue.  I left her be while we were at the photo stop and grabbed her camera so she wouldn’t miss anything. This stop was at Howe sound which was very pretty however there were a lot of trees at the lookout which is not conducive to taking photos. 
Horseshoe Bay
The only problem was the height thing because I am so short so I had to get on some rocks to get the photos – I think I gave frank a heart attack with my antics but given that I am yoga trained while I am clumsy I recover pretty quickly.  But apparently I look pretty cute with my pig tails and walking along the thin rock wall. When we got back on the bus Tania was a lot worse the poor thing.  We made the trip back to Vancouver relatively quickly and we went past the Squamish Rock Face monolith which was a solid granite rock and that was probably the last big mountain on the trip L
Horseshoe Bay
We got to the barge and poor Tania was not looking well at all and Salena reminded her not to stress about making a mess of the bus.  She thought it was food poisoning probably from the yoghurt – the poor thing and especially with her teasing me about how good it was.
Our Barge - The Queen of Oak Bay
We got upstairs on the barge and found the toilets and she seemed to be ok.  I said I would go check on her in a little bit.  I made it up to the top deck and it was nice to see Horseshoe bay in its full glory with sunshine and clear blue skies and no clouds hanging on the mountains.
The Ferry Crossing

It took about 90mins to cross to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.  It was a big barge and lots of people and it is like that on most crossings.  Had a nice chat with Tracey and it was sad that it was all coming to an end so quickly and we will miss the comrade of the tour group.   I went to look for Tania and couldn’t find her so I wandered around took some photos and ran into Dean and we got some photos together,  then we sat on the deck and enjoyed the sunshine and chatted.  I couldn’t believe that Angela didn’t want to come out and enjoy the sunshine. It was so warm and nice.  I had a nice chat with Dean about all things Geeky haha and it was strange to talk about work after 2 weeks of no work bliss. 
The Ferry Crossing
I went off to see us coming into the islands while Dean went to find Ang and I saw dolphins … Yes dolphins. Actually bona fide wildlife… I finally found Tania when we arrived at the bus and she was not looking well and she was hiding in the toilet which is why I couldn’t find her.  We arrived in Nanaimo and progressed our way to Chemainus for our lunch time stop. Although like everyone we weren’t too sure why we were stopping here considering it was about 40 mins from Nanaimo instead of heading straight for victoria since most of us ate on the barge, well except me I was too busy chatting and enjoying the sunshine.  Also given Tania’s delicate state it would have been better to head straight there. 
The Wood carvings in Chemainus 
Personally I think this is one part of the tour that could be changed.  Instead of going to Nanaimo landing in Sidney which is not far from Victoria by only 30mins versus 1hr 40 to Victoria from Nanaimo.  It gives you more time in Victoria and more time to explore or go do a boat cruise etc.
Autumn Colours 
While Chemainus was very pretty and bit of fun it was an unusual town in how it exists.  I did promise the story on how the town relies on tourism.  When the town first established it built on labourers so mainly a blue collar town.  The main industry was Forestry and lumber yards.  When that industry began to fail the town needed to reinvent itself. So using the talents in the area they created some amazing wall murals of the stories of the surrounding areas.  The main park areas were beautiful with a musician play in the rotunda thing down there.  I just wandered found some souvenirs and subway for lunch, which I left to eat until we got back on the bus which I kind of regret now. 
The water wheel in Chemainus 
It was nice to not need 4 layers and just walk around in a thermal and my Canadian adventure shirt which I had purchased from Roots on my first day in Vancouver. The sunshine was so nice and beautiful. Warms ones soul right to their toes.
One of the wall murals in Chemainus
As soon as we got back on the bus and started moving again Tania started throwing up again the poor thing.  I felt it was my lunch that set her off again.  I did however once I finished go have a chat with frank about the fact we really didn’t know what was wrong with Tania. Also given my very weak immune system that I tend to pick up everything that goes around and he should probably ring the hotel and get them to ensure there was some disinfectant was in the room. I had my doubts if he would …  

Victoria Blog to Follow 

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