Awoke to another gloriously sunny day. Such a contrast to Alaska……
Quick breakfast, then a short walk to collect our hire car for the next few days. After a credit card sting for nearly 1,000 dollars (although I get 500 of those back when the car is delivered back to Vancouver in one piece) I was allowed to drive away, rather gingerly, in an almost brand new white Toyota RAV4.
Got back to the hotel without incident (it was only about half a mile), finished packing and checked out. Very nice, but expensive and pretentious.
Blessedly, the car has Android Auto, so connecting my phone and using Google Maps as a satnav was a relative breeze. I managed to negotiate my way out of Victoria, incurring the wrath of only one driver (I think), and settled down to a straightforward drive about 11 miles north to Butchart Gardens, world famous around these parts and highly recommended by various sources.
On payment of another large chunk of dollars (Jean paid), we parked the car in temperatures of 30+ degrees and set off.
I can see why it’s so famous. It was also rammed, but it was lovely for the most part. A selection of photos follows:
Took us about an hour for a quick recce, a quick coffee and back on the road for a two-hour journey further north to the Tigh Na Mara resort in Parksville.
It has to be said, the modern car is a joy. This one has all the gizmos, very effective aircon, cruise control, lane assist, etc. Nice and easy to drive, too. Very relaxed.
Checked into the resort and found our way to our cabin, which is large, equipped with kitchenette facilities, but no aircon. Just a couple of fans. Going to be a sticky couple of nights…..
According to the Trailfinders blurb, the room was also equipped with a Murphy (?) . This appears to be a wall bed. Go figure.
It also appears to have laundry facilities. How exciting.
In other respects, it appears to be a beach resort more geared to families. Lots of very noisy kids about. Very low on facilities compared to the hotels we’ve stayed at so far, and showing its age a little. However, there is a gym and the WiFi seems good…..
As we weren’t equipped for self catering, and in any case we couldn’t be arsed to go anywhere else, we had dinner at the resort restaurant. We both had misgivings about this, as we’d not been that impressed with what we’ve seen so far, but in fact it was excellent. As the place was packed – I imagine it’s the school holidays – the service was remarkably good, apart from the initial drinks being late.
Back to the cabin with temperatures still late 20s and very humid. Went out to the veranda to try to cool down, but the outside light didn’t work. NOT impressed.
Not sure what we’ll do tomorrow – probably not a lot as this is supposed to be a restful stop on our journey. I’ll keep you posted.