Friday, 16 July 2010

Victoria!

MP3 track of the day - Honeymoon - The young Victoria

Weather: Another hot and beautiful day in Canada

My alarm, annoyingly, got me up at 6:30am ... another early start and I got ready to catch my bus. There was another guy who was also planning to catch the same bus as I, and so we walked together. This older gentleman was from Oregon, USA, and he was telling me how the US is falling apart and it's all going south (the end of the world is nigh ... that sort of thing) and that he sees Canada becoming the next great power and that he would love to live here as Canada seems to be going in the right direction. However much 'doom and gloom' he spread, it was pretty interesting to hear about problems in other countries and I had a very interesting political conversation before the bus arrived.

I first had a short ride on a shuttle bus before transferring to a coach that went all the way to Victoria. Once on board I sat down at the only available two 'seater' and began to read about Victoria within my guidebook (and circle things I wanted to see). The great thing about this coach is that it had no reclining seats (Huzzar!) however, the young couple in front of me kept kissing every 36 six seconds. It was like they both only had 36 minutes left to live and were stuck on this coach ... I didn't know where to look. Occasionally they would part briefly to sleep (oh and when the driver asked for tickets I did manage to see where one person ended and the other began ... but only for a brief second or two) and then they would be back at it ... fully on as well. I almost suggested to the guy why didn't he take his girlfriend to the coach toilet and chuck one up her ... get it over with!

Anyway the view was nice and we were soon at Parksville where, luckily, the couple in front off me got off and my coach continued onto Victoria. The coach was pretty full and so all seats were taken ... until Nanaimo where all bar seven people left.

After Nanaimo we had a 10 minute stop where I found out that the driver originated from Manchester, UK ... he came over in the 50's with his mother.
The scenery, yet again, was beautiful for the next leg of the trip, with dramatic hilltop views of the lakes below.

We got into Victoria around 3pm; everyone in Canada keeps telling me how 'British' the place looked but I thought, from first glimpse, it looked more Mediterranean (the weather certainly did). Once at the bus station the driver offered to drop me off at my hostel ... bonus, as I didn't fancy walking with all my stuff in this heat.

Once at the hostel I dropped all my stuff off and then headed to the closest grocery store to purchase food for the duration of my stay (well not the whole duration as there are no lockers within the kitchen at my hostel, and so I am a little weary of leaving so much food insecurity).

$40.00 it cost me for three days food! I got 2x canned meals, a bag of nachos, a block of cheese, a loaf of bread, a box of Lucky Charm cereal (I'm such a child), 3x oranges and 3x bananas. I did also get three luxury items; a fruit salad (for $6.00! ... £4.25 which tasted lovely), a bar on lint raspberry chocolate (lovely) and some English sweets as we are in Victoria (apple bonbons and dolly mixtures ... ace!).

After putting this lot away in the hostel kitchen, I then set to doing some laundry as I was almost out of clean clothes. Whilst waiting for the stuff to be done I noticed a guy I was talking to earlier was practicing pool by himself and I asked if he wanted a game. I won the match 2 (United Kingdom) -1 (Canada), but he was by far the better player and I only won because he potted the black incorrectly twice.

With my washing done I sat down with my PC and updated a few things (like this post). Next I shall cook myself my tea (cheesy nachos as I'm not that hungry) and then have an early night. Tomorrow I plan to sight see around Victoria on foot before coming back to the hostel for lunch and then, maybe continue on foot or look for something else to do (there is supposed to be a superb museum here - one of the best in he world - however I shall have to leave that for a full day as my guidebook states it will take that long and some more). I've also been in contact with Rosie (the mad cyclist from Jasper) who is now over here after cycling to Winnipeg (why I don't know) ... need to hook up with her and share stories.

Toodle Pip!

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