Travel Log 2012: VICTORIA, Day 3

And on the third day, I was awoken by my alarm clock, and decided to get my stuff together and do a quick last tour of Victoria, and write a couple postcards, before heading back to the mainland.

First up, Yelp pointed me in the direction of a place called West Coast Waffles. Good reviews, relatively cheap, close by. Also, it is well documented in scientific journals that waffles are The Best™. I packed up, ripped the sheets off my bed and deposited them outside the laundry, as instructed by the signage, and trundled off to find this waffle joint.

West Coast Waffles has a quite astonishing menu of savoury and sweet waffles, and when I arrived, the sole staff member was busy cooking up some waffles for people, which gave me a couple minutes to peruse the menu. I went back and forth a whole bunch of times, unable to decide, until finally the man stepped up to the till and I surprised myself by saying “Wake ‘N Bacon”. I took a seat on a stool by the window, and very shortly the following plate arrived.

These waffles were “infused with maple bacon, cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, green onion served with a side of salsa, sour cream and side salad.”

Now that’s what I call a breakfast. And a brunch. And possibly a lunch. All rolled into one ridiculous plate of awesomeness. I normally wouldn’t indulge this early in the day, and afterward I felt a little bit queasy so I sat for a while to let my stomach settle, before heading off in the direction of a souvenir shop.

I was waylaid slightly by some clothes shops, figured I would see if I could find any bargains, maybe some stuff for the coming winter, but I didn’t really see anything affordable, so I moved on and eventually made it to a souvenir shop.

Now I’m not a big one for souvenirs, I tend to find them a little tacky, so in the end I decided to just buy a couple of postcards and call it a day.

At this point I headed to the nearest Starbucks, to grab a quick salted caramel hot chocolate (seriously, these things are going to be the death of me). One of the attractive staff immediately identified my accent as Scottish, which most people here in Canada cannot do. She told me the reason she could identify the accent is that she’s a big fan of Dr. Who, and that she had just the previous day encountered a Welshman. That’s pretty cool. I probably should have told her I was born in the same town as Karen Gillan (quite probably in the same hospital), but there was a queue, so I didn’t take up any more of her time.

So I sat outside and wrote out the postcards. The first I had done since leaving home. Job done! Well not quite, because I needed to go to the post office to post them. And having paid the appropriate postage, vowed to never again send postcards from Canada. For that price I think next time I’m going to take the time to send real letters.

Anyway, at this point now encumbered by a heavy bag, I decided to call it a day and hop on the bus back to Swartz Bay, which I then did.

About an hour later I arrived at Swartz Bay just after 1PM, just after a ferry had left for the mainland. But it’s okay though because ferries are one every hour, right? Yeah, but not that hour. Next ferry at 3PM. So I guess I would have to sit and enjoy the tranquil scenery from the ferry terminal.

Free wifi, free electrical sockets, plenty of seats, relaxed atmosphere, pleasant place to be and not filling me with urge to throw myself through a window. The exact opposite of LaGuardia Airport then…
I will take that bridge to nowhere. Well actually, the ferry arrived at the other walkway, so never mind.

More TED on my Nexus 7. Mind nourishment. Good talk on a mechanical computer. Then I popped outside and took some photos.

British Columbian water is very clear. Also very cold. Joy+wonder.
This ferry terminal is nestled next to a very nice mixed forest. And the sea obviously.

Eventually the ferry arrived, and this time I headed straight to the food court and got a plate of sushi and a seat looking out of the front of the vessel. Again, this would have been romantic if not for my being alone.

Holy crap, that woman on the left looks like she’s just seen the ghost of Hitler playing an accordion.

What better soundtrack than Old Man Gloom’s No, which I had listened to on the ferry over. Nice bookending effect I guess. Also, To Carry the Flame is probably my favourite song of this year.

Higher, higher, burning fire
Making music like a choir
Burn the follies of my youth
All my vices and untruths

A fairly uneventful journey with more beautiful views, this time under significantly grayer skies.

That sky looks full of worry, but somehow that comforts me.
The stretch between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen is full of lots of little islands. All of them seem pretty much up my alley.

Eventually I arrived back at Tsawwassen.

This reasonably drab view is of Tsawwassen, which I’m sure is a perfectly nice place, it’s just that Vancouver Island kind of has it beat.

From there I took the bus back to Vancouver. Saved money because the fare machine was broken, but the bus was overcrowded and unpleasant. But that’s totally okay because I was high on a little thing called LSD. I mean life.

Thus ended my all too brief trip to Victoria. I really fell in love with the place, and if the winter season works out well enough for me here in Vancouver, I might try and relocate there in spring for the remainder of my visa.

So now that’s that trip over, I have at least one other trip out on Vancouver Island I want to make in the next two weeks (running out of time faster than I had anticipated), to a little place called Tofino, where I intend to do very little other than hike, read, and take in the pacific ocean views. Until then, CHEERIO!

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