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Andy & Yvonne

Our Trip to Vancouver Island

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Andy & Yvonne

I am the kind of person who cannot embark on a journey without a destination. And an itinerary. And a budget. And.....

Yvonne has no such limitations, and enjoys striking out into the unknown with no preparation, and come what may. So planning a holiday that we will both enjoy is difficult. Since she is a fan of the TV program 'Amazing Race', I thought that something along those lines would work. I put together a set of 7 clues, each taking her to the next destination without revealing the rest of the plan. I told her not to make plans for Monday the 19th or Tuesday 20th of June. I put the first clue in the postbox on Friday. This sent her to the Science World skytrain station, with instructions to take a partner and be prepared for an overnight stop.

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At Science World, Clue 2 directed her to the old Pacific Central station, to get coach tickets to Victoria, via the ferry. We enjoyed the ferry ride through the Gulf Islands to Victoria. There we wandered around the inner harbor area, and visited Miniature World with some excellent war models, the Undersea Garden, and the Bug Museum.

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The next clue sent her to a hotel, where we checked in early to watch the Oilers game. The was the last game of the finals between the Edmonton Oilers and the Carolina Hurricanes for the Stanley Cup, a BIG deal over here. Few expected the Oilers to make it to the finals, and they treated us to a great series of games and unfortunately lost 3-1 in the last game. I have become an ice-hockey fan!

Clue 4 told her to be at the Victoria station by 8AM on Tuesday. I was expecting a decent sized station for the Provincial Capital, but this was a little pondok alongside a single spur line – and it has one train (the Malahat) leaving in the morning and then returning in the afternoon. This can only just be called a train, as it consists of two motorized coaches.

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The 5th clue was to take the Malahat train to Nanaimo. This two and a half hour journey is through the most picturesque scenery – forests, mountains, and parts overlooking the sea and Gulf Islands. This train trip is well worth the $ 26.75 each.

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At 10:30 we arrived in Nanaimo. Yvonne’s 6th clue was to meet someone at a local café after lunch. This had her confused, as we don’t know anyone in Nanaimo…. We walked around the downtown and harborfront area, and make it to the café for the appointment. Surprise!! The famous Nanaimo Kotzes met us, and took us on a trip to the village of Coombs, famous for goats living on the grassy roof of a supermarket. We had supper with the Kotzes and the final clue had us on the ferry back to Horsehoe Bay just north of Vancouver.

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A short but exciting trip, and next time we will venture further. A special thanks to the Kotzes for taking care of us on Tuesday.

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Cathy K

It was really nice meeting you! And it was a lot of fun being part of the adventure. :blink:

Pierre and Cathy.

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Harry

That was a great idea, folks. I'm intrigued by the goat, though!!

My wife and I are both getting profoundly fed up with the degree of planning and organisation tha goes into the great August holidays everytime. That's why we did the US road trip last year, with no more notion than trying to get as far southeastwards across the USA as possible..and reaching our friends in New York if possible. We got no further han South Dakota.

My other idea has been to do a "Diceman Trip", based on that British TV show. You start somewhere, take a dice, associate six destinations with it....and roll it. At the place where you end up, you again pick six places to go, and roll the dice. If you can select only two, the you split the numbers between even and odd numbers..etc etc.

On this last Auguyst trip, we'd end up in a town, and then talk about which road we'd take next, after checking up on what there was to see locally.

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Adele

Andy,

That was super romantic and loving of you to take into account how much Yvonne would and should enjoy the trip.

Glad you enjoyed it so much...mmm, need to get Mike to have a chat with you...:blink:

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Wesley

That was a GREAT idea. Kudos! I may have to 'borrow' that idea for when I have a better half again. :blink:

That goat is intriguing I have to say.

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Cathy K

A few goats live on the roof of the large "Goats on the Roof" market at Coombs. They're a big tourist attraction and very inquisitive. They always want to know what's going on "downstairs."

See here.

The market is something else, with a wide variety of food from all over the world. South Africa is well represented. And of course it has the largest ice cream cones in Canada.

Coombs feels a little bit like Pilgrims Rest, with many little quaint shops.

Cathy K.

Edited by Die Kotzé's

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