Day 15 - Whistler to Victoria

Nothing in Whistler opens very early in the morning, so Meld and I had a potter around the village and bought some lunch while the girls took advantage of the superior facilities of our hotel room. This is the hotel, protected by the net of the driving range, nestling under the mountains.

Then we loaded up and headed south on the Sea to Sky Highway (or, in our case, sky to sea). The road largely followed the river, which has the same destination.

The views were good, of Garibaldi to the east and this range to the west, but the traffic was heavy which required concentration rather than mountain-gazing!

We dropped down the sea level alongside the upper reaches of Howe Sound, whose banks we then followed.

At Porteau Marine Park we stopped for a while

to take the views

and meet interesting pair of birds.

Then, via some serious roadworks (and corresponding delay) we reached Horseshoe Bay and joined the ferry queue. You have to admit it's a bit more scenic than Dover.

On the ferry the girls settled themselves in the sun.

Another ferry went past, heading into the port... we steamed away.

As we headed out there were good views all around, including this one of Vancouver (downtown to the right, Lions Gate bridge to the left, Stanley Park in the middle).

The mountains to the north east peeped over the lower hills near the shore.

A tug pulled a pair of barges (soil and gravel?) towards the mainland.

As we neared Vancouver Island, we passed Gabriola Island and smaller uninhabited islands such as this one.

On the island we headed south (despite Muriel's attempt to send us north!) and took a break at Chemainus, a small town that was built on the lumber trade.

Some years ago they covered the walls with murals showing the history of the place, making it a "must visit", and compensating for declining trade. There are too many to show them all, but here are some examples.

We thought this coffee shop's name suited Rosie (and Katherine too)

These guys busking on the sidewalk - Meld and Bridget wanted to dance, but not together!

In the centre of the town this replica waterwheel commemorated the original sawmill at Chemainus.

Down below the little tugs were still in operation, dragging lumber around.

Then, after an ice cream each, we headed south then east then north to Muriel and Peter's, where a great welcome and splendid supper awaited us. And so the the beach house and bed...