Of Friendly Dogs, Seals, and Octopuses

Headed down into Victoria, I was actually there a few days before I was supposed to meet Connell, who’s family I’d be staying with over Thanksgiving weekend. So, I headed out west of the city first, and spent a day out on the Juan de Fuca, a coastal trail.

I spent all day exploring the tide pools. There were so many small crabs, some crayfish, and I even saw a giant red octopus in the shallow water! When I got close, it actually came out of the water a little bit to get close. So cool!

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The sunset was amazing that night, and I found a nice spot on an empty logging road to spend the night:

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The next day, I headed into the city and explored downtown Victoria. There was some kind of running event going on, so the city was pretty busy. I walked all over the place, from the government buildings to Chinatown (which apparently is the oldest Chinatown in all of Canada; the street signs even had Chinese writing! I’d never seen that before in Canada!) and all along the shoreline to the opposite side.

I spent a lot of time a the Fisherman’s Wharf ‘neighborhood’. There were a bunch of seals there that people were feeding fish, and the little boat-houses were really colourful to walk around. It was here that I’d actually take a photo of one of the seals who was blind in one eye that would eventually be published online by National Geographic!!

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Later in the day I drove over to Sydney to pick up Connell from the ferry as he was coming from Vancouver. In Sidney, they boast that a “town’s not a town if it ain’t got a bookstore.” They make that boast because Sidney actually has 4 bookstores, for a population of just over 10 000 people. So good.

Anyway, after picking up Connell, we headed back to Victoria and spent the weekend with his HUGE extended family, all of whom were amazingly gracious, and fed me, and let me have a shower (I was probably pretty smelly again at this point). A lot funny things happened, like their dog getting a bit too friendly with me… And some midnight tractor shenanigans after some drinks downtown… And a beautiful Sunday at the Trestle, a local abandoned railroad bridge. It was such a great way to spend Thanksgiving, and I think it really helped me not be homesick on these family-oriented holidays. Truly an experience to be grateful for.

 

After the weekend, Connell and I got back on the ferry to head back to Vancouver, where I would spend the last week or two of my trip! It was starting to get really cold, and I didn’t want to get caught on this side of the Rockies after the snow fell. But still, I couldn’t believe how fast time was going by, and I was definitely not ready to leave!

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