Okay, I may have visited the west coast over a month ago now, but I'm only just getting the chance to sit down and sort through alllll the photos and gather my thoughts and stories.
This trip out was one of outdoor indulgence and food. Other Half had been more than hinting for awhile now that he'd like our next vacation to be one of nature, and less of culture. And since I go nowhere without researching the food scene, and I knew the west coast had a lot to offer, I was looking forward to a lot of goodies. Generally our days were laid out like this: hike, eat, bike, hike, eat, kayak, eat, eat, home - so I think we succeeded in both of our trip goals.
For this trip, we flew in and out of Victoria so that we could maximize our time with family on the weekends and still make a lot of day trips, and a trip to Vancouver, during the week.
After a day of pirate ships and seal feeding in Victoria, we were guided by the family over to East Sooke Park. The hiking here follows the coast for about 10 kilometers and after the tasting we got of it this time around, I would love to be able to hike it from one end to the other. Which is supposed to take about 6 hours on moderate to challenging trail ... something I would need to work up to I think! We stuck to the west end of the park, and thoroughly enjoyed our few hours on the trail. We were able to take in the biggest slugs I've ever seen, some awesome scenery of the forest and ocean variety, and watch from afar as some seals frolicked on the coast. A blissful beginning.
|A look back while hiking the East Sooke Coastal Trail|
|Other Half checks the view as we set out for the day!|
With one hike and one feast finished, it's time for a bike trip, no? yes! Before I begin I'll let you know that biking and I have a very one-sided relationship. I love it, it does not love me. Hauling my butt up a hill on a bike is more likely to end in cursing than anything else. So when we decided to bike the perimeter of Victoria, and it was hillier than I could have expected, well ... let's just say I probably made Other Half blush with my language. And the neurotic side of me still had a great time. Don't judge.
We were able to rent bikes for the day from Cycle BC and took them on a trip around the perimeter of Victoria. We followed the coast from Beacon Hill Park, up to Mount Douglas and then cut across the city to get back again. We took our time, stopped a lot for photos and snacks and all in all it was probably about 4 hours. This was definitely a recommended ride (even with the cursing).
|Have I ever mentioned my love for ports and marinas? It borders on obsession.|
|Don't know if you can tell, but this is STEEP!|
|An idea of the terrain ...|
The "mount" part of Mount Finlayson is a fairly loose term here. At just 419 meters high, it's a mole hill compared to other formations in the area. But the 1 - 1.5 hour hike is a steep challenging climb, and when you get above the tree line, the nicely marked trail vanishes and you have to scale a few rocks, which is not necessarily for the faint of heart. That's not meant to scare you off, it's meant to be real. And if you think you can't do it, know this: there were people jogging the trail. That continuously shocks me any time I think about it, but each to their own. I love this hike and I'll hopefully do it again the next time I'm in town!
|waiting for us at the base of the hike!|
Until then, stay happy, have adventures!