July 12: On our schedule for today is Victoria, the capital of British Columbia at the southern end of Vancouver Island. Doug and Sue have insisted on borrowing us their van, and it is a pleasure after driving a 30-ft.-motorhome for almost six weeks to drive a small zippy car again.
At first we want to visit the famous Butchart Gardens. To save a big detour around the bay (Saanich Inlet) we cross it on the Mill Bay-Brentwood Bay ferry (25 minutes). At $34 for a car and two passengers it is not a real bargain, though.
Butchart Gardens (entry fee $33 a person) is a big garden in hilly terrain against which every horticultural show looks pale. Fortunately we arrive at 9.30 am already, from 10 am visitors slowly move en masse along the narrow walks. The tour takes around an hour and a half.
Later we go to downtown Victoria around the inner harbour (and are glad not to have to look for a parking spot for a motorhome). There we rove around for two hours in the worth visiting area around parliament, Empress hotel, and habour. Surely one can spend much more time here.
Then we go back to Cobble Hill where we will spend the last days before our return flight. The motorhome will be stored here (after driving 5,560 miles / 8,900 km). We will be driven to the ferry Victoria-Vancouver, and on the mainland a bus goes to Vancouver airport.
We are planning to return in October, take the ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles (US state of Washington) and on a southwestern route via Oregon, California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and Texas drive back to Florida for the winter.