Yes it has been a wet spring, but the blossoms are really starting to pop, and we took advantage of a short ‘hopefully-some-nice-sun-and-not-too-much-rain’ window and spent 3 nights glamping near Victoria. We did this in the fall, staying at the same RV park close to the water. This allowed us to get a couple nice bike rides in, and a couple walks along the beach. Not a bad mini-getaway, not quite 100 km from home!
We travelled to Victoria on Thursday, because one of our favourite bike rides is along the waterfront from downtown up to Cadboro Bay. We get to see water, Olympic mountains (on clear days), and lots of beautiful houses and landscaping. Such a great ride. We’ve done it several times now and we are invigorated each time we do it. Thursday was cloudy with sunny breaks. When the sun broke through it was warm, but the wind was quite high, and the water was very wavy and unsettled. We expected to see kite-surfers out, but I guess the strong on-shore breeze was not ideal. What we did see were paragliders, launching from the edge of the cliffs at Clover Point. They would gracefully float up and down along the cliff edge, never super high. It was fun to watch them control the kite by tugging at the strings and even using their legs. They really were flying, and then they could very elegantly land on the ground. I assume the onshore wind was safer than off-shore wind!
So as usual, we had a great 35 km ride, especially enjoying the blossoms which included plum, cherry and even some rhododendrons. There were lots of landscaping trucks out taking care of the large and beautiful gardens with lots of spring flowers, along the waterfront as well.
Friday threatened rain in the afternoon, so we got out early-ish and rode north along the Saanich peninsula, right to the end, and then wiggled our way along some lovely waterside roads where we got to see Saltspring from a different angle. We found a beach near Deep Cove for lunch, where we looked across Saanich Inlet toward Mill Bay and that coastline. It amazed us that we were looking across a huge bay of water and yet we were on the same island as our home. The Island sure has a lot of bays and peninsulas, the Sannich one being the largest. It’s also fun to see landmarks and areas with which we are now familiar from different viewpoints. It’s how we are getting to know the Island.
Yesterday we made yet another pilgrimage to Butchart Gardens to see the early spring flowers. Nicky and Derek biked with us from our campsite.
Hyacinths scented the air, perky yellow daffodils made us smile, the pink blossom trees stopped us in our tracks. Even though not all the beds had flowers, it was still great show. At this time of year it changes so quickly so we could go in a couple weeks and see a whole different show, probably lots of tulips (take note, John and Dianne!) The Japanese Garden is one of our favourite sections, and although it was not in full blossom or colour, the shapes of trees, water gurgling down little streams and winding paths, make it quite a zen-like experience. It seems to be special no matter what time of year we go.
We capped the day off with visitors to our campsite for happy hour around the fire pit, and dinner outside, since there is no way 6 people could eat inside Loytää! Eating outside is definitely the exception, not the rule, in these RV parks. The behemoth rigs have all the comforts of home, and people don’t seem to venture outside much! We enjoy the outdoors, and especially the company of Nicky, Derek, John and Heather on our last night. Thanks to all of you for sharing a great day with us.
So over the 3 days we cycled almost 100 km and enjoyed the many signs of spring, beautiful vistas, fought the wind, played chicken with the rain (we won), had a couple great walks on the beach and saw lots of beautiful flowers. All in all, a pretty great outing for our 8th trip in Loytää. More to come for sure!