Victoria – Galiano Island
I don’t know where to begin. I spent the weekend camping in Montague Harbour on Galiano Island, one of the Gulf Islands off of British Columbia.
We caught the ferry at around 2 in the afternoon from Swartz Bay, it was approximately two hours until we reached Sturdies Bay, on Galiano Island. It’s really amazing for me, being a landlocked prairie dweller to be surrounded by water all the time, I have to admit, I like it quite a bit.
On the way to Montague Harbour Provincial Park we stopped in at Scoops (2450 Sturdies Bay Road, Galiano Island) which is located up the hill from the ferry terminal. I picked up some freshly cut french fries. And when I say freshly cut, I mean it. She chopped up a few potatos one by one right in front of me in some kind of metalic french fry making device. Needless to say they were delicious. Especially after a two hour ferry ride with a broken vending machine… oh how I wanted those cashews…
We picked up the Daytripper bus which dropped us off at the entrance of the park and we set up camp in an absolutely wonderful spot with a great view of the harbour. I filled up my water bottle at one of the potable water faucets in the park and it was really gross. I was comforted by the fact that it was chemically treated to make it suitable for consumption, but not so much by the slightly salty basic consistency of it. Eventually it became more palatable as my levels of dehydration grew higher.
Friday evening we sat on a white beach (white from crushed up mollusk shells) watching the sunset. One of the boaters played his bagpipes as the sun began to set which really set a very relaxed and appreciative mood in the air. But the sunset itself was heavenly, the sun burning golden red and reflecting off the ocean, with a slightly cloudy backdrop. Magnificent.
Saturday morning it was time for a little bit of an adventure. We headed over to Mount Galiano, a 321m climb through varied inclines, aided by roots, rocks, and proper footwear. (I learned my lesson from the Juan De Fuca trail and actually wore runners this time). I felt really good climbing the mountain, but I will remember the moment I arrived at the summit; just the most pristine view I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing.
Any pain I was feeling in my calves just disappeared. I was absolutely awestruck. What a great place to have a picnic, which is precisely what we did. I happily ate my hummus and vegetable sandwich admiring an amazing view. Perfect!
After the excitement of climbing up the mountain, it was time to just sit around and relax. What better place to do that then the beach! I had an easier time swimming in this part of the ocean then I did at Mystic Beach, but still not surprisingly, it was COLD.
After lounging around on the beach for a few hours, I decided to try and find a mailbox, since I had a few postcards I wanted to send out before we left the next day. I ended up walking a few km to the Montague Harbour which I could see from our campsite. It was there I realized how much I appreciated running water and flushable toilets.
On the way back I ran into a friend who convinced me that it would be a great idea to jump along the coast on the rocks and then climb back up to our campsite using rocks and roots as our aides. It was actually quite fun, I was afraid at first because I couldn’t find a spot to put my legs, eventually I figured it out, though I was tempted to climb down and go around, but now I have a sense of accomplishment, and some slightly scratched up legs! 🙂
Then all of a sudden, this morning it was time to head back to campus again. I had an amazing time at Galiano Island, and I’m certain I’ll have fond memories of it (and many of the other things I’ve done on this trip) to last a lifetime.