Today’s adventure is a trip to Victoria, BC on the MV Coho out of Port Angeles, WA.
I am excited to finally go over and check out Victoria. I plan on finding some poutine and giving this classic Canadian dish a taste. Cheese curds and gravy over fries – how can you go wrong? And how can you say no? It’s certainly not health food so today is going to be a slack day on my diet.
Going to Canada is international travel, but doesn’t really seem like it since there’s no 12 hour flight. Once you get there, though, it’s quickly apparent it is. A passport check and the signs in French really are big clues.
A few years ago I took my late motorcycle over on what ended up being a misadventure with the mechanical issues it was having and got to Port Alberni and had to turn around for home. I rode through Victoria on that trip but didn’t play tourist in the city since I was trying to get to the other side of Vancouver Island.
Today I plan on getting some miles (or would that be kilometers?) under my belt seeing the what the city has to show (and feed!) me. I hear the Royal BC Museum is a great place to visit for a few hours so I may do that. I’m really not much for shopping – I’d rather see and do things and have experiences. I will probably go in some shops that are interesting. My neighbors were here last week and she said there was a clothing store selling hemp clothing. I definitely want to check that out if I can find it.
The weather seems to be clearing off nicely as I sit here on the ship waiting to sail. It was cloudy when I got here and the weather forecast is calling for mostly cloudy and a 40% chance of a shower over there.
The trip over was strange in that the seas seemed calm but the boat was still rocking a bit. I’ve been on the water many times before and have never experienced that. Very strange.
We got into the harbor and for some reason customs was really giving me the third degree. I had a backpack with a raincoat and water bottle in it and he kept on me about getting searched. I have nothing to hide and I hate getting hassled – if you want to look through it then just do it and stop effing with me. We didn’t have this much trouble going into European countries.
I walked down to Chinatown and looked around. I went into a few shops and browsed the Chinese herbs and groceries that were available. I wanted to pick up some herbal patches for my neck but didn’t know if I could take them back to the US so I didn’t get any.
It was 11 o’clock in the morning so what better time for a delicious pint of Guinness. I ended up at a pub called Irish Times to not only quench my thirst but to also get a big plate of poutine. All of the servers wear kilts and the atmosphere was classic pub and well done. I like the comfy atmosphere much better than most bars I have been to in the States.
I opted for the Irish poutine – it looked pretty traditional but with a twist. It had Dubliner cheddar cheese from Ireland and bacon. It was fantastic and very filling. I could see a big giant bowl or two of that after a long night of partying.
They had a pretty good menu full of many varieties of deliciousness. I saw them bringing out a Scotch egg to somebody. I’m not big on eggs other than scrambled but that might be interesting to try.
I mainly just walked around looking at things afterwards. I went into the British Columbia Parliament building and did a self-guided tour. I got to see the room where the Parliament decisions are made for the province.
I went to a grocery store and picked up a couple of snacks. It was about a mile from the parliament building each way. I headed back towards the parliament building since it is fairly close to the ferry terminal. Next to the parliament building is a little park with the water fountain and a wall of water behind the British Colombia seal and also the seals of all of the other provinces as well as the Canadian seal.
There was a really nice public space in the front with beautiful flowers and a nicely manicured lawn. Seems like a good place for a snack and doing some people watching.
On the way back on the ferry I ended up sharing my table with a Canadian guy and we talked the entire time across. We had some great conversations about all sorts of things. I helped him with directions to get to Seattle from Port Angeles. It ended up being a beautiful day and luckily I didn’t have to put up with any more customs BS going back over. I am really not sure what was wrong with the other guy but that was uncalled for.
I was going to meet up with some friends but that didn’t work out due to illness. I thought I would just go home but I decided to hit the Chinese buffet. I didn’t eat like a pig, though, and only went back for a couple more shrimp for seconds and was satisfied.
I was really the first time I have been in Port Angeles since my extremely brief time living there. I left there in 2015; I actually left the area and have been working in other places since. It was actually odd for me being there again. When Angie and Alexis were here last year we came up the coast on 101 and drove through. I met up with friends for pizza a while back. Otherwise, though, I have not gone back.
I stopped at Costco to fuel up since I was on E and running on fumes. This fill-up was the first time ever I have spent $100 on a fuel stop. Yes…ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS! I may have to seriously consider another vehicle that gets good mileage. Not sure how I could make it work though. Granted, I put premium grade in this time but it was only 30 cents a gallon difference so that would not have saved a lot using the lower grade. I like to run a tank of premium through every now and then to clean it out a little. I figured that it’s not gonna get any cheaper until after tourist season.
It was a great day for an adventure. I walked over seven miles around the city. Maybe that will help make up for the ride I took on the Diet Hell Express.