We caught the small Islandlink bus to Namaimo from downtown Victoria. Not a great amount to see but we did pass a lot of forest and costal areas which was nice, admittedly I did sleep most of the journey.
We were dropped off in the afternoon at the Nanaimo ferry terminal so had to catch a bus to the main town and then walked up the hill to our next couchsurfing host’s home. It was a lovely big old house with plenty of character. Our room was a double room downstairs complete with ensuite. Sweet! Another couple from Columbia & Sweeden were in the next room. Our host, Steve also had his mother and daughter staying over that night so it was a full house.
Fergus and I went to get some wine from the local bottle shop while the other guests cooked a lovely dinner of veggie burgers, hummous, salad and other yummy stuff. It was so lovely to have a proper healthy home cooked meal. Chatted and then had an early night.
The following day we decided to go for breakfast in town. After walking around a bit we finally settled on a small French cafe. Unfortunately they were very busy and after a muck up with our order we were given free biscuits and a free piece on Nanaimo bar. Great! The food was yummy and we were in no hurry so it was all good.
Watched the daily canon firing beside the bastian then headed around the dock to the water taxi to get to Protection Island and jumped straight on after paying $9 each.
A short ride later we docked on the island just beside where Canada’s only floating pub is. We walked up onto the island past a carpark with no cars, only golf buggies, that is how the locals on the island get around!
We strolled along the gravel roads (all with oceanic names (Pirates Lane, Captain Morgan’s Blvd etc) past amazing houses and shacks surrounded by lush forest, it was simply stunning. At one point we cut out onto a small piece of land beside a jetty and walked around the rocks and shared our Nanaimo bar, it was nice but very sweet.
We had clam chowder, a huge bowl of fries and a beer before catching the ferry over to the neighbouring Newcastle Island. This island is not inhabited except for a few campers. There is also a Museam and a small store. We wandered around the islands perimeter through large forests, past rocky coves where we saw a small seal pup waiting for its dinner, small beaches, an inland lake and some totem poles.
Caught the ferry back to Nanaimo and walked up the hill to the house. It was quite late so we stopped at a pub on the way home for dinner. I had more Poutine. Mmmmm. Settled in for an early night again after stargazing for a while.