On August 5th we caught the 1:00 ferry to Victoria. We purchased a Circle Pac from BC Ferries which includes the ferry from Comox-Powell River, Saltery Bay-Earls Cove, and Langdale-Horseshoe Bay as a package. It cost $605!!! for the coach and vehicle. Yikes! When the BC Ferries person asked how long we were Larry told her that we were 60' long including the car but we are actually 62' long so a bit of a bargain. We are booked into Fort Victoria RV Park for the week. It's nice - paved roads, gravel sites, level. A good walking park - lots of hills! It is also located quite close to Larry's stores so we visited them a lot. A new one is being constructed at Westshore Shopping Centre which will replace the current kiosk. It's a big store 1180 square feet and will be very nice when completed next week.
On August 6 we went for one our classic little Hamblin drives. Headed through Langford to Sooke, Jordan River and had lunch in Port Renfrew. This puts us up the southwest side of the lower part of the Island. The road between Jordan River and Port Renfrew leaves a little to be desired but we heard that the road between Port Renfrew and Lake Cowichan had been paved last year, so away we went. There was only about four kilometers that was still gravel. It was a great road. We came out on the west side of the lake and continued on down to Duncan. We found the cheapest gas on Vancouver island so far, only $135.9 per gallon. We checked out the venue for the wedding next week to make sure we could get the RV there and we think it will work. When we came to the railway bridge with only 4 meters clearance we were a little worried but found, after asking the owner, another way to come where we will be OK. So we look forward to that. We ended up back at the motorhome about 4:30 - a six hour "little" drive.
The next day we drove into Victoria to scout Auntie Peggy's house out to see if we could bring the coach to her to see as she wasn't well enough to come to us. We decided against it as some of the wires were a little low and some of the streets are quite narrow. We went for lunch with Leigh from the Millstream store.
In the afternoon of August 8 Maureen went to visit Susie and Mark who have recently moved to Victoria from White Rock. They have purchased a house that was built in 1890 and is full of many layers of wood panelling, wallpaper and flooring with a huge amount of glue holding it down. They have worked very hard on it since they've moved in. Amazing what a change of paint colours can do too! Later in the afternoon we met Pat and Steve for golf and dinner at Royal Oak Golf Course. They have a very good "Nine and Dine". The weather was still holding but deteriorating fast.
On August 9 we had a BBQ with friends we haven't seen in many years. Sandy was our bridesmaid many moons ago. We had not seen her husband Rick nor Lorna and Frank since we moved to South Surrey 22 years ago. Larry's cousin, Dallas and wife Elaine dropped by for a visit too. We found out how many people we can comfortably sit in the coach, because of course it was raining all afternoon. We brought our outside table in and set it over the coffee table so there was place for two more to eat. It all worked out fine and we introduced everyone to Larry's famous combo burgers.
On Sunday we had Pat and Steve over for a BBQ. At least it was better weather to cook outside but we still ate inside. This was the first time Pat and Steve had seen the coach with all the slides out.
On Monday late morning we went and visited Auntie Peggy. She is 90 as you may recall from the pictures in April. She is Maureen's mother's sister's daughter. In the afternoon another Pat came to visit. Larry used to work with Pat at Electrohome in Victoria years ago. It was fun learning about what has happened to that staff group. Turns out one of the women has a place in Vernon where we are going in September so we will look her up. The wonders of e-mail! We'd miss a lot without it.
On August 12 Larry had a meeting in the morning so Maureen had a little wander. She began at Capital Iron and if you've ever lived in Victoria you know that it is like an old-time Home Hardware times 3. Then she drove around a bit and ended up back down along Dallas Road and then ended up at the petting zoo in Beacon Hill Park. She probably could have stayed there for hours but Larry needed to be picked up. Then we pulled up stakes at the campground and visited the Westshore store one last time as it was due to open the next day. We also stocked up a bit at M&M. Their packages are great in our small freezer.