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Day 16

In the previous post, I briefly described the first part our drive from Pacific Rim National Park to Victoria: the part from Tofino to Cathedral Grove near Port Alberni. But I missed the above picture of Cuppa in the Grove; I like it and wanted to include it somewhere, so there you have it.

To continue: just as it was slow going from Pacific Rim to Port Alberni, so it remained slow going for the rest of the way as well. We thought that it would be different, for the map seemed to show an expressway from Nanaimo to Victoria, and the distance was not huge. In fact, in our experience it should only have been about an hour because that’s about how long it takes us to drive an equivalent distance in Ontario. It was different on the Victoria route, however, for there were stoplights every few miles, or so it seemed. We’d get up to highway speeds and then be forced to stop — time and time again.

As a result, we were somewhat travel-weary by the time we hit Victoria, but we found a generic motel easily enough where we also begged for directions to a decent restaurant. As it turns out, we were directed to Irish Times Pub in downtown Victoria. As this poor picture shows, it was a pretty impressive establishment.

Day 16

And Praise Be! for we did have a very decent meal, not the best ever, but it didn’t have to be after the previous night (see below). It was quite good, however, and the atmosphere was great. AC and Cuppa even sampled four Irish beers. Not to fret about us becoming alcoholics though, for as the photo shows, the portions were small which is just as well as neither of us are exactly world class beer drinkers. What led to the sampler was the fact that I had never tried that world famous Guiness, not in my whole life, and my life is moving apace thank you very much, so it seemed to be high time.

Day 16

As it turned out, both of us ranked Guiness as our least favourite, with the much lighter Harp coming out on top. After dinner we toured downtown Victoria. From the outside, we saw the famous Empress Hotel and the Legislature and many other tourists and many touristy shops. It seems that tour ships frequently pull into Victoria, and the stores reflected that as did various conveyances such as the caleche below.

Day 16

All of that being said, however, I have left you hanging just a bit — something about bad food on the previous night in Tofino. Was it ever bad! Judging by the next photo, I must have had a premonition because Cuppa took it even before the food came. We had fancied and ordered fish and chips. I ate two bites (can’t think of why I took the second) and gave up in a state of nauseated disgust. I don’t leave my food very often, particularly at restaurant prices, but this stuff was truly awful. It wasn’t halibut, wasn’t haddock, and wasn’t even cod, but it sure was fishy. Ugh!

Day 15

My goodness! We’re almost done with the trip. In a later post I will share some photos of the famous Butchart Gardens and our return ferry crossing, but that should be close to the end of Rambling and Roving for now.

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