Sidney, BC is one of my favourite places on Vancouver Island. It’s such a cute seaside town. We arrived late in the afternoon and headed for the info centre for some camping advice. We were not disappointed! The Island View Beach campground is run by the region. For the modest sum of $20, you camp right on the beach. The ocean is rather tame here, but the view of Mount Baker (Washington, USA), across the ocean is quite exceptional, especially as the sun sets and reflects on the snowy peaks. It was a warm, clear day and we could even see Mount Rainier far in the distance. We had a great dinner of fish, as usual, and joined some of the campers at the campfire. There is a fire ban on right now in many of the places we have visited, so a campfire is quite rare in most parks (although some people do break the rules). The dew got very heavy by dark and I had to retreat into the camper to stay warm.
In the morning, we drove around looking at some open houses and took a nice bike ride through town to get some fish at the fish market and pick up some real estate info. I really love this little town as I think it has everything I am looking for in a retirement area, except for the loud airport, which happens to be right in the middle of the nicest parts of town. I will say that this place is a contender, however.
We left Sidney by midday determined to stop early in the day. We visited a couple of wineries along the way, most notably a Lavender farm and vineyard, Damali Wineries. The wines are made mostly with fruit such as blackberries and rhubarb, with a hint of lavender essence. Most unusual, but a bit sweet for my taste. We wandered over to the gift shop where we tried the lavender lemon ice cream. Boy was that ever good!
We finally stopped for the night in Crofton (having come full circle in about 6 days) at the Osborne Bay Resort. I wouldn’t describe it as a resort, but it was a place for the night with a great hot shower. The view would have been nice if we could have been closer to the water. And it was indeed very quiet, as promised. Dinner was steamed snapper and scallops that we had purchased at the fish market in Sidney. The food was excellent, if I say so myself. Leon always says it’s the French chef he travels with, I say it’s the fresh local ingredients and the simple preparation. It’s no surprise we hardly ever eat at restaurants anymore.
We wanted to visit Vancouver Island on or trip up to Alaska in 2012, but it rained heavily for several days and we were forced to move on. I can see that we missed a wonderful area as described in your blog! Are you going to leave your camper van there on the West Coast and fly back east or did I imagined reading that?
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Yes, you have to come back this way and really spend some time. We are leaving the camper with Leon’s sister because we plan to be in Australia next summer so we didn’t want to leave it in storage so long. Next time we travel west, it will already be out here.
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