Salt Spring Island, Canada
July 9 - 11, 2000
Our Travel Experience
I hope the majority of the days on our year off are as relaxing and enjoyable
as the past three days have been here at Salt Spring Island. We are in
a stunning location and the most taxing thing we've done any day is to
walk down to the rocks in front of the house. The walk down three levels
of balconies is worth it because of the beautiful view up and down the
Straight of Georgia.
||The walk down to the rocks was especially gorgeous at sunset. All six
of us (Bob, Eileen, Seth, Tara, Baily and Kaluah) would head down to enjoy
the view. Well, maybe only four of us enjoyed the view.
of us were probably more interested in poking our noses into every nook
and cranny we could find! Bailey made sure to bark at every bird who flew
nearby and Kaluah was nicknamed Otter's Bane since she chased away some
Otters who were sunning themselves on the rocks in front of the house.
|Even though Bailey chased away the sunning otters, we've
seen wildlife around the house every day: bald eagles, otters, deer, hummingbirds,
cormorants, finches, cranes, starfish, crabs. The starfish were extremely
numerous and brightly colored. Tara especially remembers how big and sharp
the bald eagle's back claws looked. She was also lucky enough to watch
the cormorant swallow a fish just as she was looking at him through the
binoculars. The otters were a nice treat too - three of them swimming playfully
near the shore. We saw the deer out in a field when we were driving back
from town with our Chinese take-away. Bob turned the car around and drove
by them again so that everyone could get a good look. It is very nice to
be in a natural environment with wildlife & surprisingly, very few
||Tara especially spent allot of time outdoors. The area down by the
rocks was so pretty, that she went down to the rocks one morning and wrote
a Locomotions article. She also had fun scampering around the rocks in
order to test how comfortable she felt in her new Teva sandals as well
as her hiking boots. Scampering around these rocks was much easier than
scampering around the rocks in Tasmania when we went river rafting. This
is probably because Tara did have new shoes and a misstep here only meant
a one foot (not a 20 foot) drop!
She was lucky and didn't fall in once. Unfortunately, Eileen was not
so lucky. Eileen was rescuing Kaluah who had fallen into the water and
couldn't get back out when she slipped on the exact same seaweed covered
rocks that Kaluah had. Eileen's scraped hand was therefore the first injury
that we treated with our recently packed first aid kit.
|Each day Tara and Eileen have enjoyed hydrotherapy in the
whirlpool spa on the 2nd deck. This is the only time that Tara hasn't felt
a little chilly. The weather has been good, but cool - especially if the
sun is not shining. But, Tara uses many tricks to stay warm: snuggling
under blankets, sitting on the hot rocks down by the water, being sure
to enjoy the whirlpool twice a day and sun gazing whenever possible!
In three days, we have only left the house and gone into town once.
The main reason was so that Eileen could get chocolate ice cream from the
local Dairy Queen. We had to go out on Tuesday for this special treat...since
the Dairy Queen only serves chocolate ice cream on Tuesdays! We would
have to say that this trip to Dairy Queen was the most active thing we've
done. Not surprisingly, therefore, both of us have caught up on our sleep
by taking naps throughout the day. This has been very enjoyable.
||The view out the main windows in the house is stunning. As I look up,
I see a few evergreens framing a gorgeous water view. We believe that we'd
like to live on the water someday and this location would do just fine.
The mountains shrouded in clouds in the far distance, the shimmery light
blue water, the islands covered in evergreen trees and the occasional bird
either flying across the water or perched on the channel marker all make
for a picturesque scene.
|It is also so quiet here. There are rarely sounds of other
people - even though there are houses on either side of this house. The
houses on both sides are shielded by trees and we are very secluded. Once
a day, someone has went by on the water: two kayaks, a sailboat, a rowboat.
The biggest disruption has been when a bird has come to the feeder and
Bailey has started growling and barking at it.
|Seth has, as always, enjoyed being around Bailey and Kahlua.
While Bailey barks at the birds, Kahlua more aggressively chases the wildlife.
For example, it was Kahlua who found the raccoon's den. Kahlua who fell
into the water. Kahlua who has been renamed "Otter's Bain" and, thus, we
haven't seen any otters lounging on the rocks by the water since arriving.
Bob and Eileen had the pleasure of lounging otters on the first day they
arrived. Bailey, though, is the fun one to sleep with. Tara has been asleep
many times on the couch and had Bailey come up to be a heat generator on
her legs. Very nice! Tara and Eileen also had the pleasure of taking the
dogs for a walk to the end of the road. There they discovered a very nice
beach at the Northern point of the island and picked red raspberries on
the way back.
Overall, this has been such a relaxing and enjoyable time away, that
we don't want it to end. Bob and Eileen are planning on buying a house
here on Salt Spring within ten years and we'd be happy to be their first
||We could not have asked for a better start to our world tour.
|Ease of Journey
||We made the journey harder than it needed to be since our
flights were into and out of the Seattle airport and not the Vancouver
airport. It was US$ 600 cheaper to use Seattle. So, we drove for a few
hours between Seattle and Vancouver each way. Taking the float plane over
to Ganges Harbour on Salt Spring Island was very convenient.
||We really enjoyed having a whole secluded house for just the four of
us. It was very cozy and had everything we could ask for inside of it.
||We did basically nothing for three days.
||We wished we could have stayed longer!
Bob & Eileen's rented house at 112 Arbutis
Harbour Air float plane - we recommend arriving early and eating in
the attached restaurant/bar at the Vancouver Airport