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Sunday, 26 February 2017

Visiting Victoria, BC

Can't for the life of me remember what we did on Wednesday.  It must have been a quiet day at home and catching up on logging (geocaches) and blogging...

Late Wednesday night we decided that we wanted to go out for a few days, so Dianne and I sat down to explore options for a visit to Victoria, list a number of caches that we could search for while there, booked a B&B and found a reasonably priced parking lot.  Where would we be without internet nowadays?

Thursday 23 February 


On Thursday morning we set off at 9am for a scenic drive south.  It was cold, but clear and dry.  Fuel for the car and fuel (coffee) for me kept both car and me happy and we arrived at 12:30pm.  We found the parking lot without any hiccups and walked to Miniature World, which was on our to-do list, while before and after we went in search for a few caches.

A few caches on the way.  There are quite a number of virtual caches in Victoria, which we like doing, because there aren't many of this type in Australia.

You're Going Around in Circles Anyway (virtual)




Dianne walking the maze


We also walked past this beautiful sculpture (of which there were many in Victoria):





Miniature World blew me away.  The details in all the dioramas and the number of figurines used in them was just fantastic.  Only a small part was about dolls houses, most was about various wars in Europe and America, the First Nation People, Fairytales, Canadian sceneries, Old London Town, Dickens' scenes, a fair, a circus, etc. Well worth the time and money spent!

A small selection of the many pictures I took:


WW II

Calgary

Canadian scene

Calgary again?

Native settlement

Old London Town

London Bridge in the back

Room in a dolls house

Fair (daytime)

Fair (at night)

When we finally stepped outside Miniature World after 2-1/2 hours (instead of the 1-1/2 they said we would need) we walked around Victoria finding some caches and a lovely restaurant (Browns Socialhouse) where we had lunch.


Browns Socialhouse

 
A park full of totems

totems

 Crows in the square (virtual cache)



Sculpture of Helmcken

Sunken Garden





Museum garden

Sculpture opposite the museum

The marina

Whats Cooking (virtual)

Here we had to upload our pictures holding the GPS.





You Rock, Victoria!






And that was the last one of the day.  Time to walk back to the car and find our airbnb, which was close to the water on the southside.  The hosts were immigrants from Iran and were lovely people.  The girl (don't know her name, wife of the host) had only been in Canada for 10 months and was trying her best to speak English with us.  A pity I don't have any pictures of her paintings, but she was a very talented artist.

We had a nice stay.  Got even offered cake with our coffee and we chatted until bedtime.  The room and bathroom were simple but pleasant enough. Hurray for airbnb. So easy...






Thursday, 23 February 2017

Adding more news gradually

Monday 20 February


I can tell I am sleeping better: didn't wake up until 8:30am this morning!  A bit late for me, so I will need to keep an eye on my bedtime. :-)

As the rain had cleared a bit and there were a few hesitant rays of sunshine later in the morning Dianne said she felt well enough for a walk, so we went in search for the cache that had eluded me yesterday.

Again, we found the 'queen' in no time. I even have a better picture of her, taken with my ordinary camera instead of the one on my phone.  For a good close-up I need the optical zoom:


You can now see the sculptured top: a chess piece

Going back to my story about the cache, we wandered around slipping and sliding on the wet leaves and occasional patch of snow, but could not find the 'stump' that we were looking for. There was nothing like a 'stump' at the given coordinates.  Eventually Dianne turned around and pointed towards a..... stump.  Thirteen metres from where we were standing at so called GZ!

We made our way towards it and yes, there it was.  A little container in its hidey hole.  So, we could sign the log for our second find in Canada. :-)

B08: Queen of the wood




In there somewhere is the stump that we couldn't see from the road

On the way back I took a better picture of the house too. Yesterday's was rather clumsy.




Tuesday 21 February


So much for sleeping better: when I finally got up I had been awake since 2:30am.  Played Wordfeud for a while, read a bit, tried to sleep again.... In the end I just got up!

As it was a special day today and the sun was out we decided to go out and do a bit of exploring.  So much unlike Italy, where we spent every waking hour doing something interesting when we weren't relaxing, reading or doing some work on our computers.

It was Dianne's birthday, so we did what we both liked doing: we went out geocaching and I had promised to shout either lunch or dinner to make it a special occasion.

We put the coordinates in our GPS for our first cache south of Nanaimo.  This brought us to a historical mining site.  That's the great thing about geocaching, there is so much around that you might otherwise miss. This was the Morden Mine site, which for us was a virtual cache.  There is a trail leading to the Nanaimo River and back across the old mining site, with three more caches hidden.

It was such a pleasant day.  Local children were even out in their Tshirts playing with the donkeys.  We didn't stand still too long though, because we're not quite adapted to the low temperatures....





Then we wandered over to the mining site and saw this big contraption, called a pit head, head frame or tipple.  This was one of the earliest mines that used a concrete framework for the pithead and that's why it's possibly still standing.

BC 300 (More or Less) - TCDNBC (virtual cache)





 When we had answered the few questions for that cache we walked the track on the historical site to find three more caches.  Alas, number one of the three gave us a hard time and we had to log a DNF (Did Not Find).  Number two I found, but by sheer accident as it caught my eye just as I was walking out of the wood:

Pacific Coast Coal Mine #2 (cache)





 And number three was discovered by Dianne, because I walked over to the wrong side initially and when I realised my mistake she had the cache already in her hands. :-)

PCM #3 (cache)





We had to add a piece of paper with our names on it, because the original log was soggy and we couldn't write on it.

This cache was near the Nanaimo River, where we looked around, took some photo's and then walked back, taking in the whole site until we reached the car again for the next step of our day out.


Memorial plague to remember all the killed miners over the years


Every single tree here is covered in moss and lichen

The Nanaimo River


owl sculptures in the tree


Dianne and ....

... I enjoying the views over the river

walking back

The PCCM smoke stack


The pit head or tipple

By the time we were back at the car we were getting a bit hungry and decided to head back to Nanaimo and find a place where we could have lunch. We found a parking spot in town and walked to the marina where there was a long walkway along the water.  It was freezing cold in the icy wind and we were glad to have found a nice pub.


 the Lighthouse and Bistro Pub

this picture was pinched off the internet as it gives a better view of the building

We found a spot near the window where we had a nice view of the mountains in the background across the Straight of Georgia and could see the sea plane land and take off. The meal was fine, not quite great or excellent, but well enough to enjoy.






I am starting to think about a scenic flight in the sea plane now.... ;-)

Well, not yet.  First we are going to find more caches!

After the meal, when we reluctantly left the warm and cosy atmosphere of the pub, we wandered to the next cache which was supposed to be hidden in 'plane' sight, but not 'plain' enough for us, because, although we could see the 'plane' we could not see the cache.  Never mind. just another DNF.

Then we walked back to the car, because the wind was really ice cold, and besides, our parking time was nearly up.  We were just discussing the fact that we could have walked past a cache without realising it when Dianne piped up with a "Yes, we did!", so we made a tiny little detour and found an equally tiny cache.

Nanaimo's Fortification (cache)






After we picked up the car, and before we went home, Dianne had only one short 'multi' in mind.  Okay, a short one.  No worries.  We drive to the starting point, find the waypoints, answer the questions and calculate the new coordinates.  We start walking.  I walk into one direction, Dianne wanted to go a different one, across the water... Ah well, no problem, I come to.  But.... on the other side it appears that GZ is in the middle of the water.  A quick check and Dianne discovers she's made a slight mistake.  One number out.  Okay, we try again.  Nope.  Another check and oh darn, the numbers for A and B have been switched.  Now that's a big difference, so, we walk back into the direction I was going in the first place!  And finally, we find the '4th of 10' and Dianne, because she happens to be on the right side, finds the container!

Waiting for the Quinsam (cache)






Well, so much for a 'short' multi... ;-)

Then it's time to do our necessary groceries shopping, with a detour to the liquor store (I like my glass of wine at night), a look-around at the dollarshop and that's it for the day.  It's dark and time for ( a light) dinner when we get home.

I am in bed by 8pm as I have had it after an extra long day, but a good day!