Today we want to take a bike ride so at about 10:00 we check out of our hotel and walk past the Parliament up to Douglas St, where we’ve been told there’s a place to rent bicycles. It’s already very warm & sunny. We find the bike rental shop, rent our bicycles, and before we know it, we’re riding along the shore of James Bay.
We return our bikes after a two hour ride and then we walk down to the waterfront. We’re hot & tired from our bike ride (it was fun though) so now we want to do something cool & restful. A 60-minute boat tour of Victoria Harbour is the perfect activity! We decide on The Gorge tour with Victoria Harbor Ferry Co, the same company that runs the water taxis, on an electric boat.
We start the tour at the Causeway part of the Inner Harbor in front of the Grand Empress Hotel. We motor past the Harbour Air Terminal, pass under the “Blue Bridge”, and go by the Port Hope Shipyard, the only shipyard left in the Victoria area.
Beautiful homes line the the waterway as we near Burnside Gorge. Numerous boats are anchored in the middle of the waterway here. The captain explains that people live on some of them and others have just been abandoned because they’re so old they’re no longer worth anything, which is a big problem for Victoria. We get as far as Tillicum Bridge, and then we have to around because of the shallow water & turning tide.
On the boat ride back to Victoria Harbour, we’re lucky enough to see the Blue Bridge open to let a larger ship through. The tour ends by taking us by Fisherman’s Wharf and the Floating Home Village.
After our boat tour, we walk up Government street to have lunch at Irish Times Pub. We sit outside by the sidewalk in prime people-watching territory but (thankfully) mostly in the shade. We order a Strongbow hard cider and share a Forest Mushroom white pizza (made with Brie). I’m not sure what’s Irish about it but it’s delicious.
After lunch we stroll back down to the waterfront and walk back to our hotel. We retrieve our luggage and relax in the lobby with the Internet for about half an hour. Then at 4:30 we walk the short distance to the Victoria Clipper ferry terminal. We go through U.S. Customs & Immigration right there in the terminal.
The ferry crossing is very comfortable and we enjoy watching the beautiful scenery go by. Although it’s very windy outside, Mike & I make it a point to go out on the back deck to watch the spectacular sunset.
Gary & Rita are there at 8:45 to pick us up – we see them waving as we disembark. It takes a few minutes to go through U.S. Customs & Immigration (what was the point of doing it in Victoria?) and then it’s a short drive back to Gary & Rita’s RV Park. We walk over to our RV in guest parking and sneak in to spend another free night.