11 April 2013
I reckon I must be a sucker for upsell. Today is the start of our adventure tour to
Vancouver Island so this morning we pull into the local Hertz agency to pick up
our rental car for today and tomorrow.
Nice young man in charge – “the
car you ordered is pretty boring. How
would you like to change to a brand new Jeep for only a couple of dollars a day
extra?” Me, ego a little challenged
– “Sure.” Him – “And
what about the insurance?” Me,
thinking about all the things that could happen to the brand new car I just
rented – “Sure.”
We head off from the rental agency in downtown Surrey and
reckon it should be a breeze to get to Tsawwassen ferry terminal before sailing
time. I reluctantly suppress the urge to
show Canadians how simple it is to drive on the left side of the road and
plunge into the morning traffic. Then
the dilemma – do we trust the GPS, the direction the guy at the rental agency gave
us or the road signs? We opt for a
compromise and use a bit of each throughout the day.
The ferry ride to Swartz Bay is as really
terrific. We decide to pay a small
charge (yep, upsell again) and sit in the Seawest lounge. Comfy chairs, great views, and tea, coffee
and snacks laid on. After cruising
through the beautiful passages between the islands we dock and head for
Butchart Gardens, ably assisted by Garmin and some road signs. When we arrive, Canada
tries to pull its “I’ll rain until you put up your umbrella” trick, but we are
ready this time. Umbrellas, warm coats,
very warm coats, hats – we have them all – and we use them all off and on over
the next couple of hours.
The gardens are simply amazing. I start to wonder if mum isn’t feeling well
as she hasn’t asked anyone for cuttings to plant in her garden. She explains
that she is resigned to the fact that these plants just won’t grow at her place
(I also have visions of trying to stop the customs guys from arresting
her). We ooh at the hyacinths, we ahh at
the flowering trees, and just sit in peace in the Japanese garden section. The verdict?
Well worth the visit.
After Butchart, we head to Victoria. Garmin is spurned for this trip. After all, how hard can it be to find a city
on a little island? I feel quite smug
when we roll into the downtown, though it is actually hard to miss if you stay
on the freeway. We find our hotel and
check in. Our two bedroom apartment is
really nice, the wi-fi works, you can’t hear the loud live music that one of
the people on Trip Advisor complained about, and there are bath robes! It doesn’t get much better than that.
Before I go I need to answer some of the pressing
questions people have asked:
– Yes, we are having a great time and loving
· Yes, the pictures of the cherry trees are
· Yes, the Canucks have won the past two
· The rare Bud Jerry Gar parrot is also known
as a budgie.