I woke up pretty early in a campground outside of Sidney, BC. (This wasn’t a surprise to me, but I thought you might have forgotten where I went to sleep.) I drove out of the park and into town where I found a coffee shop. They even had power and Internet. I was getting better at navigating Canada already. I hung out there for a while computing. I found the visitor center and talked to a nice older man who gave me some ideas about where to go. I confirmed the location of a public shower, but decided against it. I was clean enough for Canada.
Next, I found the public library. They had WIFI, but it was protected. I asked a woman sitting near me for the password. In case you go to the public library near Sidney, the password is “kilnflush”. At some point my connection timed out and I needed it again. I asked a librarian who gave me a piece of paper with the password. I remain perplexed how many institutions protect their networks but then give access to it to any vagrant that asks for it. Similarly, one must ask for a key in order to use the bathroom. More on the foolishness of this practice in a minute.
At some point I decided that I had computed enough or got hungry and headed out. At the edge of town I noticed a dog sitting on a picnic table outside of a restaurant. It was very cute. So cute that I had to stop and take a picture. Once I’d stopped, I decided to go on inside and consume some victuals, and, perhaps, a libation.
I took a seat at the bar and struck up a conversation with a guy there who turned out to be the owner of the doggie outside the window. He gave me lots of info about the area. One thing he said, which I didn’t quite catch at first, was that there was that many people in the area grow marijuana. He went on to say that if as much research had gone in to the growing of tomatoes, that they’d be growing tomatoes the size of basketballs. I finished my beer and fish and chips, but the conversation was interesting, so I stayed a while longer. Finally, I decided that I might as well have one of the beers that my new friend was drinking and as I asked what it was, he offered to buy me one. Aren’t I Lucky?
At some point in this conversation I reached into my shirt pocket and found the key to the restroom in the library that I’d spent the morning in. As I shared this information with the barkeep and my new friend, the barkeep said that he’d be going right by the library later to pick up his girlfriend and that he’d be happy to return the key.
I decided to head north up Vancouver Island to get a ferry to the mainland just north of Vancouver. I stopped at a lookout, and someone came over to ask if I was the same guy who gave his bicyclist friend some water. I was. I’d hoped that I’d figure out who he was before I posted this story, but it seems that I haven’t. Here he is, though.
Stopped at a cool family-run winery. They claimed to be the only place on the continent that makes traditionally manufactured Balsamic vinegar. It was pretty tasty.
I was getting tired of driving and found a spot at the Chemainus Garden Holiday Resort for $32. I drove around the place for what seemed like half an hour locating a spot that had a good-old 110V outlet. Nearly all of them were those big-old 220 volt things like you use for your stove.
There was a shower there. By this point I decided that maybe I was no longer clean enough for Canada.
Around dusk, a woman came over toward the camper and, from a respectful distance, was sort of peering my way. I came out of Walden to say hello. She’d been looking for a Westy for some time. We talked for a good while before she continued her constitutional.
After dark I saw a fairly large camp fire and decided to go say hello. When I first approached, they seemed somewhat put off at first, but then welcomed me and offered me a seat. They were from Germany on a several week vacation in an RV. They apologized for their near-perfect English. We had great conversation.
If you want, you can see more pics from Canada.