The house we are buying

The house we are buyingWe have had an offer for this house accepted so we will be putting down roots here, if all goes well. It is in East Sooke which is a very rural area, so although we have 1 acre of land it is wooded and on a steep hillside. We expect to see racoons, eagles, deer, wolves, cougar and bears in the garden.

The basement is unfinished, but as part of the deal we negotiated, the builder is going to add 2 more bedrooms, another bathroom and a rec. room down there.

Barney waterfall

Barney waterfallNear Sooke there is a gorge that runs for 6 or 7 miles into the hills. At the far end is an old gold prospecting camp, and the walking trail follows along the way of a river. There are plenty of spots to jump in from the banks, some really deep parts and others for paddling in, known as the Sooke Potholes.

Lost disc

I forgot to mention in the previous post that I bought a disc golf frisbee in Victoria for $16 and lost it within 30 minutes of playing with it. I was trying to hit Barny with it but missed and it sank in a lagoon.

Pender Bender

We were invited to Darrens birthday weekend event on the Island of Pender, which is one of the Gulf islands between Vancouver island and the mainland. Darren is married to Kim and they are friends of Sara and Craig. We had an absolutely fabulous time and yet again Canada gets better and better.
The ferry from Vancouver island took 40 or 50 mins and was similar in size to the isle of White ferry. The difference is the price ! we paid £9 approx for this journey with the motorhome, and that was a return ticket !
Darren had booked 2 cabins at The Timbers resort for the 12 to 16 people that dropped in over the weekend. The ‘cabins’ were in the 70 acre seafront grounds of a large house which was the home of a millionaire from Vancouver and every luxury and facility was available. We stayed in the motorhome but used the facilities of the cabins.
Over the weekend I was introduced to 2 new sports which are just flippin fantastic. I am hooked.

First was Bocce which is very similar to boule/petanque and crown green bowls. the big difference from boule is that the balls are much bigger – approx 4 1/2 inches diameter, and instead of playing back and forth on a piste or green you can play anywhere. In fact we played up and down dale, through trees and over tree stumps. The heavy balls roll over any small bumps and have great momentum so when they reach a slope they go for ever. Needless to say that in the grand final tournament of 8 teams of pairs, Wendy only went and won showing me up again. Just like the crazy golf !!

The second sport we played was a revelation to me, disc golf. I had no idea how much fun it was, and easy to quickly become competitive. Barney and Sam were not too bad either. Some people had a vareity of weighted frisbees for driving and putting but what I hadnt expected was the terrain. Each of the 27 holes was situated in beautiful forest, and players needed to scramble up, over and around boulders, brambles, cliffs and big trees to get to the hole, which was a post with a metal sheath that clanged if it was hit. If any player did a tee shot that was appallingly bad they had to complete the hole with their trousers around their ankles. The other players determined which was a ‘pants down’ shot or not. All of this is free to use, the only fee is that on each hole their is a bucket to collect the empty beer cans consumed which are cashed in for their deposit. Over the 2 days they got lots of empties from us. I took 24 cans on the island and thought that would be loads – Craig took over 60! he is like the Merv Hughes of disc golf.

Barney in Safety Gear

IMGP1571I havent posted much recently, sorry. This picture is of Barney geared up for sitting by a camp fire in pyjamas. He wasnt coughing nor did his eyes stream from the smoke but ours did, the crafy blighter.

We travelled on a logging road from Port Renfrew right across vancouver Island to Cowichan Lake where this picture was taken.

On the way we stopped at Lizard Lake, where trout fishermen told us the road ahead was passable with care, but no one had actually done it. It turned out to be the hairiest part of the trip so far. We had gone so far and each time the road got worse we thought it was too far to go back so we ploughed on. Then it would get worse than before. It took 4 and a half hours of bone shaking, vibrating driving for the poor old motorhome on corrugated mud and gravel roads, up and down mountains. The roar of the engine was drowned out for the first time by the chattering of the crockery and Wendys teeth.

Every 5 miles or so we passed a gang mending the road and it was a relief to know that if we had broken down it would not have been too far to walk back for assistance. Because of the delays caused by work gangs it also meant the road was not a good route for speeding logging trucks, because, had they been on the road at the same time as us we would have been massacred. They are pretty intimidating on regular roads but now we were on their turf. At one point we were going up a hillside with a zigzag of hairpin turns on a single track dirt road with no passing places and we looked at each other thinking if anything comes the other way, even a small car we would be buggered. We couldnt have turned reversed or anything, and would still be there now.

Towards the end of this stretch of road the hillsides had been cleared of trees by the loggers, and it felt like we were travelling through a moonscape for miles. I have asked Matt to host some video of it that Wendy took as it is like nothing Ive seen before and I will link to it here soon. The logging companies clear cut everything and leave behind a mess of stumps and desolation. They craftily dont do this where anyone is likely to see it unless they venture off the tarmac roads, and where they do log near roads they stop far enough from them to not make it so obvious to passersby just how devastating it is.