It was kind of a last-minute thing, really. A ferry queen (yes, you read that right) friend of mine wanted to take one last trip on the Queen of Tsawwassen, which was due to retire at the end of the summer. Would I like to go on a day trip to Galiano island? Sure! I’d never been on any of the Gulf Islands, only looking at them from the ferry on my way to Victoria. I wasn’t sure what the weather would be like, since the reports said it might rain, but what the hell. You only live once. As it turned out, the day was absolutely gorgeous. Clouds started rolling in in late in the afternoon, but it never rained and the weather cooled down only a little bit.
Galiano was neat, though. Not quite what expected, though. I’d assumed there’d be some kind of small village around the ferry terminal, but all I saw were a couple of roadside stands and a small cluster of shops. Oh, including one very friendly diner that served delicious salmon burgers. Grand Central Emporium, if you’re ever in the area. You can’t miss it, I think it’s the only eatery around.
Actually, I should count my blessings. From what I hear, some islands don’t have anything near the ferry terminal. You have to drive or walk for miles before you reach civilisation. Come to think of it, that includes Vancouver Island as well.
We didn’t have any plans or vehicles, only an afternoon to kill, so we just wandered around. Our first destination was Bellhouse Park, facing Mayne Island to the east, where we snapped pictures of Active Pass, Bald Eagles, tide pools teeming with life, and some funky-looking rock formations. Then north up Sturdies Bay Road towards Whaler Bay and… whatever else the island had to offer. But aside from some great views and pleasant backwoods hiking, that turned out to be “not much.” Almost all the seaside land was privately owned, so we couldn’t just walk up to the shore to snap pictures, and the real attractions were on the other side of the island—Montague Harbour, say, or hiking up Mount Galiano.
But that’s okay. I had a great time, and a little taste of what the islands have to offer. I’m sure I’ll be back soon.